Monday, July 6, 2009

Test the Market

Have a new idea but not sure about the market? Create a few prototypes (samples) in what ever variety can be offered. If it can come in different colors, sample those colors. If it can come in different sizes, create a couple different sizes.

Shop around and find the store you think your product might find it’s best opportunity. Now the good part.

You can get your foot in the door, so fast, by explaining to the shop owner, that you want to test the market on a new product. If they wouldn’t mind, giving it a trial run, you’d be willing to offer an exclusive, in thanks.

It goes like this. You leave the product, free gratis. Get a receipt, showing what products you left there, you can use your own receipt pad. Tell the owner, you’ll be back in a week, to see how it went. Go ahead and give the product a wholesale price, so that the owner will know how to price the items.

If the product sells, in that week, you then make out a receipt for the wholesale sale, and collect the money. If it does not, this is your opportunity to chat with the owner and get his/her input. What do they think will be the chances for this product. Is there a change, they see that might help.

If it’s just a no-go, there is still a huge opportunity. Find out what does sell. Would they like to work with you, in creating a new product. What have they been looking for, and can’t find. Who knows, you just might be able to fill the bill.

Remember always, especially on that first visit, never stand between the shop keeper and the customers. Know your place. Put yourself in the same position as the shop owner-main concern, keeping and eye on shoppers, being available. When a customer walks up to the cash register, you step aside immediately. This lets the shop keeper know, you know what the score is.

I met the music box shop owner, for the first time, by simply snooping around the shop. When I saw a nightlight much like one I made, I piped up and said, “I make one almost identical except for one thing…mine is much more realistic to style and has a little more color sparkle to it. AND I wholesale mine much less than this one, I’m sure”. Nabbed. On the spot. She wanted to see mine. Our friendship and business dealings lasted over 2 years, before she sold her shop.

Be gabby but not butting in on any dealings with customers. Make sure the shop owner is out of ear shot of customers. They don’t need customers, knowing where he/she buys their goods.

“You know…this looks almost identical to one I turn out for about $6. Is this made locally?” :) Believe me, it works.

Your Name in the Local Paper

Small towns and cities, all across the nation, have their own small newspapers. You usually find stories about local folks, especially historical and new stores opening, etc.

But did you know, the writers for those small papers are always digging for anything newsy? Sometimes those reporter/writers have to dig hard, to keep those pages filled with interesting stories.

You’re not imposing, when you suggest they do a write up on you or your product. It’s a helping hand. It’s also a great way to meet new friends.

Our local editor was thrilled to come out to the house and do a story on my new instructional e-books, a success online story and an interview with pictures of my most recent projects.

You’d be surprised at the newsy little ‘bit’ she did on me. It filled her pages and brought me at least 2 new restoration jobs from locals, reading the local paper.

Don’t discount your little local paper or those writers and editors, so hungry for more to fill those pages. And don’t discount the value it will bring back to you.

So you think that because all you do is crochet or knit that you don’t have anything to offer. Do you sometimes donate items you’ve made? Are you a wood worker, building toys for children? Are you about to launch a new website? Just about anything like this, is local newsworthy and you should give the editor a call and get on the ‘possibility’ list.

My Offical Blog Spot

I try to keep both blogs up to date but to make sure, you might want to venture off to my main spot, to see what's happening.

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About Me

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I'm a grandmother of 1, a ceramist, a ceramic mold maker, a truck driver and writer.

I'm also a webmaster of many and have several blogs.

I help others in designing product, make custom molds and I still do restorations.