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EBW x INVENTORA | Business Class Ep 2.3 | Becoming a Pop-Up Pro



Krystal Jugarap [00:01:01]:

Welcome back to EM/POWEREDbyWMN Business Class. This is part three of our four part series in collaboration with Inventora. So if you guys had tuned to the first two episodes, we've mentioned it's a three-part series, but me and Delmith have been talking and we're adding a fourth session to the mix and that's going to be released next month where we're going to be talking all about wholesaling. So we're really excited about that. We are chatting with Delmith today, who is the Head of Brand Partnerships with Inventora. And just a reminder, if you guys didn't catch the first two sessions, Inventora is this really incredible small business inventory management system that was founded by Dianna Allen, who is the founder of also Terra, which is a home fragrance company. So it was made by a small business owner for small business owners.


And it's really such an amazing tool for all of you makers and small business owners out there. So definitely check it out if you haven't already. But today we're kind of switching it up a little bit. We're talking all about pop ups, everyone in the small business world, we know how critical pop ups are to starting to get your brand out there and building that brand awareness and cultivating your community. So I'm super excited to be diving into this topic. I myself have done a few pop ups, so I am ready to hand over the mic to Delmith. Delmith, welcome back. Thank you again so much for joining me.


Delmith M [00:02:33]:

Oh, thank you so much. I can't believe we already are in the third session. But I'm excited. This is honestly one of the things that I love to talk about because I love pop ups and farmers markets. So I'm really excited to share that with you.


Krystal Jugarap [00:02:50]:

I am so excited also. So everyone wants to know, well, both you. Well, let's rewind a little bit. So Delmith, although she is the Head of Brand Partnerships with Inventora, she herself was also a small business owner. Again, if you didn't catch that in the last two episodes. So she's done pop ups. The founder of Inventora, Dianna Allen, has done plenty of pop ups. So between them, the knowledge that they have is so incredibly insightful and valuable. So definitely tune in.


But Delmith, go ahead and let everyone know. What is the first step to becoming a pop up pro? Give us all of the juicy details.


Delmith M [00:03:26]:

Absolutely. So I just want to make an introduction. Pop ups and I want to talk about pop ups and farmers markets because they are pretty similar. There are things that you have to do for both things. Pop ups are more in like you're used seen a space of a retail store and they give you a space there to have your products right and have a brand exposure there. And farmers markets, while, you know, it's like you have a complete space with your booth and you set up a table and all of that. But for both of them are the similar steps and benefits. So I always love to do pop ups in farmers markets.


They are a great opportunity for handmade businesses to connect with customers and make sales. And honestly, that's something that we are always looking for, right? So maybe it seems easy like, okay, I have an idea of setting up a table and putting all my products there and that's it. But there are so many things that are involved in order to have success. So in that way, if you have success, of course you're going to be more profitable and that's something that we are always seeking for. So whether your goal is to sell on occasion, to earn some money on the side, or your dream is to become having a steady income, there are some things that you need to learn in order to be successful. So the first thing, and it's very important, is to make a business plan. If you are just thinking about making attending a farmers market and be a vendor, you need to make a business plan beforehand because that way you're going to have a better sense of your goals. The business plan, we have a whole blog post, if you want to read it in our website and inventory.com, we have a whole blog post that tells you how to write a business plan for your business, but it will help you with your finances and with your marketing plans.


So that can help you be more focused and look for farmers markets and pop ups that actually are going to be more aligned with your brand. So if you have a business plan and make your goals like your monthly goals and your five-year goal, you're going to be able to have a better sense and more focused on the things that are really going to be good for your business. So the first step is making a business plan. The second thing that I want to mention is the benefits of being a vendor. It's very important to know the benefits in order for you to see if it's for you or if you need some time to think about that. So the first thing is that you're going to start building relationships with new and existing customers. I love to do farmers markets and pop ups because if you're just selling online, you are going to be just having a contact with your customers through an email or social media. But in farmers markets or pop ups, you're going to be able to see them face to face.


And if you have loyal customers and you know that they are around the area of that when the event is going to be, you're going to be able to build that engagement with your brand. And also, first of all, you need to practice your conversational skills. That's something that not everyone has. So you need to practice, have in mind your brand identity, what you want people to know about your products. Have all of those details in mind in order to engage with your customers. And of course, be friendly. You can find common interest with your customers and that way you are going to be able to have a better conversation with them. So that's really something that it's a pro tip, right, to have and huge benefits when you're attending those events.


And also don't be afraid to ask them what are they looking for in their products. So that way you're going to be starting to have that brand loyalty and also you can make more sales if they are looking for something very specific and you have it there. If you don't ask, you won't know actually what are they looking for. So that's something that I really recommend you to do and it's a benefit when you're attending these events.


Krystal Jugarap [00:08:31]:

I want to just chime in really quick. I'm glad you're bringing all of this up and kind of preparing ahead of time. Like what you're going to say that 30-second elevator pitch, right? Especially depending on that market, whatever market you go to, some markets are so incredibly busy and you are dealing with several customers at a time. So you really need to be able to get what you need to say out there in a very effective manner. Right? Because you might not be able to spend 500 minutes chatting all about your brand. So you really need to have that 30-second elevator pitch ready. And then I also love having those frequently asked questions already prepared because like you said, they don't always know what to ask. They don't know what they're looking for.


So kind of guiding them through that thought process again, making it very efficient for them and helping them realize what they need before they even realize it on their own is such a great tip.


Delmith M [00:09:23]:

Yeah, actually that's something that we all need to have that elevator pitch must. Another benefit is that you're going to be having brand exposure. You're going to be in front of a lot of people and potential customers. These opportunities are, you will always want to take advantage of this even if you are in the early stages. I think if you are not able to sell retail or wholesale yet, these events are super useful for you to start giving more brand exposure to get in contact with your potential customers and all of that. And of course, if you really engage with them, you're going to have more brand loyalty, that it's something really powerful for any business. Then another benefit is that you can test the market with your products. So when you're selling in these events, you'll be able to see how well your products are selling.


So this is a great time for you to seek for feedback or from real customers. So don't be afraid to ask your customers their opinions about your products. And that way you're going to be able to improve in something. Or if you see that some products are really good and people are really liking them, maybe it's a great idea for you to make a marketing strategy around them after the farmers market or a pop up. So it's a good way to test your products and see what people think about that. That it's something that maybe you're asking for reviews in your website, but sometimes people don't do that. They say, okay, I'll leave it later, or something like that. But if you have a feedback right there, it's something really powerful that you can use.


And also, like I mentioned before, that the affordability of markets is such an advantage. Selling at those events is a great opportunity for businesses that don't yet have funds to have a retail space. So there are typically booth fees and something like that. But it's like sometimes it's $25 or $100 or so, but that's something that if you're doing well in the market, you're going to have that money back right away. So it's a great opportunity if you don't have the funds yet. And it is also important to do a location research about your audience prior attending a market or a pop up. Because if you're just saying yes to all the markets and you actually don't know what type of audience is there, how many people attend them, you're just going to spend time there and probably not get the results that you actually want. And that leads me to my other point, is that you need to do your research and visit the pop ups or markets beforehand.


So one of the biggest factors for success will be always how much exposure you have to these types of event before you attend one as a vendor. So you need to go and see if the farmers market or pop up aligns to your brand. See if the audience that is there is going to be liking your products, if they are going to be willing to buy from you. Also, what type of other businesses are being vendors to see if there's something really similar to yours. Maybe it's not a good idea to attend it. Or if there's nothing like you like your business, maybe it's a perfect market to attend. So do your research. Also, you need to learn the rules and prepare the necessary paperwork.


Maybe some markets or events are very easy and they just need your information, like personal information, but some of them need your, if you have a business license or if you're like an already established business, so do all that research beforehand. Because if you commit and then they are asking you for all this paperwork and you don't have it, you're going to lose that money. And that's something that we really try to avoid.


Krystal Jugarap [00:14:04]:

I want to go back to the research part of it. Another great way that you can really research the markets is if you are not able to attend in person, ask some of the vendors that been to that market, right?


The small business community is such an incredible, tight knit community. Once you insert yourself in there, you'll recognize how everyone is so connected. So you will very easily be able to find other vendors that have been to these markets that you're considering going to. And then even if you're not specifically looking at that market, like, okay, who's attended? Just any small business makers that you know have attended just markets in general in the past. Ask them about it. Like, have you heard any feedback about this particular market hosted by this person in this place? And they will give you the feedback, like, oh, yeah, it was so worth the money. The traffic was incredible.


Or maybe it's the opposite. They promote so much traffic, but I didn't make that much sales at all, and it was actually pretty slow. So that's a great way to also start doing your research for any particular market you're considering.


Delmith M [00:15:07]:

Yes, that's a really great tip. And that's why I love this type of events, because you're able to actually speak to other vendors and maybe they're selling something very similar, like the things that you do. But it's about creating a community, right? It's like maybe you are all candle makers, but you are a community so that it's something really powerful because you are going to meet people that also are in the same position than you. So you're going to be able to ask for tips. And maybe it's something happening with you. Maybe they have an experience that you actually don't have. So it's about creating a community. So that's something that you also can take out from this type of events.


Maybe it's not your competition. You are starting to see all those vendors as a part of a community, right? And then you need to set up a budget. Maybe you're just having $500 or I don't know. But if you're just saying, okay, I'm going to spend whatever I need to spend in that event, maybe that's not wise. I think you need to set up a budget. Maybe you need to consider that you have to buy a table if you don't have any tent sandbags and all of those details. Also, like we mentioned, you have to be prepared to educate your customers. So have your car information card, maybe some signage that has your prices.


People are always asking for prices. So if you have them there, it's super easy for you. It will take a lot of your time if you don't have that. So labels or something that you actually really want people to have. So all of that costs money. So you need to be capable of covering all of those expenses and before you start selling. So that way you're going to be able to. If you set up a budget, you're going to be ready and you're going to have already in mind the amount that you're able to spend.


And of course, the last thing that I want to mention is that you need to prepare your product inventory so you know that how important it is to have everything there, to have enough products to sell. I always say that it's better to have too much inventory than not enough. So you have to be able to have enough inventory. You don't have to display everything in your table and to make it super full, but you need to be able to have it. Like if you sell it, you need to be able to have a restock of that. So before you decide to produce a new product, it is important to evaluate your existing inventory because maybe you have already something in stock that you can sell in this type of events. So maybe you don't need to do all over a huge inventory just for this specific market. You can use what you have.


Also, if you have past collections that you're not selling in your website right now, you can put them there. Or if you want to try a new collection and you want to hear some feedback, you can also add that product in your inventory for that market. So I think it's always a good idea to ask, do you have your best sellers on hand? How many existing products do I have? Is it enough for the space that I have allocated in that event? So with that questions, ask yourself what actually you really need to make and what actually you can produce. And that way you're going to be able to see how much inventory you're able to bring to the market.


Krystal Jugarap [00:19:21]:

I love that tip that you had of bringing potential new products in to start getting that feedback and start testing the market and also to bring all those things that aren't selling online. And then you can kind of do like a special deal. Right? Because if you only have a few left, kind of hard to get rid of it just online. But when you have it in person in front of people and you're like, these are the last three left on a special sale, it's so easy to get rid of them that way. So that's such a great.


Delmith M [00:19:46]:

Yes. So I think that's everything that I want to cover. I don't want to have a full information that can overwhelm you guys, but I had so many experiences on this. My first one was chaotic, I must say. I wasn't ready with sandbags, and the first day was super windy and I was like, oh, my gosh, no. I was holding my tent and talking to people here. So it was crazy. So after that experience, I said, no, it's something that I actually really need to prepare.


And that's why I started doing my research. And then everything changed. Everything was good. Everything was a success. So this is why it's so important to talk about this. And maybe there are little tips that you say, oh, maybe, yeah, I already knew that. But I think it's something that when you're actually attending as a vendor, you really need to do it. All of these things that I mentioned in order to have success and be profitable.


Krystal Jugarap [00:20:54]:

Yeah, I'm glad you brought up the wind. That was something that I wasn't thinking about. But yes, check what the weather is going to be like. And even if it's not windy, is it hot? And can your product stand being in the heat? Because especially for candles, right. They could start to melt or something like that. Or maybe you sell, like, beverages and it's going to be like, sweltering hot. Are you in a place where you're shaded, where there is a little bit of a breeze and your beverages can stay cool? I had someone that was selling, like, desserts, and then they kind of melted even though they had the cooler and everything. It was a very hot day.


So that's absolutely something that you should be mindful of. And then while you were talking, I remembered something with your budget. Right. When you're preparing, if it's your very first market, you don't to worry about going over the top of your display, like print signage on your computer and then get a cheap little couple of dollars signage holder or whatever. You don't have to go all out for your first one. And something that I would also recommend is definitely preparing your table ahead of time. Right. Just practicing what your display is going to look like so that when you get to whatever the venue is, you're not, like, scrambling to see how everything fits together.


And then, of course, your display can change over time. I know vendors that switch up their display every single market, and that's cool. If that's fun, if that's your system, go ahead and do it. But again, just see what works, practice it ahead of time, and then you can always expand in the future. Once you start getting a feel for how the flow of everything goes, once you start interacting with customers and see how they start buying things and where they're starting on the table, what they're being drawn towards the most. Because depending on the way that you display something, that might be what initially attracts all of your customers.


Delmith M [00:22:45]:

Yes, absolutely. And that thing that you mentioned, if you're just starting and you're looking for your first market, I think, like you mentioned, you don't have to go crazy. It's just for you to have experience to learn how it works and how the things that you can improve. So I think that's something that you should have in mind in your first market. Maybe you're not going to be selling a thousand of your products, but it's just to have that experience that is going to be valuable in the future. Absolutely.


Krystal Jugarap [00:23:22]:

I do have a follow up question for you or not to follow up question, but I do have a question for you. So between you and Dianna, with your experience with pop ups, what kind of things do you do to retain your customers long past the market?


Delmith M [00:23:38]:

So what I always do is that I have coupons that I give for the next. For example, if they want to rebuy or something, I just have a coupon that says like a discount code that they can use and also all the details, the website and all of that. So they can have a 10% off, for example, in their second purchase. So that's something that I love. Also, if I can, I can grab their emails in that conversation and I can say, hey, I always send newsletters with new product releases and sales and promotions that I do. Would you like to be a part of it? And I can grab their contact and have their email and that way I can add them to the email list. That's something that I always do.


Krystal Jugarap [00:24:30]:

Yes, absolutely. Pop ups are like the perfect place to start collecting some emails, even if you just get a few. I think it's such a lost opportunity when vendors don't have a sign up sheet for your newsletter or whatever. Just have that email list ready. And then if people are not ready to buy, you can just let them know, like, oh, you're welcome to sign up for our email list. We send emails out once a month or whatever the case may be. And we can definitely stay connected. And you can reach out to us there.


Delmith M [00:24:59]:

Yes, absolutely.


Krystal Jugarap [00:25:01]:

All right. Well, I think that was all the questions that I have for you. Did you have any last tips?


Delmith M [00:25:08]:

No, I think just have fun. I think that's the part of being a handmade business or people that attend markets. It's really fun. The people there that attend are very sweet. They are willing to buy handmade or buy things that are handmade. Right. So I think that's something that you should enjoy. People are going to be very happy to see your products.


They are going to value what you do. So cherish that and have a great experience. Don't try to stress yourself. Just enjoy it. Be authentic, and people are going to love that.


Krystal Jugarap [00:25:48]:

That is probably the best tip out of this whole thing, is to make sure you're having fun and being authentic. Because really, at the end of the day, and I know we've mentioned this before, people want to support other people. And when you can see how genuine the person behind the brand is and how much love and effort they put into it, you just want to support that other person. Right? And even if maybe they don't have this fancy display, but you can see like they just started, they are really passionate about it, they're so excited about it. And then you get excited with them and just want to buy all their stuff. So just be comfortable with putting yourself out there. Enjoy the process. Recognize that it's always going to be a learning opportunity, even if it doesn't go exactly the way that you envisioned it to be.


And be proud of yourself for putting yourself out there. It can be really intimidating. Your first pop up and it is absolutely very tiring. But definitely put yourself out there. Try it out. For all of you, small business owners, handmakers, everything, I think it's such a critical component to the way that you start building that brand awareness.


Delmith M [00:26:56]:

Absolutely. Also bring snacks and water. You will need it.


Krystal Jugarap [00:27:03]:

Yes. Another good tip. Okay. I feel like we can keep coming up with things off the top of our head, but absolutely especially okay if you don't have anyone at your table with you to assist with you walking away, you're going to want to have those things handy. Your little water, your coffee, your snacks, know where the bathroom is. Try to go when it's really slow. Otherwise, if you're not going to bring snacks, figure out if they're going to have food trucks available and how far you'll be situated from these food trucks. And if you plan on going to those food trucks, have some help, right? Because you might be stuck in a very long line. So you can maybe have your helper go and get you some food or something like that.


Delmith M [00:27:44]:

Yeah.


Krystal Jugarap [00:27:48]:

All right. Well, I think that was the end of this session. All about becoming a pop up pro Delmith, as always, you're full of such great knowledge. I think this is going to be incredibly helpful to all of our audience. So thank you again so much for joining us.


Delmith M [00:28:04]:

Oh, thank you so much for the time. I really enjoy these sessions. Absolutely.


Krystal Jugarap [00:28:09]:

And then for everyone that's listening at home, whether you're watching on YouTube or listening on your favorite podcast platform, be sure to tune in next month for our bonus fourth session that we've just decided we're going to add on. It's going to be all about wholesaling. If you missed out on our first two sessions. Be sure to scroll back on our YouTube or podcast platforms to check out session one and two where we talked all about inventory management as well as determining your pricing, which is so key. And then check out Inventora if you haven't already. So incredible, so important to have a really great inventory management system for your business. And this is for businesses that are just starting out, businesses that are well established. They have a free plan as well as a paid plan.


And of course, all of our EBW Exclusive members get a special discount. So if you haven't checked that out, be sure to check that out or you can sign up as a member to start taking advantage of that. But thank you everyone watching. And thank you again, Delmith, see you on next month.

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