11 Tips for Preparing For Your First Seasonal Market

November 6, 2019

Seasonal markets are a great way for business owners to participate and make a name for themselves in their local communities. From farmers markets that operate in the dewy mornings of summer to holiday markets that pop up in community centers during winter, there’s a market-type in every season that businesses can join.

But don’t just take our word for it! Here at Moneris, we’re lucky to support a diverse range of Canadian business owners, some of whom have participated in seasonal markets themselves. We spoke with Brown Sugar Produce, a Moneris merchant located just outside of Brandon, Manitoba run by Stephanie Dillon and her daughter Teri Jenkins with husband Jon and daughter Myrah. Growing a wide variety of vegetable crops on 4 cultivated acres, they sell from their market trailer in front of the Lady of the Lake Cafe on Fridays from mid-June through September. They also supply to a few local restaurants and to customers in a Veggie Lovers’ Club on a weekly basis.

They provided us with some of their most relied upon and useful tips for participating in seasonal markets, and how they would recommend others take on the new challenge! Consider the following tips from Brown Sugar Produce when preparing for your first seasonal market.

  1. First, establish what your passion is. Passion will make you stand out and attract the right customers.
  2. Check out other markets and vendors in your area to get an idea of what is happening in the marketplace. Use this information to figure out what sets you apart and use that as your strength.
  3. Make sure to account for market table fees and other overhead costs in your prices. If you set your prices too low initially, it can be hard to increase them. Don't be afraid to charge what you need to for your products. 
  4. Have your pricing and other signage ready to go, as well as additional supplies to make signs at the market if necessary. Your signs can help customers make their purchasing decisions.
  5. Keep a checklist of items that you need to bring so that you don't forget anything. It will make setting up your booth easy and stress-free.
  6. Keep a well-stocked container with extra packaging material, bags, cleaning supplies, business cards, and anything else that may come in handy.
  7. Charge any payment terminals, cell phones, and backup batteries the night before market.
  8. Do a "dry run" of your market table display at home, so that you can quickly replicate it on market day.
  9. Bring your most well-rested, gregarious self and expect to talk to lots of people.
  10. Leave the chair or stool at home! You'll want to be on your feet and actively engaging with customers so they know you're ready for their purchase.
  11. Make an inventory list of your products, so that you can keep a record of what you sold, and make adjustments the next time you’re at the market.

If you’re interested in learning about the payment solutions that you could use on the road during your first market, make sure to check out our article Wireless Payment Solutions for Businesses on the Move.

The information in this article is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be legal, business or other professional advice or an endorsement of any of the websites or services listed. 

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