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5 reasons why you should meet your manufacturer face-to-face

In an age where the majority of connections are made online, you still can’t beat doing business in person. Here’s why…

meet a manufacturer face to face

A lot of what I do is to help people find UK manufacturers to make their products – be that on a one-to-one basis or through our trade show.

Many of the connections that I help facilitate turn out to be successful, but it still amazes me the amount of designers, buyers and product developers that do not take the time to go and see a manufacturer before they try and place an order!

I know emails are very handy for quick correspondence, but in these days of digital communication there are still lots of advantages to doing business face-to-face, especially where product is concerned.

Here are 5 of the reasons I give as to why you should meet your manufacturer face-to-face…

Meeting someone in person aids communication.

There is little room for a lack of understanding or misinterpretation of ideas if you can meet with someone and discuss business when you are both able to look each other in the eye. It is even better if you can also show the manufacturer the type of product you want to make, and they can show you other things that they might have made previously that are similar.

It demonstrates that you mean business

If manufacturers receive hundreds of emails a week from prospective new customers and can only take on a limited amount of new business, why will they pick you? When you make the effort to go and meet someone face to face and explain what you are trying to achieve they are much more likely to see the potential in a future business partnership.

You can touch and feel the product and see the quality of their workmanship

We are, after all, talking about developing products here. There’s no point complaining about a first delivery coming back from a manufacturer and the quality being disappointing, if you have never seen anything that the factory has made before. Taking a few hours out of your busy day to browse the quality of craftsmanship coming out of the British Isles may reassure you as to why you may pay a little more to get something made here instead of overseas.

It can lead to some great collaborations

Who knows what might come out of a visit to a factory or trade show when you have the opportunity to network with others in a real life situation? Social media is great for virtual networking, but being in the same room as someone can’t be beaten. Ideas for new business opportunities often come about in the most unlikely of meetings, but you won’t find out about them unless you make the effort to go and see some people.

There may be things that you never thought possible

Who knows what you might discover when you actually take the time to look around and see what different manufacturers have to offer? There maybe products that you never knew could be made here. Or different manufacturing techniques that you hadn’t even heard of.

You won’t find many of these on the internet or in en email. So get yourself out there and go and meet some manufacturers!

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Kate Hills UK Manufacturers
Hello, I'm Kate Hills

I’ve been passionate about UK manufacturing ever since I had my own recycled clothing company and micro-factory in the early '90s! After 20 years as a designer and buyer developing products all over the world, I launched Make it British to support creative small businesses that want to make sustainably and locally.

Over the last ten years, I've helped 1,000s of businesses to work with UK manufacturers. Now it's your turn!

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