Think suppliers are inaccessible to small businesses? Think again!

Your complimentary Spring Fair ticket can be accessed now! Use it as an opportunity to gain valuable product sourcing information – free!

We are in the age of the internet and don’t we know it!

There you are, sitting in your cosy office, jabbing a few keys and being presented with all the information you could possibly require, on any topic – and all in a matter of seconds.

We all do it because it’s so simple to find out all you need to know with very little effort, yet in truth, it wasn’t that long ago that to discover facts you would have needed to get the ‘big encyclopedia’ off the dusty shelf and look up what you needed to know – and it wasn’t always guaranteed to be found either!

These days, the internet is genuinely accessible to everyone, through home computers, office computers, internet cafes, libraries and smartphones and so it’s very easy to overlook what you might call the ‘old-fashioned’ way of gathering research.

And this is especially true when it comes to product sourcing. If you’re totally honest, what would you prefer; tapping a few keys and being provided with a list of wholesale suppliers, or leaving your home or office, making a trip and meeting suppliers face to face?

Well of course, tapping a few keys is by far the easiest and potentially less time consuming option and the one that you would probably go for given the choice. But, it’s not always the most productive option.

I’m not saying that you should make a shortlist of wholesale suppliers and then rock up to their door demanding a meeting, no, nothing so scary (because this is scary for some people). Instead I’m suggesting you consider attending trade shows, which are in fact a great day or couple of days out, with the advantage of hundreds of suppliers being all in one place.

In the UK, one of the largest trade fairs takes place at the NEC in Birmingham. It happens twice per year – spring and autumn – and this year the first one will take place between the 1st and the 5th of February.

Now here’s the great thing! Last week I exclusively let my Source Report members know that Spring Fair are currently offering free tickets. This offer is still available, so now this is your chance to get yours. Simply go here and register 

Anyone, and I mean anyone, can attend most trade fairs – you don’t have to be a professional buyer – and this one is no exception so this is the ideal opportunity for you to pay a visit, absolutely free, and check out over 300,000 new products across 13 unique sectors including gifts, home, fashion, luggage, beauty, toys and gadgets.

You’ll find hundreds of exclusive brands that you won’t find anywhere else – and importantly you should remember that some of the exhibitors won’t have an internet presence which gives you the advantage of discovering products with a little bit of originality.

You may remember that I’ve talked before about ensuring you can compete online by sourcing products that are ‘similar but better’. Well this is your chance to source those products.

Visiting trade shows is actually an incredibly easy way to find suppliers, and particularly products that are just emerging. Just imagine if you got into talks with a company who is looking for UK distributors – this could be your ultimate ‘fast-track’ to success. Just imagine if this then led on to you not only selling the product but offering it at wholesale too. Just imagine that if you did so well that you then received sole distribution rights in the UK for that product!

The opportunities are there!

But trade shows are about building contacts too. You may not necessarily leave with a fantastic potential hot product, instead you might leave with a list of contacts as long as your arm that could have taken you days of research to find online.

Make the most of the opportunity!

And of course, you don’t have to restrict yourself to the UK. Trade shows are taking place all over the world at all times. I appreciate it’s probably asking a bit much for you to hop on a plane and visit the Canton Fair in China, which takes place in April/May and is the worlds largest trade show, but there are others a little closer to home. For example, the Organic & Natural Beauty Show in London in February, or the Jewellery & Watch Show in Birmingham during February.

If you are feeling adventurous or fancy going a little further afield, look at trade shows in Europe – particularly Germany, France, Poland and even Italy. Then of course there’s the USA. Cheap flights and accommodation are a plenty and you can always combine your trip with a mini-break!

Finding out when trade fairs take place is also very easy – it’s all online. Good old Google! For information on trade shows around the world visit this website here and for a comprehensive list of UK trade shows go here

If you are just starting out and haven’t decided on a niche yet, trade shows can fire you up and provide much needed inspiration and product samples. If you’re looking to make new contacts or build on your current inventory you’ll get plenty of ideas, so they really are a win-win option.

The Spring Fair is a great choice for first-timers though, so don’t forget your free ticket. It’s waiting for you here 

As always I wish you the best of success!

Think suppliers are inaccessible to small businesses? Think again!



Think suppliers are inaccessible to small businesses? Think again!


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