There's more to the process than setting up a tent and laying your goods on the table. You need to plan ahead. If you are wanting to set up at a farmer's market, start gathering information before you plant the first seed.
Know the Rules and Requirements
Locate a farmer's market you wish to be a part of within your area. Look for an establishment that has a solid following, but is close enough to town to make it easy for you to get there. Do some research about the number of people who visit and the types of items available. It will help you to be successful if there isn't as much competition for the items you are selling. Visit the location before opening there. Get to know the people and pricing.
Then, contact the agency about opening your own stand. Each farmer's market has different requirements about what you need to do to be a member. Generally, there is a fee but this ranges significantly. You may also need to formally register through the organization before you can begin selling. Know any guidelines set by the organization before you open.
What Makes You Unique?
As you work to get the equipment you need (display stands, signs, and containers) you also need to consider the actual product you are selling. What makes your product stand out? It helps to have a bit of marketing experience to lure in buyers. These tips can help:
*Are you growing a specific type of vegetable that is highly desirable?
*What is the flavor like? Describe it in detail.
*Is your produce available in bulk?
*Are you able to offer special pricing?
*Do you have a limited supply?
Finding a way to stand out is very important since most farmers markets tend to offer the same types of produce. Once you determine what your selling point is, you need to prove it. If you are marketing your fresh, crisp produce, offer samples at the table. If you are selling a rare vegetable variety or a unique variety, provide the visitors with information about it. Create signage that helps to showcase your product.
Tips for Ultimate Success
Know that you know the basics, consider a few must-do tips that can really transform the success you have at such an establishment.
*Ensure your produce is clean and looks great. Keep your display area clean, organized, and free from flies.
*Be ready to talk about how you grew the produce. What did you use to fertilize it? What tips do you have for other growers?
*Be friendly. You'll want to walk around the market, introduce yourself, and get to know each of the other people offering items. Be willing to purchase items to sample them.
*Price it right, but don't undercut the other guy. There can be a lot of competition in such situations. Before you invest in the wrong price, calculate the amount you need to make to break even and earn a profit from your produce. Then, compare that to the competition. Keeping an even price throughout the market ensures you keep others as friends.
*Be sure to post pricing clearly. Outline what the buyer gets at that price, too. Ultimately, you want to show that you are offering a better product at a fair price.
One of the most important parts to being successful in a farmer's market is time. You need to develop a reputation and that takes time. Being present frequently helps. It also helps to be social and open with customers and other farmers. It is possible to do well by going to more than one farmer's market on a weekly basis, but do not run out of product for a weekly visit to the same market.
Finally, be sure you learn from your successes and failures. What sold well? What does not? What do people have to say about the varieties you've selected to grow? This information can help you to be successful long into the future.