I'm quitting my job and I couldn't be happier! (Part 5)

16 May 2018

This article is part 5 of a series. You can read part 1, 2, 3 and 4 below:
Part 1: What is more important to you? Security or happiness?
Part 2: Is it all in the name?
Part 3: Feelin' a bit anti-social
Part 4: Decisions, Decisions

I'm heading to the markets...

Dear Readers, this week I have been learning all about how to start up my market stall.

I’ve swotted up on my market lingo and now I know my ‘grafter’ (someone who shouts offers out) from my ‘lurker’ (someone who observes their stall from a distance). I’m hoping my ‘Gaff ‘ (stall) will be one of the best and will have lots of ‘punters’ (customers) and of course that my ‘swag’ (products) will sell.

Wow, it’s a whole new language!

Did you know that Tesco, Matalan, M&S and Innocent Smoothies all started out on a market stall? I could be the next multi-million-pound corporation (although I don’t think that would suit my ‘free spirit’ image). My hopes are to just make enough to pay for the stall, renew stock and pay myself some wages.

I was told I needed a certain set of skills. The first being the ability to get up early – Yes! tick! I am a natural lark and not a night owl and the thought of being finished for the day by 3.30pm with my feet up and a cup of tea definitely appeals.

Obviously, you have to have good communication skills and a snappy sales technique too – I am naturally shy but can put my chatterbox head on if needs be. And I did used to do telesales back in the day, so I think I can muster some charm when I need to.

I was told an ability to haggle is also an advantage, this I may struggle with as I am going to be pricing my products fairly and the price will reflect the love and time that has gone into producing a handmade product – so I don’t think I will be haggling.

I have also received warnings. This includes being prepared for seasonal changes and slow periods. Then there’s the weather – it’s an outdoor market – so apparently you need plastic sheets with elastic bulldog clips for the stall and nerves of steel and plenty of layers for me. I don’t mind cold weather, so I’m looking forward to being outside all day and not shut in an office. Another tick.

I had to go and have a meeting with Ron the market manager. I tried email, but these people do business face to face. I expected a cockney, rough- EastEnders style character – with advice about how to make my first monkey (£500). However, he was a down to earth, very organised professional who was very helpful and full of advice – so serves me right for being stereotypical.

Ron then took me through the nightmare forest of documentation and what I needed: Product & Liability Insurance, Combined Market Insurance, Traders General insurance for lost and stolen goods, Hygiene and Food Certification and the list goes on. Who knew so much was involved in Market trading?

Despite the obstacles, I’m going to throw myself in. I’ve got the aesthetics sorted with my rustic wood effect table covering, wooden crates and my printed banner and I’m just going to see what sells and what doesn’t.

I’m full of enthusiasm and launch day is Tuesday 24th July, so pop down and see me at Hitchin Market at Sid & Joan’s Creative Crafts.

Please note: I won’t be the one offering “10 for a pound”!

Please note: This article was written by an external author. Any opinions or advice shared by the author are their own and not indicative of any official advice or opinions of Thomson Local or its employees.

Tagged with:

  • Crafts
  • Market Stall
  • Market Trading
  • Starting a Business
  • Startup
Author -
Free Spirit

Jayne recently decided to quit her fancy job as a schoolteacher to persue a dream of becoming a self-made entrepreneur. She's decided to share that journey here via a series of articles that chart the triumphs and hurdles that may lay ahead. Please show your support for Jayne in the comments below.

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