The Top 5 Qualities of Successful Manufacturing Startups

The five qualities needed for a successful manufacturing startup include finding a great product or innovation, securing experienced and passionate leadership, and remaining flexible when it comes time to make the best decisions for your company. Fair compensation and benefits help you find and keep good people, while a winning culture stirs teambuilding and creativity in a workplace people love coming to. Let’s look at each of these factors in detail.

1.) An Innovative Product

Creating an innovative product doesn’t always involve beginning from scratch. Recognizing this fact can save a lot of trial and error when teams are able to improve existing products on the market. This is especially true if you want venture capitalists to invest in your startup. Bold ideas capture their attention. While innovation intrinsically holds risk, presenting an established market with a better option is a safe bet for the gruffest investor board. Depending on the complexity of the design, it could also set you up for an easy win and allow you to tackle bigger projects in the future.

2.) Experienced Management

Good management is key to any business and essential for a manufacturing startup. Savvy leaders can recruit the right people and keep them excited about the vision of the company. Entrepreneurs are passionate by nature, but unless you have the leadership experience needed to guide the company to profitability, experienced leaders should be your first hiring priority. Many consulting firms specialize in providing C-level candidates to guide inexperienced entrepreneurs looking to improve their leadership. Choose forward-looking individuals who understand the importance of juggling current production needs, new product development and expanding market share.

3.) Fair Compensation and Benefits

Great people won’t work for free. It’s one thing for the Bill Gateses of the world to sweat it out in a garage for a couple of years, but most people aren’t willing to do that for someone else’s dream. A reasonable wage and benefits package helps you recruit good people who want to get in on the ground floor of your new company. Also, disgruntled and underpaid employees tend to put in fewer productive hours in the workplace. That’s something a manufacturing startup really can’t afford.

4.) Flexibility

Success is an elusive thing. Some startups burst forward from a small firm to a multi-million-dollar concern with a few adjustments to scale the product. Others must overhaul their product line and pull out numerous innovations to bring their products to market. Still more fail somewhere in the middle; they either give up or lose out to competitors who beat them to the market.

Success requires flexibility. Your current customers may have drooled over your original product but change and innovation are the keys to expanding your customer base. Scalability is another issue that arises. If a product isn’t scalable, you may have to make hard decisions to continue to grow — the ability to institute changes can keep your startup going in the right direction and satisfy your investors.

5.) Establish a Winning Culture

The culture in a workplace is a living thing. When employees don’t want to be there, resentment and animosity build up into a palpable feeling. It’s hard to turn the tide once this feeling becomes prevalent. Instead, building a positive culture from the beginning helps retain employs and sustain the excitement that accompanies new ventures.

Mentor programs are a great way to establish connections and help employees learn from one another. Individuals with skills and experience can mentor newer employers, and they make great candidates for new positions that come up.

Keeping communication open is also key. Employees, investors, vendors, suppliers and clients all need to know what’s going on. Establishing best practices centered around communication is a pervading characteristic of successful manufacturing startups.

If you are an entrepreneur, you have likely given up financial security to take a risk on your new business. This is no place for the risk-adverse, but surrounding yourself with experienced people with great ideas can help you succeed and make it all worthwhile.