Launching a new business that manufactures and sells products is a major undertaking. One of the most difficult parts of the process is finding a company that can make the products for you. In many cases, working with a domestic manufacturer is not possible, simply because they don’t provide services that you need. Or, their pricing is too high for you to turn a profit. That doesn’t mean that you are out of luck. There are other manufacturing options available.
One such option is to work with an overseas manufacturer. Having products manufactured overseas is a cost-effective option that can help you get the inventory that you need without having to spend a fortune in the process. Of course, finding a manufacturer in another country presents a unique set of challenges. You usually need to order an exceptionally large number of items in order to find a manufacturer who is willing to work with you. This can be challenging if you don’t have a lot of funding right out of the gate.
The process of finding a reputable overseas manufacturer is a lot easier if you can get a recommendation from someone that you already know. Consider reaching out to your business network to see if any of your contacts can recommend a manufacturer who may be willing to help you. If no one that you know can make a recommendation, you can also search online. There are a lot of different wholesale websites out there that can help you locate manufacturers in other countries who are capable of making the products that you need. Try using these tips to get the best results:
1. Identify five manufacturers that you are interested in working with.
Begin the process by finding five manufacturers who are capable of making the products that you need. Contact them to find out more about their requirements in terms of order size. If they require a larger initial order than you are capable of affording, you may be able to negotiate with them. Be sure to mention that you plan on growing in the future. You can commit to make larger orders as your business reaches more customers. Most manufacturers like the idea of establishing a relationship with a company that is going to grow in the future.
If you are using a site like Alibaba to locate manufacturers, make sure that they have been thoroughly verified by the site. They should also have a solid history of working with other customers through the site. Avoid manufacturers that are brand-new since you have no way of knowing whether or not they are legitimate.
2. Consider a nondisclosure agreement.
When presenting an idea for a proprietary design, consider asking a manufacturer to sign a nondisclosure agreement. Although these agreements may not always be enforceable, the manufacturer should be more than willing to sign one. If a manufacturer balks at the idea, you should keep looking. Any reputable manufacturer should be more than happy to sign the agreement, ensuring that your intellectual property is protected.
3. Make good communication a top priority.
When working with a manufacturer who is located so far away, it is important to make sure that they provide clear communication. They should respond quickly to your emails and should be available by phone if you need to talk to them. Ideally, they should have someone on staff who speaks fluent English so that you can communicate with them about your order.
If you get a response to your questions that seems generic or that doesn’t really address the specific issues that you asked about, it could be a red flag that the company representative doesn’t really have a good understanding of English. Oftentimes, companies send out canned answers rather than responding to inquiries directly.
4. Decide on a manufacturer.
At this point, you should have been able to narrow the search down to just a few different manufacturers. Now, it is time to decide which one you want to use. Base your decision on both the pricing and the amount of time it will take for the company to produce the products. Faster is almost always better when it comes to production times.
5. Make sure the quality is up to snuff.
The quality of your products needs to be exceptionally high. After all, if you deliver inferior-quality products to your customers, it will reflect badly on your business. Make sure to inspect your orders carefully, checking to verify that all of the products are made to your standards. You should inspect every order to make sure that the manufacturer is adhering to the quality standards that they started with. You will then need to get manufacturing translation services, market the product and ensure distribution is ready before you sell.
Next, you’ll want to hire someone to visit the manufacturer in person to check out the operation. They can not only make sure that workers are being treated fairly but they can also double check that the quality of the products is meeting your expectations.
These tips will help ensure you have found someone suitable to manufacture your items before you distribute them and make a profit.