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Getting down to business

My Take | November 20, 2017 | By:

A good portion of this website is filled with product information, including materials, end products and the companies who make them. Sometimes, however, we should talk business, because if we don’t, all these great products may not survive in the marketplace—or even have the opportunity to try.

A company needs to research the market to understand what’s available and what needs are unmet, or that could be met better. Then it has to promote and sell the idea, showing how it’s a product that can be distinguished from what’s otherwise available.

These are big orders, especially for small-to-medium sized companies, which is the focus of Seshadri Ramkumar’s feature, “Small and essential,” which is also about smaller-sized textiles or narrow fabrics, which fill crucial niches in the textile industry. The successful businesses in this sector find creative ways to collaborate to accomplish things they could not do on their own.

My feature earlier this month, “Small scale, big impact,” looks at biomedical textiles, which are understandably very small scale, but can also be complex structures, designed for extremely specific uses. These products have unique regulatory constraints that must be considered in tandem with all the other business decisions.

Sometimes good business practices—regardless of the market—seem like just common sense, but it’s rarely that simple. Having some guiding principles to reference can be the difference between losing heart or “hanging in there,” particularly in the arduous journey required to get regulatory approval for medical textile product, never mind successfully commercializing it.

These two features represent quite different approaches to discussing the narrow and small-scale fabrics markets, but I do think there is common ground between the two, as well. Research and development looms large, and you could probably say the same for collaboration, marketing research and effective communication among all the stakeholders.

Always good advice, regardless of your market area.

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