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Summer’s coming, and with the sunshine comes the start of farmers market season. Gone are the days of markets being just a few stalls selling muddy potatoes. While fresh produce (especially organic) is still a huge draw for shoppers looking for seasonal food, farmers markets now feature a wide array of local artisans – from craft distillers to boutique ice cream makers. Food trucks are also a popular addition to farmers markets, so whether you’re a restaurant looking to do a pop-up event, or a chef looking for a startup spot, farmers markets can be a great source of seasonal revenue.
What do you need to get started selling at your local farmers market? Once you’ve chosen your location and secured your spot, here are our top three tips for success at the farmers market.
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Know your market
What time does the market take place? What neighbourhood is it in? Knowing your target market helps set your business up for success. If the area is close to a playground and is known for being family-focused, then it would make sense to target your offerings towards families who may be there with their kids. perhaps offer things like bite-sized samples or ready-to-grab bundles that help parents that already have their hands full.
If you’re in more of a ‘hipster’ neighbourhood and the market takes place near a dog park then you could consider offering products that might appeal more to that demographic, keeping a jar of dog treats handy to please those four-legged customers, (and their owners).
Create exclusive offers
Let people know that your business is at the market. Social media is the best way to engage your customers and capture new ones. While you’re there, you could offer market exclusives, such as “buy one get one free” to encourage purchases. If you’re selling food or drinks, you could offer small samples to encourage customers to taste and talk about your product.
Make the payment process easy
Take enough money for a cash float for small-ticket items but also offer other payment options so you don’t lose any customers. Sign up for Square Payments to accept contactless credit and debit cards, devices with Apple Pay and Google Pay and chip credit cards, too. The pocket-sized Square Reader connects wirelessly to your iOS or Android device, and works hand-in-hand with Square’s POS App to enable you to accept tap and go cards, NFC devices and chip credit cards.
Most communities, large and small, have a weekly farmers market. Sydney has a network of non-profit farmers markets that take place across the city, Melbourne has a market every day of the week and Brisbane is known for its markets. Smaller rural communities also have active farmers markets that usually take place on the weekend.
Farmer’s markets allow you to connect with customers and make sales, provided you know how to do so. Follow our advice above and you’ll be selling more products and attracting new customers in no time.