The good old World Wide Web, globalization, and advanced technology have made it easier than ever for entrepreneurs to take an idea from concept to production. While manufacturing may seem like an industry filled with giant factories and mass production, the reality is that if you have a dream and a product idea, you can begin a business and open up shop, joining a global market of makers. Small businesses and manufacturers are integral to the marketplace, and you don’t need to have a million-item production line in order to make an impact.
If you’ve read any of our previous posts about the reshoring trend, you’ll know that small businesses and manufacturers are no longer limited to outsourcing product to China or Taiwan or other common destinations for American manufacturing jobs. According to CeramicIndustry.com, a report from August 2014 noted that “respondents predicted that reshoring would create U.S. manufacturing jobs within five years. Fifty percent of the respondents said that they expect to boost their U.S.-manufacturing workforces by 5% or more.”
Between the reshoring trajectory of American manufacturing and the ease with entrepreneurs are able to manufacture new products in the U.S.A, anyone with a dream, a work ethic, and a dedication to restoring the U.S economy to a pre-recession glory can begin manufacturing and selling their own product. Nebraska is known for its intelligent, hardworking workforce, and there’s no shortage of big dreams in this state. If you have always wanted to own your own business, be involved in both design and manufacturing processes, or are passionate about entrepreneurship, here are a few resources for getting started.
Step 1: Crowdfunding. The practice of crowdfunding might just be the best thing that’s ever happened to small business. Collecting small amounts of money from large numbers of people has helped to launch some spectacular products through websites like Kickstarter, for example.
Not all campaigns are to help fund the manufacture of a product, but some of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns have launched world-changing accessories, 3D printers, and more. For example, 2,068 backers pledged $2,945,885 to help Formlabs bring their idea for an affordable, high-resolution 3D printer to life. And now? Over 1,000 printers have left their warehouses. If you have a great idea for something the world needs, crowdfunding can help you finance your project.
Step 2: Find a Manufacturer. This is where a truly awesome company, Maker’s Row, comes into play. Maker’s Row is a factory-finder for those who have a product but need a factory in America to make it. “Maker’s Row is the home of Made in America for the 21st century. We enable brands to find manufacturers to create products here in the United States,” the company says. From design to pattern-making to tooling and production, you can find just about any manufacturer you need in their list.
Step 3: Promote. It’s no use having an outstanding project if nobody knows it exists! Luckily, there are more websites, lists, and newsletters designed to specifically promote American-manufactured or designed products than ever before. One of our favorites is the U.S.A Love List. You’ve put in the time, so find people that can help you make it available to the world.
Questions? Comments? Want to learn more? Leave them in the section below, anytime!