If you are new to the world of holster manufacturing, then there are some steps you can take to make your life a little easier.
1. You have time. Don’t rush half-baked products to market. Develop your skills carefully, and deliver products that have been thoroughly tested. Wearing it around your house for a day is not thorough testing.
2. Your customers are trusting you to make gear that will not fail at the most critical moment. Take this responsibility seriously.
3. Account for your time. You don’t have to get wrapped up in putting a price on it, but you need to track it, and be a strict realist. Know what your new business is actually costing you in time.
4. A single customer request is almost never sufficient justification to develop a new product. There are exceptions to this, but they’re rarer than you think. Talk is cheap, and many potential customers who will ask loudly and often for a specific thing suddenly vanish when you list it on your website and are ready to take their order.
5. Have a website.
6. Swag can wait. I know it’s cool to have logo t-shirts, hoodies, hats, bags, bottle openers etc, but focus on holster quality and delivery first.
7. The holster market isn’t a single market: it’s dozens of smaller markets, with unique applications, unique users, and unique opportunities. Don’t try to be all things to all people, focus your efforts on a narrow range of products to start, and then gradually expand.
8. If you come up with some wild, never-before-seen design, and you’re convinced that it’s a stroke of genius, don’t let your emotional commitment and excitement make you impervious to feedback. Almost everything has been tried before, and there are good reasons why IWB and OWB holsters generally look and function a certain way.
9. Stealing designs from other companies is a quick way to get ahead, but without the underlying knowledge and experience that comes from working through a design yourself, you won’t have the foundation necessary to fully understand and integrate someone else’s concepts, and it will show.
10. Easy off is not a feature. (Stolen from Tom K. of Dark Star Gear)
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