When starting any career, job or startup, there comes a time when the question will crop up – Is the Market Stall Right for Me?
It may hit you in the middle of the night, halfway through a shift or just before launch day. Either way, you need to be sure, so when you make the jump you are positive its the right thing for you.
Today, we’ll look at weighing up the odds, what are your motivations and where do you intend on taking this business later on?
To find other lessons click How to Start a Market Stall.
Lets Face Facts
Self employment is not the easiest job in the world – FACT! It will become the easiest job in the world with some planning and hard work, but until then you are going to feel like you are drowning in a sea of knowledge.
Take this for instance. Here you can find lessons on how to improve your ability to start and run a successful market stall and yet there will be over 30 posts by the time it is finished and that will only be the theory part – YOU STILL HAVE TO DO!
Okay, okay – Just checking to see how easily you can be persuaded away from achieving most of the things you want in life. If you are still reading, lets get deciding!
The decision to make a break from the norm happens for 2 reasons.
A. You want a change from your current life or think you can do better
B. Necessity – Bills to pay or a new arrival to the family
These two motivating factors are what drive us all to get out and do something more than the mundane and it is this that you need to also take into account when deciding if the Market Stall is the place for you.
The Proving Ground
I am a big believer that you should try something to know if it is what you like.
Perhaps selling something on Ebay or Gumtree gave you the thrill of the sale, or maybe the local car boot sale found you standing and selling all day and enjoying the buzz. Either way you got a taste and thought that it wasn’t so hard.
Great! Now all you need to do is do that day in and day out to make a consistent living, and you are going to be fine.
There – did you hear the crunch?
Every day, for the foreseeable future you are going to be selling products to other people in a range of different scenarios. Festivals, boot fairs, local Farmers Markets and city street markets. If you are fine with that thinking, then lets create a snapshot.
Get a piece of paper – any will do! Napkin, envelope even the edge of the newspaper and make some time.
The first title should be goals. This is where you have an idea about why you are doing what you are doing. Think of this as the overall plan. The place from which you get your energy to move forward, and the place that you return to in order to gain strength, meaning and alignment.
This should be a measurable and visible result that has clear steps to achieve in a relatively specific timeframe.
If your first goal here is, “Make money”, I think you need readjust your goal. Of course it is vital to add this to your list, everyone needs money to survive on the basics of life, but it cannot be the priority.
To “make money” is too general. What is the money for? How much money? When will the goal be achieved? Remember it should be measurable and visible!
A goal might be, to be debt free in 5 years. This is a visible goal and is measurable by the time period. It can be broken down into smaller steps too. For example you can say that you will reduce your spending by 50% over the next six months.
Family normally appears on a goals list too, but don’t just write Family as a goal (unless you mean family as you want to have children within the next few years…)
Be specific! What do you want for you family? If you want your children to be well educated, then you need to have that as a goal. You can measure it within a time period and you can visibly see the result. You can save towards it and be able to make progress to achieve it.
Whatever your goals, be as specific as you are able to. Then you are able to work out the steps to achieve them later on. This will mean you can work towards you goal one step at a time and it is not as daunting as looking at the whole mountain.
Your next focus area to examine should be your current skills. What can you do already? What can you do that can be easily transferrable to a new role? What skill do you need develop?
We all have skills, perhaps you are able to write fantastic reports in vast detail in a spreadsheet program. That could be both transferrable for market research later on, reporting your progress to see if you are on target, perhaps even offering it as a service to other Market Stall owners.
Are you self reliant? Is this a strong characteristic that you have developed. If there is a problem and no-one to help, are you able to make a plan and overcome the obstacles in your way?
Are you a decision maker? Do you need to develop this skill a little more?
Are you a motivated presenter? Can you transfer this over to the Market Stall to sell your product to customers in a way that they feel you know your products and are able to market them?
Are you self-confident? Do you need the moral support from those around you or can you find strength from what you are able to do? Do you need to develop this?
We all have skills that can be used in so many ways on the Market Stall. The way we interact, that caring approach, the ability to market a product, the analytical side of running a business. All are required and will be developed while you are a stall owner.
What are your current commitments? If you have to drive your mother to church every Sunday morning, you are going to find it hard to be a Market Stall owner on Sundays, and this may prove a big blow to your fledgling business.
Do you care for someone and have to be there all the time, can you give up Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Do you own a pet? Do you need to have someone watch over your best pal while you are away, perhaps for as long as a weekend?
Think about things which will take your time and require you to be somewhere else away from your business.
The major driver for most people is to improve their lifestyle or at least add to it. Here is where you need to be honest with yourself. What debts do you have, credit cards, monthly direct debits?
Then continue listing the outgoings you have, like the mortgage payments/rent, taxes and food. Then there are transport costs, repairs, and general necessary purchases like clothing and food. Write it all down – See it – Visualise it!
Finally, if you have any savings note those down too.
If you have an income at the moment, and you are covering all your outgoings, then you will need to be replacing that with whatever your market stall will generate. Bear in mind this doesn’t always happen overnight!
If you have a partner/spouse who will continue to support you and/or the family while you get set up then that too is worth noting as you may need to work that into the budget later on.
Solopreneur or Entrepreneur
Are you a solopreneur or entrepreneur? There is a slight difference between the two. A solopreneur will pretty much try to do it all by themselves. They don’t aim to take on assistants, they will make their own or organise the products to sell, and they have a clear aim of ticking along building their business by themselves.
Entrepreneurs on the other hand love to network, talk to people, spend their time selling themselves and their products. They are aiming to hand over aspects of the business to assistants and other businesses to make sure they succeed.
Each has it’s benefits and more than likely you will start out as a single solitary figure creating a space from which your business will grow. Just be aware that there are different paths to every business and nothing is set in stone.
A Realistic Review
If you have taken the time to sit down and write answers to some of the headings above you should have a better idea of who you are and in what position you are in. This will lead to your next decision to be a ‘weekend’ market stall owner or whether you are going to go full time and make this your business.
It is important to know yourself first, there is nothing worse than finding out two weeks in that you do not have enough savings to carry yourself through for a couple of months or that you really don’t like working alone.
Equally important is in deciding to make the incredible journey into your own business, the market stall will offer you opportunities you have never seen before. From interesting people to using a range of skills you never thought you had.
It is an exciting business, one that changes from moment to moment and never stays the same. You will be talking to strangers and hearing stories, dealing with complaints, and unpacking, displaying, packing and carting home all your stall each day.
This is when you need to look back at those goals you first wrote down and focus on the why you are making this great leap into your own business.
You will be your own boss, you will need to be disciplined and you need to be adventurous. Those key elements are what will drive you forward to being successful and emerging from the marketplace to greater endeavours and business opportunities.
When you now ask yourself the question, “Is the Market Stall Right for Me?” you be able to answer with a greater degree of clarity. You looked at your motivations, created your clear goals and have set your finances straight.
Is the Market Stall Right for Me?
If you want freedom to express yourself, your own business and your own style of selling – YES
If you want to only add a little more income to your family and not give up on the day job – YES
If you want to experience a new start that will lead to new adventures – YES
If you only want to make quick money and get as much as you can – NO
Looking forward to seeing you in the Facebook Group, Market Nosh Costers to discuss your thoughts and ideas on the topics mentioned above. Want to be really daring? Share a goal with us that you are going to achieve!
See you in the next lesson – Essential Starter Equipment
- What are motivating factors for change?
- What is the criteria for a goal?
- Why will running a Market Stall be an incredible journey?