Starting a battery manufacturing business can be a lucrative decision, especially for those who choose to focus on products like lithium-ion batteries. It takes a good deal of business acumen and specialized expertise, though. Read on to find out how to get started.
Step 1: Learn About the Industry
Batteries are considered hazardous materials (hazmat), so there are certain rules and regulations that apply to their manufacture that wouldn’t be applicable to other consumer goods. Business owners should familiarize themselves with industry best practices and regulations, including how to ensure worker safety in the manufacturing plant, consumer safety during transport, and customer safety during product use. Business owners can learn about hazmat packaging options by going to clsmith.com.
Step 2: Decide on a Product Mix
Decide what type of batteries the company will manufacture. Car batteries differ substantially from laptop batteries, to give one example, so it’s important to stay focused. Analyze the current market for each type of battery and find a niche that doesn’t offer too much competition. The company can always expand from there to offer new products or even refurbish old batteries.
Step 3: Create a Sales Strategy
Breaking into a new market can be a challenge even for those who have experience selling other consumer goods to the public. That’s why it’s important to have a sales strategy in mind, including a professional website, social media marketing, public relations, and an advertising plan that includes participation in industry conferences and consortiums.
It’s also wise to determine a competitive pricing strategy that will help the new company break into the market. Use all of this information to come up with an effective marketing budget.
Step 4: Choose a Site
Look for industrial real estate that will suit the company’s needs not just as it gets started but as it begins to grow. There should be enough space on the manufacturing floor to accommodate all the necessary machinery, such as an air separator, and workers and enough office space to accommodate a full executive team. Most industrial buildings require renovations before they can be used to house a new manufacturing business, so don’t forget to factor the cost of those renovations into the company’s initial budget.
Step 5: Determine Ongoing Operational Expenses
Operational expenses include things like monthly utility bills and machine maintenance in addition to employee payrolls. It’s not necessary to pin down an exact number for how much money business owners should anticipate to spend each month but get a ballpark figure by comparing the operational expenses of similar businesses. It will help with determining a budget.
Step 6: Locate Funding
Look for start-up business-incentive grants, energy-based grants, and others to start raising working capital. Most new manufacturing businesses must also take out loans to purchase equipment, perform renovations, hire consultants, and otherwise get their companies off the ground.
Step 7: Hire the Right People
Already have a comprehensive business plan in place? Recruit senior management personnel with a history in battery manufacturing or sales. The right management team will make all the difference.
The Bottom Line
Starting a battery manufacturing business doesn’t have to be impossibly hard. It just requires ample planning, a solid business plan, and sufficient working capital to get everything off the ground. When in doubt, hire a consultant and spend some extra time in the planning phase instead of just winging it and hoping for the best.