In any industry, you want your business to grow to its full potential, but when it comes to manufacturing, scaling properly is often more easily said than done. As such, you need a comprehensive plan when it comes to these efforts, and will likely have to tread carefully at every step of the way.
The following should help you find ways to ensure your growth is solid and steady going forward:
1) Find a niche
If you can figure out what you make that goes beyond the competition's offerings, or which fills a segment of the local market that others don't, that's a great first step, according to Thomas. Lean into the things that make you unique, rather than trying to run with the big dogs.
2) Improve your business relationships
You may have plenty of other companies with which you do business, but you can potentially do more to get more out of those partnerships, Thomas said. Collaborating on data-sharing or other issues can help you create "stickier" relationships that ensure you have steady business for years to come.
3) Be highly strategic about areas of growth
One mistake too many companies make is trying to grow too quickly, Thomas noted. Scaling up in a way that doesn't make sense for the company is an easy error to avoid; all it takes is a little more strategizing before you take that next step.
4) Make sales and procurement a priority
The two most important teams in your company may be purchasing and sales, according to Inc., magazine. You want to bring in great materials for the best price you can, and send out finished products for the highest prices. Professionals who can help you do that can be highly valuable to your team.
5) Improve hiring practices generally
It's always a good idea to see what steps led you to your best hiring decisions, and also to identify areas where you may have fallen short in the past, Inc., recommended. Before you make more hires, try to streamline those processes so that things continue to go smoothly.
6) Understand your local competitors
Much like finding your own niche, you try to grow, you don't want to start intruding on the things your competitors already do well, according to Business Factors & Finance. Look at what they do well and see how those things can fit into your operation, but avoid copying them.
7) Take it slow
Again, too-rapid growth has undone many businesses; you don't want that to happen to you, Business Factors & Finance advised. As such, ensure your growth is relatively measured, give yourself time to see where you stand, and then take that next strategic step.
8) Think about new products you can offer
As a manufacturer, you know that making great products is the name of the game, Business Factors & Finance further added. Do you have any areas where you can innovate to create a new product that meets customers' needs? You should always be trying to innovate on this front.