Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Join
Building Better Business - 2016 Winter Trade Show

Building Better Business

Friday January 8th.

This day-long, in-depth education program is designed with you mind! Introduced at the 2015 shows, this day-long event continues to be popular with needlearts professionals as it provides a detailed look at topics that are affecting you and your business. Your class fee includes both breakfast and the Retail Luncheon. And don’t forget to sign up for one of the LAB sessions on Sunday where you will have the opportunity to apply the skills you’ve learned before you head home.

Admission: $195 Member/$215 Non-Member

Includes Retail Luncheon on Friday.

Building Better Business Labs

For registered BBB attendees ONLY. Optional labs will be Sunday morning (7:45 am - 9:45 am), one for each track. Limit 20 tickets available per Lab. Pre-registration is highly recommended as we anticipate Labs selling out quickly.



Track 1

Track 2

Top of Page


Friday, January 8th
8:00 - 9:00 am
Welcome Breakfast
9:15 - 11:15 am
Session #1
11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Retail Luncheon

Success Stories – Join us as a panel of industry experts leads in a discussion of current business trends – what works, what doesn’t, and to talk about what’s next! You won’t want to miss this opportunity to network with other retailers just like you!

1:45 - 3:45 pm
Session #2
 Sunday, January 10th
 7:45 - 9:45 am
BBB Lab (Optional for an Additional Fee)


Track 1

Track 2

Top of Page

Track 1 ~ Sales & Staffing for Success

Session #1 | Promotions & Clubs & Sales, Oh My: Sales Beyond the Shelf

The days of just selling the merchandise on your shelves are long gone. Nowadays retailers have to explore lots of creative ways to generate income. Rewards cards, frequent buyer clubs, monthly specials, clearance sales, store promotions, flash sales, in-store events, crafting groups, and more . . . with so many options it can make your head swim. In this workshop we will explore which promotions might be right for you and how you can achieve your goals including looking at available tools to use with your POS and website. We will also go over options for your promotional calendar — how to plan groups and events that can bring in new customers and fresh income. It’s time to start thinking beyond the shelf!

Session #2 | The Face Of Your Business: Build the Staff and Customers You Want

Your staff is the face of your business. Do you know how to control, mold, and shape your staff? Do you use your staff to assist in getting the customers you seek? Whether you employ a couple of part-timers or a staff of twenty, taking the time to hire carefully, then communicate your brand, and build a coherent staff is not a step that can be skipped. In this session we will explore the step that many businesses rush — hiring! Discover tools like applications, phone interviews, and personality tests that can be used successfully in the process. Next, we’ll talk about training the new employees – teaching your employees your social media policy, how to view product questions, and how to handle difficult customers. Then we’ll discuss how to periodically evaluate, and improve staff performance by sticking to the most important rule of a successful staff — hire slowly and fire quickly. Finally, we’ll explore the steps to mold the specific customer base you want through staff interaction. By understanding that your staff is a reflection of your business, you can help your staff connect with consumers to get the type of customer you want.

Lab 1 - Build In-Store Promotions that WORK!

Prerequisite: Must have taken the Building Better Business Track 1

Sunday, January 10th - 7:45 AM – 9:45 AM
Room: 25C

Admission: $60 Member/$80 Non-Member | Limit 20 tickets
In this lab we will explore in-store promotions that can be done by you and your store staff. Although book signings, master classes, and trunk shows are great, there are so many moneymaking events your store can host without bringing in an outside guest. We will look at how to turn crafting groups (both long term and one time), customer driven events, and staff events into a profit. We will spend time in mini groups to brainstorm a selection of sample events where each group will be guided through how to create an ROI goal, map out every detail from budget to scheduling, and then how to extend the event and promotion online to include a larger customer base. Here’s your chance to start turning your events into profit!

Learn from the BestPatty Lyons

Patty Lyons is a nationally recognized knitting teacher who is known for teaching the "why" not just the "how" in her pursuit of training the "mindful knitter." She teaches nationally at guilds and knitting shows around the country such as Vogue Knitting LIVE, STITCHES, and the Knit and Crochet Show. Her popular classes can also be found online at Interweave, Annie’s and Craftsy, and her "Improve Your Knitting Class" was named Craftsy’s most popular class of 2013! Patty's designs and knitting skill articles have been published in Interweave Knits, Vogue Knitting, Knitter’s Magazine, Cast On, Knit Style, Knit 1,2,3 and Creative Knitting magazines, where she also writes a knitter’s advice column called "Patty’s Purls of Wisdom." Patty’s designs have also been included in pattern collections from Classic Elite, Kollage, Tahki Stacy Charles, Universal, and Noro.


Track 1

Track 2

Top of Page

Track 2 ~ Systems for Success

Session #1 | Too Much To-Do? Getting Things Done When You Wear Too Many Hats

Marketing, bookkeeping, managing inventory, staff schedules — and yes, waiting on customers! Whether you’re a retailer, wholesaler, or designer, the reality is that small business owners wear many hats. It can be so overwhelming that you just don't know where to start and missing just one item (like making your sales tax payment) can have a disastrous effect on your business. In this session we’ll talk about practical ways to prioritize those tasks and projects so that it's easy to see what needs done next in the real world.

You'll also learn to:

  • Identify the roles we fill in work and family
  • Understand potential hazards of NOT fulfilling these roles
  • Categorize and prioritize tasks
  • Delegate while maintaining control—it’s not an oxymoron!
  • Discover habits and systems that work in your world
  • Establish feedback mechanisms to show that you are getting things accomplished
  • And what to do when the system doesn't work

Session #2 | Reading the Numbers

You may have heard of a balance sheet, an income statement, or an accounts payable report, but what do they mean? How can tight cash flow be a bad sign OR a good sign? How can spreadsheets help you envision "what if" scenarios? Do all these questions make your head hurt and your stomach feel queasy? You aren't alone! Reading your financial reports with understanding can help you focus on profit-making areas, recognize problem areas, and spot trends. We'll look at real-life examples of small business financial statements and, using as little jargon as possible, explore what those numbers can tell us. You don't have to guess how your business is doing—the answer is in the financial statements!

You'll also learn:

  • What the different reports tell you – Income statement, balance sheet, inventory reports, and more!
  • How to define basic financial terms – Fixed assets, owner's capital, fixed and variable expenses, etc.
  • How to set up the books to get the reports you want
  • And more!

Lab 2 - Technology for Productivity

Prerequisite: Must have taken the Building Better Business Track 2
Sunday, January 10th - 7:45 AM – 9:45 AM
Room: 25B
Admission: $60 Member/$80 Non-Member | Limit 20 Tickets

Edie Eckman

Google Calendar, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Evernote are popular for good reason: they are easy to use across a variety of platforms and aid productivity in all kinds of ways. More importantly — they are free! We'll explore ways to use these apps in a small business setting — from scheduling staffing or crea

ting marketing plans on Google Calendar, to saving and sharing images and files on Dropbox and Google Drive, to keeping notes and tasks in Evernote. Tackle that to-do list with a little tech help.

Learn from the Best

Edie has a degree in economics and business administration from Vanderbilt University. She is a former retail loan officer at a large bank, former yarn shop owner and has held retail jobs in many sectors (banking, yarn shop, books, clothing). Edie is currently an author, designer, technical editor, and teacher for knitting and crochet.

Sign In