10 Market Prep Hacks!

Bridget Bodenham stall captured by Samee Lapham

This is one for the stallholders, and stallholders in the making. We’re about to BUST OPEN ten simple hacks for getting you market ready, so there’s not a hair out of place on market day and you’re ready to sell!

Your hackers today are stallholders; Alison Jackson, Alchemy Produx, Earth Bottles, Nanna Woo and Kirralee and Co. Five long standing and very popular stallholders who have taken the years to become market masters!

1. Be a list maker.

Sounds too simple to be a hack, but so many people forget the importance of a good old list. We’re talking one that involves having to be double checked and ticked off, colour coded and clear! Here’s what Alison Jackson has to say about it.

List writing and checking off. Ranging from ensuring we have enough of our products made (this is always a bit of an educated guess but does start months in advance) through to enough packaging and printed materials and is the eftpos charger packed, we’ve got a list for everything!  

Alison Jackson

2. Suss that stock.

This will differ depending on what you’re selling, you may even be lucky enough to offer making something for a customer if a size or colour isn’t in stock and sending it post-market, however our hackers all agree that putting together a spreadsheet of best sellers is your number one and that having more stock is better than less. If you’ve done the market before than do a review of what sold and go from there.

3. Start a magic market box!

We are loving the amount of market tubs we see each year. Little boxes full of everything you need from price tags to caffeine tablets….no, no there’s enough coffee to go around don’t worry! Get some snacks in your market box too as you don’t know when you’ll be able to escape your stall for a donut and don’t forget your hi vis vest!

I keep a “market box” this has items like business cards, tape, scissors, price tags, pens, chargers, high vis vests and all sorts of things I need for trading at FK. This way each market I can just grab the box, and I don’t need to spend hours hunting down everything.

Alchemy Produx
Alchemy Produx stall captured by Samee Lapham

4. Know why you’re there.

This is a big one. Whether you are there for the new customers, to meet your major customers, impress possible wholesales or just to see what it’s all about – there is ALWAYS something to gain with the right attitude. You never know who could fall in love with your brand and it’s story!

Alison Jackson stall captured by Samee Lapham

Alison Jackson nails it here:

Really think through what your aim of the market is. Sales are really great, but there are also other things that are potentially valuable to your brand and it’s development. This is also important to remember as there are always ebbs and flows in market sales year to year.

Alison Jackson

5. Warm up.

By warm up we mean do a practise run! Setting up your stall prior to the market may seem like a drag, and ‘winging it’ can be a thrill and sometimes pay off but arriving feeling like you’re 200% ready to set up and get in the coffee line is how the pros do it.

Always do at least one practice stall set up at home, with enough time to make changes if required. Once we measured our practice stall completely incorrectly and had to make changes on the spot during bump in. We made it work but it was a close call! Also, always bring a friend, it’s a really difficult thing to do solo.

Kirralee and Co

Plan your stand. Design it with your transport options in mind. Planning this early on makes it less stressful and gives you more time to change things if needed and probably will work out more cost effective as you have more time to source things! Also, plan and practice your stall set up, pack down and check it fits (safely) in your car/van/truck.

Alison Jackson
Sit Still Lauren stall captured by Samee Lapham

6. Make the most of marketing.

This includes your stall design, utilising social media, thinking about an exclusive one weekend only offer, having your newsletter sign-up form on hand, having business cards ready, being up for a chat to your customers and your fellow creatives and thinking past the weekend and how you’re going to follow up and keep people engaged. HINT: Don’t forget we create an array of graphics that are super easy to share with your audience! Event Promo Page!

We make up cards with a discount code for each customer who buys from us to show them that we love them but also if you feel you haven’t quite made the conversion.  People often follow up later on. Also talk to other brands even ones similar to yours. You can learn so much from other people if you are open and willing to share ideas and collaborate.

Earth Bottles

7. Bring extra everything!

Your store is on fire (not literally don’t worry) and you cannot wipe the smile off your face, but oh no, your last eftpos role is out and you were sure you packed enough! Just pack more, just always pack more of everything!

Bring extra money for your float, extra shopping bags, extra eftpos receipt rolls and of course extra stock!  FK events are high paced and you don’t want to have to worry about running out of anything. Also you never know, you might make another stall-holders day if you can lend them something they have run out of.

Alison Jackson

8. Set realistic expectations.

It’s easy to get carried away with the amount of people vs the amount of potential sales but there’s a lot more to Finders Keepers than that – your visibility can open up any number of doors – chatting to your neighbour could lead to a collaboration! A major retailer you’ve been dreaming of meeting could be a customer you meet! You never know.

9. Believe in your products!

Simple but have you reminded yourself of this one lately, we hope so!

I think really believing in your product and this might sound a bit out there  but really put out a feeling of love to all the customers that come across your store.  Find something you can relate to or like about each person that enters or looks at your stall.  Having a rapport with your customers is the best thing for sales and your own feeling of gratitude. Also don’t just focus on the sales you are making.  Focus on building brand awareness. Lots of people contact us after the markets and order online, so don’t get too hung up on sales on the weekend.

Earth Bottles

10. Self care is vital.

Looking after yourself is number one, it ain’t no hack but it is something that’s overlooked by many. Water – walks – wellbeing! And don’t forget to have fun and treat yourself…to a donut or two.

Nutie Donuts captured by Samee Lapham

Want more? Check out these three posts for ultimate market game:
Marketing 101
Photography Tips with Samee Lapham
Golden Nuggets with Bilboa!

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