When small business owners take a hands-on approach to manufacturing, they quickly realize the pros and cons of independent production. One of the main pros, of course, is the ability to enforce a high standard of quality control over your products. As demand rises, however, you may find some difficulty in keeping up with supply. At that point, how do you modestly scale at a comfortable rate while maintaining that high quality and keeping costs down for yourself and your customers?
As Hawaiian Gun Rack president and Big Kahuna Dennis Kahn explains, the trick for him was in studying how other businesses did it. Because Dennis creates hand crafted, environmentally sustainable surfboard racks, he focused mainly on techniques perfected by furniture manufacturers. By analyzing the furniture assembly process, he was able to adopt certain tricks of the trade that allowed him to mass produce his racks in a more efficient—and cost effective—manner. The key was being able to simplify his process in such a way that he could easily delegate it to others as he grew his team while maintaining a high degree of quality.
As the old expression goes, “many hands make light work.” As Dennis was able to meet demand by increasing his output, he was able to keep his price point at a sweet spot for both himself and his customers. By scaling comfortably, Dennis can expand his business in concert with his revenue, which in turn allows him to manage his finances and growth accordingly. If your business is product-based, then be sure to include a strategy for scaling to mass production as a part of your business planning so that you are not caught by surprise when demand rises. As any small business owner can attest, there is no better feeling than giving your customers what they want and when they want it, especially when you have the capacity to do so.