Have you ever dreamed of running your own market stall? Here’s our guide to setting up as a market trader
What is it and who is it suited to?, Planning and preparation, Rules and regulations, Costs, Beyond the stall – what’s next? and Useful contacts
What is it and who is it suited to?
Becoming a market trader is a great way to start your own business, as it’s a fairly low-cost and straightforward industry. What’s more there has never been a better time to set up your own stall and start trading. According to a 2009 report by the Retail Markets Alliance, markets in major cities largely outperformed high street shops during the recession, as people increasingly sought original and inexpensive bargains. The findings of this research revealed that the UK’s retail and wholesale markets sector has an annual turnover of £7.6bn, generated by 47,000 small to mediumbusinesses. And in addition, the UK’s 1,400 markets employ around 95,000 people, which is good news for the turbulent job market.
As a self-employed trader you can enjoy working in a friendly environment and amongst like-minded people, while selling products you’re passionate about, or perhaps that you have made yourself. If you’re not planning on selling your own goods, deciding what to sell and then finding the right products are often the hardest parts about opening a stall. It’s worth investing time and effort into sourcing your merchandise, because if it doesn’t sell, your business won’t survive for long.
Before setting up your own stall, it’s important to be aware of what the job entails. While running a market stall can be flexible, traders tend to work long hours, and depending on the type of stall, the working day may start extremely early in the morning, especially if the trader needs to attend wholesale markets first thing. Setting up the stall in an eye-catching and presentable manner is crucial, and may take an hour or two, so factor this in when evaluating your working hours. Some markets are outdoors, and some are covered, while some run everyday, others once a week or just at weekends, and others may only be on a monthly or seasonal basis. It’s not uncommon for traders to work at a number of different markets during a given week, so you may decide it’s more lucrative to spread yourself over a number of markets, depending on where you’re based and how feasible it is to do this.
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