Sustainability is essential but difficult when the industry is as old as manufacturing. You can probably be ahead of the curve.
Is Manufacturing your forte, but cannot wrap your head around the business aspect of it?
Ready to leap into the big league. There may be many hurdles you'll have to come across. Are you ready for them?
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Two of the most challenging stages of any business are start and growth. The growth of your manufacturing business may require you to make several critical decisions like those regarding financing, location, machinery, infrastructure, production, market segments, marketing strategies, workforce, and more.
Below mentioned are some of the factors you must take into account:
Carve your niche
What makes you special? Every established player must have an answer to that question. And if you don't, make sure to find the answer before you plan your business growth. Your niche is the added value your brand brings to the table. Concentrating on your strengths also helps you take better decisions about the surrounding factors of your business, and create brand communication that connects with your customers better.
Enhance existing processes
Your existing processes can help you meet the current business requirements, but to be able to handle the growing demands of the future, it is important that your manufacturing processes are functioning at the optimal level. This will involve understanding, evaluating and optimizing strategies and processes, to reduce waste and maximize output. Make sure human resources are allocated prudently and functioning efficiently. Look for ways to improve quality control. Streamline the procurement process, the production process and the distribution process to cut down on cost.
Sticking to the basics and not keeping up with technology could cost your business a lot of customers. You must create and nurture a culture that supports ongoing innovation. From improvement of technology, process, equipments, and so on, innovation can be in different forms, and can contribute in multiple ways. Do think about whether a minor change in your product can make it more efficient or bring in new attention from customers? Reach out to your audience and listen to what they have got to say. You could look at bringing about changes in your product to suit their preferences or needs, or create product variants.
Diversify your customer base
Never depend solely on one or few customers for your business; as in case the customers decide to move away, your business could suffer serious setbacks. Maintaining a customer base that is unique and diverse always helps. Make sure to diversify your customer base considering varied parameters like geographical location, company size, industry and volume.
Diversify your offerings
Having a diversified offering can help you garner significant savings, and increase your customer base too. Accepting projects outside your core strengths may seem to be a risky proposition, but do consider the possibility of your current strengths supporting growth in these new directions. The easiest and the best way to expand is to explore your current range of offerings and go one step deeper into the manufacturing process to add some new products.
Adapt to change
Change is inevitable. People, situations, trends, demands, processes, and technology will keep changing. Understanding these changes and adapting to them, is a skill that not many possess. The ones who are open and flexible to these changes are the ones who eventually stand to gain the most!
Promote your company
The importance of marketing can't be emphasized enough. Market is always growing, and if you're not going after new business, remember this — your competitor is. Check whether you are promoting your brand enough. How do you think will a new customer buy your product or service, if they have never heard of you? Look for the most impactful media to do your marketing and get visibility amongst new set of customers. Control and build your own channels to market, and don't just rely on existing customers or word-of-mouth publicity.
Have a clear strategy
It is often observed that businesses that have a clear and robust business strategy in place are the most successful ones. Understanding the market, charting your path ahead, and getting everyone to focus on what's most important to the company, is what will help you attain the level of success you aim to achieve.
Smarter is the one, who takes gradual, well planned, and calculated steps to grow his/her business. For instance, if you're buying a new machine, you must ensure that you have enough business to keep that machine occupied. Taking big and bold steps may sound heroic, but can prove to be more damaging than beneficial.
With the world becoming a much smaller place, there are opportunities to explore new markets and expand sales to places beyond the limits of your country. Make sure you have a well-functioning website which acts as your visiting card for the digital audience and which helps you market.
Here's wishing you the very best for your business.
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