How to choose a market? A guide for start ups

Let’s put ourselves in somebody else’s shoes, let’s imagine we are a person that is new to market trading, we are not sure what we are doing, we would not be sure if we had made the correct choice (risk factor with starting any new business), we are nervous, anxious and excited, we are thinking how will we sell? Will it be because of our display, our selling style or just simply that our product is that good?start-ups-1

How did we decide what market to choose? How do we decide what location to use? How do we know what sells on the market and what doesn’t? How do we even know what the market we’ve chosen to start on is good at selling? How do we know it will be the right market for us to use?

How do we get onto this market? How much will it cost us to be on this market? How much profit will we make on this market? How will we advertise on this market? Is the market near a car park? Or near a town? Has the market got toilets? What days are these markets open? To what extent will all of these factors effect our business? Questions after questions again, we could go on forever.

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So what I have constructed is a quick guide advising you on how to choose your market. It is to be noted that this is purely my basic fundamentals on how I would go about choosing a market, and this is neither the correct or incorrect way to go about it choosing a market as we are all different.

The best way for me to advise you on how to make your decisions is to break it down just like your are baking a cake – you know you need eggs right, so you plan where you will buy your eggs from. In our scenario it would be the local farmers market, and then we delve in deeper on how we will get to the market etc.

If I was to choose a market I would:

  1. Identify the busiest market closest to my home – once identified I would go and take a look around that market, buy some items, speak to some traders, maybe come across the market manager speak with him/her and find out what sells best and what doesn’t, find out what they need and what they have too many of, then I would see if my business fitted into this market.
  2. If the result was that my business is needed in this market, I would not jump straight into it, no I would firstly research other surrounding markets. By doing this I would see if they also need me, and repeat the same steps as above.
  3. Once all possible markets that are at a reasonable distance have been researched, of which I can travel to each day with minimal problems, I would start comparing them almost in a swot (strengths, weakneses, oppurtunities, threats) form for each market. I would also way up the cost, trial offers, what days they are open, how much it will be for me to rent this stall compared to the other markets’ indoor, outdoor and farmers markets.  I would find out whether there is free parking or is it paid, is it easy to access my market with my van/car, do they have storage spaces at this market or would I accommodate my own storage. How much is my stock’s value and how much will I sell, and does this match up with what the average spend in the market? I would also find out how many customers this market gets and how I can be unique in this market.
  4. After making my comparisons I would then go online and read customer reviews, and also speak to family members about my options and take all of this advice on board.
  5. After analysing all of the comparisons, and a market has been chosen which suits my stall, in terms of whether this market has a need for my business, I would check the following before I contact the market operator for my chosen market: check whether the cost is fare, they have the facilities I require, and they tick all the right boxes from my comparison, with double points if my product is needed and if the cost is lower than others.
  6. Hopefully at this point you have already spoken to the market operator/manager, have their number and know what offers they have for you to take a trial period at their market as a new start up trader, then cement the deal. I would say that you might expect a slow start, but keep trying because it will pay off. (If you haven’t obtained the market operator/manager’s details then you have not researched properly.)
  7. At no point would I go to a market where my product was needed if my rent, storage, insurance and travel cost would out weigh my potential to make profit. Also, if my target market was not there, if the traders gave the market bad reviews as this shows bad people management, or if I am not 100 percent sure this is the right thing to do.
  8. As stated above, try to find nearby markets which will help your business thrive rather than hinder it, but with that said don’t be scared to travel some distance if there is nothing nearby, if your business needs for you to do so. As long as you leave yourself a chance to make a profit that can make a difference to your life – do it.
  9. Preparation is key. Don’t just say I want to be a market trader and go to your closest market one day, and try selling vape accessories when there are 6 other stalls there, with a customer loyalty base already in place. If this market is 2 minutes away from you, but 25 minutes down the road there is a market with none or one vape stall, and plenty of customers who vape, then this in my opinion for a start up business would be your best destination.
  10. I would say try and choose a market that is open more often than not as this increases your chances of visitors to your stall, gives you more days to trade, and helps you gain experience faster in selling.
  11. Don’t assume your local market is the one for you because the last thing you want to do is turn up at your local farmer’s market with iPhone cases – I assume this would not sell well.

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Now I invite my readers to really get involved in this blog, and in the comments list show how you would start a market stall or how you already have, what were the best practices, and what would you recommend?

I am sure there will be many more suggestions and procedures that will benefit better than this blog has, which the readers deserve to know. So share your methods with us on how to choose a market and who knows, this could be a feature for a future blog.

please note useful websites for how to choose a market would be www.howtostartamarketstall.com, please not pictures were obtained from the following links: Smart things, simple technologies, the heureka

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One thought on “How to choose a market? A guide for start ups

  1. Pingback: Our 50th Market Blog: A market re-cap | Market Shoppers

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