Recently a client reached out to tell me great news. Her business is growing and she can no longer keep up with the demand of making products at home! I am so proud of her!
She took her passion and a formula that she made at home and went from zero sales to a massive growing business in less than one year!
But here is the dilemma – she is ready to make the move from making products at home to using a manufacturer. But outsourcing to a manufacturer requires higher minimums than she is use to and a significant capital investment.
It is a delicate balancing act. Many manufacturers have crazy high minimums, 5000-1000K units that can be out of reach for so many start up businesses.
So how do you balance it?
Here are the tips that I shared with her. Maybe they will help you if you are in this position:
Tip #1: Before you start looking for manufacturers make certain that your formula is duplicatable and equals 100%.
That means writing down each step, the containers that you use, the mixing equipment, temperature and vendor sources so it is easier for the manufacture to duplicate.
Tip #2: Look for a manufacturer that specializes in your area.
We talked about this in a previous post and it is worth repeating. If you work with someone that specializes in what you do the entire experience will be easier, faster and cost less money.
Tip #3: Don’t be afraid of high minimums.
At some point, you are going to have to make the leap. Maybe you can make products on demand in your home now so your investment isn’t as much.
However, there is a point where you will need to purchase more products to allow your business to grow.
If you are serious about moving out of your kitchen then you’re going to have to make that move. Ask the manufacturer about doing your first run as a pilot batch with smaller minimums and then your next run can be there full size run. Most manufacturers will work with you on this request.
Tip #4: Trust your gut.
If something feels off about the manufacturer that you selected, trust it. However, it is very common for manufacturers to not be as responsive as you would like especially around the holiday season. If it is just an issue of response time, then be patient and send a kind follow up email.
However, if they seem shady with no real way to contact them by phone or email I would suggest walking away.
Making the leap from your kitchen to a manufacturer is a very exciting time in business owner’s life. And if you have any questions during this process, please hit reply and I would be happy to answer you!