With Christmas just around the corner, we’re getting super excited to see what some of the awesome small businesses across the UK have got planned for this years’ Christmas markets.
The smell of mince pies and mulled wine, twinkling lights and an atmosphere that bring much-needed festive cheer are a fantastic environment to are a great place to get in the festive mood and find unique gifts for a loved one at Christmas
Without a doubt, Christmas markets are an amazing platform for local creatives, bakers, makers and other independent businesses to showcase their hard work to a wider audience, increase exposure and of course, sales.
Whether you’re new to the Christmas Market scene or have been doing them for years, there’s always lots of preparation needed in the run up to the event. We’ve compiled a few ideas that you may find useful if you are showcasing your small business at a fayre this year.
Things to do in advance
Book your stall
Spending time researching different markets is a pretty good start. Each market will offer different things to sellers, and each venue will have its own atmosphere and crowd.
Find a date and venue that works for you and be sure to book your business in nice and early to avoid losing out!
Promote your event on the socials!
Social media allows even the smallest business to interact with the big wide world. By letting your followers know that you’ll be attending the event will definitely help increase exposure.
Adding a geotag to your post puts a physical location on your content. This means that your small business can take advantage of engaging with users in your area, even people that have never heard of you before. Any locals scrolling around posts on social media will see your announcement and then keep a look out for you at the local market. Don’t forget to add a geotag to your posts people!
Showcase the behind the scenes
After working so hard to get everything perfect about your new product, it’s time to share sneak peaks and teasers to generate hype! Get your followers involved by sharing photos and videos from the very beginning all the way through to the final packaging and presentation. Customers love feeling like they are involved in the behind the scenes of a project and often feel like you are letting them in on a secret. Take them on a journey, and get them curious…
Plan the layout of your stall in advance
You want your stall to capture the attention of people walking past, so that everyone sees you in the crowd and wants to come over to buy your work, right?. Making sure that you have a welcoming display that showcases your products in the best possible way is key.
Branding is a must when it comes to designing your set up. Signage, flyers, business cards are all fantastic ways to draw in new customers and build awareness of your business and brand.
At some markets, you’re going to be given a table. At others, you’re going to have to bring your own, either way you can plan your layout prior to the event. Decorations with tablecloths and fairy lights are easy on the eye and inviting for customers; you could even play around with different aromas too.
Products are fantastic and deserve to be shown off to customers at a market, but it is a good idea to resist the urge to overfill your store. Sometimes, if a stall is too full, buyers and customers can feel overwhelmed for choice, and may be wary of making a purchase. Just make sure that a well spaced out set up of products with pricing and special offers that are clear to see.
Think about packaging options
Although it can often be an afterthought, packaging is a fundamental aspect of running a successful market stall. First impressions are everything, and packaging is the first point of contact that your customers will have with your product.
There are plenty of options available for you to package your products, from simple brown paper bags to glassine envelopes, or even board backed envelopes for prints. Stickers and stamps can add your branding to the packaging and make it really unique. Take a look in our store to see if any Simplelifeco packaging options work for you and your brand.
Things for on the day
Make the purchasing process as convenient as possible at your stall. Have a float of cash at the ready to give people change, but if customers don't have cash, have an alternative non-cash option at the ready.
As the number of non-cash payments at markets grow, so does the number of options for alternative payment options. On-the-go payment solutions are easy to use as both a customer and vendor. There are pay-by-card options such as Square and Worldpay, Google is your best friend when it comes to research.
Wear warm clothes… including a smile!
Every purchase comes with a bit of friendly chit-chat. Your customer will likely be in the festive spirit, ready for a chat and ready to spend some money!
They are likely to want to get to know you and your products before they make a purchase so being friendly and approachable is a must. You are your brand, so don’t be afraid to talk about yourself and your products. Be proud and confident about what you make and sell. A good impression will last whereas a bad impression will mean they may pass you by next time and certainly won’t let others know about you.
The big day is here and everything is ready. All your hard work has paid off; the venue is perfect and now the real work starts. It’s show time!
Don’t forget to talk with the other traders during set-up and closing. Networking gives all the traders a chance to learn from one another, share knowledge and ideas, offer trader discounts and discuss future opportunities. Plus it’s always great to make new friends!