These days there’s a market for everything. From Vintage wear to Vegan goods, markets are a fantastic opportunity for both new and established businesses to reach new audiences. With the increasing popularity of markets, how do you make sure your stall stands out and that you bring in as much moola as possible?
Start by finding the right fit
If you’re not at the right market for your product then no matter how much effort you put in – you simply won’t get the return you deserve.
“When people apply to exhibit at our market and they’re not the right fit we let them know upfront that it will be a waste of their time.”
If you’re not sure if a market will be a good fit for you, ask the organiser up front, chat to the people who are regular market-goers or ask your existing customer base where they would like to see your products. And remember the golden rule – Google is your friend.
What to do before your market
Admittedly you’re probably going to be swamped with work getting your product finished, but try to find time to fit in these things:
1. Start marketing yourself a few days beforehand
Most markets have a Facebook event. Sharing images of your products on the event page is a quick and free way to let people already interested in the market know about you. We know for first timers it can feel really awkward to “brag” about what you do. But remember, your work is awesome and if you don’t tell people about it no one will.
2. Plan your stock levels carefully
The only thing worse than knowing you could have sold more if you had the stock, is having to throw out food you didn’t sell. To plan your stock levels, start by finding out how many people are expected at the event from the organiser or by checking the Facebook event page. Then check the weather and think about how that may impact people’s purchasing decisions.
3. Sort out your point of sale and payments
Let’s not pretend we’re not here to make money. Some people like paying by cash so make sure you have change and a safe place to keep your money. Most customers will want card payments so make sure your Yoco card reader is all charged up and ready to go. Also be sure to add your items to your Yoco App (or other point of sale) for fast, easy check out and tracking.
“People don’t carry cash anymore, get Snapscan or Yoco, just do whatever it takes to make the sale.”
4. Finalise the nitty gritty things
Think things through from set-up to take down. Then pretend to be your mother and ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you have a way to cover up if it rains?
- Does your foodtruck need power?
- Do you have a table and chairs?
- How about clear signage?
- Are you sure you have something to cover up if it rains?
Check with the organiser before hand to find out what is or isn’t available. Also make sure you know exactly how much space you have and if there’s parking.
Tips and tricks to make more moola.
Once you’ve found the right market and done your homework start to focus on how to make the most impact on the day.
1. Get creative with your display
Think about how best to display your merch. When things lie flat on a table customers typically walk past without noticing much. Candy from the Upmarket also suggests sharing a stand with a friend if you don’t have enough products to make your space pop. The best site for getting creative ideas, tips and hacks is definitely Pinterest (the cheese grater is…grate).
2. Consumable freebies
Even if you’re selling food offering free snacks to help draw people to your stand is always a good bet. It draws people in and often makes them feel obliged to at least leave with a flyer or business card. Sweets don’t have to be expensive either. Just head to your nearest Makro.
3. Special offers
Many people worry about specials because they aren’t sure their profit margins can handle it. Be creative with your specials and you can increase your sales without hurting your margins too much. For example give people discounts when they buy 2 or more items from the same category.
4. The party doesn’t end after the market
Have flyers and business cards on hand to give out, take custom orders, or add people to your mailing list. Also make sure you let people know which other markets they can find you at.
“There was a lady who asked her customers what colour they would like one of her hats in. She had so many custom orders after the market she could barely keep up”
Have flyers and business cards on hand to give out. Let people know which other markets they can find you at.
5. Be a people’s person
“Our most successful traders are the ones who never sit down on their chairs. They are so interactive and they get involved with their customers. It’s just going that extra mile.”
“The people who do the best at market are the ones who engage with their customers. You can’t just sit on a chair all day and expect to sell.”
It can be a little scary putting yourself out there. If you’re new to it – watch what other traders do, smile at people,e, make a joke, give a compliment here and there and most importantly – get off your phone. Pokemon are not going to buy anything from you.