Big News: FounderDating is joining OneVest to build the largest community for entrepreneurs. Details here
Latest Notifications
You have no recent recommendations.
Name
Title
 
MiniBio
FOLLOW
Title
 Followers
FOLLOW TOPIC

Question goes here

1,300 Followers

  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur

Is it possible to build a customer base before getting a company off the ground?

I've been in manufacturing for a while now and I've seen others venture out on their own and have taken customers from their old employers. That's not what I'm doing, I was just wondering is there a way to get contracts in manufacturing, before getting all the equipment necessary?

14 Replies

Marvin Schuldiner, MBA, APM
0
0
Problem Solver at Sanns, LLC
Sure. That's the basis for many crowdfunding projects. You get clients to pre-pay for products that are not fully developed. In fact, the money often goes towards development work.
John Seiffer
1
0
John Seiffer Advisor
Business Advisor to growing companies
Yes it's possible but it's a lot more risk for the customer. So think about what makes it worth them taking that risk? Usually it's because you have some amazing invention or capacity that they want so badly they're willing to take the risk.
Phil Wilton | MBA
1
0
Phil Wilton | MBA Entrepreneur
Strategic Global Group
Matt
It depends on what you are manufacturing to how difficult its going to be. You don't say. Manufacturing can be a highly leveraged capital intense business. You will need steady revenue to offset such expense.
Case in point, I have two colleagues that manufacturer for different clients. One is a machine shop that serves the Semiconductor industry. This is small specialized products that apply to older semi technology, but are very lucrative in revenue as competing with the OEM's is easier.
The other is a machine shop that deals with high end, fortune 500 companies such as GE and Rolls Royce. Contracts for this person came from his time at GE, and they were willing to have him supply as he was supplying capacity, cycle time and cost, his value added or competitive advantage. Two very different markets, but both highly leveraged.
What are you offering your industry clients that they don't already have from their existing suppliers? Whats your added value? Whats your competition? These are some of the basics you will have to overcome, apart from the startup costs.
Jeffrey Gray
0
0
Jeffrey Gray Entrepreneur
Founder and CEO at Brave Enterprises, LLC
Matt,
Matt Zuern
0
0
Matt Zuern Entrepreneur
Freelancer at Matthew Zuern Graphic Design
I'm trying to get into 3D printing. The market isn't saturated yet, and I can do the modeling. There is no business like it in my area, so I would like to take advantage and Jeff, I can't see your reply, could you post it again?
Reme Pullicar
0
0
Reme Pullicar Advisor
Project | Program | IT Manager
Matt, in a word.. outsource. You do the designs. You charge for the design and calculate a minimal margin for production and then send it to one of the big 3D production companies to produce. Simple. Once you begin developing your independent track record, leverage your experience and a big job to purchase or lease the equipment you need. The fact is, you can find Additive 3D options as low as $1k. So if you have the marketing skills to back up your design skills, you should do well.
SearchMktg Pro
0
0
SearchMktg Pro Entrepreneur
Independent Marketing and Advertising Professional
From a purely marketing perspective,I help and advice small ventures to always build their customer base prior to getting off the ground.You should line up all the ducks in a row through a well-planned digital marketing campaign.

It doesn't take too long and isn't very costly.

Use the data from this campaign to make important business decisions primarily to know what the customers need from you and the USPto highlightin your offer.Campaigns help you as an entrepreneur to tweak your offerings & deliver the best results.

Test your offer,build your customer base,forecast your potential and then get off the ground.
Mana Ionescu
0
0
Mana Ionescu Entrepreneur
President, Lightspan Digital: Digital Marketing Problem-Solver and Speaker
You can and should definitely build a contacts database before launch. And you can lock in contracts as well, as long as you know how you'll deliver if you close the deal. A wise woman told me to always focus on the top line. It's better to close the deal and then hustle to execute than focus too much on execution before you even have a deal.
Jackson Powell
0
0
Jackson Powell Advisor
UI/UX Designer & Front End Developer
Hi there Mr. Zuern,

I'd check out these two online 3D printing platforms and consumer equipment. They might help you as you figure out your business model. Astroprint and New Matter.
Jackson Powell
0
0
Jackson Powell Advisor
UI/UX Designer & Front End Developer
I'd also suggest you talk to Lonnie Sciambi, The Entrepreneur's Yoda. He's a mentor that is embarking on a product development cycle by offering to answer questions from startup entrepreneur's like yourself for free.
Join FounderDating to participate in the discussion
Nothing gets posted to LinkedIn and your information will not be shared.

Just a few more details please.

DO: Start a discussion, share a resource, or ask a question related to entrepreneurship.
DON'T: Post about prohibited topics such as recruiting, cofounder wanted, check out my product
or feedback on the FD site (you can send this to us directly info@founderdating.com).
See the Community Code of Conduct for more details.

Title

Give your question or discussion topic a great title, make it catchy and succinct.

Details

Make sure what you're about to say is specific and relevant - you'll get better responses.

Topics

Tag your discussion so you get more relevant responses.

Question goes here

1,300 Followers

  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
Know someone who should answer this question? Enter their email below
Stay current and follow these discussion topics?