If you or one of your company’s employees has ideas for new products you’d like to design and sell, you might be wondering how to find a great custom design manufacturer. These suggestions will help you track down the ideal manufacturer for the products you want to produce.

1. Get Recommendations from Colleagues

Your colleagues probably have some great contacts at appropriate manufacturing facilities. Asking around your network could be the most productive source for finding the right manufacturer.

2. Attend Industry Trade Shows and Speak with the Attendees

Many manufacturers maintain presences at their relevant industry trade shows. Attending a show could potentially put you in touch with multiple qualified manufacturers.

3. Check the Ads in Industry Trade Publications

A couple of examples of how to make this idea productive: If you live in Los Angeles, California, and you’re interested in manufacturing custom apparel products, you could check the ads in the California Apparel News. If you live in New York City, it would be better to check the ads in Women’s Wear Daily.

4. Search for Information on the Internet

The Open Directory (DMOZ) is one possible place you could find the type of manufacturing business you’re looking for.

Searching via search engines like Google or Yahoo can also help lead you to appropriate custom manufacturers such as Productive Plastics. Enter specific search queries for best results. For example, if you’re looking for a custom plastics manufacturer in Perth, you might want to do a Google search for “custom plastic manufacturer, Perth, Australia”.

5. Visit Your City’s Commercial District

If you’re interested in manufacturing clothing or accessories, you might want to visit the fashion district in downtown Los Angeles on 9th. If you live in New York City and you want to manufacture just about anything, you could visit the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

6. Speak Directly with the Manufacturers You Find Via These Methods

Once you have a list of prospective manufacturers, it’s a matter of interviewing them to find the one you’d most be interested in working with. Ask questions and find out what their policies are regarding minimum orders, lead times and product development costs. If it’s important to you to know, ask how much of their work is outsourced versus how much is done in house.

These methods are likely to help you uncover the ideal manufacturer for transforming your product ideas into reality. Best wishes with finding and hiring the perfect manufacturer and bringing your product ideas to the marketplace.

A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here .