How to Start an Umbrella Manufacturing Company

The simple umbrella is ideal for climatic conditions like snow, rain or sunlight. The scourging heat of the sun can cause sunstroke, burns and eye problems. Rain also has its bad side and health related issues. 
The demand is huge and predicated on population explosion in most countries including climatic change. Early history of the device has seen different forms of the modern umbrella.
The business is profitable and you need good manufacturing equipment, effective marketing and startup funding. A smart entrepreneur can leverage on the demand during rainy season
Apart from local consumption you also have demand from foreign markets. Here are a few ideas on how to start an umbrella manufacturing business.
girl with umbrella
Types of Umbrellas
When it comes to umbrellas there are a few options. They depend on style, fabric, or portability. We have the fold-able ones, classic, golf, automatic, and storm or bubble umbrellas. 
The golf umbrella has an extra large canopy over 70 inches in diameter. Automatic ones open and close at touch of button, storm types are extra strong and made from re-enforced material.
The bubble umbrella is spherical in shape while the classic is the common type found in every household. Finally the fold-able ones are easy to carry in a handbag and ideal for sudden storms.
Different Umbrellas
·  Storm Umbrellas
·  Automatic Umbrellas
·  bubble Umbrellas
·  Classic Umbrellas
·  Golf Umbrella
·  Foldable Umbrella
The Design
Although there are different variations and designs there are basically two types. The two types are differentiated by the structure and functionality. You have the three and one fold umbrella. The three fold is more compact and handy than the two fold.
Learn how to Make Umbrellas
You need to learn the trade and understand the manufacturing process. There are many ways to acquire the knowledge. You could read a book, manual or eBook. Other ways include trade workshops, technical or vocational training. More ways involve attending a seminar or online articles.
Raw Materials
Modern umbrellas are assembled by hand. The revolutionary U shaped steel rod developed by Samuel Fox around 1850 is still in use.
Common components in the manufacturing process are rounded metal ribs, stretchers, fabric. Others are ferrule cups, plastic/wooden handles, notches. More materials are spring ball cups, waterproof cloth, chrome plated steel tubes.
U shaped Steel rods
Rounded metal ribs
Waterproof Cloth
Notches and plastic handles
Ferrule cups
Spring ball cups
Chrome plated steel tubes

Manufacturing the Product
The first step is to buy quality components. The business is practicable small or large scale depending on the number of units produced daily.
The process of manufacturing requires hand assembling and quality control measures. It is important to focus on either collapsible or stick umbrellas. Here are some guidelines on how to produce one fold stick products.
The Shaft
The shaft of the product depends on the length you want to achieve. It could be made from wood, fiberglass, aluminum or steel.
The Stretcher and Ribs
Once you have the shaft use channeled steel or other material to create the U shape. The ribs are positioned under the canopy and connected by stretchers. The ribs are then attached to the shaft and fitted in a plastic mechanism, round nylon, notch and held with a thin wire.
Then connect stretchers to shaft with a metal runner that creates the open and close motion. Then use a joiner to connect the stretcher and ribs. Make sure the joiner achieves an open and close motion at 90%.
To slid open the umbrella attach two catch springs in the shaft. This is possible because the shaft is usually hollow. Above the upper catch spring a pin prevents the canopy from running beyond the upper catch spring and sliding past the top of the umbrella.
Canopy Cover
The choice of canopy cover should be a waterproof material. Sew the material to the ribs and shape the canopy. Sew panels to outer edges and establish connection between ribs and panels. The number of panels could be indicative of quality and craftsmanship. A ferrule is affixed over the tip of the umbrella.
The Handle
There are different choices of material used as the handle. The handle is then connected to the base of the shaft. Different materials used as handles include wood, bamboo, plastic, and fiberglass or metal.
How to Make an Umbrella
1. Making the Shaft
2. Assembling the ribs and stretchers
3. Cutting and sewing the canopy cover
4. Fixing the handle
Quality Control
The final product goes through extensive testing and quality control. It should pass basic standardized test and quality assessment.
Apply for the appropriate business license as a sole proprietor or limited liability company. You need an employer identification number from the Inland Revenue service. Protect from general liability by getting insurance cover. Find out if your product attracts value added tax.
Financial Considerations
The financial considerations are rent for land or building. You need working capital, experienced staff, and equipment. The equipment covers machinery, hand tools, furniture.
You need money to purchase raw materials, utilities. Map out a comprehensive financial analysis, turnover, and total sales including net profit.
Determine the fixed income, fixed cost and capital investment you need. To secure funds approach a trade bank with your business plan. You need collateral, guarantors and 1/3 of loan requested in your bank account.
Fixed Cost and Expenditure
Your fixed cost is determined by rent and depreciation of machinery. Other parameters include interest on capital, salary wages and other expenses. The expenditure is consumables, electricity, water and rent. Others are marketing, packaging, freight expenses, postage and stationery.
Machinery and Equipment
Umbrellas are generally assembled by hand by a technician. The equipment you need include hand tools like hammer, stamping block, measuring tape. Other hand tools are scissors, chisel, and punches. You need a sewing machine, cutting table and racks.
1 Hammer
2. Stamping block
3. Measuring tape
4. Scissors
5. Chisel
6. Punches
7. Sewing machine
8. Cutting table
9. Racks.
To succeed you need to produce high quality products. Make sure the price is competitive with those produced in your demography. Leverage on creative designs, attractive products and strategic marketing.
You need sales representatives, wholesalers and retailers. Use television advertisement, radio, billboards and flyers to push the product. Offer sales agents good commission on sale of each unit.
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