Market Dilemma

Business decisions are sometimes tough.  I believe it’s also pretty darn simple; are we spending more than we’re bringing in?  The hardest part here is remembering that we have to separate the business part from the personal part (coming straight from my favorite movie, You’ve Got Mail)!  And yet, personal is an important part of our business (our customers)!

Right now, we have been working a few weekly and semi-weekly farmer’s markets very diligently and we need to decide if they are really in our best interest; both financially and for our product.  Profitability is really the key at this point.  (Later on, perhaps we can get into some of the higher profile markets or events, that have equally impressive vendor fees! but have a better reach or exposure as well as better sales volume.  There are so many different options here in our immediate area; check out Visit Tucson Farmers’ Markets.) Right now, we are focusing on local events and markets that will allow us to come in contact with a wide variety of locals and potential customers.

A few questions that are going to use to help determine whether or not to stay at a market:

  1. Sales volume – regular or sporadic?
  2. Market management –
    • Let’s things slide or actively monitors; vendors, venue, and attracting customers
    • Market fees
    • Regular weekly/monthly commitment
    • Inside/outside – winter/summer
    • Market advertising by management
    • Does market have something else that regularly draws new clientele such as music, etc
    • Regular slate of vendors or are they constantly changing

Aside from the different management styles of the markets, different locations, and of course, the regular sales volume achieved at these markets, I, personally, tend to like to stay where I feel comfortable.  If I enjoy being around the fellow vendors, that’s a big thing because we really feed off of each other.  If I’m agonizing over a market because I know the other vendors are just not friendly, don’t understand or are not able to practice simple vendor common courtesies… or just really don’t understand the “give-get” type of relationship, than I’m not too thrilled with the idea of continuing that market.  Yes, it is business primarily, but it’s also personal.

We need to build many kinds of relationships in order to grow our business.  Not only do we want to work with people that we like, or at least have respect as another business owner, we need to be developing those relationships with other vendors and market managers along with our customers.