Microbusiness Chronicles: Slumming It In The Off Season

Today I spent virtually my whole day in an elementary school gymnasium at a craft sale that was a fundraiser for the PTA or some shit like that. The sale went from 10-3pm, I got there around 845 to setup and left around 3:30.   The event cost $50 for a table.

How much did I make?    $46.   I couldn’t get that final sale to push me over the bar to at least recoup the table fees.    So basically after accounting the $46, I’m out $4 and then probably about $25-30 in product and most important, about seven hours of my time.

Although there was about as much traffic as you’d expect at something like this (on the low side), no one was really interested in our tea.  This was easily the worst show we’ve done so far.    I think the next closest might have been close to $100 and an honorable mention to one where we paid $100 to do $200 in sales.  I think the people next to us selling string art sold nothing.  I don’t think my story today was really unique, as it looked like most vendors spent most of the time on their phones.

I don’t know what to make of it. On one hand, it’s easy to look at these kinds of events and say my time is better spent doing absolutely nothing at home due to the real chance of not making enough money to justify the time/resources spent.  On the other, just like the lottery you can’t win if you don’t play.   You never know who will come across you, maybe someone might buy a few bags of tea and then become a regular customer who buys a few more over the course of the year and tells one of their friends to buy a few.  You never know.

At any rate, I guess it’s not money that I was really banking on, like if we don’t make anything at this show we starve the rest of the week or anything like that.  Losing from time to time is a part of doing business and if you take the rewards, you have to take the risks too.  I guess today was just one of those days…

We’re doing another show at a better location with the same people next month.  Hopefully that goes a little bit better.

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