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Build your own business from scratch with a market stall

Build your own business from scratch with a market stall

If you’re considering going into business for yourself, you may not know where to start. A great many of our Wholesale Clearance UK customers own their own market stall and this is the backbone of their larger business concerns. Some combine the market stall with running an online business as well so that’s something else you could consider. Start small and build up.

Given that many markets are seriously suffering a decline these days it would be great to bring them back. So if you are considering setting up a business as a market stall trader, what sort of tips can we offer you?

1. Business versus hobby

What do you want to run a market stall for? Is it for a business or is it just to get you out of the house once or twice a week and to earn yourself some pin money? This is the first thing you need to consider. It’s cold out there all day and you’re on your feet, so can you handle it? You will need to evenly distribute your product profits because you may have quieter times (after Christmas for example) when you make less money.

2. Consider your outgoings

You need to factor in your outgoing expenses before you can even think about turning up on the day for your first day of business. The expenses associated with running a market stall will affect your prices. People usually expect to pay very low prices on market stalls these days so you can’t push your prices up too high.

Take into consideration the cost of the items you are selling, your petrol and parking, the cost of your pitch, the cost of your gazebo if you have to supply your own, your time, packaging, and any other miscellaneous expenses.

Establish a brand: use marketing

Establish a brand: use marketing

3. Do your research

Can you really sell what you hope to sell on a market? Can you sell it at the price that people want to pay? Can you sell it at the quantity that you need to in order to make sufficient profit? Is anybody else in competition with you? Are you actually any good at selling? Can you stand and chat to people and the other market traders or are you anti-social? How will you market your products? Will customers come back to you for repeat purchases? Should you stay local or would you benefit from trying to get a pitch at a larger market further afield or in another town?

Do you own a large enough vehicle to transport items? How much will your market stall cost you?

4. Paperwork

Remember that you will need documentation, including:

• Product & Liability insurance:
• Combined Market Insurance Traders
• General insurance for lost and stolen goods.
• Depending on your type of business you may need hygiene and food certification

5. Check out the experts

You can get expert advice from www.ncass.org.uk. Visit lots of markets and get a feel for what’s happening. Speak to your local council.

6. Check out the footfall.

Some markets are dying on their feet. What sort of advertising is there? Are there any initiatives to get the market up and running again?

7. The repeat purchase

In an ideal world you want to have a stall that people talk about and that people seek out every week when they come into town. You therefore need to sell a product that people want and need. Keep them coming back. Provide incentives – rewards and loyalty bonuses.

Have a range of price points

Have a range of price points

8. Have a range of price points

You should have three price points. The first one is your ‘bread and butter’ items. This is a low price that draws people in. You will probably have a high turnover on these products but generate less profit margin.

In your mid-range price point you will have items that are special yet affordable and have an even margin. This will mean more profit for you and hopefully make up the bulk of what you sell.

Finally you will have your top end or products with the ‘wow’ factor. These are things that many people want but not everyone can afford. They will generate fewer sales at a higher profit, but have the advantage of drawing people in.

9. Become part of the community

There is a market culture. This can be difficult to break into at first so you may need to keep plugging away at it. Let’s face it, people come and go and stalls do too. The thing is that when you do manage to ingratiate yourself you will benefit from the community that you are a part of. You’ll be able to get advice and tips from your neighbours. Get to know your fellow stall holders.

10. Utilise social media

It may just be a market stall but you can still get on Facebook and Twitter and build your brand that way. Offer special promotions through social media and see whether that helps people to flock in. Do ‘2 for the price of 1’ promotions or goodie bags. Find ways to seem attractive to your customers, price wise.

Make your stand look attractive

Make your stand look attractive

11. Look after your stand

Your market stall is going to say a lot about you. It should be eye-catching, have a sign with your business name on it, and be neat and tidy. It is your shop front so treat it the same way. Remember people buy with their eyes.

You really want your market stall to look inviting and draw people to it. Balance your display so that some of it is around eye level, some below and some above. If you have a table balance your products with a combination of height displays. You should be able to see things even when you are standing 6 ft. away.

Don’t over accessorise or make it too cluttered. Items should be clearly visible. Keep just enough product out. Store the rest if you can.

Change the display week on week. People ignore things that they see over and over again.

12. Be customer friendly

Offer a number of payment options if you can. If you can’t it doesn’t matter. People expect to pay cash at a market stall but remember increasingly people carry less cash with them and you might benefit from a handheld card machine.

Be approachable and always have the best attitude. Greet your customers with a smile and a breezy hello. Aim to make your customers’ lives easier and happier. They’ll remember you for it. If you don’t – they’ll remember that too. Be respectful, courteous and grateful and remember that customers will spread the word.

Be beautiful!

Be beautiful!

13. Be beautiful

Many market stalls look the same today as they did 30 or 40 years ago. But once upon a time, market stalls were attractive. Bring back the beauty. Make an effort to make your stall look attractive so that people can’t pass it by. They need to look. Once you have entranced them you may find it easier to sell to them. They certainly won’t forget you.
Use backdrops to build your brand. Use lines to hang things from. Make your stall look NOW not 1980s.

Try and draw people into the stall so that they will look around. You can put popular items at the entrance and leave the scarier more expenses items at the back of the tent/gazebo/stall.

Arrange items at various heights

Arrange items at various heights

14. Don’t be part of the backdrop.

Use unusual props and items to make your goodies stand out. Think

• vintage coat racks
• fruit crates
• wheelbarrows
• birdbaths

So what do you think? How can we revitalise our market places? What tips would you give to those just starting up? Is it a business you recommend? Let me know in the comments section below or come and chat to us at Facebook here.

7 Responses to “14 Tips for Setting up a Market Stall Business”

Mike HowardMay 20th, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Hi Karl-Fabbo advice and very succinctly put. I have a retail background and I am looking at opportunities for a first(and possibly last time!) stab at the market trader malarkey. I have my own L&D consultancy which I call my sanity business. The market stall will be for vanity and a bit of a personal challenge as well, particularly as it may well be menswear clobber that I will be selling.
But really good advice which I will certainly follow-I can tick some of the boxes already so I am on a roll!!
Mike

tomFebruary 17th, 2018 at 11:09 am

some good , sound advice.im looking at selling from a stall , i have failed catastrophically in a previous venture ,not a stall , and dont want to fail again .there are some sensible tips here and i like straight forward advice , im still thinking about taking the next step. one thing does interest me , i work in central london and its a shame so many markets are dying out ,i read a hell of a lot about retail and its odd that with so many experts apparently , nobody seems to have an answer on how to stop the decline of our street markets.we dont all want our high streets filled with shiny , branded over priced designer crap.not even councils with all their own ” local experts ” seem to have a clue as to how to stop their own street markets from dying out .

JohnOctober 10th, 2018 at 10:20 am

I’d like some advice I’d like to sell my products into offices any advice or any contacts will be appreciated

Whitney DebitoorOctober 10th, 2018 at 1:17 pm

Some great tips for a successful market stall experience. It can be easy to overlook some basics with the excitement of being able to connect with your customers and with other business owners. While you mention the importance of determining the possible expenses involved, it’s also important to be able to keep track of the incoming payments as well. I recently wrote a short article about managing income and expenses for market stalls that could be interesting for readers: https://debitoor.com/blog/income-and-expenses-running-a-market-stall
I work for accounting and invoicing software called Debitoor, and have received questions on this topic from some of our users :).

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