Well last week we talked about how to pick a product to sell, this week we will talk about getting ready for your first market or event. My first time ever selling was a nightmare because I had no idea what to bring or what to expect. Over the past year I learned a ton about getting ready for market and even turned a spare car into my market car. My first tip is to pack the car the night before and double check in the morning that you have all your supplies and products.
The first question is what kind of event is it? Farmer’s markets are traditionally held outside in the open air, most craft shows are inside, festivals can have inside and outside vendor space. If you are going to be outside a tent maybe a wise investment but remember to bring weights to hold it down. I use 35-pound dumbbells, but any heavy item will work. Will the event have tables and chairs, or will you have to supply your own? My first market I forgot chairs and it was a long 6 hours. Take drinks and something to snack on too. A few bottles of water will be priceless over a 6-hour July day.
Next is marketing items. Every 4th person who walks past my table at any event takes a business card, even if they don’t stop and look at my product. That means that they will at least see my name and the product I sell one more time when they empty their pockets. Reminding people of the fact that you exist and what you sell is half the battle, that’s why for the upcoming season I have 4,000 business cards, 2,000 product lists, bumper stickers, and hats to give out. Along the same lines is signage. My first market nobody knew what I sold, because I didn’t have any signs to tell them. Now if you look at my table you will see “Leap’s Farm Fresh Flour” at least three places and “Leap’s Farm” at least three more. Branding is important so make sure they know who you are and what your selling.
Last thing I wish I knew to bring was a good money box well stocked with change. My first time out every sale I made meant I had to dig in my pockets for change, not the most professional or easy to track system. Now I keep good record of how many 1s 5s and 10s I leave home with in my nice locking box every time out.
Well that’s it for this week, Next week we will cover where to sell unless one of you gives me a better idea.