We live in a digital age; everything is online and available at the touch of the button, but that does not mean that your start-up needs to be exclusively online. A traditional market stall can still be a viable addition to your business. Before you embark on becoming a market trader, you must realise that this is a challenging role. It requires long hours, full attention and a deep resource of resilience.
You need to question your motives for being attracted to becoming a market trader. Is it to escape the 9-5? Trading days are long and come with their own stresses. Is it to shift your products that haven’t sold well online? Why haven’t they sold? You need to be able to put a positive spin on the products that you are selling to make them appeal to the customers. If you are thinking about becoming a market trader, here are three tips to guide you.
1. Which market should you go to?
Picking the right market to sell your products at is a big decision that you need to make. You need to visit several markets to get a feel for them; who are the patrons, what other stalls are there, and is there anyone else selling the same products as you? Research is essential. Once you have decided on the market where you intend to sell, be sure to visit to note how the traffic moves around the market. You want to have your pitch in an area of high foot traffic and visibility.
You will need to be able to transport your stock between markets and your storage facility. Vans can be a large outlay for a start-up, but a preferred alternative is to customise a trailer for your needs. Source a trailer that can fit into your storage without the need to unload the stock. The benefit to having a trailer rather than a van is that you don’t need to buy a new vehicle, you only need to attach your current reg number on to the trailer light boards.
3. How are your communication skills?
One of the great benefits of being a market trader is the human interaction. You are not selling anonymously through a screen, you are dealing with real people and from all walks of life. If you are not particularly social, you may struggle because how you interact with customers and visitors to the market will determine the stall’s success. Not only do you need to get the best deals from suppliers, but you will also have to be able to negotiate with customers in a friendly and affable manner.
Whereas e-commerce stores’ sales can be increased with SEO and improved images and product descriptions, a traditional market stall needs you to do the pushing, and it is your personality that will influence your business’s growth. Choose the market carefully; it needs to be appropriate to the products that you are selling. Think about the logistics of transporting your wares between sites and your storage as you need to manage your time efficiently. A market stall is a social way to sell products, and with grit and determination, you can make it a real success.