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How would you go about finding manufacturers that will pay attention to your company?

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Often times, manufacturers don't value small startup clients due to low volume production. So ultimately, what are some ways to enhance your company's value in the eyes of the manufacturers? Or how do you find the right manufacturers to help if you're s smaller hardware startup?

Would love to hear from entrepreneurs who have done this before via crowdfunding or other mechanisms.

7 Replies

Kyle Fowers
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Kyle Fowers Advisor
Founder at Gear Backer
In the past I have simply identified and contained manufacturers. They should have all the contact info on their website. The worst they can say is no. I have had people more than happy to work with me, others say talk to me when you get bigger. It can be scarry but you have nothing to lose.
Gabe Greenwood
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Gabe Greenwood Entrepreneur
Littlecat Labs
I'm in a similar position, just starting out, but so far I've found it to be a numbers game. Nothing wrong with having the same conversation 50 times, and after the first five times it gets a lot easier. I emailed about 20 manufacturers this morning about a part I'm working on, four responded by the end of the day, and one or two of those look fairly promising. Not the sort of numbers that would ordinarily have me jumping out of my seat but in the end, if I get a good deal from one of them, that's all I need. Good luck!
Moshe Stern
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Moshe Stern Entrepreneur
Supply Chain Consultant and Co Founder at MJ Star Consulting
This is our companies specialty. We introduce small companies to the right contractors. Usually a selling afford is necessary - we present the start up's potential for quick growth and invite the contractor to "invest" now in the future.
We also manage to find good purchase agreement.
Have a look at our site: www.MJStarConsulting.com

Sean Hurley
1
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Sean Hurley Entrepreneur • Advisor
Strategic Marketing Leader with strong financial results for growing organizations
Hi Katie-- Ideally, you want to choose a partner for a manufacturer who understands your vision and is willing to share a portion of the risk. You can help mitigate that risk by sharing your business plan and financials with the right manufacturer and approximate when your orders will recognize economies of scale to potentially meet or go beyond the manufacturers order minimum production runs. Make sure you have a signed agreement and that you enjoy working with the manufacturer. Let me know if you'd like to chat and good luck!
Steve Owens
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Steve Owens Entrepreneur • Advisor
Finish Line - A Better Way for Small Companies to Develop Products
You have to find the right CM for who you are. We design products exclusively for small businesses, including starts-ups. Some of our customers are building less than 10 PCBA (or box build) per year - and need Hi-Rel. Finding a good CM MATCH, not just a good CM, is the key. Picking the wrong CM can be costly for you and the CM. Most CMs have learned over the years who they can serve, and who they can not serve. They have learned that trying to serve the wrong type if customer is not a smart thing to do. Feel free to email me if you would like some specific recommendation. Steve Owens - Finish Line PDS A Better Way for Small Companies to Develop Products e | Steve.Owens@FinishLinePDS.com p | 603 880 8484 w | www.FinishLinePDS.com 94 River Rd | Hudson, NH | 03051 Click for Product Development White Papers ---- On Tue, 25 Nov 2014 21:04:21 -0500 Katie Pang<[removed to protect privacy]> wrote ---- FD:Discuss New Discussion on How would you go about finding manufacturers that will pay attention to your company? Started by Katie Pang Social Media Assistant, Halo Belt company. Previously Marketing Specialist Intern, Euphoric Styles LLC. Often times, manufacturers don't value small startup clients due to low volume production. So ultimately, what are some ways to enhance your company's value in the eyes of the manufacturers? Or how do you find the right manufacturers to help if you're s smaller hardware startup? FOLLOW DISCUSSION or Reply Directly to this email to participate in the discussion Manage your email notifications
Natasha Baker
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Natasha Baker Entrepreneur
Founder of SnapEDA
For electronics manufacturing, we started SnapEDA to solve this exact problem that startups often struggle with figuring out where to get their prototypes manufactured, and how they can ensure there's trust. We work with vetted manufacturers for local and offshore prototype manufacturing and provide instant quotes online. Check out: www.snapeda.com. The prices listed for manufacturing are onshore, but we can also quote offshore (quotes coming soon).
Nabil Barhumi
2
0
Nabil Barhumi Entrepreneur
Business Development
Hi Katie, I used to be a manufacturer myself. Very few are interested in potential orders. There is a lot of cynicism in the trade. In my experience Asian sources are generally more flexible and receptive, especially those in the business of prototyping. In fact, a valid path is to develop samples with prototyping concerns and use manufacturers only for bulk production. Nowadays 3D printing is a good option for sampling (some 3D materials can be metallized). If you expect that your sampling cycle will require several iterations make sure to mention it beforehand so they don't interpret your iterations as corrections of poorly specified products. Signal your willingness to cover any set-up charges, molds, and other reasonable development costs. designs, etc.
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