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Starting Your Own Manufacturing Company: What to Keep in Mind

The manufacturing industry is one of the most highly monitored and regulated industries out there. This does not mean that starting your own manufacturing business is impossible! It simply means that there are more details and steps to manage than you might encounter if you were, say, setting up an accounting office. Here are the details you need to consider before you start trying to serve any clients.

Transporting Sensitive Materials

Many of the materials used in the manufacturing industry are highly sensitive and some are also highly volatile. This is true whether you are going to be manufacturing pharmaceuticals or packing materials. Getting those materials to you from the supplier and then from you to your clients is going to require more care than most delivery agents and movers can offer you. As you’re setting up your receiving/shipping department, hire specialized lab movers to ensure that everything is transported safely and correctly. And make sure to get their input on how to pass that security on to your own clients and buyers.

Location Location Location

Of course, before you can start consulting how best to move sensitive and potentially volatile materials, you need to figure out where you are going to set up the different parts of your business. Check your local zoning laws to make sure that any space you lease is zoned correctly for everything you want to do there. It isn’t as simple as leasing whatever warehouse or open space you can find. Depending on what you are making, you might need to ensure that you are far away from watersheds or schools, etc. Work with your local zoning department as well as a realtor and a lawyer to make sure you choose the right space.

Pro Tip: While you might want to manage everything on a single site, it might be more cost effective to separate the sales/administrative side from the literal manufacturing side–especially if you expect your product to be in high demand.

Where you make the product is just one part of the location equation. Where you will be selling that product is another. Do you plan on shipping nationally or internationally? Or is your product more specifically tied to a locale or market? Is it worth moving to that location if you do not live there already?

Efficiency and Sustainability

It is very important that you learn how to streamline the manufacturing of your products without degrading their quality. You will also need to work with your local EPA office to ensure that your company keeps its waste production down and that any hazardous materials are stored and disposed of properly. You do not want to cause or contribute to another Flint Michigan situation.

Working Conditions

It is unlikely that your manufacturing company is going to consist solely of you putting together products one at a time. You are going to likely employ large machines and a number of employees. Make sure you are up to snuff on OSHA regulations and that your company’s premises meet all codes and regulations. Keeping your workers safe and healthy is in the best interest of your company for a variety of reasons, the least of which is that you do not want to be sued for a dangerous work environment!

Administrative Stuff

We’ve focused primarily on governmental regulations and the product you are making (and how you make it). These are only a few areas of consideration when you decide to start your own manufacturing company. There will be administrative decisions and regulations to adhere to as well.

Structure: Most manufacturing companies are not sole proprietorships. You are going to want to incorporate your company–not just for its financial benefit but for your own. There are a few different types of corporations you can become. Work with a lawyer to figure out which structure is right for you, your company, and your industry.

Licensing: Are you properly licensed to manufacture and sell your product in your location? Work with your city, county, and state licensing boards to make sure you have all of your permits and licenses in order before you start producing your product or selling it to buyers.

Benefits: Business owners are now required to offer at least a basic health benefits package to their employees. Because your industry is manufacturing, you aren’t going to want to limit yourself to the barest bones package possible. Cough up a little more for a comprehensive package, especially if the risk of injury in your company is high.

These are just a few of the details you’ll need to oversee when you start your own manufacturing company. Don’t worry, though: if you are diligent and deliberate you shouldn’t run into any problems!