You might have a great idea for a product but if you can’t get it adequately produced you might as well not have had the idea in the first place. Before setting up your manufacturing you need to have an understanding of the design, materials, and your budget to get you started on the right path. To help your idea turn from a fantasy to a reality we, at Rad Sourcing, want to share a few of the first steps you should take before looking into finding a manufacturing partner.
Before jumping into most anything you should research it and that’s exactly what you should do before manufacturing your product. First of all, you don’t want to start manufacturing something customers aren’t willing to buy, and you have to find out what your competitors are doing so you can be competitive. Analyze the competition in your perspective industry so you can determine your competitive advantage. You don’t want to manufacture your product only to find that your product is a worse version than your competitors. If you do, you really have an uphill battle to fight.
Once you have done your research the next step is to figure out if you want to produce and sell your product yourself or license the idea to another company. What is Licensing? It is effectively renting your idea to another company that handles everything besides coming up with the idea itself, this includes – manufacturing, marketing, distribution – and then pays you royalties based on sales. This method is nice because it takes little to no upfront investment on your end. The downsides are you will only make a fraction of each sale of your product. Furthermore, it can be very difficult to find someone to license your idea with, there are lots of great ideas out there and companies are pitched ideas all the time.
Okay, the research is done and you have decided to launch a business selling your product, whats next? First of all, you need to create a sample or prototype to make sure that the product can be made to your specifications by the factory. There are a few ways to go about this. You can make your own but this can take a long time and several iterations as you may lack the skills or tools necessary to make the prototype. For most businesses it makes much more sense to turn to a design firm or factory that specializes on the goods you are trying to make and work with their designers and engineers.
Your Prototype is complete and you are happy with it, it’s time to test your idea out in the real world. Simply, show it to people and get some honest and authentic feedback. Make sure you show it to people you trust or have people sign an NDA if you want to protect yourself from any potential drama in the future. Once you have tweaked your prototype in response to the advice you are given and perhaps even made your Minimum Viable Product (MVP), which is the simplest form of your idea that you can actually sell as product. It may be time to protect your intellectual property, if you haven’t done so already. You can register for a patent, buy a trademark, or copyright.
Time to Find a Factory
Are you ready to find a factory now? You have done your research. Your intellectual property is secured, or close to it. Finally, your prototype is ready to help guide the factory first production run, so I have to say yes you are. We have addressed this process in a few other articles. Nonetheless, we will touch on it slightly here. Your first step should be researching some industry standards and terminology. Then you are going to want to define your project- figure out how many units you want to start with, realistic ideal price point, how many Skus. Then you can try contacting factories yourself but this can be a very difficult, time intensive, and risky endeavor for those that are inexperienced with manufacturing. This holds especially true when you want to set up your manufacturing abroad to keep your production costs low. This why we recommend hiring a reliable sourcing agent like Rad Sourcing to help set up your manufacturing for you.
If you have any other questions about the production process we are happy to answer any other questions you may have. Please reach out to us at RadSourcing.com or email me directly at [email protected].