Maybe you are thinking of or want to start a business and don’t know where to start, it may or may not have occurred to you to start a market stall, or maybe you need a little encouragement. Through this post I hope to do that so I will begin to explain why I think a market stall is a great first business.
Through a two part post I will be talking business, and when I talk business I mean in the sense of market stalls and first time business start ups combined:
Now why I think a market is a great first business through my first 3 points:
- Gaining people skills
People skills on a market are a key factor in my opinion, as you have nothing else much to attract people to your stall apart from your mannerism, banter and voice, and charisma, so when operating a market stall you have to develop a natural knack into bringing customers in, in order to sell your products or at least help them be considered to make money. Also, with the way markets operate you have to be as cunning and maybe as loud as the guy next to you or your rival, as you have many great deals everyday but not enough space to put up big signs to let people know so you have to be heard, there is no other way! I would say this is a given and something all market traders develop the longer they trade and serve. Now this can also be a transferable skill as in when you are ready to expand or move away from the market into a building, you will bring with you the skills from speaking and developing relationships with customers into your store, which will be perceived as good customer service and customer retention. Many studies have also shown customers are more likely to come back to your stall/store due to relationships built with staff and good rapport, which can only been gained through experience or as natural gift you were born with; in my opinion this skill cannot be taught or forced.
- Learning/feeling your market
The ability to feel/test your market with a market stall has got to be the most cost effective and most efficient as you don’t have the cost of renting a building and all the natural bills that come with that to operate. A perfect example would be to watch an episode of the apprentice, when Lord Sugar sends them out doing market tasks where he gives the apprentices a fixed sum each, provides them with some distributors, lets them choose their market and off they go. From this the apprentices buy many products, and throughout the day narrow the products down to what sells and what doesn’t. This task helps them identify their market and identify the product that gives them their best turnover overall. This is ideal for those entrepreneurs that are undecided on what they want to do or sell, and may want to explore, to find out. Through market stalls you can find your niche, if you have a couple ideas of things to sell then the market is the best place to test this, which can potentially save you a lot of money in the future, and helps avoid diving in head first into the deep end operating a business from a brick and water costly location.
Now I understand some markets are unfortunate enough to be occurring rent rises through their operators for no justifiable reason that I can think of apart from greed, but markets in comparison to shops in town are more affordable. Obviously as you have less to work with, but for what having a market stall provides it is value for money in comparison to owning a shop, as naturally markets attract people, so you will always have the opportunity to sell. Markets can give anybody a platform, you can keep prices low as a lot of your costs are included in your rent as apposed to shops, and for a person that is just starting out who does not have any guaranteed customers or any identity yet as a business (as I will keep repeating!) the market is the perfect platform to start with.