So you have a product that you want to sell or a piece of art, and you’re ready to rent a booth at a festival or art show and start selling? Well, as easy as it sounds and as great as it feels to make something people are willing to pay for, read these tips first to evaluate whether this business is going to be profitable for you.
Get a feel for it all. Before hopping right in, visit a couple art fairs or festivals and see if it’s right for you. This means comparing your pieces to other vendors and objectively asking, “is my work good enough?” It’s difficult to tell yourself you may not be and perhaps it’s just that one fair, but you will have to be willing to accept criticism and gain an edge over the competition. Find out what venue is right for you and where your products will be competitive enough to turn a profit.
Research. Find out who you’re selling to and who you want to be selling to before you start. The amount of people at each fair can be a determining factor for how much you will sell. Another factor behind your profits is the amount of money you’re going to be putting into each selling opportunity. It’s important to take every detail into consideration. This includes travel, shipping, banners, cost for a vendors table, materials and a permit. After determining how much you’ll be spending in total, calculate how much of your inventory you’ll need to sell in order to make that money back. This is your minimum target goal, so your first priority is to hit it!
Crawl before you walk. If you’re looking to minimize costs and potential losses, start out small with minimal costs and build a following. The more people you reach, the more return customers you’ll have. When attempting to minimize costs, you can start out at closer and less costly fairs, but also try finding someone to share a booth with to cut your booth costs in half. There’s no need to invest large amounts of time and money until you find that your small business has the opportunity to be successful.
Price it right. So you’ve come to the point where you’re ready to go, but you don’t know whether to make more expensive pieces but risk selling less, or make less expensive pieces and sell more for smaller profits. The simple answer- do both! It can be difficult to figure out the best price in such a volatile and trendy market, so the best way to start is to create an array of price points for your customers. Not only will you widen your target market, but you’ll figure out what works and what doesn’t.
Accept credit cards and mobile payments. If you’re only accepting cash, you’re missing out on a huge portion of customers. Using POS (point of sale) and mPOS (mobile point of sale) devices from PayAnywhere, your business will be able to accept credit cards, Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay! Try it out for free now!
Build a mailing list. Art fairs and festivals will yield returning customers, but with these fairs being as hectic as they are, how do you get information, keep the lines moving, and make sales all at the same time? Easy - raffle off one of your pieces so long as people put their contact information or even their email in a box with a slit in it. At the end of the day, pick one out and tell them they won! In reality, you both won - you now have a box full of potential customers and can send out emails letting them know the next festival or art fair you’ll be attending.
Tally up your sales. As entertaining as it can be to create something that people are willing to buy, it has to be profitable in the end. This means counting up your sales at the end of the day to see if the money put in is worth what you get back. Even though it may seem that you made plenty of sales, the costs of travel, shipping, materials, and whatever else can start to add up.
If you found that you’re satisfied with the profit you made, take baby steps working towards expanding and taking this job more serious. You never know, your business might just be the next big thing, so get out there and give it a shot!
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