Do you want to start a robotics company? If YES, here is a 20-step guide on how to start a profitable robotics business with no money and no experience.
If you intend starting this type of business, it is advisable to first look at the existing laws and zonal regulations in the country or state you reside in to know what is expected of you. The bottom line is that you would need to pay a visit to the regulatory body in your country to know what you need to do before you can legally open your own robotics company in your city.
You can start your robotics company from a small town in the United States and if you are good at what you do, it won’t be too long before your brand becomes nationally recognized especially if you go into franchising.
Steps to Starting a Robotics Company Business
1. Understand the Industry
Robotics companies fall under the artificial intelligence technology industry. Robotics involves design, construction, operation, and use of robots. The goal of robotics is to design intelligent machines that can help and assist humans in their day-to-day lives and keep everyone safe.
Interesting Statistics About the Industry
According to reports, the global artificial intelligence market size will reach $169,411.8 million in 2025, from $4,065.0 million in 2016 rising at a CAGR of 55.6 percent from 2018 to 2025. This industry has been one of the fastest-growing technologies in recent years.
It is associated to human intelligence with similar characteristics such as language understanding, reasoning, learning, problem solving, and others. Most manufacturers in the market have experienced enormous underlying intellectual challenges in the development and revision of such a technology. AI is set at the core of the next gen software technologies in the market.
Report also has it that the growing number of innovative start-ups and advancements in technology have led to increase in investment in artificial intelligence technologies. Also, increase in demand for analyzing and interpreting large amounts of data is further growing the demand for artificial intelligence industry solutions.
Furthermore, development of more reliable cloud computing infrastructures and improvements in dynamic artificial intelligence solutions have a strong impact on the growth potential of the AI market. However, lack of trained and experienced staff can hinder the growth of the artificial intelligence market.
Note that the ability of the AI technology to analyze collected data efficiently and forecast decisions through explicit algorithms aids in productivity improvement; for example, Netflix offer movies on the basis of users’ previous viewing experiences.
In our modern and more competitive business environment, AI has revolutionized the way of business management through integration of workflow management tools, brand purchase advertising, trend predictions, and other tools. All these are the key factors of the growing investment in AI technologies and machine learning market. Meanwhile, many small startups and tech companies have been investing in adoption of open-source AI platforms to achieve higher efficiencies in their value chains.
Also, the growing availability of low-cost quality AI technologies is expected to also contribute to the growth of the market. You also note that AI has varied application areas including media & advertising, finance, retail, healthcare, automotive & transportation, agriculture, law, educational institutions, oil & gas, and other industries.
This diversity has propelled the market of AI across the globe, owing to developments, such as self-driving cars, space exploration, accurate weather predictions, and others. Also, AI is expected to affect healthcare advancements, due to its ability to analyze huge amounts of genomic data and ensure more accurate treatment and prevention of medical conditions.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographics composition of those who require products produced by robotics companies cut across various industries and people. The fact that Robotics develop machines that can substitute for humans and replicate human actions makes it so.
Robots can be used in many situations and for many purposes, but today many are used in dangerous environments (including inspection of radioactive materials, bomb detection and deactivation), manufacturing processes, or where humans cannot survive (e.g. in space, underwater, in high heat, clean up and containment of hazardous materials and radiation).
So, if you are looking towards defining the demographics for your robotics company, then you should make it far reaching to cover everyone that is involved in the activities stated above.
3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
It is important to state that there are faint lines when it comes to niche ideas in robotics. As a matter of fact, robotics is a branch of engineering that involves the conception, design, manufacture, and operation of robots. This field overlaps with computer engineering, computer science (especially artificial intelligence), electronics, mechatronics, mechanical, nanotechnology and bioengineering.
Having said that, you can choose to specialize in any of the following robotics niche ideas;
- Autonomous robot
- Cloud robotics
- Cognitive robotics
- Evolutionary robotics
- Soft robotics
- Self-reconfiguring modular robot
- Fog robotics
The Level of Competition in the Industry
Surviving in the business world as a robotics company requires more than your expertise, but also how to network with key people that matters. The level of competitions in the robotics business depends largely on the type of robots you are producing, the location of the business and of course the area of specialization. If you can successfully create a unique style and design a concept for your robotics production company, you are likely going to experience little or no competition.
So, if you choose to start your own robotics production company in the United States, you will definitely meet stiff competitions amongst robotics production companies in the United States and all across the globe especially from Japan, China and Germany. Besides, there are larger robotics production companies that determine the trends in the industry and you should be ready to compete with them for clients.
4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
Here are some of the most popular robotics production companies in the United States of America;
- Barrett Technology
- Bluefin Robotics
- Boston Dynamics
- Brooks Automation
- Energid Technologies
- Evolution Robotics
- Harvest Automation
- Intuitive Surgical
- Kiva Systems
- Mitsubishi Electric Automation – Robotics
- Myomo (myoelectric prosthetics)
- Rethink Robotics
- Vecna Robotics
- Willow Garage
If you are looking towards successfully launching a business and maximizing profits, then you need to ensure that you get your economic analysis right and try as much as possible to adopt international best practices in the industry you choose to build a business in.
Robotics production business is not a green business, as a matter of fact, you will come across several robotics production companies when you search through directories and the internet. So, if you are mapping out your economic analysis, you should carry out thorough market survey and costing of the required software, materials, equipment and tools needed to successfully run the business.
If you are considering opening a robotics production company, then your concern should not be limited to the cost of renting a production facility and equipping the facility but also on branding and on how to build a robust business network. The truth is that if you are able to build a robust business network, you are sure going to maximize profits in the business.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to choosing how you intend starting a business. Basically, you should be guided by your overall business vision and mission.
If you are looking towards starting a robotics production company, you would have to start from the very scratch because you can hardly get a franchise of robotics production business to buy.
Please note that most of the successful robotics production companies around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, skillfulness, hard work and determination to achieve business success.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
If you decide to start your own robotics production company today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well-established robotics production companies and even small and independent robotics engineers and technicians who are also competing in your market space.
The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market; concentrate on individuals and businesses who can’t afford the high fees charge by well-established robotics production companies.
Other challenges and threats that you are likely going to face is economic downturn; if the economy is in bad shape, robotics production companies usually struggle to maintain their old clients or even win new clients. Unfavorable government policies can also hamper the growth of your robotics production company.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
Generally, you have the option of either choosing a general partnership, limited liability company, or a sole proprietorship for your robotics production company. Ordinarily, sole proprietorship would have been the ideal business structure for a small – scale robotics production business especially if you are just starting out with a moderate startup capital in a small neighborhood.
But if your intention is to grow the business and have chains of offices and production facilities across the United States of America, then choosing sole proprietor is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership will cut it for you.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name
When it comes to choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. Typically, it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend operating from when naming their businesses.
9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policies that are required by the industry you want to operate from. Thus, it is imperative to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your business.
Here is some of the basic insurance policies that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own robotics production company in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health insurance
- Liability insurance
- Risk Insurance
- Workers compensation
- Building/Property insurance
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting your own robotics production company, you may have need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your unique designs or company’s intellectual properties.
So also, if you want to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even operation concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO. The final approval of your trademark is subjected to the review of attorneys as required by USPTO.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
Aside from the results you produce in terms of robotics that will proffer solutions, professional certification is one of the main reasons why some robotics production companies stand out. If you want to make an impact in the robotics production business, then you should work towards acquiring all the needed certifications in your area of specialization.
These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run your own robotics production company;
- Robotics Engineering
- Artificial Intelligence Certification
You can approach Robotics Certification Standards Alliance (RCSA) for all the needed certification. The Robotics Certification Standards Alliance (RCSA) is an international robotics certification authority that confers various industry- and educational-related robotics certifications.
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations. If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hands of the law catches up with you. These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own business in the United States of America;
- Business and liability insurance
- Federal Tax Payer’s ID
- State Permit
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Business Plan
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Starting a robotics production business can be expensive even if you choose to run the business from your home or from a facility or in front of your house. Securing a standard production facility and equipment, tools and materials and other supplies are part of what will consume a large chunk of your startup capital, but if you choose to start the business on a small scale, you may still have to source for fund to finance the business.
When it comes to financing a business, one of the first things you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.
Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your robotics production company;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell shares to interested investors
- Applying for loan from your bank
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
When it comes to choosing a location for your robotics production company, the rule of thumb is that you should be guided by the demand for such services and products. Of course, if you are able to secure a central location for your business, it will give people easy access to locate your facility.
It cannot be overemphasized that the location you choose to open your robotics production company is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where the demography consists of people with the required purchasing power and lifestyle.
If you make the mistake of renting or leasing a facility for your robotics production company in a not too visible or hidden location simply because it is cheap, then you must be prepared to spend more in promoting the business and perhaps giving direction to potential clients.
Before choosing a location for your robotics production company ensure that you first conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey. The possibility of you coming across similar business that just closed shop in the location you want to open yours can’t be ruled out.
These are some of the key factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your robotics production company;
- The demography of the location
- The demand for robots and robotics services in the location
- The purchasing power of the residents of the location
- Accessibility of the location
- The numbers of robotics production companies in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community / state
- Traffic, parking and security et al
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
There are some complex technicalities as it relates to artificial intelligence development, software apps, graphic software and social media management software applications, machines, and tool box et al. You will definitely need computers/laptops, internet facility, telephone, fax machine and office furniture (chairs, tables, and shelves) amongst others and all these can be gotten as fairly used.
When it comes to choosing between renting and leasing a production facility for your business, the size of the business you want to build, and your entire budget for the business should influence your choice. If you have enough capital to run a standard robotics production company, then you should consider the option of leasing a facility.
As regards the number of employees that you are expected to employ in other to kick start the business, you would need to consider your finance before making the decision. On the average, you would need a Chief Executive Officer (you can occupy this role), Production Manager and Creative Director, and Robotics Engineers and Technicians, Accountant, Human Resources and Admin Manager, Sales and Marketing Executive, and Help Desk Officer (Technical).
Over and above, you would need a minimum of 15 key staff members to effectively run a medium scale but standard robotics production company.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
Robotics production companies design and make use of robots that are meant to make life easy for people. The goal of robotics production companies is to design intelligent machines that can help and assist humans in their day-to-day lives and keep everyone safe.
Please note that if an individual or small business owner wants to carryout customized assignment or duty, he or she can discuss with the robotic production company and they will work together to produce the robots that will help solve the problem.
It is important to state that a robotics production company may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them efficiency and flexibility; the above stated business process is not cast on stone.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed With ideas & Strategies
The fact that the entry barrier for starting a small – scale robotics production business is not too high means that there is bound to be more players in the industry no matter the location you choose to start yours. In essence, you must come up with unique marketing strategies if you must carve out a market for yourself.
So, when you are drafting your marketing plans, make sure that you create a compelling company profile. Aside from your qualifications and experience, it is important to clearly state what you have been able to achieve in time past as it relates to robotics. This will help boost your chances in the market place when marketing your robotics production company.
Here are some of the platforms you can utilize to market your robotics production company;
- Introduce your business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure/catalogue to production industries, related businesses and corporate organizations within and outside the location of your robotics production company
- Promptness in bidding for robotics production contracts et al
- Making your first impression count positively to those patronize your robotics production company for the first time
- Make use of attractive hand bills to create awareness and also to give direction to your company
- Advertise your services in community – based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List your business and products on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Engage in direct marketing and sales
- Encourage the use of word of mouth marketing (referrals)
- Leverage on the internet to promote your robotics production company (when you blog regularly on key issues as it relates to your business, people would consider you an expert in the field)
- Join local chambers of commerce and industries around you with the main aim of networking and marketing your robotics production company; you are likely going to get referrals from such networks.
- Engage the services of marketing executives and business developers to carry out direct marketing for you.
17. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
The factors that will help you get the right pricing for your robotics production business is to source for cheaper raw materials, produce in large quantities, cut operational cost to the barest minimum, channel your efforts towards marketing and promoting your robotics production company.
Aside from the fact that this strategy will help you save cost, and get the right pricing for your products. You can also try as much as possible to work with independent contractors and marketers; it will help you save cost for paying sales and marketing executives.
If you are able to secure high volume raw materials and machines; machines that are efficient to run and maintain, then you will be able to get the right pricing and of course maximize profits from your business. So also, if you are able to secure business partnership as it relates to getting referrals, then you will be able to get the right pricing and of course maximize profits from your business.
18. Develop an Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
There is hardly any business that you will start that you won’t get some form of competition and robotics production business is not an exception, hence, you must come up with a unique and highly creative strategy to be able to outsmart your competitors in the industry.
Part of what you need to do in order to stay competitive in the industry is to continue to create easier and cheaper ways of tackling challenges in the industry. Organizations and people will always run to you if they know that you have a better option especially as it relates to giving them effective and unique robotics designs at affordable prices.
Another strategy that you can adopt is to ensure that your organization is well positioned, key members of your team are highly qualified, highly creative and know how to come up with effective and unique robotic designs.
19. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers
When it comes to business, no matter the industry that you choose to pitch your tent in, one of the easiest ways to increase customer retention and perhaps attract new customers is to produce results and satisfy your customers always. If your customers are satisfied with your products and service delivery, they can hardly source for alternative service providers.
If your services and customer service fluctuate, you are likely going to struggle to get your customers returning back to patronize from you. Ensure that you offer your customers incentives if you want to retain them and of course continue to generate repeated sales from them and also to attract new customers.
Part of what you need to do to achieve this is to track progress, results or outputs with the aim of improving on them quickly as the case demands. When it comes to managing your customers and building a loyal clientele base, you should purchase a customized CRM software.
With a customized CRM system, you can easily stay in touch with your clients (you can carry out quick surveys, you can introduce new products and prices to them without any hitch, you can felicitate with them on their birthdays and other anniversaries, you can keep track of their progress, you can send bulk sms and customized e – mails and above all, you can easily receive compliant and feedback from them).
20. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
If you are in business and you are not conscious about boosting you brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portrays your business to be. One of the secrets of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend money to boost their brand awareness and to continue to communicate their corporate identity the way they want people to perceive them to be.
No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and brand boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand and create a corporate identity for your robotics production company;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community – based events
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your robotics production company
- Install your billboards in strategic locations all around your city or state
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
- List your robotics production company business in local directories/yellow pages
- Advertise your robotics production company in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site
- Position your Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where your robotics production company is located.
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles are branded with your company logo.