What Does It Take to Become a Market Stallholder?

So, you have a light bulb moment, and have come up with a brilliant idea for a business, but you’re sitting on the fence about becoming a stallholder. Your fingers are hovering above the submit button on that market application for the umpteenth time. You have heard being a stallholder is hard work but what exactly does that mean?

In my 7 years of trading as Chati Chai, I can vouch that the following traits are a must if you’re thinking of venturing into the world of very early mornings, and very long days. For me, the best part of the job is having my customers alongside for the journey. I wouldn’t change it for the world! And to the market managers for giving small business an opportunity to test the waters, thank you!! You know who you are.

Starting a business will be different for everyone. Your level of determination will increase once you start, particularly when you start selling your product and start receiving positive responses from customers and you start earning an income. It’s a great feeling!

Your level of confidence at the start should be enough to get you your first market gig. That is the first major step for you. Your confidence will increase overtime as you successfully start selling your products.

Believe in your Product!
If you think your product is good then that will come across in your attitude towards your customers. If you believe in your product, then the customer will believe you too. Be passionate about your brand. Offer step-by-step instructions, ask repeat customers how they are finding the product, do they have any questions.

Customer Service
This includes showing respect, no matter what the situation, for example, an angry or difficult customer. Don’t take their stress on, it’s about them, not you. You will be judged by your reaction. Be assertive but you don’t want to be a pushover. Keep going that extra mile, take care when packaging their purchases, and provide verbal instructions of the product’s use. Always be courteous.

Building Relationships
This is essential for future transactions when you sell a product that people will be buying regularly. A loyal customer will recommend your product to friends and family.

Turning up to a market is essential. Let your customers know where you will be. This is not only for customers, but also for the market managers. Managers are not keen on empty stall space. Stay for the duration of the market. Never arrive late or leave early.

Enjoying People
Liking people will be at the top of your list. You will meet so many different people at a market. Some people will be happy and keen to find out about your product, some people will be having a bad day, some people are just darn strange. Understanding that we are not all the same, will set you up for a more pleasant experience. And if you are next to another stallholder, we have your back! We know what is is like, and we will always be there for each other. 

Think of the Big Picture
Your feet are wet, its raining, its cold, customers are far and few between. But hey, the sun looks like its about to come out. That will bring the customers, and at least you will have some stock left for the next market. How lucky we are that we can work for ourselves and not for somebody else. We control our own destiny. We can make the choice. 

Be positive! Start the day off being excited to get to the market to meet fellow stallholder friends and customers again. This really helps when it’s a cold early morning. Those times during winter when I just wanted to stay under the covers. Have a sense of humour. This really helps to establish a fun market environment. As they say, optimism breeds success.

These are just a few insights into the kind of traits required for people who do well as market stallholders. The most important aspect of becoming a successful stallholder is selling a product that people will want to buy. Excellent organisational skills are a must and will determine how successful you will be. In addition, putting on your biggest smile and how much your customers will like you. Having the strength of Superwoman also helps as you may need to carry your stock to your stall and erect the gazebo. So go ahead, press that Submit button, “What are you waiting for?”


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