First-Time Market Checklist

First-Time Market Checklist

First-Time Market Checklist!

Our handy checklist for your first time selling at a local market…

So, you’ve decided to make the leap and trade at your first market! Whether you are a completely new business or you were already operating online, or through another channel, your first market can be exciting… and daunting! There can be a lot of apprehension regarding what to expect, what to prepare and perhaps even worries about what could go wrong - having worries or nerves is completely normal!
We’ve put together our top tips to help put your nerves at ease and to, hopefully, feel more prepared for trading at your first market!
From ensuring you’ve got all the essentials to how to make the most of your day on the market, here is our checklist for preparing for and making the most of your first-time selling at a market!

1) Stall display

When it comes to displaying your stall, you may not know straight away what will be best for your products. However, there are many ways to research this and decide on what you 
are going to be used for your first market. Attending markets in person, or finding images of similar products stalls on sites such Pinterest or Google can help to give you inspiration as to what you could bring along to put together your stall display.
A definite starting point for most stalls is a table cloth/sheet and even a banner for the front of your stall. These could be themed around your brand colours, helping you stall to look the part and standout. 
It’s also a great idea to practise your stall display prior to the market. This will mean you are prepared to set up within the allotted time given by the organisers, and your stall is looking its best by the time customers begin to visit. You may also notice any problems or improvements that could be made, which is much better to happen beforehand so you can address them before your market.

2) Business marketing material

Artisan markets are a great way to reach new customers and get the word out about your business. It’s a great idea to capitalise on this by ensuring you have a way to let customers find you outside of the market. This could be through ensuring you have your social media accounts visible on your stall, so customers can follow and engage with your business in the future. Or a leaflet or handout with information as to how to place an order from your business outside of markets, whether this be through a website or by phone. 

3) Sort your stock

It can be super exciting getting to showcase your handcrafted products at a market. But there can be an element of consideration when deciding what is best to take. It’s a good idea to consider what products are going to be most likely enjoyed by a wide variety of people, and also their affordability. Having items of varying price points could make it more likely for customers to impulse purchase, as opposed to the consideration with higher priced goods.
Furthermore, it’s always a good idea to have additional stock on hand so that throughout the day you can keep your stall looking appealing and attractive to bypassing customers. 

4) Something interactive (A mirror, sampling etc.)

Giving customers and market visitors a way to engage with your stall can be a great way to draw them in to take a closer look at your products. Whether you simply offer samples of your products, or if you have clothing or accessories, a mirror can be a great way to encourage customers to try on your products.
Having something interactive on your stall is definitely a great idea to improve engagement with passing customers and increase your chances of them making a purchase.

5) A card reader

Ever since the pandemic, we have seen a large shift from the amount of people using cash to make purchases - even at markets. So a card reader is a definite must for trading at any market. There are plenty of low cost card readers on offer these days that are easy to set up and use. Some of the most popular you may see being used are SumUp, iZettle, Square and Paypal, so definitely check out these options when looking for a card reader for your stall. Carrying a card reader can ensure you don’t miss a sale, or multiple for that matter, as it’s increasingly common for people and market goers to assume that card readers will be available, and for that reason don’t bring along cash. So, ensuring you have a card reader means your stall becomes accessible to even more market visitors. 

6) Cash and spare change

Despite our previous point, it is still a good idea to bring along a cash float to a market. Whilst more and more people are using cash less, you will still find many that still do. So it’s important you are prepared to take and have enough on hand to give change. You may decide to keep this in a bumbag or opt for a cash box. However you decide to store, just ensure that it is somewhere safe and securable - there’d be nothing worse than watching your hard-earned profits floating across the market from a stray gust of wind. 

7) Share on social media

If your business is active across social media, this is a perfect way to let customers know where you are going to be! Whilst organisers will typically promote the event themselves, the more the word of the market and what visitors can expect to find - the better! Interacting and sharing posts from the market organisers can be a great way to do this alongside promoting your own attendance at the market. The more information people know about the event, the more likely they will want to come.
You could also get a bit creative with your promoting, maybe there is a particular event or holiday that you have made something exclusively for? Such as a change of season, or a national holiday. Or maybe the market is located at a really great site? These are great ways to engage followers and encourage them to come seek you out at your next market. 

8) A market toolkit

Having a market toolkit, filled with anything you think may be useful, is definitely a must. Anything from scissors, blue tack, sellotape, cable ties, clamps - you never know if you may need to secure your stall and products in the event of blowing winds. 

9) A camera!  

Whether on a smartphone or a physical camera, make sure to get plenty of photos once your stall is set up ready for the day. And promote this however you can, letting people know about where you are and what you’re offering. You could tag in the market organisers which helps your business be seen by as many people as possible!
You can also use your images to promote future market events, or in other ways, such as a blog post.
It’s always a great idea to get as much content on the day, as there are so many ways this can be useful for you once the market is over!

10)  Packaging

Make sure you’ve got how you’ll package your products decided and easily accessible. Having a small selection can be a good idea if you have varying product sizes or quantities. Consider your packaging based upon the product you're selling, for example, if it’s delicate, you may want to consider how to package it safely for its journey home with the customer.
Packaging is also a great way to extend your branding too! You could consider getting printed packaging, such as bags, or you could do something as get some sheets of stickers with your logo on. Anything which marks the customers purchase with your brand. 

11) Keep a positive mindset!

Your first market day can be cause for a lot of nerves, with so much to think about and consider. But no matter what or how your day goes, a positive mindset can do wonders. If you go into your first market intending to learn from the experience, no matter if you have a good or bad day, you can take something away to build upon to come back even better next time. Make sure to listen to feedback and address this, the good and the bad, for your next market.
So, there you have our first market checklist to hopefully give you some ideas as to how to ensure you are prepared and quell any first market nerves. If you need any more tips and trips for your business and selling at markets, make sure to keep an eye on our blog, as we continue to upload more tips, tricks and articles.
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