The greatest thing about home businesses and the direct sales type of business is the flexibility in how you can market your products. We are not relegated to one type of selling so therefore the opportunities are endless! Brick and mortars stores are somewhat limited as they wait for the customers to find them. We on the other hand, go and find ours.
One of my favorite ways to increase customers, hostesses, business partners and newsletter signups is through craft shows and expos. Looking at the venue of the show, it becomes apparent that this is your target market ~ Female; usually with extra disposable income and looking for unique products. All of these attributes fit our business perfectly.
Choosing the right venue will be important to your success. Make sure the show is in your market area. Traveling 50 miles to do a show looking for customers may not be a good idea if you have to deliver products after the show. Think about parties as well. If your hostess is an hour away and then her guests are a no show Or maybe you get 5 bookings, Are you willing to keep driving to that area to service those customers? Set yourself a radius of how far you are willing to travel.
Another thing to check out when choosing the right show to do is the amount of the booth. Figure out how much you have to sell to re coop your expenses. If you are doing a one day show for $150 and you sell $2 – $5 items, you are going to have to move a heck of a lot of items to break even.
Make sure that you are selling product that goes along with the theme of the show before writing that check for the entry fees. Specialty shows like scrapbooking or quilt shows may not be the best return for you if you are selling makeup. Several years ago I did a Home and Garden type of show and while my product line fit in wonderfully; there was a cosmetic company there. She was not moving a heck of a lot of product and did not do very well at all. I am actually surprised the promoters allowed her in. So make sure you are not wasting your time with the wrong show.
Check to see how long the show has been in existence. What type of turn out do they get? Sometimes doing a newly formed show is a good risk if it is a local show. Traveling great lengths to go to a new venue may not be something I would recommend. Also check on how they advertise the show. Very important in that you can have a huge amount of vendors attending, but if the event is not publicized well, you will not so well.
Overall, Craft shows are an awesome tool for your business if they are researched and handled properly. Building your business in unique ways is the key to the longevity with your business.