'Markets allow you to test your product and building a following'
Markets offer small businesses and start-ups a great opportunity to promote and sell their products. The costs are low which means less risk, and you have the added benefit of talking directly with your customers, taking on board their feedback and building a client base.
Knowing which markets you are suited to best can be difficult and it is therefore worthwhile trialling a few different markets in the beginning.You will need to contact each individual market that you are interested in trading at directly and in some cases put your name down on a waiting list. Most market operators will also require detailed information and images of your products before being accepted.
Local Market Guide is an online directory to Sydney's Markets. Not only is it a resourse for shoppers but a great community of local stallholders. You can find local market contact details as well as coming events, market news and a Noticeboard which is regularly updated with stallholder opportunities.
Market Stall Insurances and Permits
Public Liability Insurance is essential and a requirement for trade at all markets. Some insurance companies will offer short term policies.
If you are selling food you will need to notify NSW Food Authority and ensure compliance with the Food Safety Code. Depending on the Local Government area you are trading in, you may also need to apply for a permit. Check with your Local Council for requirements.
What do you need to think about when starting a Market Stall?
*The most important part – money!! Prepare a kitty with plenty of change and talk to the bank about hiring an eftpos machine (you don't want to miss out on a sale). Many banks will do this on a monthly basis.
*Set yourself a budget and sales target to help you know what you need to achieve and to feel satisfied when you have had a good day.
*Get your prices right - do a comparative analysis with similar products and be prepared to bargain a little.
*Is your product safe and made according to industry standards?
*You need to consider sun protection not only for yourself but also for your customers. The blaring sun will only send them off to find some shade. Direct sunlight will also fade (or melt!) your product.
*Equipment including tables, chairs, tablecloths, power facilities - check with your market operator as to their requirements and restrictions.
Marketing your Market Stall
*How are you going to display your product? Display is very important, not only aesthetically but also how and where you place items on the table. Be creative and original.
*Offer promotions for multiple sales and return customers.
*Brand your product and business with a sign, you want to stand out and let people know who you are and where to find you.
*Customer service - yes it seems obvious but it is essential to engage with your buyers and learn to know what they are looking for.
*Make some business cards or a flyer, if you don't sell your product at the markets hopefully you will get the sale in the future.
*Track your sales and where your customers come from