Demo-service businesses usually collect their fees from food brokers, distributors or manufacturers. That isn't always easy, according to Darla McCrary, owner of All Store Demos and Marketing Services Inc. in Greenville, Texas.
Employed by a food broker that hired demo services before she started All Store Demos in 1987, McCrary was therefore familiar with the trade. "I ran ads in newspapers and recruited demonstrators already working in stores," says McCrary. "Now I have access to about 2,000 demonstrators, serving Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Kansas and Nebraska. I recruited six business acquaintances as territory managers. I already had contacts and a background in groceries."
McCrary warns newcomers to the demo business: "Cash flow is the number-one problem. Waiting 60 to 90 days for payment can put you under. I'd like to see an industry policy where demo services get 50 percent in advance."
The FMSA offers national and regional conventions, trade shows, seminars, workshops and a quarterly newsletter, The Communicator. To contact FMSA, write to P.O. Box 511, Farmington, CT 06034, call (800) 338-6232, or fax (203) 677-5365.
All Store Demos & Marketing Services Inc., 4216 Wesley St., #100, Greenville, TX 75401, (800) 950-8396.
Demos Unlimited of Mankato, P.O. Box 265, Mankato, MN 56002-0265, (507) 345-4005.
SalesTalk Inc., P.O. Box 50037, Palo Alto, CA 94303.