Why A Market Stall Is A Great First Business

You have a passion, a hobby, or a talent that for some time you have been reluctant to start a business with. Maybe you don’t know where to start, or you’re just wary after acknowledging the many start up business hell stories. Starting a market stall can be a great way to showcase your idea. It’s a starting point for those who don’t want to fork out insane start up costs but want the opportunity to get their foot in the door. 

“The markets gave us direction and taught us to sell and relate to the customer – it also taught us that lots of small customers are better than a few big ones.”

– Stephen Ormandy, a Founder of Dinosaur Designs

Successful businesses that began as a market stall

Tesco – Yes, one of the largest retailers in the world, started as a market stall, trading at Hackney Market in London back in 1919.
Innocent Drinks – They now sell around two million smoothies per week.
Sass & Bide – That’s right! The label of international fame, who now sell all over the world with a significant presence in all fashion capitals.
My Cupcake Addiction – started at a local market at the Gold Coast, founder Elise Strachan now has 10 million followers drooling over her dream.

Tesco sign
Photo by Simone Hutsch on Unsplash

Why a market stall is a great first business

The start up costs are very low

Starting a brick and mortar business will see you fork out 10s of thousands of dollars for your fit out, getting the electricity connected, legal costs, rent, marketing and advertising, licensing, equipment, technology and countless other expenses. A small store could set you back upwards of $50,000 – woah! This can make it difficult for entrepreneurs to get their foot in the door.

Starting a market stall will only set you back your stall fee, liability insurance, a simple stall set up and minimal inventory. You can even minimise your marketing costs since many market organisers have an established online audience to give you that boost in the beginning. Not to mention the guaranteed foot traffic at established markets.

You get to learn from the experts

The atmosphere of your local market can be fun. Nothing beats the experience you will gain from operating your own little doorway to your career dream. To survive in an environment as competitive as the marketplace, you will need to learn marketing techniques, customer relationship management, exceptional sales skills and how to navigate the market scene.

Now, who better to teach you the tricks of the trade in surviving in one on the most competitive sales environments, than a market veteran? Being able to witness first hand stall holders working their magic, will gain you knowledge second to none. They have been doing this for years, and can not only pass on how to manage or display your stock, but the ins and outs of small business also.


With fellow stall holders

Networking is a very undervalued business growth tool, I must say! The benefits of building relationships with neighbouring traders, distributors, operators and of course customers is unapparelled.

By building a relationship with your fellow traders, they can show you the ropes like directing you to the best distributors and teaching you right from wrong. Though it’s also the little things like covering your stall while you run and grab a coffee. Having friends in the marketplace can be very valuable.

With customers

Networking with customers is an essential step in customer retention. Once you provide an awesome experience for your customer, they are very likely to return over and over, as long as you keep that relationship positive.

Along with positive customer relationships come ‘reference groups’ – this little golden profit has a domino effect and can quickly grow your business if you play your cards right. This is where your satisfied customers refer you to their friends, and they refer you to their Aunt Jess, and Aunt Jess refers you to her entire book club and…you get the picture.

There is opportunity for your business to grow quickly
A Market stallholder hands over his customer's order.

With a larger customer base, your demand may require you to attend multiple markets, this is an opportunity for you (if you want to grow) to become a franchise in the market stall industry. Which in turn provides even further growth opportunities outside of the marketplace.

The more contacts you have in business, the better it is for you. The more you get to know your wholesalers, distributors, other providers, market organiser and fellow stall holders, the better chance you have in scooping up fiscal deals. The more people you know – the more you’re looked after.

If you have a long, positive relationship with your business contacts, who will be the first to help you out and give you a helping hand when you decide to grow into permanent locations? Never underestimate the potential of your business links, it could save you a lot of time and money in the long run! It is without a doubt that the likes of Tesco, show the potential your market has.

This retail giant is a living proof that the marketplace is the perfect platform to plant, water and grow your business.

What are you waiting for? Take the leap, and become the next successful business conceived at the local market.