Working a market stall is more complicated than many people think. It is basically the same as running a shop with the possibility that the stock will need to be packed away at the end of the day ready to be moved to a new location.
If you are thinking of sinking your savings or redundancy money into becoming a market trader, you will find some top tips here to help guide you through the process. Some traders do very well out of the markets, so it is within everyone’s grasp if they are willing to work hard and really make a go of it.
When you set up as a market trader, you will be required to register your self-employment with HMRC. This will also make you liable to pay class 2 National Insurance payments if you expect your profit to be above six thousand pounds in your first year. If you don’t expect to make any money in the first year, which is quite normal, complete the National Insurance exemption form. This will apply in subsequent years too.
What Will You Sell?
Are you going to sell a product or will you use the market as a way to present a service? If you do offer a service, use POS displays from wrights gpx to present literature and leaflets to anyone passing by.
If you are to sell a product, you will need to carry out a little market (no pun intended) research. This is quite simple. Go around the markets where you intend to sell and see what other people are selling. There is little point in going head to head with a long established trader. You will probably lose. Often you will have already found a good supplier of a particular product, or have a hobby, and this is what will guide your decision.
If your stall isn’t a permanent one, you will need a good van to carry your equipment and goods around. The vehicle is probably one of your biggest expenses in the first year, and the reason why few people make a profit during this time. Ensure that adequate insurance is taken out to cover any mishaps, especially if the vehicle is ever left loaded overnight.
The best way to build up a good customer base is to be reliable. Try and attend the same markets on the same days of the week. People will soon get to know how and when to find you. Your reputation will build and customers will have the confidence to spend money at your stall without the risk of them being ripped off.
If you are going to be a market trader you must be prepared for the cold days, especially over the long winter months. This is one factor that stops a lot of people taking up this kind of self-employment. A lot of people just aren’t suited to, what is essentially, outdoor life.
When everything is in place, suitable locations can be sourced for trading. The daily fees are quite low for most markets, but traders need to sell a lot to afford a pitch in city centre locations. Obviously, if business is good, it will improve further by attending more popular markets. Speculate to accumulate, as they say.