The Market Scene
One of the best places to attract customers to your business is markets. Markets are found in all suburbs and regional areas of Australia, so there should be no problem in finding one that suits you.
Remember, markets are hard work. There are no shortcuts to running a successful market stall. There are early starts and long days, but done correctly you can be very successful.
Having been both a stall holder and a Market Manager of 3 markets I have seen both the good and bad of stalls. How your display looks at the market can make the difference between going home with much less stock and money in your pocket or going home miserable.
Here are some tips on running a successful market stall. The most important thing to realize is that you have plenty of competition and they are not only other candle makers. Anyone who is vying for a customers' money, is your competition. So what can you do?
Here are some ideas on how to get their attention.
1/ Have your signage professionally done. Hand written signs don't look professional. If you want to save money, print them yourself on your home printer and laminate them.
2/ It's not hard to make your stand attractive with so many candles. You have the colors, the jars, the fragrances. Everything you need to make it appealing. If you are able to make a good first impression, then customers will always remember you. Remember most customers choose the candle they want by the fragrance.
3/ Make sure you have the right attitude. No one wants to approach a person who is hiding behind their newspaper or looks absolutely miserable. Customers go to a market because they see it as a day out, to enjoy themselves.
4/ Keep your stall tidy. Keep all boxes and packaging out of site.
5/ Try not to eat or drink at your stall. I know everyone gets hungry, but have the courtesy to at least stop eating. Stall holders are generally very obliging people, so most would be happy to look after your stall for a few minutes to give you a break. Remember, that it is your stall not theirs so have the courtesy of not being be too long. If they get a customer at their own stall whose do your think will take preference?
6/ Be aware of your customers. Don't ignore them. If you are already in discussions with one customer, then acknowledge other customers by telling them you will be with them in a minute. Ignoring them is a great way to lose customers.
The person who may buy is the person listening rather than the one you were directly talking to.
7/ If you have a uniform or T-shirt that has your business logo, wear it. It shows that you are proud of your business and you are instantly identifiable and it's a great way to promote your business.
8/ Some customers are reluctant to approach you if you seem too aggressive. It's a good idea to try your approach on family and friends first to see what they think.
9/ If they are reluctant to talk, offer them your brochure or business card. Let them know how to contact you and how to place an order. Allow them time to browse through your information and let them know that you are available to answer any questions they have.
10/ It seems silly to have to say this, but be friendly and make them feel welcome. Wearing a name tag makes a big difference. It makes a customers feel more at ease if they know who they are dealing with. Once a customer either makes a purchase or seems interested enough ask them if they would like to be added to your data base. Make sure that there is some benefit to this, such as special offers and discounts.
11/ Make sure that you can answer any questions.
12/ Follow through if you get inquiries. If customers give you their email address, make the most of it. Keep in touch with your customers. Send them a postcard!
13/ Presentation is so important to a successful money making business. Whether you are doing a market, a candle making demonstration, a class or a corporate presentation, wedding fair, or an exhibition, you should invest in the correct presentation materials.
Markets can be a great start to any business, so take the time to do your research and make the most of your opportunities.