The holidays are here, which means craft market season for many small business owners. But getting ready isn’t limited to preparing enough stock for your customers to buy. There are factors like costs, marketing and sales, among others that need to be taken into account before you decide to get a table.
Spend your holidays wisely by following these profit-making craft market tips.
Know Your Market
The first step to having a great craft market experience is finding the right audience. Get insight into who is buying your product, and then find the craft markets they will be attending. For example, if your products are popular with children, make sure you’re showing at family-friendly markets.
Research is the only way you will know what craft markets suit your business. Use your own data from email lists and surveys, attend shows and speak with craft market veterans to discover who your customers are and how you can reach them.
Calculate Your Costs
Being a small business owner means evaluating whether your decisions’ outcomes are worth the costs – and whether your craft market will yield the net profits you’re looking for.
Fixed costs, also known as overhead costs, are costs that are incurred that aren’t affected by output. For example, whether you sell 10 jars of jam or 100, the costs of renting a table, buying an outdoor tent and table decorations will be the same.
This means that showing at more craft markets more often reduces the overhead you’re paying per table, increasing your profit margin.
Variable costs change in direct proportion with your product output, mostly in the form of labour and material. The more jars of jam you make, the greater variable costs you will incur. But if you make enough jam, you may be able to reduce the variable costs per jar by using a modified assembly line method.
It’s important to take these variable costs into account when you decide how much product you should make in order to be profitable.
Cater to Your Customers
While it’s ideal to do what you love, if people don’t want to buy your product, your business won’t survive. Watch what people are buying and what they’re interested in, and then try to cater some of your products to popular demand.
Make sure your time and resources will result in a sale by producing products that people want. A little flexibility goes a long way for your return on investment (ROI).
Decorate Your Table
Creating a visually appealing, practical display isn’t as simple as it may appear. Your table needs to be exciting enough that customers will go up to you, while being able to be set up and taken down quickly and easily.
In sales, sometimes how you sell something is almost as important as the product itself. Choose a theme to decorate your table with, such as “rustic artisanal” or “bright and colourful”. Use different shapes, colours, objects and curiosities to add visual interest to your table. These accents will make your table memorable, even in a crowd.
Sell Your Product Effectively
Not everyone is a natural salesperson, but the most successful businesses at craft markets are the ones with great salespeople. And standing out doesn’t have to mean being the loudest or the most outgoing.
Every product has an interesting story about it. Think about where its materials are from, whether it’s organic or fair trade, the unique way it’s made or whether it’s part of a long tradition. Show your personality and share the passion you have for your products, and customers will take notice.
Though making immediate sales is necessary to turn a profit at a craft market, take advantage of newsletter sign-ups, guest books and contests. By collecting customer data, you can create a list of sales leads that may convert into customers later. Tell them about discounts, new products and the next time you will be at a craft show, and you open yourself up to profiting in the future, too.
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