Friday, August 19, 2011

How to prepare for a market stall Part 3

The past two weeks we talked about the first 2 parts of how to prepare a market stall. This week we are continuing to explore the last part of the series.
Please consider the following area when you prepare for a market stall:

Develop a script. Write down a show pitch and then practice it with your team who will be at the stall, walk the market or attend seminars. Do not wing it. You want everyone in your team to become an articulate and a good representative of your business and you particularly want all the messaging to be consistent. Test its effectiveness by tallying the sales leads you get at the show. Then refine the script accordingly.

Build relationships with attendees. Know how to ask questions. Most people at the show push their products on people. But when you sit back and ask questions, you learn a great deal about the customer." That leads to a long relationship, rather than a one-off sale. Use the opportunity to do market research on your customers and ask them a series of questions regarding your products or services. Collective their responses and use them to improve or 
enhance your products.

Payment Methods: An important thing to consider when 
preparing for a Market is payment methods. How will your customers be paying? An eftpos (debit/credit) terminal might be something to look into if you think that might be how the majority of people will be paying. Consult your bank about that and see what they have to offer, and what rates they charge. Other option is to share with a stall holder who is happy for you to share their machines. This is a cost saving for you particularly when you are a new starter. Also it is a good idea to show people that you are ready to accept different types of payments e.g. eftpos, Visa or
Master card. Don’t forget tocharge your machine the night before the show also to bring along the charger and extension cord.

Calculator & Lap top: You might also want to bring along a calculator so you can make sure to get the right amount of money. If you can have a lap top available and have additional information such as new designs or products you can show to potential customers at you stall. Make sure you bring along your lap top charge and extension cord in case you might need to recharge your battery.

Float & Receipt book: Don’t forget to bring a float of at least $100, have different denomination of change so you can give change to people and have a receipt book handy to record sales.

Insurance: You also need to buy Public Liability insurance for your market stall, this is very important to cover any customer who might have an accident in your stall. This is a monetary for most of the market event. You must show your insurance certificate to your event organiser before the market event. You should cover up to 10 Million for Public Liability.

Have a Plan B: As you know all too well, shipments are often lost and travel arrangements go awry. Do not assume the box of stall materials you ship will arrive on time. Make sure there's a backup plan for staff, marketing and anything else you'll need. This point s particular important for inter state stall holders you need to have a contingency plan in place.

Send advance introductions: Don't wait until the market to contact your customers. Develop a flyer for the purpose of the market that include a teaser or offer to attract traffic to your stall, or that makes your product distinctive. Such messages, whether via e-mail newsletters or direct mail, can easily be created with Microsoft Office Publisher with little expense.

Set specific goals for the market: Here are the areas you can set goal for the day in the market event:

· Have a sales target in mind work out your breakeven point for the market. For example if your break even per day is $500 you know that you need to hit the $500 before you are making any profit.

· Set a goal of meeting three new customers on each day in order to generate a specified volume of post-show sales. By setting such as goal you will find opportunity to have meaning conversations with your customers. Some of the people who visit your stall could be a retailer who is looking for new designers and new product for their stores.

· Opportunity for you to grow your mailing list, so set a target of how many new mailing list of customer you want to have for the show.

Know your ways around the market: Once all your market materials are at your stall and your car is safely parked. This is the time for you to get familiarise with the market, take a walk around the place to get oriented. Find the market office and introduce yourself to the staff that will providing direct services to the stall holders and find out how to contact them during the event. Find the food areas and check out what they offer. You might want to bring your own lunch or find a deli outside the venue where you can buy and brunch it along to the stall. Locate the toilets nearest to your stall and arrange someone to cover you so you can have a breather. After taking your orientation walks, you will feel more relax and you will ready to begin to setting up your stall.

Show time: Your first day is the hardest; the uncertainty about sales and the reception your product will receive is sure to create extra tension. The key here is to take care yourself, have an early night and get up early enough to dress and have a leisurely breakfast. Arrive at the market at least half to an hour before the opening to give yourself time to settle in. You may want to do a final inspection of your stand such as dusting since other people have moving in and stir up the dust over night. Freshen up your flower arrangement, get your float and eftpos machine ready and finally put a big welcome smile for your first customer of the day, this will set you up nicely for the day.

Drink lots of water if you are in a hall where the recycle air you’re breathing is probably very dry. Also make sure you wear comfy shoes and you will stand most of the time as we all know sore feet can make us grumpy and although you might not notice it, however your customers will.

Heading Home: Let’s say you had a successful market stall with sales exceeding your expectations. This is fantastic, by the end of the show you’re tired and anxious to get on the road get home and get right into the order or make new product for the next market. However, you are not alone to feel this way. We all want to breakdown the stall as quickly as we can, pack up and out the door. There are two ways to approach this unpleasant execution. One is to plan how you want to pack up so you can get everything and leave the same day no matter how tire you are or the second way is some show might offers and extra day for you to come back to pack up. the next day when you are recharged with full energy. I highly endorse the second approach. It’s pointless to rush yourself with out any plan in place. As you pack, be sure to keep all orders and information about contacts for follow up in your briefcase. This is especially true if you are shipping your freight. You’ll want this information as soon as you get home, and your shipped freight will take a while to get back to you. You don’t want to risk losing this vital information. If you are using freight transport, find their representative before you leave the show. Let them know your freight is ready and fill in the necessary form and documenting the number of pieces they’re moving and get the approximate date they’ll arrive at your studio.

Refresh yourself: Take time out from your studio when you arrive home, but keep in mind of things that you must do straight away such as follow up hot leads etc. Don’t give them time to forget your products or buy from your competitors. Make notes about things that went well and those that did not, and notes any changes you want to make next time. File all these information win your show information. If this is you first time, then create a new Markets and Trade Shows folder and file your information. After your intense week or months of preparing for and going to the market event, now is the right time to have “Me time” to rest and once you have refreshed, return to your studio and begin your next production cycle.

Your Commitments: As you resume back to your daily routine in your studio, know that you did your best at the market stall and then promise yourself that you continue to grow and keep doing your best. Commit yourself to the three key elements in an Artist and Designer business 
lifestyle is to keep “Create” new products, so you can make money to support what you do for living. Keep on“Promote” your business and product, if you don’t do this no one know where to buy your product and lastly you need time to “Refresh” spend quality time away from your work and connect with family and friend and be inspired everyday so you can create and promote the things you love doing.This will keep your passion a live with in you.

All of these will help you when preparing for a market. So the next time you are planning for a market it will pay off if you put a lot of preparation in placed. Organising everything will help you keep everything together and make it so you are not so overwhelmed. With this in mind, it is wise to plan very carefully to make sure your market experience as easy as possible on your mind, body and spirit.

So have some fun on the way and remember:

Well Plan! +Well Prepare! +Well Execute! => Success Market Event

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