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How to Find a Manufacturer: The Ultimate Guide

If you’re looking for a manufacturer, there are several things to consider. This guide will show you how to find a manufacturer that fits your needs. I remember when I was first starting my business, I had no idea how to find a manufacturer. I didn’t know what questions to ask or where to even begin. Thankfully, after doing some market research and reaching out to other entrepreneurs, I was able to figure it all out. And now I’m sharing my knowledge with you!

How to Find a Manufacturer

There are a few different ways to find a manufacturer. One way is to attend trade shows and events that are specific to your industry. This is a great way to meet manufacturers and learn about their products and services. Another way is to search online supplier directories that list manufacturers by industry. You can also search for specific product manufacturers on search engines like Google. Finally, you can contact your local chamber of commerce or business association to get referrals for manufacturers in your area.

Preparing For Manufacturing

Before manufacturing a product, there are a few preliminary steps to take. These will help guarantee a smoothly run production process and a high-quality end product.

Checking off a few key boxes before seeking out a factory can make your job much easier. Once you have answers to important questions, you can move forward with bringing your product to life. Taking these preliminary measures will also help protect your company against IP infringement.

Remember, by doing some prep work, you can arm yourself with more knowledge before going into negotiations with a potential partner. Also, you can protect yourself against potential intellectual property theft.

What risks should you consider when choosing a manufacturer?

Here are some risks that you should be aware of when entering into an agreement with a manufacturer.

Poor labor standards

If you say that your company values its workers, you should extend this to your suppliers. Otherwise, you run the risk of looking hypocritical.

When searching for a manufacturer overseas, make sure to look into their employee compensation, working conditions, and compliance with current government regulations. This will ensure an ethical and socially responsible production process.

Protecting Against Fraud

When looking for a foreign manufacturer, it is important to do your research. This includes asking to see their finances and requesting references from other manufacturing partners. By taking these precautions, you can help protect yourself against corruption.

When searching for a manufacturer, it’s important to find those with years of experience. This can be verified by asking for an audit and by reaching out to other clients. Doing so will help you ensure that your prospective business partner is operating honestly.

IP theft

Your product’s unique qualities are what set it apart from the competition.

However, there are far too many cases of manufacturing companies having their IPs used by others.

To protect yourself from the risk of losing your supplier, use more than one, only work with people you trust, and do due diligence to ensure all your legal safeguards, such as contracts and copyrights, are ironclad.

Consider U.S. factories over foreign factories

When deciding where to manufacture your products, there are many things to consider. The factory location, type of product, and budget are all important.

If your product is able to be manufactured in the United States, consider the fact that some consumers prefer to buy products that are entirely made in the USA. In addition to having a more personal connection to the goods, there are also some tangible benefits to manufacturing domestically.

U.S. product manufacturers can accommodate smaller batches.

One advantage that American factories have over overseas factories is the ability to accommodate smaller batches. This is due to the fact that overseas factories tend to require large minimum orders, as stated by Tanya Menendez, co-founder and former CMO of Maker’s Row and current co-founder of Snowball Wealth.

It’s easier to monitor the manufacturing process.

If you have a manufacturing facility on the opposite side of the globe, it can be difficult to check-in. But with some careful planning, it’s easy to maintain regular communication.

This can happen if your product isn’t up to your quality standards.

“If you have global sources outside of the United States, quality is something you’ll want to keep a close eye on,” says Creative Director and CEO, of Sabrina Hartel Home.

If you’re manufacturing in China, quality control can be a challenge. But there are ways to stay on top of it.

It can be expensive to travel to China frequently.

Both overseas and U.S.-based call centers have their own set of unique challenges.

Finding an American manufacturer to produce your product may be hard due to the decline of US manufacturers over the last few decades.

Research is the most important factor to consider when deciding whether to manufacture in the U.S. or abroad.

When examining your client base, see if U.S.-made products matter to them. This can help give you a better idea of how much this factor affects your customers.

Before deciding on a supplier, you’ll need to research their pricing, quality, and reputation.

By doing your research, you can better avoid being taken advantage of by factories that over promise and under deliver.

Manufacturing in the United States allows you to manufacture smaller quantities of your product, which makes it easier to monitor your production process. It also makes logistics and shipping simpler, and consumers may perceive you more positively if your products are made domestically.

Resources for finding a factory

Once you’ve selected a product to manufacture, use these online resources to find a manufacturer for your goods.

There are many online resources that can help you find a factory to produce your product. Maker’s Row is a great option if you’re looking for factories in the United States, while Alibaba is a good choice if you’re looking for factories overseas. GSS works with startups that need mass production or smaller-scaled manufacturing, and MFG.com not only helps you find a factory anywhere in the world but also allows you to track the progress of your projects. ThomasNet and IndustryNet are also both excellent resources for finding manufacturers, while JobShop.com is a good choice if you’re specifically looking for contract manufacturers in North America.

What to look for in a factory

According to our experts, when looking for a factory to work with, you should be on the lookout for these key characteristics:

When looking for a manufacturer to work with, you should take into consideration their demonstrated experience, technical knowledge, and their reputation. A manufacturing partner that is willing to answer all of your questions and guide you through the production process is optimal. A company that already has experience with producing similar products is also ideal. A thorough check of the supplier’s background is vital to ensure their trustworthiness.

When looking for a manufacturer, you should work with one that’s experienced and willing to offer their advice. With more than 20 years of experience, inventor and engineer, Marco Perry, is an expert at finding the right manufacturing partners.

“Oftentimes, factories are more than just an assembly plant. They can help inventors with design, prototyping, and sourcing,” says 20-year veteran inventor, Mark Perry.” 

Questions to ask a potential partner

Because there are many things that could wrong, the screening process for manufacturers is incredibly important. Here are some questions you should ask yourself:

What is your quality control process like? What are the shipping costs and options? What are your lead times for production?

What are your product’s key value points? How will the manufacturing process affect these value points? What are your production volume requirements? How much flexibility do you need from your manufacturer? What is your budget for this project?


There’s a lot to consider when finding a manufacturer, but hopefully, this guide has helped you figure out where to start. If you have any questions on how to find a manufacturer or need help along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out to me or another entrepreneur for guidance. And remember, always do your research before partnering with anyone!