Calling all indie crafters with an eye for business! Today's lesson will tell you how to build your own portable trading stall so you can start getting your business out there...
With this comprehensive guide, your indie biz will have a very professional and very eye-catching trade stall. Not everyone has the initial wealth necessary to start their own indie craft shop, so a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. In order to build that wealth, you have to be resourceful. The more you save, the more purchasing power you have to expand your business.
How do indie crafters benefit from a portable craft stall?
How to build your own portable craft stall
1. You will need furniture for displaying and housing your products. Check out your local thrift store for two tables, two chairs, and any big storage plastic bins. If you are able to find a tent or large tarp set equipped with stakes and poles, get it. These will be essential for keeping you and your kiosk dry and protected from the elements.
2. Score a tablecloth or tarp to cover your tables. The cover should be long enough to touch the ground. Choose your colour(s) wisely; the table cover helps bring together the overall look and feel of your craft stall.
3. Create a display sign for your trade stall. The sign should be bold and sexy, and should be visible from at least 30 feet away!
4. Create a full inventory price list. The price list should be eye-catching and enticing. Emphasise sales and specials to bring customers to your trade stall. The prices should be bold and visible from about 10-15 feet away. Post your price list on the front of your display table.
5. Develop a full inventory tracking spreadsheet with all of the items to be sold on the trade stall. Your spreadsheet should include: the item name, description, quantity total, quantity sold, date sold, and a space for comments and notes. Bring two differently coloured highlighters and an ink pen with you to mark items sold and items out of stock.
6. Bring plenty of merchandise! A great rule of thumb is to have three of each item on your inventory price list: two for display purposes and one for when the other two items are sold.
7. Have a starting 'bank' ready to go for your first sale! Bring plenty of cash in as many denominations as possible. The bank should be kept in a locked cash box, and you should bring a receipt book with you to log all transactions and give a copy to your customers.
8. Have a list of sale policies (either posted or available for handout) for your customers. Include your return, special order, and additional policy information, and provide contact information as well.
9. Finally, bring plenty of business cards! I cannot stress that enough. You will want to provide your customers with a way to get in touch with you for future purchases.
Well, there you go. It's easier said than done, but follow the pointers above and you'll have a fully operational trading stall that won't give you any nasty surprises.
Next, I'll tell you how to put that trading stall into practice, and how to land sweet indie biz opportunities...