How do you know when you’re ready for a contract manufacturing partner? Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself. After that, we’ll give some suggestions for getting ready.
The first thing to ask is, “Are you having trouble keeping up with the current level of orders?” or, “Are you projecting growth that you’ll have trouble keeping up with?”
If you answer yes to either of these or both, then you’re ready. Next, how much do you like the manufacturing process?
If that’s what you love about your business, then you may be better served to raise prices or limiting your quantities or both. Many times this option will be ignored—we always assume you should want to grow beyond your capacity. But for some producers, the manufacturing is the point is the focus and not necessarily sales. If that’s you, then you can look at a temporary partnership with a contract manufacturer while you grow your plant and capacity.
On the other hand, if you plan to grow your brand with the hope of selling it for a profit, you may be wasting time, energy, and capital to expand your manufacturing.
If you are looking to cause rapid growth, then picking a contract manufacturing partner that can scale all the way up with you is a significant advantage.
The last big question is, do you want to expand into a foreign market? A solid contract manufacturer in a country you want to sell into can help you overcome barriers to entry with international markets. It often makes effective distribution easier, too.
I Am Ready. What now?
Contact us for a free consultation! We’d love to learn more about your brand and your vision for the future.
Thanks, I’m Not Ready Yet. Now What?
As mentioned, a contract manufacturing partner can help to implement a growth strategy or to assist when your sales demand exceeds your in-house capacity. Getting ready for a contract manufacturer when it’s right for you requires a plan and some skills. But the trick is to have capacity online before you need it.
Even if you’re not ready to start with a contract manufacturing partner immediately, you’re better off doing your research so you can take action if / when your capacity needs change.
Plan for Growth
Having a plan for how and how much you want to grow or expand your business is critical. If you’re winging it, the kind of consistent growth you need may elude you. Talk to some manufacturers. Talk to product creators that were where you are now. Attend trade shows like Cosmoprof to learn where there are opportunities for growth.
Start planning your growth by asking, “Where do we want to grow? How do we get there?”
Then consider what skills you need to build your business effectively? Will you need packaging designers or product managers? Or, do you need more chemists and quality control?
As you’re learning, consider that working with a contract manufacturing partner can provide you with access to these skills and resources, without having them on your payroll.