Selling at trade shows and exhibitions
Trade shows and exhibitions help bring your product or service to the attention of a large captive audience all at the same time. Take care though as it's a very expensive way of promoting your business and even though there may be a lot of visitors many of them willbe information collecting and not potential customers at all.
If you’re lucky you’ll end up with lots of leads so make sure your sales staff are geared up to contact all the people who've shown an interest as soon as possible after the event.
An online shop
Selling online via your website means you're effectively open for business 24 hours a day. Invest some time in making sure your website gives the customer the best possible experience of buying from you. A simple PayPal account with 'buy now' buttons may be all you need. But you may want an ecommerce web site
with shopping cart facilities and a full back-end order processing system to monitor despatches and manage any returns. You can still use PayPal for payments but if you want to take direct credit or debit card payments as well you'll need to have a merchant services bank account. Find out about taking card payments
This type of selling can work well if you have:
- Well-defined products or services that don't need much explaning
- Fixed prices
- A high volume of sales
- Low to mid-value products
- Products that are easy to post
A real shop or retail outlet
Having your own retail premises, whether it’s a shop or a market stall, brings you in direct contact with the users of your products. But it's a costly option so consider what value you add by having both the goods and staff present at the point of sale.
Having a retail outlet may be suitable where:
- Customers want to see or touch the product
- Customers are likely to buy on impulse
- Product demonstrations or particular product knowledge helps the decision to buy
- The target market is unlikely or unable to buy online