In business, knowledge is key. The more you know, the more you can expand, increase your sales and push your business in the best direction to protect its future. We learn more about the industry each day and build up a great sense of understanding as our knowledge banks become full.
Whether it’s knowledge of brands, how products work, tips and techniques for getting the best out of your sex toys or sales predictions of what’s hot and what’s not, I honestly think I know everything about everything within our industry. But almost every day, I’m learning something new, shattering this vein theory of mine. I’m so pleased I’m always learning, because if you master a sector of the market, where do you go from there? But I digress.
Anyway, take this hypothetical scenario: You’re new to the adult pleasure products market and you’ve always wanted to open up your own store. It’s been a life-long passion of yours and it’s finally happening! You set up your website and design your branding and you’re thrilled and raring to go! But you’re suddenly met with the vast wall of pleasure products that forms the basis of the industry. You’re bombarded with bondage gear. Drowning in dildos. Showered in sex toys. Suddenly the task becomes overwhelming! Should it really be this hard?
In our industry, we’re blessed with a market that isn’t dominated by just one or two brands. We have a plethora of products that we can choose from, ranging from the sexy and sensual to full-on fetish. For those just starting out, it can be incredibly daunting and a little intimidating in some cases. With very little knowledge of these products or the industry as a whole, those new to the industry can feel a little naive. So, where is the best place to build their knowledge and help to ease them in?
Here are some great places to learn more about the adult industry (for both new and experienced industry folk!)
Ok, if you’re not on Facebook (why not?), get on Facebook! You’ll probably not only need a social media presence for your new company, but you’ll need to network with others in the industry who can help and support new businesses. There are a number of private groups whose sole purpose is to help each other, generate business and advertise, and demonstrate new products and brands. It’s a really useful resource to stay up-to-date with the latest news in the industry and you can gain a great deal of useful knowledge and contacts from these groups.
Adult Industry Media
There are adult industry magazines and media companies (e.g. XBIZ) who share news, stories and product information and press releases. Being subscribed to at least one of these media companies is pretty essential to keep you on top of things in the adult industry and having that magazine pop through the letterbox every now and again can inspire you, and help make those important decisions (like “what brands should I buy?”) easier. Check your locale’s main source and get yourself signed up.
The Human Touch
It’s important to make connections with other people. Whether you know someone within the industry already or you’ve just added them to Facebook, chat with them and find out about what they do. Most people are happy to help and share their knowledge with those lacking in it and you may even hear some news from a sales rep or brand before it’s officially announced …
Emails and phone calls are a great way of communication, so make sure you use them!
Who doesn’t love a good industry party? (And in our industry, things can get pretty wild!) As above, show yourself around and network with others face-to-face. Explain your business and what your future plans are. Talk with brand ambassadors, suck up all the knowledge you can and even make business deals, all while sipping a cocktail in your best formalware. And then jump on the mechanical bull, try your hand at dildo darts and wake up not remembering any of it. Surreal!
Google Is Your Friend
Please, please, please use the internet! I don’t feel I should have to say this these days, but I fear that some still don’t do their own research and then base things like buying decisions on what a sales rep said. Yes, it may be their bestseller, but it’s their bestseller! It doesn’t mean it will be your bestseller! Does it fit your customer base? Do you even like it? If not, it’s probably best to avoid. If you’re not sure, search for it online. Read reviews, experiences and blogs on the product. Research the demand for the product, the reputation of the brand and whether customers even like it.
Use the internet as an extension of your own mind. All the information is already in there, you just need to find it.
Experience and knowledge will grow in time. As I said earlier, I’m still learning almost every day, but the knowledge I’ve gained over the last decade has helped shape the future of my business and the direction I am moving in. You need to be passionate about the product you are selling, and with this passion comes a great thirst for knowledge. Soak it all up, no matter where you get the information from. Whether you store it in your mind, digitally or even on paper, you never know when it may become useful.