Throughout the year there tend to be all kinds of outdoor fairs, markets and sales that lots of different people set up stands at to sell their wares, raise money for charity, or promote their businesses. If you have plans to attend an event as a stall holder in the near future, whether it is a street fair, state fair or even your own yard sale, there are some things you can do in the planning of it to make it run more smoothly, and hopefully make it a big success.
Here are some tips:
Consider Your Cash Float
If you are making sales for cash rather than getting people to sign up for things, you are going to need to have change to give them. People will walk away from a sale if it becomes inconvenient for them or they have to wait while you ask half the other traders if they have change for a twenty dollar bill, so make sure you are prepared with a float containing lots of different denominations. Your float needs to be in a secure place close to your body, such as a fanny pack, and should only ever be minded by trusted people. You should also make sure you keep careful records of how much was in your float at the start of the day so that you can balance out your profits accurately at the end.
Consider Taking Card Payments
Now, thanks to technology that works with smartphones and services like PayPal, it is possible to take card payments without the usual equipment. You can order simple plug in devices for iPhones and other mobiles and tablets, which you can use to swipe cards and take payments. This can be a great way to make it more convenient for customers to buy from you, especially if you sell more expensive items like clothes or antiques which people aren't always going to have the cash for on their person. Rather than let them change their mind about the purchase because they don't want to walk to the ATM, let them pay with a card and you have your sale instantly! It also removes the risk associated with taking checks.
What Will You Do If It Rains?
If it is an open air event, even on the sunniest day a surprise shower can threaten your merchandise, or at best make it unpleasant for you to mind your stand. A good way to prepare is to invest in an instant canopy you can throw up at the first sign of rainfall. This will shelter you and your wares, as well as give potential customers an enticing dry place to come and stand, where they might just see something they would like to buy! Even if you aren't selling anything and are simply collecting signatures for a petition, taking charity donations or handing out promotional literature for your business, a canopy will make doing it a lot more pleasant for you if rain begins to fall!
John Morris, the author of this article, works for Over The Top Shelters, a prominent portable shelter dealer in Concord. He is a nature lover and enjoys spending time outdoors.