Bear in mind that you will need some start-up funds before you begin, so somehow you have to raise those. If you are currently registered as unemployed you could ask your local Job Centre about the New Enterprise Allowance as the rules have recently changed, meaning that you can access this fund as soon as you start signing on. You will work with a local business partnership who will find you a mentor and offer you advice. You then get paid a small weekly allowance over 13 weeks and a smaller allowance over the following 13 weeks which act as a buffer. You can also access a business loan fund which may come in useful!
Starting a business on a market stall is a great way to get your venture up and going with very low overheads. Here are some tips to help get you started.
Define your market Are you going to opt for cheap and cheerful? Will you sell cheap items at a price that everyone can afford, and that you will sell a lot of, or will you opt for more expensive items that you sell fewer of but at a greater profit? Have a good look at the latest offers we have on our current new stock for some fresh ideas.Do your research Take a look at the council websites from your area. They are likely to have a lot of information about the location, times and days of local markets. Most towns have a Saturday market, and many run another market one day during the week. This will vary so you could have your stall in one town on a Wednesday and another on a Thursday and another on a Saturday.
Market research Visit the markets you are considering selling at and see what products they already have. What’s missing? Eavesdrop. See what people are asking for. Watch the traders to see what sort of customer service they are offering. Are they friendly? Is the market busy? Are there spare pitches? Will you fit in?
Choose your products Armed with your research, choose and purchase your stock. Ideally it will be something that you are interested in and something that you know a lot about. This way you will be able to impress with your expertise and offer support and guidance to your customers, which is something they will appreciate. Practice your selling technique!Display Try to make your market stall look appealing and colourful. It needs to stand out from what everyone else has. Market stalls abroad look amazing – full of colour and so they attract people like a magnet! Price everything properly and make sure that the price is clearly displayed. Some people would rather walk away than ask a price.
Cost What would you pay for an item? The RRP is one thing but ask your friends and family at what price they would snatch your hand off for an item. Consider what the difference is between their feedback and your RRP.
Profit Work out your profit by keeping a running total of what you have sold. Deduct the price you have paid for your stock, and then factor in any expenses such as price of the pitch, fuel, food and drink and any losses from theft or damage. Once you have worked out your profit then you need to invest some back into the business every week. Keep your stock current and changing. Don’t forget you will have to complete a self-assessment return for HMRC.Success How much you make will depend on a number of factors such as how successful and busy the market is, and whether the Council runs any other regular events to attract people to the markets or general vicinity. You also have the vagaries of the British weather to consider and seasonal variations in spending habits.
If you’re a market trader why not pass on your tips to us and let us know how you cope with the weather? We’ll compile the best in another blog post!