I love Farmers Markets. Love them. They play such an important role in our towns. It’s where we go to buy fresh eggs, fruits, vegetables, and baked goods. Some markets also have craft vendors and artists. I go to every Farmers Market I can, not just for the food but also to get to the essence of community.
It’s a place where I can see my neighbors, meet new friends, and get to know the market vendors. It’s a place where people connect. It’s rare to see anyone at a Farmers Market who is not smiling, even a little bit. It’s a place where community is represented across age, gender, race, and ethnicity.
When we buy locally and support our local growers and vendors, that money goes right back into our local economy. I love Farmers Markets.
I realized the other day that a Farmers Market might be a great place to try out a new small business idea to see if it has legs. There certainly are advantages to testing out your small business idea at your local market. You can build up a clientele, a reputation, and tell your story while making money.
Selling at the market is not only a source of revenue. It’s also one of the best marketing opportunities available. It’s the best way I know to meet your customer face-to-face and start to build a relationship.
The customer gets to know you, and you get to know them. They learn your story – maybe you grow the strawberries you are selling on the farm that’s been in your family for three generations. Or maybe you are a brand new farmer and bring your kids to the market with you.
Perhaps you paint lovely pictures because your grandma took you on walks on her farm, and you are inspired by nature. Those are stories that allow people to get to know you. They help build loyal customers who tell other potential customers. Of course people get to taste your wonderful food or see the things you’ve created, too.
I believe firmly that a business plan is a must-do for anybody who wants to start a small business. But selling at a Farmers Market is a great place to start. As your market business grows, so does the opportunity to take it to the next level.
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