How to Start a Market Stall
If you’ve been harboring dreams of running your own business, you’re not alone. The stress and uncertainty of the pandemic led many people to rethink their working situation in what came to be known as the great resignation of 2021.
If you were one of them you might be feeling like you’re finally ready to do it, live out the dream you’ve held onto for such a long time. But before you get lost in lofty visions of your market stall growing into a national conglomerate and appearing the top 30 under 30 lists you’ll need to make a plan to get started.
Starting a new business can be intimidating, but we’re here to make it easier. We’re going to take you through a complete guide to starting your market stall.
Know your position
We don’t mean at the market, though that will come in handy too. We’re talking about your position in the market. We’re talking about marketing.
What makes your product different, what’s your brand story, who are you selling to?
Taking the time before you even file for permits to examine how your business will fit into the overall market for your products will help you to understand your point of difference, why people should buy what you’re offering instead of anyone else’s product.
Know your customer
So, you’ve worked out your position in the market. Next thing to know is who is your customer? Do some research and find out the following:
- Where do they hang out online?
- How old are they?
- What are their hobbies and interests?
- Where do they work?
- How much do they earn?
- How much do they spend on the type of products you make?
It can also help to get feedback from your customers as you gain momentum, think about getting details and offering 10% off for those who are willing to fill in a survey after purchase. All of these questions will help you to paint a very complete picture of who your ideal customer is and this will help you to market your product to them.
Pricing your product can be difficult. First thing you should do is review competitors prices.
- Who is the most expensive?
- Who is the least expensive?
- And for the markets you’re looking at what is the average?
Consider all these factors but you’ll need to price your product high enough to make a profit on the venture. You’ll need to understand your cost price and your mark up. How much does it cost you to make the product, when working this out include costs such as; ingredients, materials, time, licenses, market stall costs. These should all factor into how much it costs you to make the product.
From there consider how you’re branding the product, who your ideal client is, what they are willing to pay based on the current market research and where you want to sit in the market. In most cases you don’t want to be the cheapest option but also not the most expensive either.
Design your branding
If your market stall product has packaging, you’ll need to have consistent branding across your business; if it doesn’t, you’ll still need a name and a visual. Workshop some ideas, think about including a key word that tells people what your business is in the name such as ‘Sally’s Therapeutic Bath Salts’. Including keywords can assist you in the SEO for your website and social media.
Consider colour theory and style when thinking about the design. Is your business pastels and delicate line work? Or heavy, bold lines and strong deep colours? Gather some inspiration images and either book in with a branding graphic designer or if you’re starting on the cheap head over to Canva to try out your hand at designing the logo.
Find and review businesses similar to yours, consider; what’s their website like? What are their prices? What are they doing well? What are they not doing well? And compile this competitor analysis. Look for gaps in the market they are not addressing and consider if your product meets those needs.
Get the paperwork in
In order to run a business, you’ll need an ABN. You’ll also need any licences required for making your product. The kind of permit you’ll need is dependent on what you are selling, there is a permit for having a stall and then a different one if you’re making food, or products. You can learn more about permits here.
Before your market stall’s launch date, it can help to get your brand out there on social media, build a following and even offer an introductory offer if they turn up to the first market stall. Social media gives you the chance to establish a place where people can watch what’s going on with your brand, where you will be selling your products next and even a place to launch an online store if that’s a part of your future plan.
Begin with content pillars, make sure you’re offering your audience something of value in exchange for their loyalty. Create entertaining and education content, your balance of self-promotion against other content types should be 80 / 20, 20% selling and 80% other content.
Getting a card reader of some kind will help you to take more payments, offer your customers more ways to pay and ultimately make more money from your market stall.
These days it’s very rare for people to pay in cash, so offering other payment options gives your customers more options. There are multiple options for card readers, but many people use square because it’s small, reliable and can be done through an app.
Invest in the look of your stall
You’d be surprised what a good table cloth and some carefully placed, tasteful fake greenery can do for a market stall. People shop with their eyes first, before they meet you, or pick up your product, they are making value judgement on what it’s worth based on the overall aesthetic.
Invest in yourself
An investment in yourself is an investment in your business. Any training, courses or networking opportunities you can jump on are professional development opportunities for your business. While there are a lot of courses that could benefit you depending on the niche of your business, there is one that will be helpful no matter what. The Certificate III in Entreprenuership and New Business.
The Certificate III in Entrepreneurship and New Business is designed specifically to help people who are starting a business learn everything they will need to succeed in their venture. The course covers developing and presenting business proposals, how to deal with and address compliance requirements, how to organise finances for a new business, how to organise work priorities, how to identify business risk and much more.
The course includes ten units and is delivered via online self-paced study. This means you can start anytime and study from anywhere in Australia. The course takes between 6 months and 12 months depending on the delivery method you choose and how quickly you work through the course work.
A trainer who has real world experience will be assigned to help you and they’ll be there to answer any questions you have about the course work and check in with you to see how the study is going.
This course costs $1900 for full fee for service study however if you are in Queensland, you may be able to access the Certificate 3 Guarantee depending on your circumstances. To be eligible you meet the following criteria:
- be aged 15 years or older;
- be no longer at school (with the exception of school students in Year 10, 11 and 12 undertaking a VET in School (VETiS) program;
- permanently reside in QLD;
- be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident (includes humanitarian entrant), temporary resident with the necessary visa and work permits on the pathway to permanent residency, or a New Zealand citizen; and
- not hold, and not be enrolled in, a Certificate III or higher-level qualification, not including qualifications completed at school and foundation skills training.
If you are successful in gaining this funding it will bring the cost of this course down to either $10 or $30 depending on if you hold a current concession card. You can learn more about this funding here.
Remember running a business can be intimidating but everyone starts from zero. It doesn’t hurt to get some help in the beginning. If you would like to know more about our course on new business, you can check it out here or you can get in touch with one of our friendly course advisors here.