Why I think a market stall is a great first business: Part 2

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 part 2 I hope to do that so I will continue to explain why I think a market stall is a great first business.

Continued from part 1, now here’s why I think a market is a great first business through my last 3 points:

  • Experience

The experience you gain from operating a market stall is second to none when it comes to business as stated in part 1. Through understanding your market, gaining people skills and a lot more such as how to set up your display to best attract customers, learning marketing techniques and methods, and just genuinely developing buying habits and learning stock rotation (depending on your product), the experience of being a market trader and surviving in that competitive environment will put you in a good position when entering the brick and water business world; you will have gained experience of dealing with competition, surviving in one of the toughest selling environments and no doubt you would have also developed exceptional sales skills. If I were to compare the market to a driving test,  I would say the market is the driving lessons, where you practice what you preach and are in that situation to make mistakes and learn from them in order to improve. The experience you gain from a market stall and running it cannot be learned in a classroom or from a book.

  • Networking

Networking as a market trader is exceptional, you get to network with customers, fellow traders and operators as well as distributors.

The benefits of networking with customers on the market stall is customer retention and developing a customer base. Once these relationships have been built the chances are these customers will keep coming back to you and being loyal when and if you move as long as it is in reasonable distance. Also there is a thing called ‘reference groups’ whereby these customers will refer you to their friends by giving you good reviews or just something that may occur in general conversation which in return expands your customer base and keeps happening – like a domino effect. Now what can potentially happen is a demand for more of your stalls in different markets, almost like becoming a franchise on the market scene, which of course if you want to grow, can also carry these customers through to which ever avenues you may want to take.

The benefits of networking with fellow traders of course is the fact that you create accomplices, especially if you are a new starter they can show you the ropes, put you in contact with good distributors, if you have any problems they can help you with experience and also help you stay away from mistakes they made. Networking with fellow traders can more or less be the same as these experienced traders mentoring the newer traders and showing you the ropes, and in return you build a bond and can help each other in the future with simple things like watching over the others’ stall while one goes to the toilet etc… it is always good to have friends/acquaintances in business.

The benefits of networking with distributors is a obvious one for me – the more you know the better it is for you. The more you get to know the distributor the more likely and better chance you’ll have of haggling a better deal, the more likely you can be looked after and this can all start from running a market stall and exploring  your options. Then, if and when you want to start a brick and water shop you already have links there that are willing to work with you, help you out and cut you great deals.

  • Big companies that started from a market

Now what a better way to end this series than to provide you with a list of success stories that started from a simple market stall? If this is not encouragement enough then I don’t know what is; these businesses show the potential that a market has. It shows that markets are a great platform to start from and grow, with some of the successful companies today being conceived from local markets like yours, such as the following:

  1. Poundland – started from my local well known Market – Bilston Market
  2. Marks & Spencers – started from Leeds Kirkgate Market
  3. Tesco – started from Hackney Market
  4. Dunelm – started from a market stall in Leicester
  5. Innocent smoothies
  6. Grainger Games – started from a market in Newcastle-upon-tyne

Hopefully if you were thinking of opening a stall, this series of blogs has helped you to take that giant leap and be the next big market company.

please note images were obtained from the following weblinks Wikimedia

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