Today I am going to talk about starting a blanket manufacturing company in Zimbabwe. Did you know that Shopify listed blankets as one of the most trending things to sell in 2020? This goes to show you how the blanket industry is and has been quite active and lucrative. By end of this year, the global blanket industry is projected to be worth over US$20 billion. Evidently, simply buying and selling blankets can be big business. However, the focus of this article is on how to start a business that makes blankets and sells them.
Let me provoke your mind a bit – have you ever seen mothers or grandmothers making hand-made blankets? I have always been fascinated by this especially because I have a granny of mine who is great at this. I have often thought that she could make big money if she went commercial. Anyways, my point is that there are several people out there who might be sitting on money-making opportunities. Essentially you can adopt simple approaches where you just replicate what is already being done by other manufacturers and replicate it.
This reminds of a story of a couple who were encountering a problem where the wife usually had trouble sleeping. After exploring many possible solutions they soon found out that weighted blankets did the trick for her. However, they felt that the ones they were found on the market were not visually and physically appealing. What did they decide to do? Well, they decided to make their own and that soon turned into a weighted blankets business that rakes in at least US$50000 per month in revenue. This is remarkable given how the business has the couple as co-founders and just 4 employees. Their first 100 blankets sold out in just 3 weeks. To learn more about this business click here.
I am also reminded of another story of a lady who left a very good occupation to focus full time on hand-making baby blankets. She started off selling to her social circle but demand grew beyond that. In her first year of operation, she could do at most 4 blankets a day – by the end of the year, she had realized at least US$20000 in sales. To learn more about this business click here.
I have never used a real-life story to illustrate approaches to a business but I thought it would be best here. I simply wanted to show you that there are several possible ways in which you can approach this kind of business.
What you will need will depend on the scale and level of sophistication you will be operating with. Some of the basic requirements are threads, ribbons, fabrics, needles, lubricants, twiners, bailing wire, and so on. In terms of machinery, if you are doing medium to big scale, you will need things like sewing machines, bale presses, spinning machinery, rollers, weavers, raising machines, rotating cutting blades, just to mention a few – the list is quite long. You might also need working space that can rent out given how much space you need. Power will also be a key requirement since you will most likely work with machinery that is powered by electricity.
I shared with you a true story of a blanket making business that is grossing at least US$50000 every month. They are working with just 4 employees. The other story I shared the lady has largely been working solo from the beginning. It all boils down to your scale of operation and the extent to which you use or do not use machinery. For the most part, it is somewhat not that labour-intensive.
Capital requirements are not easy to quantify since it depends on your chosen approaches. I can safely say that you can start a thriving blanket making business with US$2000 or so. If you are opting for the hand-making approach you might even need anything from as little as US$100. When using machinery it is usually the cost of machinery that drives startup costs up.
The market is quite broad and diversified. For example, there is a whole market for baby blankets. Your approaches will hugely determine your market success. For instance, some consumers prefer woven blankets whilst others prefer knitted ones. The fabrics you use also play a huge factor in your market appeal. Some of the common fabrics are wool, cotton, polyester, and acrylic fibres, amongst others. The other thing that distinguishes you in the market is the features of your blankets. For example, being machine washable or having stain resistance are premium features that can place your brand at the top of people’s minds.
In closing let me highlight some secrets that can help in starting such a business. Nowadays people are increasingly becoming conscious of the environment. Thus you would do well to manufacture blankets in such a way and that is not detrimental to the environment. Then you must also know that some surveys have shown that wool sells more than any other material. The other thing to bear in mind is that including custom-made packages can drive sales up. Another secret – niching on baby blankets is highly profitable.