The Shows #26: Central States Fair wrap up

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Blog entry by Monte Pittman posted 08-26-2014 01:01 AM 3687 reads 0 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 25: Central States Fair start of day 5 Part 26 of The Shows series no next part

Although it started with a bang, I only really had one more big day. However, I still had the 2nd biggest week ever and I am having my biggest month ever. So would I have wanted to sell more? Of course, that’s the idea. But I can’t be disappointed with the results. I also have several of what I consider “very possible” custom orders. If most of them come through it will be a huge show for me.

Another thing, is pricing. I have always been criticized for under pricing my goods. My main excuse has been that until I feel my work was worthy of higher prices, let would not raise them much. I am not saying that I am as good as I need to be, but I decided that it was time to start a move towards “right pricing”. The formula that I am going by is based on LJ huff’s blogs on business pricing and structure. Read it if you haven’t, it was a great inspiration for me. Anyway, I raised prices almost 50% across the board. I had to grit my teeth a little when I did it, but I knew that it was the right thing to do. Oddly, I never had a single person complain about the prices. Maybe it cost me a couple sales, but the reality is that I can’t compete with Walmart.

some other really important advances, the booth. I spent much more time making sure I had a much more professional setup. More organized and easily accessible. I received a lot of compliments on the booth layout. I am already planning improvements for next years booth. Another thing I did late that people liked was showing the rough lumber. Last week I put out the topic of High Pressure vs Low pressure sales. Several really good suggestions. Since I didn’t have time to put together a presentation on sawing the wood through finishing the products nI chose to put some rough lumber out to show what I look for in selecting the wood for a project. Many seemed interested and I probably will get orders for just rough lumber.

Things that need improvement. First and most painfully obvious. About the 3rd day of the show, I realized that I did not have a sign with the business name on it ANYWHERE! It was one of those moments that I threatened to fire myself. I put up a paper banner, but I consider it awful considering what I was trying to accomplish in the booth. Second thing is small items. I was completely sold out of small items by mid week. Odds are that I could have had more sales with a better inventory. I had every intention of having more small items, but you can’t eat good intentions.

My biggest show of the year is not till February. But I am already planning improvements for then. I still feel that I am going in the right direction and I can’t take me foot off the gas now.

Thanks for reading. I hope everyone can learn from my experience and the comments of the others.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

25 comments so far

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 3649 days

#1 posted 08-26-2014 01:15 AM

Sounds like you had a very good sale and learned quite a lot for the future shows. I am glad that you are doing well and you get better and better with each project. Keep on, keepin’ on !

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View firefighterontheside's profile


21501 posts in 3098 days

#2 posted 08-26-2014 01:19 AM

Thanks for sharing your experience Monte. I too should charge more for stuff I build. Mostly I work for friends and their friends. I try to give friends better deals and get a little more from others. I have read a lot of what huff had to say and I agree. I shouldn’t just be thinking about my time, but other things like expenses and wear and tear on tools, electricity, etc. Someday I might be inspired to do some kind of show like you.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3931 days

#3 posted 08-26-2014 01:23 AM

Glad you had a good show. We been tellin you to raise yer prices and good to hear it was good advice. The business name routed in a nice piece of BKP would be a great sign for your booth.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View doubleDD's profile


10700 posts in 3284 days

#4 posted 08-26-2014 01:26 AM

Very inspirational story . A good lesson for all of us.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View OldWrangler's profile


731 posts in 2836 days

#5 posted 08-26-2014 01:38 AM

Glad your show was successful and you made some good money.

Now when will it be possible to ship my order? I really do need the wood. I promised some bookcase weeks ago and I think my customer believes I will not come through. I try to explain about waiting on the wood but she says buy it some place else. Please help me get this woman off my back.

Thanks, George

-- I am going to go stand outside so if anyone asks about me, tell them I'M OUTSTANDING!

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4544 days

#6 posted 08-26-2014 01:55 AM

well i sent you a PM just as you had posted this, so you answered my questions, i fully agree, keep the pedal to the metal…you’re on a foward roll and you know where you need to improve and that is great, i hope you continue to grow and become a force to be reckoned with ….

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View lightcs1776's profile


4270 posts in 2895 days

#7 posted 08-26-2014 02:31 AM

Glad you are getting some good sales. As for raising prices, I know good wood products are not cheap. I accept the fact that most items I want to purchase are out of my budget. However, I also realize the value of products such as yours. Knowing the time spent does not make the pieces expensive, but a relative bargain.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 3855 days

#8 posted 08-26-2014 02:36 AM

monte your a smart man and only going to move up ward s , thanks for sharing you journey

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View 1965scooper's profile


21 posts in 2916 days

#9 posted 08-26-2014 02:43 AM

I live far away, but the Northern Black Hills always will be my home. It’s been a treat to read your reports from the bike rally and Central States Fair. For you, I presume it’s back into the woods and into the shop so as to be ready for the 2015 Stock Show. Best of luck to you and all of your family and crew.

-- 1965 Scooper

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3916 days

#10 posted 08-26-2014 03:05 AM

Congrats on the successful show!!!
Glad to hear that you are rewarding yourself…. ie: increasing pricing.
Your work is worthy of proper pricing!!! (& so are you!!!)

Oh well….. lesson learned.
Andy’s BKP sign is spot on!!!

Do you have brochures/flyers & business cards???

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View firefighterontheside's profile


21501 posts in 3098 days

#11 posted 08-26-2014 03:11 AM

If only you knew someone to make a wooden sign….

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4550 days

#12 posted 08-26-2014 03:28 AM

Monte…I’m glad your show turned out to be a profitable one as I just knew it would be. We all learn something from each and every show that makes us aim higher and higher for the future shows… Your next shows will be even greater because you are raising the bar higher…Great…!

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 2790 days

#13 posted 08-26-2014 04:29 AM

Good for you Monte.

View hoss12992's profile


4180 posts in 3134 days

#14 posted 08-26-2014 05:07 AM

Congrats buddy

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Jake's profile


850 posts in 2872 days

#15 posted 08-26-2014 06:13 AM

Good job on rising the prices, going to be great, if you don’t have any complaints yet and you have too much work on your hands, bump them up another 25%. If a product is worth the price then the customers who see the value will gladly pay it anyhow.

I also very much enjoyed your comment about not being able to eat your good intentions! Spot on! :) Keep the roll going and best of luck!

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

showing 1 through 15 of 25 comments

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