I’ve Pre-Sold 100 Trinkets: Contract Manufacturing Part 1

Posted February 6th, 2018 by Bailey Jones

I’ve pre-sold 100 trinkets. Do I have a business? Not yet, you don’t. Most products we see and buy in stores are produced in the tens-of-thousands per year and higher. To reach a quantity of scale that allows for efficient production and reasonable consumer prices you must normally produce in the 1000s at least. Not to mention that you will want to attract a dependable and experienced contract manufacturer – and that requires an assurance of minimum revenue for your contract manufacturing partner. Here’s a rough breakdown of production methods for different yearly volume categories:

10-100: Use any variety of prototyping methods to produce parts. Hire temporary workers for assembly and packaging. Solicit workers through Internet job boards and pay by the hour or by the part.

100-1000: Good luck. Few products could be profitable at this volume. Exceptions to the rule could include expensive custom built items like furniture or expensive medical and surgical products.

1000-5000: Use a small-scale contract manufacturer close to home or abroad. Some prototyping facilities fulfill this quantity niche with streamlined, low-cost tooling. This is a difficult volume category to fulfill—too big to do it yourself, and too small to take great advantage of the efficiency of scale. Many new companies start with products in this category. However, long-term business health usually requires growing into higher volume production and sales.

Stay tuned for Part 2 where I discuss higher production volumes; it’s where the profit really starts to take off.

Find this and more in the book, The $39 Mustache Comb: The Start-Up Guide To Manufacturing.

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