Being available to your customers, in a regular position, at your local markets is a sure-fire way to bring in regular income. But when you've tapped into all your local customers and reached a ceiling on your income how do you branch out and find more? A fantastic way of increasing your income is to travel to other markets and fairs around Australia.
By travelling to new events you'll receive exposure to new customers, new types of customers and also new communities of market stall holders. In their own way, each group will offer you valuable feedback on your product, stall presentation, merchandising, prices and product marketing which can only benefit your regular business back at your local market.
Borough Market Stall. Photos by Emily Allen and Guilhem Vellut
Step 1: Work out which markets suits you best
- To find out which markets and events might suit you best, you can pick up a copy of the Markets and Fairs magazine for $6.00 either from their website or a newsagency. The magazine offers an A to Z listing of over 1,000 markets and special events around Australia, as well as listing suppliers, manufacturers, educators, deals, insurance brokers and other opportunities to grow your business.
- Some entries will include descriptions and website URLs so you can learn whether that market is suitable for your products. Research each market carefully as there's no point going where you're not wanted.
Step 2: Find markets within easy driving distance of your home
- Check Google Maps to get approximate travel times. Enter your current location and get the driving distance to the market location.
- Check the Google map for the name of the nearest towns and suburbs so you can more easily find accommodation.
- Sometimes you can also check the Google Map for a street view of the actual location. You can take a virtual walk down the street or lane, and really get a feel for the location before you travel. It's easy way to scope out the best places for parking your van or car, and also for getting a general feeling for foot traffic and entrances to the event. (So you'll know if you been stuck in a back corner!)
Using Google Map to Find your Location. Photos by Diana House and Kevin Dooley
Step 3: Find cheap and friendly accommodation if you have to stay overnight
- An excellent source of cheap and friendly accommodation is AirBnB. Locals offer a bedroom in their home for short or long stays. Think of it like a Bed and Breakfast, but more casual and usually less expensive.
- Room rates can vary between $20 and $400 depending on the type of home and the homeowner. Go for something cheap and cheerful, with someone who has had several reviews from previous guests.
- For example, if you wanted to try your hand at the Paddington Markets in Sydney then you would search AirBnb for Paddington.
Step 4: Create a rough calendar of market dates
- Work out which events are the higher priority than others and mark accordingly on a calendar. You'll be able to see which events fit into your schedule.
- Move lower priority events to later dates in the year.
- Try to reduce conflict in your appointments, and give yourself a bit of breathing room if you can't get a position at a particular market on the date you'd like.
Setting Market Dates. Photos by PEXELS
Step 5: Check the market's website for booking conditions
- Before booking accommodation or making travel plans check with the event organisers to ensure your type of stall and product will be a welcome addition. No point selling fairy costumes at a drag race!? Again, you can find this information in the Markets and Fairs magazine, either online or in their print version.
Regardless of whether you make more money at these new events, it will be an interesting journey and you're sure to meet likeminded people. Enjoy, and email us if you have any experiences that you'd like to share.