By ALI CUDBY
With the trade shows coming up, you get to choose how you want to approach them. Many will discover new ways to grow and thrive. Some will not.
Here are 5 things you can do to fail at your Curvexpo experience:
1) Don’t Have a Plan
Arriving at a trade show without doing any prep work for your meetings with vendors is like the nightmare of showing up naked and unprepared for your college finals. Buying goes far beyond your opinion of what’s pretty. It’s strategic and data-driven. Doing some analysis of your numbers will make your buying easier and much more profitable.
2) Don’t Network
Most specialty retailers work long hours and have limited time to compare notes with other lingerie business owners. Being at Curvexpo should be a kid-in-a-candy-shop experience. You’re surrounded by row after row of incredible lingerie and hundreds of other people who are equally engaged in the business of selling it. If you keep to yourself, only talking to your co-workers and generally not taking the opportunity to mingle and chat people up, you’re losing an opportunity to create relationships with people who speak the same language yet don’t compete with your business. So go ahead and start a conversation with a stranger – you never know what you’ll learn.
3) Do Stick To The Brands You Know
The show can be hectic and your time is short. That’s understandable, but keeping your head down and only considering the brands you already stock is limiting. You are the ambassador for your customers and oftentimes you’re the only business who can offer a boutique brand or even a particular category, like bra-sized swimwear. Keeping your eyes peeled for something new and special – and leaving some room in your open-to-buy to surprise and delight your customers – can make a tremendous difference between a business that’s adequate and one that’s excellent.
4) Do Only Focus On Buying
You’ve been in business a long time. You know how to fit, and have trained your staff. Gotcha. What else can you learn? This year there are seminars designed to boost the exact kind of business you run. Where else will you have a chance to learn something that’s so specifically tailored to you? Going in with an “I already know this” demeanor simply means that you’ve decided not to expand your universe at Curvexpo. It’s worth asking if that’s serving you in the long haul.
5) Do Think of Curvexpo As a Task
Curvexpo is work. You’ve taken time – and possibly traveled – to perform one of the most vital acts for your business. Buying. If you approach buying with an “all work and no play” mentality, you can lose a sense of fun that might have translated to your customers. The work of a specialty lingerie business is inherently emotional – we engage with women’s self-esteem, body image and confidence. If you’re all business in the task of buying, that energy can – and will – be translated into the act of selling.
Yes, being at Curvexpo is part of the job. Yes, analysis and strategy are beneficial. And at the end of the day, when your customers walk out of your store loving themselves just a little more than when they walked in, you boost the women you serve and your business. That means being aligned and engaged for your best possible buying experience.
Want to refine your inventory for even higher profits? You’re invited to apply for a free strategy session to discuss the precise strategy you need to grow.