Hey, this is my first post on this website so its great to know there's a community to help young entrepreneurs. My background is in law but I have worked (part time) in my family's apparel import business for many years. I am familiar with general business operations, but I started my own business with limited personal funding and I'd really appreciate some help. Thanks in advance.
I started an import business based on a patent I created (Im an attorney) and filed. It is a plastic consumer product and I have worked with an engineer to perfect the CAD for manufacturing. I used several websites to find manufacturers that import to the USA and European markets. This is crucial, as my product is considered hazardous and needs to comply with several regulations. I contacted several of the largest manufacturers in China and visited them a month ago, but I wasn't expecting the hostility and general "who are you" attitude that I had not encountered previously in the apparel industry.
Basically, I got the impression that these factories were so large that I wouldn't be able to really increase their production. It also doesn't help that my product needs 6 months or so for testing before large scale production can begin. I would really appreciate any advice on how I can get some of the smaller, although still large and reputable, manufacturers to take an interest in my product. I can stretch the truth about acting as an importer and say that I'm already selling similar products in the industry. The other factories took a strong interest in my designs but, as typical with China, they didn't see the need for a new product when they are currently selling theirs.
Please help as I need to keep this business going and I don't have a single sample for licensors, testing, sales reps, and direct marketing. I need to use a factory in the industry given the nature of the product, so a prototype company will not suffice. Thanks