Up to date inventory and pictures
So I guess that my main tip for this time is to keep your inventory and pictures current. You never know when you will need them. We are in the process of checking and cataloging all of our inventory and making certain that we have good pictures.
With all of the possible social media available, it never hurts to let people know what you do and to be able to show your products off. Leads for custom work can come from many places and at any time. I have gotten leads while at Wal-Mart, Lowe’s and different restaurants. So always be alert to possibilities.
Have plenty of handouts with you
And don’t be afraid to give out your business cards and/or brochures. If you don’t have both, design them up and either print them yourself or get them printed. And don’t fake yourself out by saying you aren’t any good at that. You design and build things in wood, so you have some talent. Even if you are just following someone else’s plan, you still change things up when something happens. So you do have some talent for design.
With all of the software that we have available and the quality of the newer printers, there is no excuse for not having plenty of business cards and brochures or flyers available.
It doesn’t take expensive software and high-priced printers to make quality advertising materials. My wife is the expert on using the programs to design the materials. She uses an inexpensive (under $20) greeting card program to make both the business cards and the tri-fold brochures along with the pass-outs. Most of these programs have other options than just greeting cards. I will have her writing a post on her thoughts on the advertising materials soon.
And don’t forget that there is a lot of open-source (free) software out there that is as good or better than the expensive branded products. You have to be careful of some of the software, but if you find a reliable source like Sourceforge, CNet, Major Geeks, or any others that you know you can trust. These are the main 3 that I personally know and trust. They check the software for viruses and malware before they can be downloaded.
In conclusion, there should not be any reason that you should not have a current inventory, good pictures of your product, business cards and other advertising materials ready at a moments notice. Even if you don’t plan on selling anything you make, have the option of letting your friends and relatives see what you can do so they can give you ideas for their next birthday or Christmas present from you.
Remember, if you plan on keeping everything you make, you will soon run out of room and either have to move or add-on to your existing abode.