I’ve always found it amazing that retailers go to a trade show to see specific vendors and then get back to their store. That’s so wrong in so many ways it staggers the imagination.

A trade show is a chance to see what your industry is doing and what is being offered for the next season or perhaps two. It’s a chance to learn about trends and how to position yourself for your customer group. It’s a chance to find vendors that you wouldn’t ordinarily find coming into your store.

Many retailers look at a trade show as something to get past, a place to write some orders, or a destination to party. Even though they put on a happy face, trade shows are serious business and if you don’t avail yourself of all the opportunities they bring to you, you’re really missing the boat.

Buying should be the hardest part of any retailer’s job. It’s the most important thing you’ll do for your store. Do it well and you’ll see the results in the profit column. Do it poorly and you’ll see the results in overdrawn notices from your bank and collection agencies’ nasty letters. So, plan your time at a trade show to be there from the opening the first day until they lock you out on the last.

If you’ve seen everything in the show that’s applicable to your store, chosen the very best of what you’ve seen and written your orders FOR THE RIGHT QUANTITIES, you’ve done what you should and can return to your store triumphant (and exhausted). The exhaustion will pass, but the job well done will sustain your profitability for another season. When you buy the right quantities, everything else will go a lot better.

A major item in your trade show preparation is your open to buy plan. Department by department, month by month, your open to buy will indicate how much you should buy so you begin each month with the right amount of merchandise to support your sales, give you the turnover you desire and a positive cash flow. There’s many system and services out there to help you with your open to buy, but only one that stands atop the rest for ease of use, accuracy, accessibility, and support. And MYOTBPLAN.COM is the only one guaranteed to improve your buying, inventory position and cash flow.

So, how fast can you get through a trade show? Hey, what’s the rush? Prepare with MYOTBPLAN.COM, and spend your time and buying dollars wisely. Isn’t your store worth the time?

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