Home – New Forums Tell me straight… Questions Before Launching First Business.

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  • #988282
    Jacob Ross
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    Hey guys & gals,

    My partner and I are aiming to launch our first business together next month. We are both young and naive (22 years young) so I thought the best thing I could do would be to turn to more experienced members of this community.

    The business is called Compact Events (Landing page: http://www.compactevents.com) and we will essentially be selling portable display collateral, something that is sorely missed by most establish display collateral businesses.

    My questions;

    1 – Our product is actually quite versatile, too versatile. We are struggling to identify our perfect customer which is effecting our ability to identify our niche. We feel our product is perfect for businesses that exhibit at international trade shows and exhibitions, as-well as being perfect for micro businesses as it is a very easy, very affordable display solution.

    How do you think our product could best be used and which market do you think we should target?
    (If you hav’nt seen the website, it is a portable travel case that pops up into a POP display / counter)

    2 – We have experience dealing with big business expo’s and tech trade shows, so we know the problems involved with exhibiting at international shows (such as portability, travel costs, couriers ect). However, we don’t have nearly as much insight as to the trials and tribulations of the small sole trader who is trying to generate some leads at a trade show.

    Do you have any experience exhibiting at Exhibitions / Trade Shows? If so, what was the hardest part about it and how can we further refine our product to be better for micro business?

    We would LOVE feedback of any kind (even if it hurts) and really do appreciate any time you put into reading and responding to our questions.

    Thanks!

    #1166499
    Craig_Longmuir
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    most obvious thing I get from your website is that there is no picture of your “Compact Display Solution” …what exactly is it?!

    #1166500
    Divert To Mobile
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    Hi Jacob,

    I agree with craig, we want to see a display.
    Re: your issue of being too versatile, one possible solution is to build a few sites, each focused upon a couple of key features and hence a target market.

    Steve

    #1166502
    MissSassy
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    Some great responses already

    I think perhaps if you think of the different types of expos that are run this may lead you to your clients.

    Hair expo, travel, fashion etc

    Pick one and start calling to tell them how you are going to solve their problems.

    #1166503
    Anonymous
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    Hi Jacob,

    I spent the weekend at a trade show so your question is good timing for me.

    Like others have mentioned below, I was disappointed / frustrated not to see any imagery of the product on your home page. If I were you I would move the video there so it is easy to see what you are offering.

    As small business owners, in order for us to consider a solution like this, we would want to know up front:

    • Cost of the product
    • Dimensions of the product
    • Process, cost and lead time for updating the graphics
    • What the materials and finish are like
    • How much weight the counter can hold and whether the space beneath it can be used as storage for products

    I hope that helps, and will follow your progress with interest.

    Good luck,
    Jayne

    #1166504
    Jacob Ross
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    Thank you for all the great replies!

    I agree with what all of you are saying in terms of having a picture or some sort of representation of the product, totally a no-brainer. The current website is serving as a simple splash page to give some info to those whom are interested in knowing more before we officially launch. We are working on a full website that will launch soon (hopefully) which will show every aspect of the product :)

    Thank you for suggesting different websites to target different markets directly, great idea! Will definitely take it into consideration.

    Thank you Sandra for your very comprehensive response.
    To answer your questions;

    Most fairs and expo’s we have been involved in will offer you floor space and (maybe!) a wall or two. Few will offer much in the way of displays, and if they do, they are nothing too flashy.

    Most furniture hire business are RIDICULOUSLY overpriced. We have personal experience where it was (much!) cheaper to simply buy all the furniture we needed (lounges and TV’s) and then donate it to charity when we were done with it.

    Our product will mainly be sold in packages (say, and interactive display pack, for people with tablets and devices to showcase) but the base product (just the Encase product with a personally branded wrap) will be priced about $600 which is much cheaper than many other similar (or less effective) products.

    We take care of all the printing for you! We will supply the dimensions you need to fit into and you can either do the graphics yourself (usually a simple logo and small catchphrase work best) or hire a freelancer (usually quite cheap) and we will send you the product with everything printed and ready to display.

    The product is 100cm tall by 38cm wide by 24cm deep, and it has quite alot of storage room inside (the entire concept of the product). It can hold multiple pull up banners (the ones you see at every trade show) with room to spare. Also, most of our packages weigh <23 Kg so you can easily check them onto a plane without paying for excess baggage.

    Once the display is set up it can hold roughly 25Kg, so it is quite sturdy.

    Our product is actually geared towards small business. As everyone knows, marketing campaigns change, logo’s change and even entire business models can change, and often do. The beauty of our product is that you can simply get a new graphic wrap printed whenever you need to change your message, unlike other products where you are stuck with the same old graphics for the life of the product. So at the cost of printing (roughly $150) you can continue to use the encase unit for the life of your business, not just the life of your marketing campaign :)

    Thank you SO much for your responses and I hope I answered some of your questions adequately.

    #1166505
    Jacob Ross
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    Hey Jayne,

    Thank you for the reply.

    All of the information you are looking for will be readily available on our completed website. We know how frustrating other display collateral companies can be (they usually offer thousands of loosely related products, making it very hard to find what you need). So we will focus very much on supplying as much info as possible.

    Yes, the room inside the counter can (and will!) be used as storage space, we have a video coming out and many pictures coming to clearly represent it’s benefits :)

    We are in the process of organising a deal with our printing service to put us at the top of the list every time we have an order (so as to reduce lead time as much as humanly possible) and I can assure you we use a premium printing service (we are the definition of perfectionists and won’t settle for cheap’o printing services). More accurate information will be on the completed website.

    The counter is also quite sturdy and can support roughly 25Kg, but we will do further testing before launching.

    Thanks again for your suggestions, it really helps and we really appreciate it!

    #1166506
    Stubbysounds
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    Hi Jacob,
    An idea worth considering. I am a micro business owner and I have done two of the major trade shows. If you were aiming to make me a customer you might want to consider the following:
    – Offer to buy back the product if it is no longer wanted (within say a 12 month period) – a lot of small businesses are trialling the trade show scene and it often doesnt work out. If a reprint is all that is needed to rebrand – then you could buy back “hardly used” items and resell them.

    – Which brings the next point – selling rebranded items for a smaller price.

    – Most small or micro businesses have very little budget left after paying the hefty fee to be at a trade show – so the peace of mind knowing you can get some money back on your investment if needed would be a selling point!

    Just a thought.
    Cheers
    Karen

    #1166507
    Jacob Ross
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    Hey Karen,

    Thanks for your response, it is quite an interesting idea. We are always looking for ways to make expo’s cheaper and easier for our customers.

    However, printing costs are quite high ($150 for an Encase wrap, in which we do not profit at-all) & when you begin to factor in courier fees, depreciation on the units + the fee for ‘hiring’ an Encase (we have to make money somewhere) our customers wouldn’t end up with much in return. Furthermore, they would be left with an Encase graphic wrap with no Encase to use it with.

    The aim of Compact Events is to keep costs low for small businesses over the long run. Being able to have a display you can completely re-skin for $150 and take anywhere in the world is an extremely powerful asset.

    Perhaps when we are more established we can look at hiring units to people, and there definitely seems to be demand for cheaper furniture hire services, but for now, I don’t think it would be financially viable.

    Really appreciate the feedback,
    Thanks
    Jacob

    #1166508
    help4bis.com
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    First get a business canvas… eg Infrastructure, offering, customers, Finances.

    Get a business plan.
    Get a marketing plan

    Neither to big or to full of expensive words, looking at your site you know you product but do not know for whom it might be, or who should use it.

    I looked at your page and went… hmm nice pictures but do not know what it is… move on….

    I have an attention span of a gold fish in a wine glass. Having said that… I do have a hosting and design company… only recently went to online “advertising” simply because we had a few weeks of no work…. all existing customers came from word to mouth and face to face. As per our business canvas from 15yrs ago.

    So.
    What do you do.
    What do you have for me
    What do I need it for

    I do not care what it costs.

    Help4bis.com

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