I’m only giving you the point of view of a small business owner. Who learned many of my lesson the hard way. Now common sense prevails!
I remember my FIT professor Michele Lelonde telling me” don’t grow too fast…slow down”. I didn’t heed her warnings. The trapping of possible success turned my head. By not heeding her warnings, I lost my business. I didn’t take the time to allow my knowledge to caught up with where I was in business. In other words … I didn’t know what I was doing! Sometimes in life the best teacher, is other peoples mistakes.
When starting out, get your first few orders, then start putting your house in order. Have a plan! Don’t be swept up in the moment.Figure out what you need and then multiply by 100 times.
Whatever you think you need…you need more! That’s no lie.
Decide where you want to go with manufacturing .
Do you want to setup your own shop ?
Do you want to contract the work to a state side manufacturer or do you want to ship the work overseas?
Manufacturing is like your shopping cart on a website. Everything revolves around it.
I’m a big advocate for the reemergence of manufacturing in the USA. I think our quality is better and I think, you save money in the long run. I believe, that the people that buy your products should also be able to afford it. If I’m selling it here, it should be made here.
There are many advantages to overseas manufacturing the biggest being a cheaper price. To be truthful that’s the only advantage. In most cases you have to order in fairly large quantities, so you need fairly large orders. You will need letters of credit verifying payment. Which will be held in escrow until the orders are satisfied. There can be many uncertainties , manufacturing delays,shipping delays, quality, can all become an issue.
The quality of the material while they look good may not hold up under continues use. I remember a friend of mine had just brought a new designer handbag. It looked great! She paid over $300.00 for the tote. Six months later it was falling apart-fraying around the edges. You really have to stay on top of your quality when working with overseas manufacturing. be especially concerned with the thread used. If the thread is weak, the bag will fall apart.
As I said earlier, in most cases you have to put the money in an account that will guarantee the manufactures payment. Since the chances are that if your going overseas you got a big order! You will also have to carry that paper up to 120 day net, for the stores that placed the order. The bigger the order the more debt you will need to carry. It will also be about 4-6 months before the manufacture will ship your product. So it could easily be 8-10 months before you see a ROI. Be prepared!
There are many small manufacturers across the United States, they are expense. Many have sub-contractors in Asia, ready and willing to take your order. This could be an advantage for the upstart designer. This allows you to develop a trust and establish a standard of quality for your products. This could also give you time to develop at your own pace, allowing your business savvy to grow, into handling the day to day chores of a business.
Okay that’s all for today c-ya! I’ll finish this tomorrow……