If you feel that you are ready to promote your products to a larger audience, then you may be interested in using a sales representative or by exhibiting in a trade show.
Sales reps are people who represent several product lines for businesses. They act as a bridge between manufacturers and shopkeepers. Sales reps usually have a specific geographic area that they work in and a specific type of product that they represent. ?If you decide that you want to work with a sales representative then first you have to find one. There are several ways to do this.
One way to find a sales rep is to read trade magazines. An excellent one to begin with is Gifts and Decorative Accessories. Sales reps that are looking for new product lines will often advertise in trade magazines like this one.
Another way to find a sales rep is through a site that connects sales reps with manufacturers. Here are four:
At these sites, you can browse listing of sales reps looking for new lines to carry, and you can place your own ad for a sales rep.
Working with sales reps is a huge subject that would take much more than one article to cover. For more information on sales reps, read the book How Small Business Trades Worldwide. Even though this book was published a little while ago and is mainly focused on importing and exporting, it contains valuable information for anyone tring to sell a tangible consumer product and the information it contains is still pertinent today. Chapter six discusses working with sales reps.
A trade show is like a craft show for business people. At a trade show, you, the vendor, rent a space to display samples of your products. Businesses that are interested in your products will place orders for future delivery. Trade shows come in many sizes and shapes. There are local business to business trade shows (which your local chamber of commerce may sponsor). At this type of trade show you would be coming into contact with local business owners from all backgrounds. There are trade shows which show off products made in specific states (for instance, the Made In Montana Trade Show). There are huge gift trade shows held all over the country like Handmade® and Jubilee®.
To find out about trade shows, visit our list of health and beauty trade shows at http://soapmakingbusiness.com/health-and-beauty-trade-shows