TOP TIPS FOR NEW STALLHOLDERS
As organisers of the Kapiti Indoor Market we have attended our fair share of markets with our own small businesses. We all remember the first one we attended and how intimidating it was. We have put together some of our top tips that we have learnt along the way about running a successful market stall and getting the most out of your experience. This is a great tool for new stallholders, and others with more experience that might need a refresher on some tips.
Markets are fun exciting welcoming environments. It’s an opportunity for the public to meet the people behind the products and to learn about new products they have not seen before.
Remember first impressions last!
Make sure you are approachable, have a great attitude and be willing to hold friendly conversation with every customer you come across. Even if you are not the best at sales always, always, always GET UP and greet every customer. Don’t sit there with your head in a book. This is your business, your product. You are the face behind it and don’t forget to SMILE!
Trust us the above goes a long way to making your customers feel comfortable enough to start a conversation with you and to as ask more about your products!
2. YOU’RE SET UP
Your stall display is key, it should be a welcoming and inviting space for people to be drawn to!
There’s no need to splash out on expensive displays when you’re just starting out. There are simpler, more cost effective ways to attract potential customers into your stall, think outside the box when it comes to your display and use items you have around the house.
Make your stand as eye catching and accessible as possible, it needs to be easy for your customers to see all your products at one glance. One big thing to remember is that a memorable market display will involve different heights and levels. Different looking stalls really stand out from the masses. You want to be able to see everything you have on offer from a position standing away from your stall not just from looking straight down at the table.
Less is more! Remember customers do not like to put in too much effort, over cluttered stalls that customers have to dig around in are often off putting and result in less sales, remember you can always restock your table throughout the day as items sell.
Another tip is if you can get tablecloths that cover the table to the ground, it looks tidier, you can hide all your boxes and extra stock underneath it rather than looking like a garage sale out the back of your stand!
Once you have everything you need practice your set up and have a trial run at home. This will help you get a feel for anything you may have missed.
Signage for your business is very important it will help take your stall to the next level. It lets the customers know who you are from a distance.
The more professional you look, the more trustworthy you will appear. There are many NZ based businesses as well as Vistaprint who have a great range of products to help you achieve the look you are going for.
EVERYTHING NEEDS A PRICE, the more information you can provide to your customer the better.
A lot of people feel uncomfortable when they have to ask the price of an item so make sure that everything at your stall is clearly priced. This will also help if you have to leave your stall quickly (with another stall holder watching it for you of course).
5. BRAND RECOGNITION
Brand recognition is something that is often forgotten. Make sure your business name is visible throughout your stall. You can have signage or your name on your work, or labels that are visible and recognisable.
Have a mailing list? Use an IPAD or tablet to collect email addresses for your database on the day to email at a later date. Sign up to Mailchimp and use the free app. It doesn’t require Wi-Fi so it is a win/win on market day!
Give your potential customers something to take away with them to remember you by, have postcards, business cards or promo material which include your contact details, social media handles and website information on them. Hand these out to everyone that will take one so potential customers can look you up when they get home.
Sometimes the markets can be overwhelming and customers like to purchase later so make it easy for them to find you again.
6. TAKING PAYMENTS
This is a big one! Customers at markets will pay via cash, EFTPOS or credit card, if at all possible you need to have options to take payments via at least two methods.
For cash payments have a float. In general if you can we have found that a float of $200 works well for us. $100 in $5 notes, $50 in $10 notes, $20 of $2 coins and $30 of $1 coins. This will be dependent on your prices of course so you may need to adjust this slightly.
Eftpos/Credit card: The Kapiti Indoor Market does not have any onsite EFTPOS facilities, there are however ATMs across the road in Waikanae township.
There are many options available so that you can have mobile payment solutions on your stall. Think about hiring a mobile Eftpos terminal, or if you don’t want to sign up for one, think about taking orders or offering Paypal payments or using platforms such as stripe on your smart phone.
View our blog “Options for EFTPOS/Credit card facilities” for more information.
If you have options of payments make sure you let your customers know, pop a little sign on your stall so it makes it easier for them to purchase through you.
More often than not your sales will increase substantially if you have the ability to take Eftpos or credit cards.
BUMBAG! Oh yeah! Love them or hate them a bum-bag is a great options for keeping your money safe and close by when you need it. If you can bare to wear one we think they are great as you can also keep your business cards, keys and phone all handy. If you just can't do it invest in another option like a lockable cash box, apron, handbag or other solution so everything is close at hand.
7. BE FRIENDLY TO FELLOW STALLHOLDERS
Attending a market is not only about making sales but about growing your business network which includes fellow stallholders.
Make sure you introduce yourself to your neighbors it is great way to meet new people and promote your business. Your neighbors can be a great help in minding your stall if you are on your own and require a toilet stop or food which can be far away.
8. HAVE A CHECKLIST OF THINGS TO REMEMBER ON THE DAY:
This is the checklist we use at every market you can of course add additional items so you have everything you need!
· Water - a large bottle of water, its thirsty work talking all day!
· Comfy chair
· Comfy Shoes
· Mini first aid kit – Panadol, band aids (we have lost count of the number of times we have cut ourselves during set up!)
· Stationery & set up kit including: Pen, notepad, Business Cards, Calculator, scissors, blue tack, stapler, Bulldog clips, Double sided Sellotape, pins,
· Lollies! To keep your energy levels up
· Appropriate clothes– the hall can get cold in winter & hot in summer so layers are a must
· Handheld trolley - if you have a lot of product to move this will be a back saver during pack in & out
Most importantly - Have fun!
Make the most of your time to talk to your customers and meet other small NZ business owners - Markets have a great sense of community between other stall holders and the customers are always in a fantastic mood as they are there to shop.
We hope you have a great time, we wish you luck and would love you to let us know of any other tips we have missed that would be useful to those new to the market community!!