We’ve just signed the contract and, more importantly, paid a BIG CHUNK OF CASH to the NFDA to exhibit at the national convention in Las Vegas, October 7-10.

 I’m excited and nervous.

Excited because this is our chance to sell our great product on a national stage!  Our main competitor, Ron of Quilted First-Call Covers, has gone the last three years.  Common sense says he wouldn’t keep going if the $2000 booth didn’t pay for itself.

But I’m also nervous, because we’re already running near our current capacity.  Even with four part-time employees, I’m going to have to start adding some folks if we hope to meet all the demand.

I’m confident there will be demand, because our product is so much better than the competition, which includes:

Standard, fake fur covers.  These are those ugly puppet-fur covers that are available in red, green and blue and are sometimes embroidered with a funeral home name on the side.  If they’re lined, it’s with brittle or hard vinyl.  If they’re not lined, you’ve got a germ warehouse in your funeral home.

Cordura or plain covers.  These are sold by the cot makers.  Besides being unattractive, lined with vinyl and too heavy, they’re also INSANELY expensive.  Ferno charges almost $400 for a slip-over style plain cover for the 24-Maxx cot.

Cot Quilts.  These are made by Marty at The Last Quilt Company.  They are beautiful, but they’re not fitted or lined.  Funeral directors I’ve talked with say they fall off the cot very easily.  Oh, and they’re a lot more expensive than our superior covers.

Quilted First-Call Covers.  Ron has a great design, but his product suffers from two BIG problems:  they’re sold unlined (a lining costs $50 extra) and most of the patterns are light colors.

Homemade covers.  Some folks make their own.  Unfortunately, they don’t have ready access to the great FluidBlocker lining fabric we use.  They also suffer because we’ve made thousands of these covers and we’ve perfected the design and manufacture.  And by the time you pay a seamstress to make it for you, you’ve got almost as much invested as any of my clients.

So why am I nervous?  Because this is our first time on the national stage.  Because the suits from many of industry chains will be there.  Because we’re being seen by other vendors for the first time.

Because sometimes success is as frightening as failure.  Imagine it all unfolds exactly the way I’ve dreamed it.  While that would be nice, I dream big!  What if it’s all too big for our little company?

Wish us luck out on the tightrope!