Thursday, 16 January 2014

An Entrepreneur's Nightmare Part 1

I won't even begin to feel bad about being quiet on the blog for almost 7 months. Sheesh it's been long. It's also probably why my thoughts are less profound or my personality's been a little snappy. :P I've been keeping it in. Thinking more, creatively less.

I have so much to write about naturally! But I'll keep it brief, because I began this train of thought to begin a series of topics I want to bring to light and open to discussion for my Entrepreneural seminar. It's these little posts that I hope will enlighten and bring the seminar to a fruitful discussion inshaAllah! Haven't set a date yet... but stay tuned. We'll have a good time :))

I was chatting with someone the other day and I felt it important to share this with those new to the world of entrepreneurship or having a hard time coping with breaking into the market.
It's very easy to feel disheartened or to feel like you 'failed' because you paid an x amount booth fee, invested in a y amount inventory and didn't even make z sales. It could be a number of factors that affect your productivity and return at participating in events. I've been there guys. Trust me.

No sales, barely sales, happy people but lame sales, awesome feedback, sell out inventory... bits and pieces of all of it :) Alhamdulillah! ALL to learn from!

Here are a few points to ponder upon.
How long have you been operating your brand? How many people know you?

If you just started and thought an exhibition is a fab way to introduce yourself, you're right! If 10 people come to see someone else's work, they just might come and see yours, right? No! If no one recognizes your or identifies the work you do, they might pause, glance and walk by. If you have a clientele or fan base already present, there's a bigger chance you have more visitors stopping by to visit you and your fantastic work. It's a gamble.

Apart from the marketing or publicity honored by the organizer, it is VERY important to activate your OWN market, your fanbase... even if it's just your parents, siblings or close friends. get them to come out and support YOU :) it makes a big difference.

It took me 6 months before I took part in my first exhibit for Firefly. Yes, I had a little fan base, that I actually managed to hype up to come see Firefly goodies up close. It was awesome Alhamdulillah!
Then there were hi-fi events that just didn't work for me, because I was the new girl. People didn't recognize me there from previous years... and well... the market was different. :) It was an experience for sure. I walked home with a  LOT of stuff, but hey! I exhibited there, too!

Some platforms are amazing grounds for exposure and prospect clientele. Events like this are usually larger, with larger crowds, and most often with likeminded people coming in for likeminded tastes. Personally, the Crafter's Expo is one of those kind of platforms. Your visiting cards, your display, your smile, and your energy are what lure people to remember you. You have to be confident and you need to stand proud next to your work, forget selling it, you want others to stop by, look, and get to know who you are.

I don't know how many noticed, but we put up our expo photographs recently. The turnout was huge, the exposure was definitely phenomenal. For some more than others. If you observe the photographs, there are some vendors who are smiling, interacting, enjoying and putting up a happy face. Others appear worried, upset, shy, or just uninviting. Body language and facial expressions are key to energizing people. Your vibes are what draw people to you, or put them off. No one's asking you to harass someone to come and stop by your booth, no. smile, be nice. Be welcoming! If you stand frowning, heck no one's going to want to drop by ;)

These are just a few to get you thinking and reflecting. How'd you feel when you exhibited?
You don't need to be upset or afraid if you came home with left over items, it's okay. Your rizq and naseeb are pre-written. Your efforts reap fruits eventually! :) you don't give up. Think about how many more people went home knowing about you. Think about how many new people know about you and will tell others about you. Think positive! and say Alhamdulillah!

Love. (I'm going to pause it here for now)

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