Lessons from a Market stall holder, Time and Stock

Last year I started blogging on a weekly basis and made it my goal to talk about all the hints and tips on holding a market stall.

  Well, I think I want to start 2014 with stock management, and time management.  How do these 2 things fit together in the scheme of things you ask?

   To take advantage of the Christmas season last year, I booked 5 market stalls in 3 weeks from mid November to mid Dec. That does not sound to bad some of you say.  Well, being a newbie at all this, not having a lot of stock, unsure about my target market, and being a one person show, I was just a TAD over committed!

 I started my Christmas stock design and making in Oct.  After each market I was spending the whole time restocking and designing for the next market.  I spent many late nights creating more stock for the next market.

With November markets, I had one week in between my markets to create enough stock, and come up with some new designs before the next market.  Talk about having a creative block! Stress is number one killer for creative block for me.

 I had several offers to do markets and often would get 2 week notice for the market stall dates.  This gave me precious little time to think about my target customers.  I had not researched the market, what type of items customers would buy at these markets, how many people came to the market, etc.  My sales were way down.  One market I did not sell enough to meet my costs!

 Time and Stock Lessons for Market Stall Success

  Lesson 1, Research the market before booking a stall at that market.  
Ask other stall holders about the market.  Visit that market, look at the people who are buying from the stall holders. Does your product fit in with what people are buying at the market?
  Are any of the stalls very busy?  Busy stalls and markets mean more stock needed in your stall and more sales.
  What are the prices of similar products you sell?  If there are really cheap products there at the market and your items are more expensive, what incentive to buyers have to buy your product over the other cheaper product?


Lesson 2, Set aside time each week for new designs.
  There is nothing worse than trying to come up with a new product the week or two before your market.  I spent way to much time trying to create new Christmas items for my stall in Nov and Dec.  Plan out your holiday items months in advance.  Create a few items to put online and get feed back from your potential customers.  What is it about the product they like?  
  Always make several of the same item, especially if it is a product you know people like.  I had several customers commenting on a particular image I sell on my market stall.  When I first came out with the product I only had one image at one price point for them.  I later created cards with a smaller image on it so customers who did not want to buy the framed photograph could buy a card with that same image on it.



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