Getting out of our comfort zone..
As all businesses grow you get comfortable in what you do, it’s easy, you know what you are doing and you don’t want any more stress… but mum and I are driven ladies wanting to push the boundaries of our lovely business.
You all say you love our products and they would be perfect in shops near you. There are several options for this.
- Cold calling—whether this is in stores or calling( not really our style!)
- Wholesale websites…
- Attending a trade show…
At the start of the year we featured our products on wholesale websites but no luck so we started to wonder if we should just focus on fairs, however an opportunity came up for a trade show at the NEC… omg this is a massive deal! So rather than sitting back we said why not!!!
From talking to other small businesses we had been told that the first show was to build relationships and not to expect any orders, so mum and I packed up the van, with brochures, t and c’s, and price lists but as we were pulling off the drive I remembered the payment device but in the back of my mind I thought “ but why take it, we wont be taking any orders?”.
Well I could not be more wrong. In the first we had an order from a lady in a shop that had bought a bag from us personally and loved our bags, ethos and us! I took that as a fluke… but the next order we had never seen before and we were top of their list of stalls to order from! 6people turned up and the main buyer was told “buy as much as you like, you have been talking about these bags for ages!” Both mum and I were grinning like Cheshire cats!
We had gone into this show not expecting any actual orders so were running low on some stock and guess what. These were the most popular bags!
Honestly is the best policy- we had already written in the terms and conditions we work on a 1-3 month timeline for stock and retailers did not mind.
As a new exhibitor we were asked to be part of the new product showcase, we gave our bag to a member of the team and did not think anything of it. The next day our account manager said she has something to tell us… the lady we gave our bag to, liked it so much she took it to the catwalk! And it was featured in 6shows a day! What amazing exposure! Plus we had another bag in the showcase!
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Mum and I went into our first trade show with no expectations and it blew our mind! 8 new stockists all round!