As an emerging founder and entrepreneur, finding the right factory to fit your brand is one of the most challenging aspects of starting out. You have a great idea, found your niche but you now need to find a manufacturer that you can partner with to bring the products to life. And while each factory has its own specialities, many seem to be able to offer you similar choices. So how do you narrow down the choices and take the risk out of using the wrong factory?
Asking the right questions in the initial meetings with the factories can really help understand their ability and get more accurate estimates but also helps the factory know if they are the right fit for you. In order to be ready to speak with any factory, we think there are 3 things you absolutely must have before speaking with them:
You need to produce a clean CAD design of each product, showing the front and back view as a minimum but a close up of details and complex areas will also help achieve the best sample. This CAD design must show all of the details and stitching required and should also present the trims and colourways for each piece. The factory will use this CAD sketch to understand your product and translate this into the core communication with the factory floor.
A design is a visual interpretation of what you want to create, however the last thing you want the factory to do is interpret this in any way. The chances are, they will get this wrong so you need to make it very clear what you actually want.
Imagine an architect’s drawing without the accompanying tech pack that explains it’s made from brick and not wood and the roof is tiled rather than thatch.
The tech pack provides the factory with a detailed description of features, trims, fabrics, colours and size. Everything is specified so that the factory doesn’t have anything to interpret and can create samples that resemble your vision perfectly.
This Tech Pack and also the design should be created to hit you required target price point. The fabrics, trims and components specified along with the features should all be achievable to hit your target price point.
The biggest cost to any startup is the cost of the goods. If you don’t have the funds available to pay for the bulk production then you need to have a plan on how you want to obtain the funding. Investment, friends and family, pre-orders or crowdfunds are all options and many factories will need to understand this plan before they embark on working with you.
Blue Associates Sportswear work with many startups and can create the designs and tech packs if these are not available. We also have options available to develop a crowdfunding campaign and can help manage this process from production of photographic samples through to campaign films and platform creation and management.
If you have a great idea, found a niche and want to start to process of creating your brand, please get in touch.