One of the best places to start is, well, by making an inventory. No matter what it is you’re selling, you need to have an inventory of everything that you use at fairs and festivals. This includes not only the products you’re actually selling but also things like bags, plates, napkins, condiments, boxes, and hand-written receipt books.
One of the best ways to track and keep your inventory is probably to put your current inventory into an electronic spreadsheet format and to update it after every day of every show. Keeping an individual spreadsheet, which can be as simple as a tick mark for every bear or bun sold, for each show can also be helpful, as you can use it to create a picture of what sells best at each show you frequent.
Finally, be sure to check your inventory before each show, preferably two or three weeks ahead of time, which will give you enough time to stock up on the things you’re missing or running low on. Failing to get this step in between each show can really harm your reputation as a vendor. Imagine what people would think if you came to half of your events unprepared.
A great way to be prepared for a show as far as inventory goes is to talk to the people in charge. Figure out exactly how many people tend to come to the show, and overshoot for that amount in case it’s a particularly good day. Later, when you’ve been to the event a couple of times, you can start knowing what to expect for that event. Maybe you bring lots of sweet rolls to the spring festival and lots of apple crisp to the fall fair. Or maybe you’ll sell a lot of purses at your summer show but will sell more backpacks at your fall festival.
Whatever the case may be, knowing what is in your inventory at all times is crucial to doing well as a fair and festival vendor, no matter what you’re selling.