This year will be my first full year running my business and its been a huge learning experience. Running your own business is so much more involved then I would have ever expected. You have to be an accountant, a tax agent, a social media influencer, a marketer, a customer service rep, meet and talk with customers, grow your brand and I haven't even made anything yet. Its been exhausting but so rewarding.
I actually get to watch my business, skills and knowledge grow and it couldn't be more exciting. This year I wanted to concentrate on vendor markets for sales and get my product and myself in front of as many people as possible. So far I have done three markets and they were all different. Not all markets are the same. Craft shows are definitely not where I want to spend my time. Nothing against craft shows but the products I sell do not seem to sell to the people that go to craft shows. I make higher end products with a moderate price point so I have to make sure I find shows where my products will be put in front of the correct audience. The vendor markets that I have been to have done extremely well for me. Those are the markets that cost more to be in and have crowds of 5,000 people or more. In the future, I will be staying away from shows that are held in schools, churches or other venues that are small. I have learned which shows cater to my customers and that's where I plan to market.
It is hard to figure out what products will sell. I am seeing that items I thought would sell at the start are not, and items I didn't think would sell I can't make enough of. The only way of figuring that out is trial and error. Also learning to set up and break down your booth in a timely manner is a must. You don't want it to take hours, so finding a setup that is quick and efficient and looks nice is something that you must also figure out. Your space is a part of your business too and represents you. One of the most important things you can do at the show is talk to people. Don't be that person sitting in the back of your booth staring at your phone. Stand in front of your booth and interact with people. Talk about the product they have in their hand. Tell them why it's unique and why they need to buy it. Tell them the story behind the piece and connect with them. You will get more sales and meet more contacts by interacting with people.
If you have a business selling a product, give a few vendor shows a try. You have to put the effort into them but the reward can be great. What are some tips or tricks that you have learned doing vendor markets?