Everyone in the tech industry knows that if you’re in the retail or wholesale business, you need to stay at the top of the curve in order to compete — never before in history has technology evolved more rapidly than it is now. It wasn’t long ago when people thought video conferencing was nothing but a Star Trek fantasy.
Now, here we are, and even your grandmother probably has Skype. So, what’s next? As a tech product business owner, you get to help write that history right now. And, you need to understand that the cornerstone of a successful product is an outstanding manufacturing process. Here are the custom manufacturing secrets that will help you create an optimal product strategy this year.
Secret #1: You Should Always Shop Around for the Company With the Best Fabrication Processes
Choosing a manufacturer or supplier for your product idea should involve more than a Google search. Some of the best manufacturers will never even bother with a search engine strategy because they don’t have to — they’re busy enough without a ton invested in marketing because the proof is in the pudding. For some of the best fabrication businesses, word of mouth is still the best form of advertising.
A huge portion of what goes on in mastermind groups is business card exchanges and operations-secret-sharing. You can’t find everything on Google because not every good company knows how to leverage it properly.
So, rather than choosing the company that shows up first in SERPs to build your product, ask fellow business owners for recommendations, attend trade fairs, and join industry groups. Then, take the time to meet prospective manufacturers in person. If you have to fly halfway around the world to do so, make it happen.
Your business is like a baby and you wouldn’t leave your baby with a sitter without so much as an interview, would you?
Secret #2: Relationships With Manufacturers are Just as Important to Your Business as Relationships With Customers
If you believe your product supplier is too busy to bother with you, I want to challenge that assumption. Here’s a scenario to consider:
It’s mid-November, just before the rush of the height of the shopping rush of the holiday season, and three out of four of your warehouses are out of stock for your best-selling product. At this rate, it looks like you might run out of inventory before Black Friday, which would be a total buzzkill, knowing that sales are about to pick up. The only person who can help is… that’s right: Your manufacturer.
So, if you’re the client who has an email-only relationship with your manufacturing company and has only spoken with customer service on the phone, you might be the last one on the list of people to help out. Suppliers are just as busy as you this time of year. Rather than get yourself stuck in this boat, you should be on a first-name basis with the CEO of the company that makes your products and should have each others’ mobile phone numbers starred in your phone contacts.
Secret #3: Custom Products Are Much Easier to Design Than You Probably Think
From handcrafting to 3D printing, the manufacturing industry has come a long way in the past 100 years. If you can dream it, someone out there can make it — I guarantee. In 2019, even custom graphene fabrication is at your fingertips.
So, don’t get discouraged just because you don’t quite understand the technology of the product you envision — somebody does.
After all, the most successful tech companies are those that dare to step outside the box and push through the boundaries they’ve set for themselves. 50 years ago, nobody would have believed you if you had told them 6-year-olds would be holding conferencing devices or video games in the palm of their hand.
If you sell cookie-cutter hardware or white label equipment, though you might make it pretty high up the ladder, there’s no chance you’re going to make it to the top. So, soak in these custom manufacturing secrets and apply them to your product strategy right away. You will be glad you did.