Market day can be one of the most exciting days for our small business. We have spent so much time preparing our goods and promoting and this is our time to finally showcase our goods in real time. So, how do we make the most of this amazing day that we’ve all worked so hard for? These are a few ideas that ought to help cut out any market day uncertainty, always follow the 4Ps: Promote, be Personable, be Professional, be Prepared!
Before you ever pack up your inventory and load up the car, it is really important to let everyone know that you are going to be selling in person! Tell your friends, your family and use social media to your advantage. People talk and word gets around, so while you may feel that you don’t have the largest social reach, you may reach someone who does! Use your business and your personal social media to let your friends and your audience know that this is their chance to come out and support you and a bunch of other awesome local businesses.
The boy scouts were really on to something with this one. Nothing will make your day unnecessarily stressful like showing up unprepared. So, we are here to prepare you in your, er, preparation.
Make sure you have a cohesive brand image for market day. You should have a BIG SIGN with your business name on it and your business cards should match that sign. If you have unique packaging, make sure it matches too. The more times a customer sees your branding, the more likely they are to remember you!
We thought you might like this handy list of items we think are crucial for the day of the market:All merchandise clearly priced (best done before the market) Any product information signs necessary Boxes for purchases Customer bags Extra price tags Tissue or newspaper for fragile items Business cards and holder Company name sign Mailing list Clipboard Writing pad or notebook Paper clips Pens and pencils Markers Safety pins Scissors Tape – scotch, masking, duct, packing Credit card machine / square Calculator Change: ones, fives & tens Cell phone Cell phone charger (especially if accepting payments via phone!) Laptop Receipt book/sales book Tape measure Extension cords- different lengths Painters tape to tape the cord to the floor Power strip Apron or other way to keep essential supplies on you
Oh, and coffee. Just lots and lots of coffee.
This list of tips can help us all, market veterans and rookies, to have the best possible interactions:
Smile. Lots of smiling. Smile when they tell you they love your work. Smile when they tell you your hair is awesome. Smile when they tell you their mom’s best friend makes scarves like yours, only better. Because someone is always watching. People are much more inclined to approach and purchase from shop owners who show overall friendliness than those who appear easily agitated.
Don’t let your media outlets interfere with basic social interactions. Keeping up with your social media during market day is important, but never at the expense of a real, live customer. Getting to know people and helping people choose what is right for them is the best way to hook those repeat customers and to secure fantastic reviews.
Be patient. While there will be tons of folks wandering around, there are always a few who want to chit chat forever, possibly at the expense of other customers. It is important to give customers the one-on-one attention they crave but if Chatty Cathy is costing you sales, it may be time to hand her a business card and suggest following up via email.
Don’t be pushy. Customers know what they want and what they don’t want. If you wave and smile and they still don’t approach you, don’t take it personally, that is just their way of shopping. On the other hand, if a customer is really interested in your product, suggestions go a long way! Don’t be scared to sell your product, if you don’t do it, no one will!
The market is filled with all sorts of shoppers. People are looking for decor, gifts, and some great finds for themselves. Booth set-up is pivotal in showcasing what you have to offer. Here are a few things to remember during this time:
Try to offer products at a range of prices. It is always a good idea to have at least one product UNDER $25. These are quick, easy items for customers to pick up and buy without really thinking too hard about the purchase. Similarly, it is always a good idea to have a “luxury” or high dollar item that really represents your aesthetic. If you find the right customer, there will be a great pay off.
Your space is your space. Set yourself up for success by being unique and creative. Bring tables, displays, props, back drops, etc. to stand out and catch shoppers eyes. Having an interesting and creative booth space is one of the best ways to get customers to take the first step towards you! It is always a good idea to show a product in action. Style your booth using appropriate props, show the customer how it might look in their house or on their body.
PLAN AHEAD! It is a great idea to tape off the size space you have and do a trial run set up. Sometimes you are just trying to bring too much (or too little!) with you to the market. Make sure your booth is full but not cluttered and always keep in mind that you can’t sell what you don’t bring with you. Make sure to have enough inventory to last you all day, although it feels great to sell out, it feels even better to know you sold the maximum amount of product possible.
Also, your space is your space. So don’t encroach on your neighbor. The spaces will be clearly marked which will make it easy for everyone to stay in their territory. Keep in mind that the aisles are also not your space.
BYOL- bring your own lighting. Because our venues were not designed with this type of event in mind, the lighting is not set up to fill the nooks that exist when setting up booth displays. Our advice? Bring more lamps than you think necessary. You want your items to be fully visible and to draw people to you.
Collect customer email addresses! You will have hundreds of customers take your business cards, but wouldn’t it be great if you could reach out to them as well??!? Put out an email list and watch as your most dedicated customers sign up to keep in touch with you. Additionally, consider having a sign with your social media links so customers can follow you right on the spot.
Keeping these bits of wisdom in mind will help ensure the best day possible for all of us. We are so excited for this community of artists and vendors to come together. You guys are what makes Vintage Charlotte spectacular.