The online world offers entrepreneurs an inexpensive way to do research, set up a store, build a following, find staff, and best of all, is a great channel for information products such as ebooks, courses, videos, and more which cost next-to-nothing but time to produce.
In fact, with online drop-shipping resources and affiliate programs galore, you may never actually hold any of the products you sell online in the real world.
But what if your new business idea, the things that fires you up every morning, revolves around a “real-world product”, one that needs to be produced, shipped and sold through different channels including brick-and-mortar retailers?
What does the web offer an entrepreneur who knows she can sell the finished product online, but needs to figure out how to have the product produced before that can happen?
As it turns out, plenty.
First step – research and learn
The first step you can take online is to conduct research. There are tons of helpful resources to be found just by searching, “find a manufacturer” on Google.
However, to kick-start this task, here are some of the more useful spots I found:
- Finding a Manufacturer – good overview of the subject and a great spot to get started.
- How To: Find and Work With a Manufacturer – good detail of the process you go through to find a manufacturer.
- How Can I Find a Manufacturer? – I love the way this article talks about not just solutions, but the process.
- Finding a U.S. Manufacturer to Make Your Product Idea – whether you go with a US manufacturer or not, this article lays out the steps to get prepared for your search nicely.
- Finding a Manufacturer vs. Licensing the Design – some solid advice exploring options.
- How to Find a Manufacturer – 44 great real-life tips straight from the mouths of entrepreneurs who have walked this road before you.
- Entrepreneur.com’s “Finding a Manufacturer” index page – couple of the articles listed above are listed on this spot as well, but more good reading awaits.
Second step – start your search
Now that you’ve read up on how to find a manufacturer and prepared for your search, below are some good spots to start looking for the right manufacturer:
If you’re into doing your own research, then take a look at, “Locating Manufacturers” which lays out a handy way to find manufacturers.
Choosing a manufacturer is a business management task like no other. Unlike accounting and marketing, it’s very likely that you are doing this for your first time. Add to that the fact that you are putting your baby in other folk’s hands and it’s no wonder many new entrepreneurs get overwhelmed!
The good thing is that you are not reinventing the wheel here; people create and get products manufactured everyday. Read the article listed above and arm yourself as well as you can with knowledge and know-how.
Also, don’t go it alone. The key point of advice I read over and over online is to find manufacturers through your relationships and, if you have no relationships connected to manufacturing, make some! Sounds like a good approach to me.
What about you?
And speaking of relationships: why don’t you take a moment to comment on this article below.
- Did you find it useful or did it leave you with more questions than ever? If you have questions, ask them below and we’ll try and get them answered for you.
- Have you gone through this process yourself? What was it like? What things (even just one or two) can you share with us below to help the folks trying to figure out the whole manufacturing thing?
I look forward to reading your comment, questions and answers!