Recently, a member of a holster maker’s group challenged other holster makers to innovate. We asked, “Why?” The holster making industry already produces many time honored and tested solutions for safe carry of a firearm. Is the real challenge holster makers face one of bold innovation as that maker suggested? Will innovation grow our businesses if we don’t have stout marketing programs in place to announce our innovations to the buying public?
Product innovation is a straw man argument. Innovation is not a reliable baseline for a solid business plan. Making a profit is.
What does it take to make a profit making a Kydex holster? All profitable products share four common production elements—standardization, repeatability, accuracy, and speedy production time. The marketplace sets the price range that can be charged for a finished product like a holster, so holster makers must control those four areas to achieve profitability.
To achieve the production must-haves for our own shop, we engineered our own molds and matching trim jigs. We standardized holster features. We developed solid holster styles that could be repeated across many gun platforms. 3D modeling offered unparalleled accuracy for details that were impossible to control using other methods. Trim jigs cut production time per Kydex holster to a few minutes. We developed proprietary processes to take new gun models from a real-gun-in-hand to a Production Mold and Trim Jig set in less than forty-eight hours. We became mold makers. That’s who we are today—Production Mold and Trim Jig manufacturers who serve holster makers.
If the holster makers we’ve done business with over the years are to be believed, there are two camps of Kydex holster makers. Camp one are the creators who strive to build a better holster or at least something that separates them from everyone else who makes holsters. They like the process of innovating and creating one-of-a-kind products. Some make a profit. Some don’t.
The second group got into the business to make money. This second group reports that working for less than minimum wage stinks. If the innovation we really need is to make a reasonable profit, slight functional and esthetic efforts, in general, aren’t rewarded by the public enough to make a profitable business model, especially if you don’t have robust marketing capabilities.
What is your primary goal? Are you in the holster making business to engineer solutions or are you in it to make money? Can you build a business from scratch doing both? If you choose a solution like EagleWorks™, the holster you make will look like the holster someone else makes with our products—because it is. If you are interested in designing and engineering your own vision of a better holster product, our molds and trim jigs are not for you. If you are interested in making a profit and would like to sell well-engineered products under your own company name, consider EagleWorks™ Production Molds and Trim Jigs.
Who are our customers? They are holster makers all over the United States who serve their local community’s holster needs and want to make a profit doing that. Our molds and jigs are complete. You don’t add, block, or modify anything. Nothing will move around under vacuum or pressing. Features are standardized so that the retention plates on all holster styles use the same hardware. Items like open ends and wing spacing on the retention plates are available as options. You can make a state-of-the-art holster, including hardware installation, in less than ten minutes. If you’re doing a production run, the production time per holster drops to a fraction of that.
Who do our customer’s sell to? Local community markets. Instead of a gun shop sourcing holsters from the 800 pound gorillas in the holster making world, many jump at a chance to buy from a local small business who is able to fill their orders quickly, provide a consistent product, offer competitive pricing, and help shop owners come to market first with a holster for a new, hot gun model.
Here’s the math. Say you’re not buying materials at the best prices cause you’re starting out, so plastic and hardware for an IWB costs $10 per holster. You’d like to make $30 an hour for your holster work. Six holsters in an hour means that you’ve got $5 of labor into each holster. Your material and labor cost is $15.00 per holster. There’s room to cover overhead, price your product competitively, and for the gun shop owner and you to both make a profit.
We offer a free-for-an-email-address tutorial series on our website. It provides step-by-step instruction on using EagleWorks Production Molds and Trim Jigs. Most holster makers already have the equipment necessary to make a production run of holsters with our molds and jigs. There are no minimum order requirements.
Join our EagleBuck$™ Rewards Program and get points that can be applied to the purchase of new mold sets.
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