10 Top Tips for having a Craft Stall
It’s getting very busy at Little Luna HQ. It’s just a month until my order books close for Christmas and I have 3 stalls before then! I really love doing stalls at Christmas, they get you into the festive spirit and you get to do a bit of Christmas shopping while supporting small, local businesses.
I always feel nervous to go to an event. It’s great to talk to people about my makes, get feedback and ideas but there is always the question of what products to take and how much. A lot of my makes are personalised and made to order so taking samples of those products is a must. I do have products that I don’t have on the website as little stocking fillers as well.
I have been to several events in the last couple of years and thought I’d share some top tips for selling at a fair at any time of year for small businesses.
- Clearly display your prices.
This is not just from personal experience but it’s also been quite a popular comment on several forums I’ve been on. If your prices aren’t clearly displayed, it can put people off buying as people tend not to ask how much your items are.
- Get a card machine!
This has been so important for me for obvious reasons. They often need to have signal and a phone to work. I have fallen foul of not preparing myself with them before the event by not syncing the machine to my phone beforehand. It meant that when I got there and turned it on, I was trying to connect my phone to the machine, only to find that I didn’t have a clue which one mine was in a long list of machines around me! It stopped me from using my machine and I lost sales.
- Talk to people.
This sounds like a no brainer but it is nerve-wracking going to these events and I have found myself sitting behind my stall and avoiding eye contact with people. I make all of my creations, I can personalise items and I can make custom orders as well. I do have little signs dotted over my stall saying these things but nothing beats talking to people about my business which I’m so passionate about!
- Business cards, banners and stands.
It is really important that you have at least one of these! People will take your information away and you never know who will come back to you at a later date. Business cards with your contact details, website and social media on them are great for people to take away. A banner or stand is also very useful. Mine has my logo, website and social media on it. I have had people take pictures of my banner instead of taking a business
- Get covered.
All well organised events will require a stall holder to have public liability insurance. It is so important to cover yourself at events. If anyone injures themselves as a result of your stall, you are covered legally. It might seem like it’s an unlikely event but accidents do happen.
- Being prepared for the day itself.
An event can be a few hours, all day or even several days and it’s easy to get wrapped up in the preparation of stock and how your stall will look. Taking some snacks, water and even a packed lunch is a good idea. Planning for a toilet break may be necessary too depending on the length of the event! Bringing a friend with you, or knowing that one is coming along helps. I always get chatting to my stall neighbours and that is always useful too so you can support each other if needed!
When you are planning to display your products on your stall, creating height is a great way to make your stall look interesting and will show off your products better as well. It depends on the size of your products but lots of people use wooden crates, ladder style units or shelving. I bought a small TV unit from Ikea for my stall which works well for my frames and leaning cushions up against it.
- Taking Orders
Most of the orders I take are for personalised makes so having samples of makes is important. It is also important to be prepared with paperwork for orders. I always take a form for me to fill in so I make sure that I get all of the information I need from a customer but I also take a receipt book. For personalised orders, I take a 50% deposit up front so it is important that I can give the customer a receipt for their payment along with my contact details. Having a realistic idea of time scales to turn an order around as well as how many orders you can take on is important too.
Get talking to other stallholders! I love talking to other small business owners at events. Running a small business is not an easy thing to do and chatting with others in the same position can be a great source of support. You might find new ways of working together or share ideas!
- After the event
It can be a mixture of emotions after an event. Tired definitely, but depending on how successful you feel it’s been, you can feel really positive or like you want to pack it all in! I make everything I sell and it can feel very personal if I don’t sell much at an event. No matter how much I have sold or how many orders I take, I always try to look at the positive side of doing events. Meeting new people and getting your name out there is always a good thing. You never know who will come back to you later down the line.
These are just a few things I’ve learnt so far in my experience. I’d love to hear any tips you have for having a stall at an event or even as a customer what you like to see from a small business!