A niche opportunity
Since we are a small manufacturing company, we are constantly looking for ways to get our products known. Sales on the internet come about in a very technological way. But sales in person usually mean a retail location.
An interesting opportunity available to the small manufacturing business - is Sales via Booths. There are some amazing venues in every state in the country which present some great sales opportunities to small businesses. Some businesses literally produce their products until they have enough - then take it all to a venue that offers booths for a special event or periodic grouping of vendors.
Where are booth opportunities? Here are some of the more common ones -
- State and County Fairs
- Local business fairs (wineries, tracks)
- Craft Fairs (Does your merchandise fit)
- Traveling Shows (Outdoors, RVs, Food)
- Large events at convention centers
Advantages of booth sales:
- You can hit it hard and go home
- Low Vendor Charges for the space
- You work when YOU want to
- Get feedback right away on products
- You can enjoy talking to customers
Disadvantages of booth sales:
- Custom tablecloths/tents/lights
- Hard work to set up and tear down
- You have to pack/transport your goods
- Comply with regulations
- Keep good records - pay your taxes
Secrets of Booth Success:
Being in the public eye is tough for some people. It is important that you like to work with people and talk to people. Know your merchandise - Be positive. Give good customer service. Find out what your customers like and do not like about your merchandise. Ask them to refer others to you. The world belongs to the go-getters! (But don't be pesky!) And be sure to smile!
There is so much you can benefit from, being out among your customers. And remember - do not disagree with them. They are giving THEIR opinion. Are the prices good? Are the sizes, colors and features great or do they need to be tweaked a little?
When you return from the show - make yourself a 'lessons-learned' report.
Sometimes when you are an entrepreneur, you fall in love with your product and the way that you do things. If you are not open to fine-tuning, your business will never grow to its full potential!