Rock that Exhibition! that Craft Fair...

9:21 AM

I am running a series of posts on FB on how to be successful at a Craft fair or exhibition, as they are called in India.
Here's my post for the Day 1 of Rock that Exhibition. If you have any questions or need any clarifications, please leave a comment on this post.

Day 1 : Lets do the Math!!!
How many times have you slogged off before an upcoming exhibitions, putting in a lot of money and energy into it, making sales but not ‘feeling’ successful? How many time have you known when exactly have you ‘broken even’ and when you have started making profit? How many times have you felt ‘only if I had made more of those _____’?
I have done all these things. This is the first year that I am being so organized with an upcoming exhibition preparation. I still remember in 2013, I realized that I have an upcoming exhibition just TWO WEEKS before the actual date!
I had signed up for a local exhibition – this one I do almost every year because the organizers are my friends and it gives me an opportunity to connect with other women entrepreneurs from my small town. I had it in my mind that the exhibition was in ‘October’. Somewhere around mid-September I had the epiphany that its just TWO WEEKS to the exhibition date! I had paid my stall rent already so I had to recover that, at least!
I just got into work mode. Made ‘god-knows-how-many products. I had super sales at that exhibition.
Did I make profit?
I don’t know! I never did the maths! I did not (still don’t) know what was my breakeven point! I just know I made super sales!
That’s the reason I took to a planned approach this year. And I’m going to share all my planning with you in this series over the next few days. I do not want you all to go through the anxiety and ignorance of not knowing what you are doing.
So first up let’s do out math! Doing this math will let you know how much stock you should bring along for that exhibition.
1. How much PROFIT do you want to make?
Be realistic, but do not underestimate yourself either. Think about how many days the exhibition is going to be, where it is going to be, how much you yourself normally shop at exhibitions like these and then come up with a number.
2. Total expenses for the event : Add up the stall rent, transporting, stall setup, parking, food etc. Add up everything that you are spending for THIS SPECIFIC EVENT. If you do not know the exact number, make a guess or ask someone. Knowing this number is a VERY essential part.
3. Now add the PROFIT GOAL and the EXPENSES. This is your TARGET to be achieved.
4. Let us assume that 2% of the total visitors will buy something from you. Ask the organizer about the number of visitors in the past years. They will usually let you know. If you don’t know, make a guess. So if 5000 people visited last year, 100 people will be buying from you. Now divide your TARGET by this number. So if your expenses are 15000 and your Profit target is 35000 and the customer count is 100, you have to MAKE A PROFIT of 500 for EVERY TRANSACTION. Now the picture is getting clearer, isn’t it? You can either sell 100 items that have a PROFIT margin of 500 or 1000 with a profit margin of 50 (where on an average every customer buys 10 items). Make a list of those items.
I suggest keeping the number of categories around 8-10 and making a variety of items from each category. This will help you increase production speed as well as reduce cost.
5. Now you know how many items of each category you have to SELL. You do not want your stall to look empty at the end of the day, do you? So you will need to bring enough to fill it up till the last moment. Multiply the number of items you have to sell by TWO. This is the number of items that you will have to MAKE!

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