In this first real year of business, there have been a lot of unexpected surprises and joys. Until your products are in stores, when people ask you what you do for a living, it is a little awkward. When asked what I did for a living, I would say I started a jigsaw puzzle company. The next question was usually, where can I buy your puzzles? Before the puzzles were in stores, this was hard to answer. And very unsatisfying to tell people they were not in stores. The follow up question was usually, your wife works, right?
But now, our products are in stores across the country. And one of the neatest things I do is watch POS data. POS stands for Point of Sale. Depending on the retailer, either everyday or every week, they report how many puzzles we have sold in their stores. Since getting our products on to shelves this fall, I have been obsessed with POS data. It is the ultimate scoreboard. I celebrate the days that show big jumps in our sales. And scour the weather reports to see why the numbers did not jump other days (too warm outside, too stormy, sold out?). But it is all great fun. And helps us figure out where to take our lines next.
I sometimes wonder if I am the only person who obesses about POS data for their product. I know it is important for manufacturers to see how their products are selling. But, LPF is so small, the data feels more intimate. We all remember who picked certain images or found a particular artist. We remember the passionate discussions to put a particular image in a certain piece count. The POS data acts as the ultimate judge that the persons passion was right. And so far, the data seems to show we all did a good job of picking images and formats.
I also wonder if I am the only person who goes into stores and poses for pictures with his products behind him. I doubt the CEO of Goodyear tires does that. Although he might want to. Its a great conversation starter. More on that another day.