Starting a new business and launching a new product can be challenging. If it was easy, then everyone would do it. But it also can be extremely worthwhile and rewarding if you are able to put the time and work in and start seeing returns on those efforts.
We’ll go over some of the more common obstacles when it comes to manufacturing and the steps you can take to prevent or move through them.
Prototyping and Mass Production Technologies are Different
As technology is progressing, so too are the methods used to make and produce products. Sometimes one area of technology will progress faster than the other, which can lead to some problems when they need to work in tandem.
Case in point, prototyping manufacturing technologies have exploded over the last decade. Now we have 3D Printers that can print out entire car chassis. Sometimes, you might be able to print out a design with an angle that might not be able to be produced with mainstay mass production methods such as CNC Machining.
If your design ends up having a lot of odd or tight angles and shapes, it might be worth trying to get a CNC produced prototype rather than a 3D printed one so those dimensions can be found and adjusted early in the process rather than later.
Strict Industry Regulations
You may or may not encounter these, but sometimes your product might be heavily regulated by the government agency that controls it.
- For example – Food, Drug, and Agriculture products are controlled by the FDA. They have quality standards for materials and sometimes dimensions of the product that must be met, and that extends all the way to the labeling of a product.
You can find out what agency your product needs to be in compliance with either through speaking with an engineer who will know how to design a product and make it compliant, or with a customs broker who will have to clear your shipment at port and will know the corresponding agency, as sometimes the U.S. government will audit random shipments to make sure they are compliant.
Lack of Funding
The number one reason businesses fail is cash flow problems. If you are a startup then a lack of funds to get your business off the ground will be one of the largest hurdles you will need to overcome.
If you don’t have a lot of funding when you are first starting, there are options. You can take out a loan, crowdfunding, or try and attract venture capitalists into investing in your product. Some of these options you will have to pay a little in the wrong one, whether it’s through interest, or an investor owning a percentage of profits, so it would be wise to carefully consider all your options before proceeding, but they are still options if you can’t make it on your own.
Once you start seeing some success, figuring out how to grow that success can be quite the challenge. Some good starting points for scaling are to develop a business roadmap for your goals and plans for your product. Do you want to open up locations nationally? What about internationally? How will you achieve that? How are you going to find more customers through your marketing plan?
Creating a guide to what you want to achieve will help keep you focused. Hiring the right people is also key, and making sure your core team is always on the same page will help. It will also help if they share your vision, or at least a part of it.
Continuing to innovate is key to growth and always looking for ways to improve your business and how you operate will go a long way to scaling both your company and yourself up.