So! You started being creative and making something and realised it was a good basis for a small business? Perfect! What's next? Where do you showcase your product? Where do you sell? There isn't one answer to this but one idea is markets.
Growing up in London, I found there were markets everywhere I went on weekends. There was the market in the town square (I grew up in Enfield and our town square was very old and was pretty well known). As a child I went to Spitalfields with my family when it was only market stalls and burger vans (without a chain store in sight) and as a teenager I was always hanging out in Camden Market. I was always so curious to see people selling things, something that might be a little different, something you wouldn't see in a shop.
I am sure everyone has stories like this when it comes to markets that they have been surrounded by but as a small business, how important is joining markets? The answer can be very. Here are 5 reasons why it is great to be part of one:
1 - Connecting with other small brands
Having your own small business can be quite an isolating thing, it may mean that you are creating in your own home and only interacting with people online. It is important to meet other people that are in the same boat and can be helpful and nurturing.
Markets are a perfect opportunity to meet other small business owners, people that are likeminded and will be able to offer support and advice.
2 - Exposure
Exposure is vital when starting a business and wanting it to grow. You may have a following online which is great, but markets will allow your brand to be shown to other people. There might be people who have not heard of you before and are then able to see something they love!
3 - Joining a community
A community is something we all need. I find that the creative community is one of the most supportive I have come across. It is always helpful to have a support network that includes partners, family and friends. However, you want to have people around you that understand the ins and outs of running a small business. Markets are a fantastic opportunity to be part of a community and create those connections.
4 - Talk yourself up
Markets are a chance to talk about you, what you do and why you do it. There is no better person to describe what you do and talk about your brand. You have the time and the audience waiting to hear all about you. It can be a wonderful boost to your confidence too.
5 - And of course...... sales!
Sales as a small business are always important but should not be the only priority. Making sales when at a market is of course a huge positive, but don't let the idea of this bog you down. There are so many factors to why a market is great for you and your business, not just the money.
Another thing to remember is that a sale might not happen straight away. Although people do shop at markets and come away with these things, some people will be more conscious when making larger or more expensive purchases. Although a sale might not be made on the day, it might happen further down the line when a customer is ready to. I have also seen a lot of brands talk to customers to create something a little more personal or customised which has meant work came from the market, even if the purchase was not on the day itself.
And there we have it! Some incredibly worthwhile reasons why a market could be perfect for your small business!