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New Farmers Market Vendor Advice

Snippets from an email I wrote to a new market vendor asking for advice:

Take notes. Record the weather, other events, nearby holidays. It'll help so much in the long run to start understanding buying habits of your customers. I know the exact temperature that revenue is going to start dropping! It's so nice to be able to understand the external factors that might be influencing your sales, especially as you're learning not to internalize anything at all.

On that, take every interaction as an chance to gather information. What questions are people asking? What hesitations do they have? Where do they seem confused? How can you alter your marketing/signage/branding/labeling/pitch to get ahead of all those things? How can you make it as easy as possible for someone to walk up to you with the decision to buy already made? How can you make their time at your table warm and memorable? It takes a lot of energy to forge a connection in 2 minutes or less, but it’s worth it.

Since we're selling direct to consumer, it's going to be about the highest profit margin you'll ever get on your product, so it's a fantastic place to focus your energy on maximizing sales.

Know the bad days don't mean anything in the grand scheme. Hell, you saw me have one, and my business is on track for a 6fig year 3. They are learning opportunities, nothing more.

People will be dicks sometimes. That’s about them, not you. Can you imagine having the audacity and lack of compassion to say something shitty to a small business owner at a farmers market? They don’t understand the level of courage and creativity it takes to get even as far as you have. Those who don’t lift you up are not your people. As they walk away, let their words leave with them. This is a skill, it’ll take time.

Year 1 is hard. I said yes to everything that came my way, and I'm glad I did, because again, there was *so* much learning to be done, so much feedback to integrate, so many changes to make. And ultimately, 1 really hard year of yes taught me all the places I could start saying no, and how to start funneling my business into the thing I really want it to be.

Don't forget to rest.

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