How to Open Vendors Village Business

Vendors Village

Vendors Village: Vendors give a city its personality. Being able to buy things from a person who’s operating their own business is exciting and personal, giving customers the opportunity to interact with business owners in a unique way. If you want to become a vendor and sell a unique product, you can learn to get the proper documents to make it legal, grow your business and expand into a successful vending operation.

Read on: How to Become Food Vendors(15tips)

Getting Started

Get the proper vendor’s license in your city. The steps to obtain a vendor’s license vary widely, depending on the type of things you want to sell and the place in which you want to sell it. Visit the revenue agency and the county clerk’s office to find out what you need to do to sell things on the street. In general, though, a street vendor needs to obtain:

  • A sales tax permit from the revenue agency of your state
  • A tax certificate
  • A business license from the county clerk’s office
  • A vendor or peddler’s license

    Vendors Village

Develop a compelling product or service. What do people want in your area? What do they need? Try to find a hole in the market that you’re trying to crack into and fill that space. If you want to become a farmer’s market vendor, what could your farmer’s market use? If you want to sell things at concerts, what do concert-goers need?

  • Try to avoid picking something very common to sell at a particular location. Being the new guy with the taco truck in a city loaded with taco trucks will be a tough challenge. Think of ways to make your product unique and sellable.
  • If you’ve got a common product that you need to get rid of, think of how to spin it so it seems different from other varieties, even if it isn’t particularly. Consider ways you may change your product so it stands distinct. If someone else sells artisanal jam at the farmer’s market, what will make yours different?

    Read on: How to Become Food Vendors(15tips)

    Vendors Village

Get the gear. If you want to sell clothes off a blanket in the park, you’re probably ready to go. But if you want to start a more complicated or professional vending service, you’ll need to plan for a full day of work and how to easily bring everything that you’ll need for the service. Will you need a cart? A truck? Bags in which to put your merchandise? What about a change box?

  • Consider refrigeration and food-service guidelines if you’re going to sell food. You’ll need a food handler’s license if you want to sell anything edible.

Brand yourself and your product. What do you have that other vendors don’t have? What makes you stand out from the crowd? If your taco cart was in line with fifty other taco carts, why should someone come to your place over the others? Give some thought to creating a brand for your vending service and making it stand out. Consider:

  • The name of your service
  • The visual aesthetic of your space
  • Your unique take on the product or service
  • Your customers’ desires

    Vendors Village

Find the appropriate avenue for your business. It may be that the farmer’s market or other common street location isn’t the best place to sell your wares. Explore other options to find a place you can reliably make money. Vendors are common mainstays at all kinds of other places, like:

Making Money

Price your products appropriately. For street vendors there are two basic pricing options, to price your product cheaply and hope to sell a large quantity of it, or to price your product at a premium and hope that the quality speaks for itself. Customers, in general, want a discount, and to feel as if they’re getting a good deal when they buy something from a vendor, or that they’re getting something special that they couldn’t get anywhere else, and are willing to pay more for it.

  • Lower prices are beneficial because you’ve already done the customer the service of bringing the product to them. You’re out on the street, in a convenient location for them to access, and offering a product at a cheap price. If it’s too close to the operating cost, however, you’ll be close to breaking even unless you sell a lot of whatever it is you’re making or providing.
  • Higher prices can drive business away unless the product is very good. If you’re selling watches, for example, they’ll need to be relatively cheap, because customers might just think, “Why not go to a store and buy something for face value.” If you have a super-unique item, like a homemade organic popsicle, people might be willing to shell out a bit more.

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    Vendors Village

Uncomplicate your sales. Whatever you’re selling should be easy for the customer to understand, featuring simple pricing and easy access to the product. If you’ve got a complicated list of features and levels of pricing for your various taco toppings, it’s going to make people less willing to come up to your booth. If written huge on your sign, you have “$2 Tacos,” people will get the picture.

Be professional. Even if you’re just selling some cheap jewelry off a blanket, you need to treat it like a serious business and act with the same professionalism and seriousness you’d take to a 9-5 job. Look the part, be fair, and treat your customers with respect. You want to develop a reputation as a serious vendor who can be trusted, not as a sleazy person who can’t be trusted.

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Vendors Village

Stick to it. People won’t line up right away. At the end of your first several days, you might be somewhat frustrated at the lack of business. Customers are understandably weary of new vendors, and the same person might pass by your location several times before deciding to pull the trigger and offer you business. Try to stay upbeat, positive, and stay out there. You can’t sell anything if you pack it in for the day.
Stay safe. Try not to stay out there alone selling things. There’s safety in numbers if you’re going to be posted up outside with a bunch of loose change and cash on hand. Stick with another person to make sure you won’t be alone and become a target for robbers.

Expanding Your Business

Promote your brand with promotions and deals. When people start to patronize your vending service, give them a deal. Give them a reason to come back. Give them something to talk about with their friends. People need to feel as if they’re getting something for a good price, or they’re coming out on top of the exchange for some reason. Promoting your business by some kind of promotional tactic can help bring people in.

Consider trying out:

  • Buy one get one free promotions
  • Half-price happy hours
  • Coupon flyers
  • Free samples
  • Punch card coupons, for repeat business

    Vendors Village

Develop an online presence. You don’t have to maintain an expensive website to advertise your business, but it’s a good idea at least to advertise on Facebook or other social networking sites to keep people updated on your location, your products, and other aspects of your business.

  • Especially if you’re somewhat mobile, maintaining an online presence is critical. How will your fans know you’re going to be posted up outside the Friday concert if you don’t shoot off a Facebook post?
  • If you’re not big on social networking, create an email list and have people sign up for it at your booth or cart. Send out periodic updates about what you’re working on and what you’ll be selling.

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Hook up with other vendors to create “pods.” There’s strength in numbers. Hook up with complementary vendors to create your own row of similar-but-different booths that will create a destination for shoppers. This is somewhat common adjacent to farmer’s markets, where booths that don’t fit in with the farmer’s market guidelines, but ones that still provide high-quality and interesting goods, can take advantage of the traffic. Post up with others and everyone will benefit.

Vendors Village

Grow your operation. If the money starts coming in, hire someone else to start up another location and offer the same service. If you’ve got two taco carts, you can cover twice the ground, sell twice the product, and get to that many more people in the same amount of time. Save up your funds until you’ve got enough to make it financially viable, and then start expanding aggressively.

Consider incorporation. Many new restaurants started as food carts or simple operations. If you get to the point where you think it might be time to start a formal business, make it formal. Move into a brick and mortar store and get the proper forms to form an LLC, consulting investors and getting the capital you need to start your own successful business.

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Vendors Village

More tips

  • Do some additional research. Remember, becoming a vendor is no small thing.

  • Try selling a variety of things, like if you sell bracelets, do many designs and colors.

  • For security, make sure you hide your cash box

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