In Canada, many people view manufacturing as a dwindling industry, but it still accounts for a sixth of the economy. The opportunities have been damaged due to cheaper operating costs in other parts of the work, but there is still a hub for ideas and innovation. There is still room for success in the Canadian manufacturing industry if you have a product idea, machinery requirements and the financial backing to start your manufacturing business.
Day To Day Business
When you run a manufacturing business, your days will depend on how involved you are in the different strands of the business. If you have a small business, your time may be split between the selling of the finished product and the actual manufacturing of the product. You will have to work as a manufacturer, entrepreneur, PR agent and salesman at the same time unless you are able to get the financial backing to hire people to deal with any of these.
In time, you will be able to delegate the selling of the product or the manufacturing to your employees. This will enable you to have a more executive role. However, in the early days, the responsibility is going to be on you. The length of your work day will depend on you, but you need to understand that when the actual manufacturing is done there will be research and efforts to be put into sales. You have to be prepared to take the time to make your business a success.
When you start a manufacturing business there are 2 location decisions that you need to make. The first is where you are going to manufacture your product and the second is where you are going to sell it.
Many new manufacturing businesses are able to start in your home, but if you require special equipment you will need to have an external office. There are a lot of commercial spaces available across the country, but the prices will vary. It is important that you look around and find the cheapest location that suits your needs. You do not want to be caught out by not having access to certain utilities that you will need.
Where you are going to sell your product can often be easily answered. It would be foolish to only limit your sales to specific regions or stores. You need to take advantage of the internet and have a professional website where you can sell. You should also look at online trading options such as eBay and Amazon.
You should try to get your product to national and international stores. This will require taking the time to set up meetings and convince buyers of the profitability of your product. However, it will be worthwhile when you start selling.
When you manufacture a product, you need to make it efficiently and to a high standard, such as high speed steel cutting blades. If you do not have a lot of financial backing, you will not be able to get others to manufacture your product. In these cases, you will need to learn about the ways to reduce waste from production and get your manufacturing process up and running as quickly as you can.
Much of what you will learn about manufacturing will come from the first few attempts that you make at each process. As you settle into a production routine, your technique will change dramatically. Your business planning skills will also increase as you rewrite your plan with a business manager and change and improve your sales pitches to be more effective.
What you are going to manufacture plays a large role in the space that you need. If you make a small product by yourself with little equipment, you can easily work from home. However, if you are going to use large equipment or employ other people, there are many choices available to you.
When you are at the start-up level, you will not need any additional staff. At this point, you will be looking for investors, creating your product and selling it through a number of routes while conducting any research needed yourself. This is not an impossible task, but it can be a very daunting one.
If you feel that you cannot cope and need help or you are in a place where you can afford staff, you should look at hiring people who can help you. You should look at hiring business managers or manufacturers, freelance sales executives and market researchers. Each of these people will be able to take some responsibility from you, but hiring them will impact the profits you make from your business.
Any manufacturing startup will need a large amount of financial backing. It is unlikely that you will be able to proceed without a substantial loan from the bank or other investment. The finance manager for Tecsaw International, a Canadian manufacturing company says “When you create your business plan, you need to include all possible costs.” This will include the manufacturing costs, transportation costs, wages and any money you are going to be spending on marketing. This will help potential investors understand your business, but if they find an expense you have not included it could end any discussions you have.
Selling The Product
One of the most difficult and important aspects of your startup is actually selling your product. You need to be able to convince people that they need to buy your product and why they should be spending their money on it. There are a number of ways that you can accomplish this.
You should maintain accurate and regular lists of your costs to understand what your profits are. You should put as much time and effort into your sales pitch as you possibly can. While you should learn from each attempt to convince people your product is worth the investment, it is better to get it right the first time.
You also need to be prepared to have your product be the center of your life. There will be an abundance of opportunities to sell and promote your manufacturing and if you do not take the time to utilize them your business is going to suffer. You should also investigate stock prices for your materials and establish good relationships with your suppliers to ensure that you get the lowest costs. You also need to learn how to negotiation because investors, individuals and retailers are going to want to get the most out of you. You need to be ready and not allow them to take more of your profits than you can afford.
The Common Pitfalls
The most common pitfall is not considering how much of your time is required. A manufacturing business is a huge undertaking and you need to treat it as such. Development and research can be done in your spare time, but if you are serious about the product you need to dedicate all of your time to it.
Another common pitfall is not reinvesting into your business. Once the profits start to come into the business, you will be tempted to treat yourself. This is something that you should not do and you need to reinvest your profits to ensure your business survives.