The Challenges Facing The Startup Manufacturer


Every startup faces the same challenges as they launch. Indeed, many will fail quite quickly after. But perhaps companies in the business of manufacturing have it tougher than most. For them, there is a much bigger investment to be made up front. There may need to be a more regular customer base and revenue stream in place before the company is even formed. It’s not easy, regardless of who you are, where you’ve been before, and what you do now. Here are just five of the challenges your manufacturing startup will have to face: 

Finance 

Manufacturers need working capital to get going. Many entrepreneurs use their own equipment and workspace to satisfy early product development. This setup might have been fine for the first few sales. But expanding your operation to satisfy more customers and a more diverse product offering isn’t going to happen without investment. Picture source You could try crowdfunding, but most small startups invest their own cash at the start. Finding an investor usually involves having a prototype they are interested in marketing on your behalf. As you require various updates to your technologies, you might need more funding again. Depending on your product and the technologies it employs, you might be eligible for a cash grant. 

Systems And Processes 

A lack of knowledge of the systems and processes you need to mass produce your products can be a challenge. This is why many companies prefer a turnkey solution for any equipment they might need for a factory setup. CNC machines require a level of programming or control that might be beyond your capabilities at the moment. When you purchase this equipment, it is essential you order a full or turnkey service to bring you up to speed and productive straight away. 

Marketing And Sales 

Not every business founder is naturally versed in marketing and sales. When it comes to manufacturing, many company owners are more hands on than digitally minded. Developing a full marketing strategy and implementing it can be challenging. There are many agencies that can offer this level of service. However, you might be keen to hire a sales and marketing specialist to set things up internally. Sales specialists often work on commission which might be a preferred pay structure for a startup company. 

Skilled Labor 

Manufacturing often requires skilled labor or operatives. Contract workers require training as much as new recruits, so it might be better to hire permanent employees. If you are not able to conduct the training yourself, it is essential you hire or contract someone else who can. You might be breaking health and safety at work or labor laws if employees are not trained fully.

It can also be difficult to find workers experienced and trained in your local community. If this is the case, you might find it easier to relocate your operations to a place where skilled operatives are living. 

Customer Service 

It is cheaper and easier to keep your existing customers than find new ones. If you want repeat business with clients, you have to look after them. Set up a customer service provision to ensure customer satisfaction. Build a strategy to develop relationships with your clients too. Good luck!





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Published by Michael J Schiemer
Owner of Bootstrap Business
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