Post Show Lessons

The 2013 Stationery Show was my first ever trade-show, so I anticipated the learning curve to be high. I must say though, I was able to garner quite a bit of information about how to prepare and what to expect from the blog community in the 3 month prior. Shout-Outs go to Robyn from Meant to be Sent for her NSS Prep School posts, and Claudia from Fig2 Design for her year long posts prepping for the 2011 show. Both of these talented ladies were organized and willing to share! If you are thinking of doing the show, these two blogs are excellent resources.
So, for me the real learning came post show. First lesson was to finally input my accounts into Quickbooks. This task seemed so daunting for so long until a cab driver (yes, you never know who will give you a gem of info) told me about for software learning videos. Brilliant. Now invoicing and balancing the books is so much easier and practically eliminates mistakes.
The next thing I learned is the importance of systems. After the show I had a bunch of orders to fill at once. Some items were in stock and others needed to be reprinted. Everything had to be produced, packaged, counted and sent in a timely manner. A business without set systems can feel like a live wire with no where to plug in. Luckily this "opportunity to learn" led me to a great book called The E Myth, which talks about systems and how they can not only run a great business but free you up as the owner/entrepreneur for the essential task of future planning and growth. Now I'm documenting everything I do in the most efficient way, so the procedure can be replicated each and every time.
Next up! I'm reading the 4 Hour work-week. Let the learning continue...

Thanks to Manny Stone Decorators for providing the photo of me talking to clients in my booth, (as well as providing and installing my foamcore walls)!

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