How many of you went to the Atlanta's Americasmart Gift Show? I was there for 3 days and invested $1000 to get there for myself and my partner. It was a hefty investment that was alot for me but I felt it was needed.
When money is tight as this economy is creating you think is this a wise way to spend my money? I think it was, because I got to see things that will help my business.
If you want your customers to keep coming back to you then you have to show them new and different things. Is there another way then going to the shows to find different items to purchase for your customers? You might be answer yes I can see things in the trade magazine and your right but not everyone advertises and the ability to see in person is invaluable. Your customers are expecting that you will go out and purchase items for them to purchase that they will love and probably not the thing they loved yesterday.
You might ask should it just be Atlanta's show, well that's a good place to start but I have a theory that those on the east coast should go west and the west coast should go east. Why you might ask, well new companies are going to start out where they are located and there's a good chance you just might find a new company with a great product that your competitor doesn't know about.
Big shows, small shows, craft shows go to as many as you can. This will familiarize you to what is out there and I promise you that when you come across something new and exciting it will get your creative juices going.
Another great source for products is the craft shows. I found a company at a craft show that sells a sugar scrub to die for who was willing to wholesale it to me and that was 2 years ago and we still are selling a bunch of her product. No one else around me has that product.
Retail today is tough but it can also be looked at as an opportunity for change and for growth both for the store and owner.
Oh one more tip, if it's a new product for you don't order at the show, go home sleep on it, talk about it, think about it, etc and then if it still feels right, order. Impulse buying is a curse, ask me how I know :-)
Go out there and get em!!