Choosing a manufacturer for your business’ product

You’ve got your prototype but now you need someone to produce it in bulk. Here are our tips

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Finding the right manufacturer for your product may take a lot of time and effort, but it's well worth putting in the legwork. Don't just go with the first, or cheapest, manufacturing company you find, but look at a variety, and examine their production lines, weighing up how busy and how efficient they are.

These are both important factors to help you decide which company to go for, because if they have too many clients, they may not have enough time or resources to dedicate to you. Similarly, you should question a manufacturer that has very few other clients – ask yourself if there's a reason why they're not busy.

John Heseltine, who co-founded juice drink company Cherrygood, suggests looking for a manufacturing company that produces a similar line to your products, because they will have good experience in the field, as well as boasting a number of valuable contacts in your industry, and ideally in the retail sector as well.

There are two main routes for choosing a manufacturer, according to Grace Foder of Jemma Kidd Make Up School. You can either go for a larger, more recognised company that will have extensive experience and expertise in your field. Or you might choose a smaller, less established manufacturing company, but one that might be able to dedicate more time and energy to your business.

Large manufacturers may have more resources and more experience but there's a danger the majority of their efforts will be focused on their larger clients. As your business grows, it might be worth spreading yourself across a number of manufacturers for your different products, as some of the smaller manufacturing companies may have more innovative methods of production. Spreading your production also offers more peace of mind should one manufacturer run into difficulties. It allows you more flexibility to increase order size.

Price is obviously another consideration – larger manufacturers may well be pricier – so weigh up the pros and cons for each before making your decision.

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