The challenge of growing a UK SME presents a number of difficulties, but for micro-businesses creating and selling products locally, overcoming the barrier to scale without taking on significant debt or giving up considerable portions of their business to investors may seem next to impossible.
These businesses are constantly walking the fine line between supply and demand. In order to scale, business owners must slowly develop and expand their client base, whilst ensuring that they do not under or over-produce their products. As the customer base increases, small product-based businesses often struggle to keep up with demand, and simply cannot produce enough products to satisfy their customers.
In order to support the quickly spiralling costs of third-party manufacturing for larger runs of products, most businesses are forced to take on debt or open up their business to investors. For many entrepreneurs however, choosing between upsetting their balance sheets with debt and selling chunks of their business to outside influences represents a no-win situation, and prevents many businesses from ever developing further.
Now, London based company Mayku is working to tackle this problem for small businesses, working to democratise manufacturing with their transformative technology, the FormBox. The desktop-sized, portable factory is capable of carrying out medium scale manufacturing runs of thousands of units per week, whilst also enabling businesses to rapidly prototype and develop new designs and products.
Benjamin Redford, CPO and Co-Founder of Mayku, discusses Mayku’s commitment to democratising manufacturing by giving scaling businesses a way to rapidly expand their design and manufacturing capabilities at low cost: “The traditional model of manufacturing makes it so difficult for individuals and small businesses to get started, because very few third- party manufacturers and material suppliers accept small runs of products and typically provide raw materials in bulk. This means that passionate crafters, designers and makers across the country are ultimately prevented from following their passion and building their own businesses from the ground up, purely because the outdated model of manufacturing restricts them from accessing the tools, materials and equipment necessary to create their products, without giving up huge chunks of their business or taking on the risk of debt. Mayku are working to help companies tackle these issues by offering industrial-grade materials and desktop manufacturing equipment accessible to all. We provide companies with raw materials at low quantities, whilst our FormBox empowers companies to make small runs of products and being to sell immediately, without having to commit to costly large-scale manufacturing runs.”