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3 Considerations For Starting A Small Manufacturing Business

So you’re starting a small manufacturing business. Considering the manufacturing industry often brings thoughts of huge companies that churn out millions of dollars worth of products every day, you could be a little intimidated to move forward. Though this can be the case, there are varying levels and sizes of businesses in this sector. So if you’ve considered opening this type of business, don’t think you have to meet some size requirement. There is room for small business owners among the ranks of larger manufacturing companies. In fact, many customers prefer supporting smaller businesses, especially if you’re making a high-quality product at a good price.

Here are some top considerations for starting a small manufacturing business.

Your Workshop

Whether you set up your business at home or in a separate location, you need to have an appropriate workshop. Your work area should have plenty of room to safely work in and store materials and equipment. It should also be well-lit and organized in a way that will help you to work productively and comfortably.

Also, consider the operations and utility costs of your workshop. While you may save some money by working from home, you’ll need to budget for the extra electricity and water that you go through while working. There may also be extra maintenance costs, particularly in your work area. 

You will also need to contact local government authorities or other organizations that may be impacted by your business. Depending on what you’re manufacturing and where your shop is, for example, you will need to acquire permission from your town zoning commission. You may also need to acquire a license and have safety inspections conducted to run your business and the workshop.

Your Suppliers

As a manufacturing business, you will be using raw materials to make your products. You need to get those materials from quality, affordable vendors. If you want to make a comfortable profit, which you will need to do to cover the costs accrued from the manufacturing process, you ideally want to procure supplies in bulk at a lower price.

Rather than using low-quality materials for everything, try to reduce your costs by negotiating fair contracts. One great way to do this is to find a wholesale supplier willing to deal with your small company. 

Wholesalers typically require businesses to purchase in bulk and may have a minimum purchase stipulation before they’re willing to make a sale. If you search for small suppliers, you’re more likely to find someone who doesn’t require enormous sales, and you can still get your goods at a discount. Thanks to the internet, small businesses can find wholesale suppliers from all over the world, so it’s far easier to find one that suits your needs.

Your Tools and Equipment

Quality tools and equipment are vital for keeping your operations consistent and safe. Even if they’re capable of doing the jobs, cheap tools may end up costing you far more in time and money, cutting into your profit margin. I understand that many small businesses might not need heavy-duty equipment, but some will. Consider what you might need now and in the future. You could start with a more simple setup but expand to need things like elevator & hoistway equipment, custom machinery, and repairs. If this is something you need more information about, see this page for help.

I recommend investing in your tools and equipment, as a priority from the beginning. Even the setup of your workshop needs to be streamlined for top efficiency and safety. Find the equipment that suits your needs and budget for the best results. For example, many manufacturing companies rely on valves and pipes to move liquid materials around. While simple 2-way valves will work in some situations, a 3 way valve may provide more flexibility and can cut down on time and costs. Additionally, some companies might deal with high-performance applications and need specific things like composite prepregs.

Starting any type of business is challenging, but don’t let that hinder you. Women can succeed in manufacturing if they get the right help from the beginning. It would help to connect with other manufacturing business owners to get the inside facts about what it will take to run this type of business. If you are starting a small operation from your home, treat it as a real business just like you would if you had your own separate building.


About Madeline

Madeline is a mid-west mom of three who spends most of her time refilling ice trays and changing toilet paper...just kidding. She is a high school guidance counselor, all around funny gal, and a writer. Her first book, Be Happy Already!", is in the works.

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