How to achieve market stall success

You may think that you are well past your years of sitting in a classroom and listening to lectures. But getting an education can also help you achieve success in your business.

No, we don't actually mean you'll need to earn a degree (although that's also an option); you can simply start with workshops offered either by the respective councils, organisations or by leading authorities that have excelled in the field.

Creative Handmade Product Presentation
Photos by AForestFrolic and Jerry Lai

How to learn on the (market stall) job

  • Take notes on consumer patterns. What do people browsing your stall look at more often; What do they remark upon; Where do they stand; Is there a dark corner they avoid; Which products do they pick up?
  • Ask for suggestions. It doesn't hurt to get some creative criticism, especially from your consumers. Don't be afraid to ask them what they think of your stall and your products.
  • Study your neighbours. Take time to note what similar stalls like yours are doing. Walk around if you have the opportunity to observe what they do. But don't follow. Instead, it's better to think up of some other gimmick or promotion to beat the competition based on your observations.
Studying Your Business
 Photos by PEXELS

How to get more customers to your stall

Location, Location, Location

The location of your market stall will make or break your business venture. Therefore select your market location well.

people go to different markets for different reasons and items - some for food, some for crafts, and some for vintage.

Before you set up shop in a market gauge its suitability for you. You can visit beforehand as a customer or talk to the more experienced stall holders for their insights. 

Signage

Markets are competitive and you'll need to get on the front foot of other stalls with a signage that points out what you're selling.

Your signage should be clear, concise and professional. It will help customers to easily recognise and remember your brand. Besides, signage helps you delineate your brand from the neighbouring stalls who may be competitors.

Passionately man/woman your store

There's a lot more to having your stall open for customers to walk in. It is not the time to sit back and stare into an empty space or scroll on your phone endlessly.

You will scare away your customers.

Instead, be active at your stall tidying up, re-arranging, and labelling your products. And remember to put on a smile while at it.

Product Mix

Markest are frequented by bargain-hunters, looking for a bargain. And you as a stallholder needs to reel in and convert their cash to profit.

 

Therefore, the secret is to have various price points that will attract more people to your stall and in the process bring in the spenders.

Here are some price suggestions:

  • Bread and butter items. Low priced items to tempt the customers into buying
  • Middle range. Unique yet affordable items to make the bulk of the income
  • Highlight/investment items. The most expensive pieces are an icing on the cake

Social Media

Social media is one of the best and easiest ways to connect with your customers. Plus it is mostly free! Thus it makes business sense to be on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest besides having a website.

You'll use these social media sites to remind your customers about your products, your location, and your upcoming events.

However, don't forget to cater for the more traditional customers who may not be on social media. Have your business cards ready or a sign-up sheet for your email newsletter at your market stall.

Don't forget to take note of the face-to-face feedback as you interact and connect with your customers.

How to take your education one step further

Industry experts such as Lorri Loca from BakeItBottleItSellit.com, offer workshops to help you succeed in your market stall business.

Consider attending workshops to meet people with more experience than yourself, and also to network in a business environment with other stall holders.

Find out more:

'Selling OFF the Table' Workshop for Stall Holders

A course we recommend for beginners and successful stall owners alike, Selling OFF, will take you through a number of tips and tricks on the best way to set up your stall, and sell at the market a variety of products including food, clothes, jewellery, scented goods, and lots more you can think of.

It helps you learn more about:

  • running your small business
  • how to make a difference with your table display and presentation
  • how to grow your customer base until the next business day
  • and will refresh your skills to maximise your sales every time

Remember, new insights, especially in our changing market scenes, can aid you in furthering your business success.

Bottom line 

Achieving your market stall success is doable albeit with your dedicated effort. Just keep an open mind and continue looking for ways to develop; add that to some hard work and you're sure to make it BIG.

Got other tips to share with our fellow market traders? Tell us! We'd love to hear your stories.

 

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Originally published: January 2018

Updated October 2018: Added "How to get customers to your stall" section