I'm interested in attending a Baby Expo Tradeshow in the fall. It's for industry insiders only. Since I am just starting my business, I do not meet the qualifications for admission to the expo (i.e. copies of sales receipts, tax returns, etc.).I am brand new to this whole arena, and I really need to be at that tradeshow to get my product "out there" to the big boys in the industry. How do I overcome this shortcoming?
- T.M. from Silver Spring, MD
Dear T.M. from Silver Spring,
Thank you for writing me :) and for watching the Big Idea....
This is where you need to get a "little" creative :) I started out with trade shows as well... so here are some creative ways I approached this question.
Look at the people who are sponsoring the event... contact them and see if they need an volunteers to help them work the trade show (most will say yes.... this gets you free ticket, some cash in pocket and names and numbers of people you need to meet)
You can also contact one of the companies that is exhibiting that your product would complement or work in conjunction with..... ask them the same thing.... people who exhibit at trade shows are always looking for an extra set of hands (especially set up and take down)
This gets you at the show you need to be at and networking... collect the names and numbers of the people you need to speak with... and then follow up with them after the show with your product idea... wear something memorable... a red rose somewhere, a cool hat, something to trigger their memory of who you were at the trade show.
Hope this helps
Amilya I have caught several of your episodes on “The Big Idea” I love seeing a real world successful woman sharing her knowledge. How do I make the “right” connections to get my business to where it is profitable enough for me to quit my bill paying job?
- Kat C. From San Diego, CA
This is a big question to answer completely in a small space so let me give you some starter points to think about to get you moving in the right direction.
First off, you need to know exactly what that REAL bill paying number is for yourself personally and also for the actual business expenses per month, only once you have identified these numbers will you be able to start to develop the proper plan to leave your job and focus on your business full time.
As far as connections, the “right” ones are probably closer than you think. First off identify clearly who and what kind of people can help you build momentum in your company. Remember to think of this from all angles; who can help you internally with operations issues, who can help you build your brand and sales and who can help you check and balance your numbers and budget?
Now start to examine your personal rolodex and make a secondary list of their professions, education and hobbies of all of your most important contacts. Begin having confidential conversations with your most trusted contacts and tell them what you are looking for and take accurate notes. These conversations will reveal to you a second level of connections that you will be able to tap into by leveraging your primary relationships. Just make sure when you are asking questions to ask the proper question to the most qualified source, (don’t direct your accounting questions to your plumber)
Once you identify the people who can assist you the most don’t be afraid to ask for their help and secure their assistance. Then readjust your breakeven numbers accordingly to account for the savings in time, productivity and hard costs.
Remember to always remain sincere in your confidential conversations and never betray the trust of your connections by going around them or using them without giving back. Make this activity into a habit and I assure you that you will continue to grow your rolodex along with your sales, and soon you will be leaving your “bill paying” job and moving forward with your dreams.
Never quit, your success is closer than you think...
PS. You can learn more about Amilya on her web site, http://www.Amilya.com. And when you are ready to make the entrepreneurial jump, make sure you check out some of the priceless information and inspiration at http://www.LuckyNapkin.com, or plan to attend our Lucky Napkin Live Event, March 20, 2008 in Scottsdale AZ. Lucky Napkin is the country’s premiere “Venture Catalyst” company, an entrepreneurial catapult “Where Great Ideas Launch.”
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