Friday, January 13, 2012

A Lesson in Public Relations for the Artsy and Crafty!!!

Hi there!  Thought I'd share some things with you I have recently gleaned from my interactions with other area businesses.  It just goes to show, it's ok to screw up, we all do----it's what happens afterwards that counts.

Some of my goodies.

This lesson is about selling goods to local businesses.

1.  Always Begin by Getting to Know the Owner and Employees

I cannot stress this enough!!!  It is the foundation upon which your working relationship will be built, so make it good:)  You are going to be trusting these people with your inventory, so you need to get to know them.  Even if you have to stop back in on several occasions to find a little time when they are not too busy, it will be well worth your making the effort. 

2.  Don't expect them to be more organized than you are.  What does this mean?  It means that you need to take complete responsibility for your items by:

a.  Gathering your goods
b.  Pricing your goods
c.  Making a detailed list of all items, a contract, a copy for your records and one for them.  Take both and have them sign off on yours and you sign off on theirs.  Then you will have a specific file for this info in your file cabinet/drawer.
d.  Securely pack the materials
e.  Make any materials needed to provide a description of items that need one (little cards that stand in front of a statue of a goddess....who is she, what does she mean, what will she do for you)
****Don't expect the people who work in or own the store to know about these items just because you do:)
f.  If possible, help in the display process....if you have things that might make your merchandise stand out etc, then don't be afraid to suggest ways to display your stuff.  Also with this, you should check back often (if just in the begining months) to make sure they are not hiding your items behind bunches of other stuff.  Be nice and gentle and try to get your items moved to a better location....try to make them think it's their idea...and always be nice. 

3.  Stay in Regular Contact---don't go too long between visits/calling and checking in with the location.

Keep a file for all your locations and keep your paperwork in it.  Make sure to note owner and employee names and slight description to help you with getting to know them. 
Now, you can also keep a smaller book in your vehicle....put:

Sticky tabs to mark the different locations, leave several pages of room for each location then;

Location Name
Owner, co-owner, employees and tiny description of them

Then underneath write the date when you stop by and any merchandise you leave.  Always do this no matter what print outs they may give you.  Keep all notes here about what's selling, what you need to bring back, new items you might be able to make for the location.  These things are easy to forget later and only take a moment to jot down.  Taking good care of business at the time, will save you loads of time, worry, and confusion later. 

4.  Finally, keep it fresh.
If something's not moving in one location, try it at another.  Moving things around, and bringing in new product will help insure more sales and a better relationship with the location.

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