We are continuing our series on manufacturing business growth. We have previously published “The Seven Irrefutable Laws of Manufacturing Business Growth.” Now we want to delve deeper into each of the laws. To review, here are the 7 Irrefutable Laws of Manufacturing Business Growth:
- Your Company Must Be Highly Visible
- You Have to Have the Right Asses In the Right Seats
- You Must Work On Your Business, Not Just In Your Business
- You Must Market Yourself and Your Company
- Keep Current With Technology
- Diversification of Your Customer Base
- Expand Through Acquisition
The full original article on the 7 laws is available here. Today we are looking at “Visibility” for manufacturers. Why is it important and how to achieve it. I’ve published several articles on the need for manufacturing companies to get online; to have a web presence. I don’t want to rehash what we’ve already said, BUT two things warrant repeating:
If you are a manufacturer without a web site – you will soon be out of business.
95% of all manufacturers that go to auction don’t have web sites.
Could it be any clearer? If you are a manufacturer without a web site this should literally scare the crap out of you! Here are some other things to consider. How do customers find you? Most small manufacturers are doing sub-contract work for larger ones. The big boys, (and girls) are using a variety of methods to find sub-contractors like search engines, industry portals, supplier discovery databases, approved supplier tools on various large company web sites and more. Notice anything about the methods used? They are all web based!
As my company’s auction division closes many small manufacturers, the owners will lament that they simply could not find work. Yet, they did not do what was necessary to find work or for WORK TO FIND THEM. Saying that there is no work is simply a “crock.”
U.S. manufacturing has experienced steady growth (except for a few months) for the last three years. Instead of complaining about the competitor getting more work than you, find out what he is doing that you are not.
Manufacturers need to be visible to customers including The Department of Defense, which is one of the largest buyers of complex manufactured goods in the world. The Department of Defense has launched the Connecting American Manufacturing (CAM) program to streamline the solicitation and bidding processes for manufacturers and enhance RFQ matching and quoting.
Sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the CAM program highlights digital innovations, such as those provided by MFG.com, to automate many of the labor-intensive processes that previously barred many small manufacturing companies from dealing with the Department of Defense. Registration on the MFG.com platform is free and takes very little time. Registration allows you to match your capabilities with RFQS from both local and international companies. But, you have to be online to take advantage of this opportunity.
Lets talk briefly about the cost of launching a manufacturing web site. In years past you might have to sign your life away or give up your first-born. Like anything else, as technology improves, the price comes down. With open source tools like WordPress you can actually design a website for FREE, you simply have to pay for the domain name and web hosting which is so inexpensive these days that a teenager with a small allowance can easily cover it! I don’t necessarily recommend the “do it yourself” approach, but I’m simply trying to make the point that there is absolutely no excuse for not having a company web site.
There are parts of web design that can boost your company’s visibility in search engines. It is not only important to HAVE a web site, but customers also need to be able to FIND the web site amidst the sites of all your competitors. For that it is better to have a professional.
Companies like www.AcceleratedWebSolutions.net offer web design services specifically for manufacturers at reasonable rates.
The days of paying 10-25K for a web site are so OVER! Web design firms still charging obnoxious rates will fall by the wayside, just like manufacturers that don’t have web sites! For more tips on getting your company online and the importance of having a web presence I recommend visiting acceleratedwebsolutions.net/blog/.
Next month we will take a closer look at staffing issues facing manufacturing companies.
Fran Brunelle is an industrial auctioneer with almost 20 years experience, a manufacturing business broker, licensed real estate broker specializing in industrial properties, a real estate auctioneer, certified appraiser and author. Fran has established several corporations that provide services to the manufacturing industry. The “Accelerated Group of Companies” provides tools and services to help manufacturers grow and exit strategies to maximize dollars when they are ready to retire or sell their manufacturing business. The group of companies that Fran Brunelle has established includes: