With Christmas fast approaching, I’m sure many of you will be busy doing markets to make the most out of the peak season.
In fact, I remember my very first market was a Christmas one!
Markets are a great way to get your products out there.
Particularly with skincare, as people love to smell and try out products before they buy them.
Here are my 10 tips for a successful market
- Do “market research” – I always recommend trying to visit the markets you’re thinking of attending before having a stall there. Make sure it has good foot traffic and see whether the demographics of the market attendees align with your target market. It might be a bit late to do this now, but you can keep it in mind for future markets.
- Start small – if you haven’t done any markets before, don’t feel like you need to go all out with a huge display. Often these days markets, especially indoor ones, will have a 1.5mx1m stall option. This fits one trestle table, and you’d be surprised how many products you can fit on there!
- Practise your stall setup – look at Pinterest for market stall inspiration that suits your branding style. Once you’ve bought all the essentials for your setup, have a practice run in your living room (or wherever there’s enough space). Remember to take a photo that you can refer to on the day to save time setting up.
- Get insurance – market organisers will always want you to have a $10mil or $20mil public liability policy, and sometimes you need to have this when you apply in order to be accepted. Some insurers like AAMI offer short-term policies so you don’t have to buy a whole year. But it may be more economical to purchase a full 12 month policy if you plan to do a few markets.
- Create a checklist – to make sure you don’t forget anything important on market day, create a checklist that you can tick off each time you pack up for the market. Include everything from the big items like your table to the small items like a notebook and pen. And spares of anything you might need, just in case.
- Nail your elevator pitch – use a 10-20 second elevator pitch to explain to potential customers that approach your stall what makes your products so special.
- Bring a helper – if you have a willing family member or friend who loves your products, bring them along to help out if you’re busy or need to take a toilet break or get lunch. If you don’t have a helper, don’t worry as other stallholders will be able to mind your stall when needed.
- Offer different payment options – give people the option to pay by cash or credit card. You can buy easy-to-use card payment readers like Square that are very economical and popular with marketeers. With cash, make sure you have a sufficient float so you can give customers change if needed, and keep the cash in a secure place.
- Collect email addresses – offer an incentive such as a giveaway in exchange for collecting email addresses to help you grow your mailing list.
- Be friendly and have fun – if you look like you’re enjoying yourself, customers will be more likely to approach you. Be engaging with your customers and don’t look down at your phone around them.
Remember that it’s not all about sales on the day. Markets also give you good brand exposure, including to potential wholesalers, that can lead to future sales. You’ll also be likely to make new friendships with your lovely fellow marketeers – people who truly understand what it’s like to have your own small business.
In my signature program Label Launchpad, there’s a whole section dedicated to markets, including more information about what to look for when choosing markets, what you need for your stall set up and how to make your stall appealing on the day. Course members also receive a spreadsheet that helps you keep track of stock, ‘balance the till’ at the end of the day and work out profit, plus a handy checklist to make sure you remember everything on market day.
Good luck at your first market!