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166 – 12 Questions to ask a new manufacturer

Podcast ep.166

Choosing a manufacturer is one of the most important decisions you can make in the development of your products, so it’s important to find the right one.


When you are assessing whether a manufacturer is a good fit for you there are certain questions that you should ask them. Some of these questions you may want to ask over the phone initially, in order to narrow down your choice, but others, such as those about price, are best approached in a face to face situation.


In this episode, I cover some of the key questions you should ask a manufacturer to get to know them better.


  • Why it’s important to see the factory floor [03:18]
  • What you can benefit from seeing a manufacturer face to face [04:40]
  • What audits you might expect them to have and why they may not have any [05:48]
  • Why it’s important to know who else they manufacture for [06:56]
  • Why you may not want to ask them to sign an NDA [07:53]
  • The all-important payment question [11:04]
  • Why UK manufacturers are likely to charge for samples [16:14]

Comment on this episode


  1. Sandra Monero on May 2, 2021 at 7:45 am

    Thank you so much Kate this information is great. I appreciate you sharing this relevant information.

  2. Simon Cook on May 9, 2021 at 6:39 pm

    Hi Kate
    Some very valid advice
    I unfortunately rarely have the time to listen and comment on your podcast which is a bummer
    I have 10 fantastic factories in my Cooperative
    They are well established quality artisan manufacturers from 3 machinists to 40 machinists. quite frankly in there own words they are overrun with many unrealistic newbies talking about wanting to make in the UK without the credible knowledge required to enter the textile industry anywhere unless they are paying way less than they are prepared to for a garment made in Blighty
    I can tell within one meeting that a start up has the USP, mindset, market placing of product, knowledge of competition, label they aspire to emulate and tenacity to give it a damn good go in the wonderful world of textiles
    I’ve personally been involved in over 1000 start up labels
    I can real off some incredible success stories !!
    I’ve constantly analysed the reasons for success
    I absolutely love British manufacturing and promote anyone with the same passion as myself and my fellow textile network, and believe it or not it’s not in many cases especially at the sustainable, ethical level all about money.
    Don’t get me wrong we all need to earn a living
    And at this point I will say that Kates website is very good value for money although I’m and none of my cooperative are on it and not because of the cost !!
    It’s partly to do with the mindset of many new startups, but thankfully not all !!
    Riddle me this
    1 in 75 became very financially successful even if they didn’t necessarily end up in the place they started out to be.
    Approx 1 in 40 financially make it to a successful financially credible level with a a pension.
    1 in 25 work very hard are the 1st line of financial contribution to our great nation and are the backbone of small business like many in other sectors of industry and make a decent living, the sad fact is they’d probably earn a better salary as a Public servant on flexi hours but hey that’s another conversation
    1 in 20 will earn less than the minimum wage but love what they do so much they’ll do it all there working years.
    As many as 19 out of 20 will burn an inheritance, a large redundancy, commit to a loan that is sometimes secured on there home all to achieve the dream of being there own boss, an entrepreneur, an innovator and fail ?
    Are any of these failures yes and no ? !!
    Losing sometimes everything gives you the drive and knowledge to still achieve next time around but with a more commercial perspective and usually a better perspective.
    One thing for sure the landscape has now changed the future is more crypto than greenback, more decentralised than centralised
    And selling your brand is now more than ever selling yourself without sometimes the hours or knowledge or social media followers to do it
    I’ll apologies now for my grammar at least I now put a space between words although I thought it was more fun when I didn’t

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