Summer is here, which means more fruits and vegetables are in season for customers to enjoy once again. Many business owners like to take advantage of the sunny warm weather outside and set up a produce stand to sell to customers walking around the neighborhood or on the road. If you would like to start a produce stand, now is a great time, but a lot of preparation goes into the business to succeed. Starting and running a successful produce stand means much more than growing or ordering your items and setting up a cash register and credit card processor.
What You Need to Start a Produce StandBefore starting a business, merchants must create a business plan to ensure it runs smoothly. Business owners need to consider inventory costs, a point of sale system, staffing, and what needs to be done to market their business. Ensure you calculate the total amount and what you would need to invest in the long run.
Owning a quality and up-to-date point-of-sale system is an investment you want to make for your business. Manually counting inventory is time-consuming and prone to mistakes. A National Retail Solutions POS system could digitally track sales and merchandise when you are running low on stock. The system can also track employee hours, making your payroll process easier and more efficient. But before you can own a POS, you need the necessary equipment to run your business. First, purchase a stand from a retailer or an online store. Next, you need to figure out what type of food you will be selling and where you will be selling it. We will browse through all of these topics to ensure you know what tools you need to run a successful business.
Choosing a LocationWhen choosing a location to sell your products, consider what audience you would like to cater to. If you want to run a business near other stands, remember that yours may not stand out from the crowd. Choose an area where there aren’t too many businesses selling the same products as yours. You can sell your products by the side of the road, in the city, or at a farmer’s market.
How to Set UpIf you want to sell your products on the side of the road, choose a busy highway to attract clients who are on the go or just passing by. Customers will appreciate the ease of grabbing a quick bite to eat when fresh produce is available. Setting up on the roadside can also make your business stand out and be the talk of the town. Since it is a new business in the neighborhood, many people who live locally or travel near your company could create a social scene.
Before you start selling at a farmers market, there are a few things you should think about.
As you may know, the farmer’s market allows all business owners to set up shop and represent their company. Remember that there is a lot of competition and many sell the same product. You may need to ask yourself, “What about my business differentiates me from the competition? What should I offer my customers?”
What to SellSelling to consumers can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. Depending on where you are selling your products, you can get a sense of what your consumers want. For example, if it is a hot summer day and customers wish for something cold and refreshing, you can sell fresh fruit popsicles or make a fruit sorbet. You can always get creative with what you want to sell to your consumers. The best way to think about what you want to sell to your consumers is to think about, “What would I want as a consumer? What fun food would I enjoy on a hot summer day like today?” If you notice that there are many business owners selling fruits and vegetables, sell other fresh products that can be exciting to consumers. For example, to add variety to your product line, you may sell fresh honey and produce honey-scented candles with various ingredients. Customers will appreciate that there is so much to choose from and admire your business’s ingenuity.
How to Set PricesAdditionally, customers love to look at products with fair prices. When marketing to consumers, it is crucial to understand how other retailers, notably supermarkets, price their goods. If a competitor sells their apples for $2.50 per pound, you’ll want to price them around the same price. However, remember that they shouldn’t be more expensive than those of supermarkets or other businesses. According to Krystal Wascher in an article on bizfluent, “People might pay a little more than supermarket rates to get fresh produce, but you don’t want to be the most expensive stand in the area.” Keep an eye out for any price adjustments in a supermarket and ensure your prices are reasonably priced. That way, you can attract more customers with your prices and be ahead of the competition. Then after consumers see your prices, they may skip the supermarket altogether!
Hiring Employees for Your Produce StandSince you’ve got your hands full, it’s time to hire employees to make the load a whole lot easier. When hiring employees, ensure that they have the right qualifications for the job. You should look for employees knowledgeable about fresh produce to inform customers about your products. Having employees that know what they are talking about when it comes to new products is key to selling your products. It may be more alluring for a customer to purchase the product if an employee is knowledgeable about, say, fruits like dragon fruit. Employees can advise when to buy them, how to cook or bake with them, etc. Ensure that you also train them on how to use your new NRS point-of-sale system!
Marketing Your Produce StandWith your new POS system, you can now effortlessly control your sales and promote your products. The NRS POS system offers a customer-facing screen that can keep consumers entertained while checking out. The customer-facing screen shows what the consumer has purchased and advertises the merchant’s products as well. It is a win-win scenario for merchants and consumers.
In addition, you can advertise locally in business directories and newsletters to promote your company. Accepting a variety of clients, such as those who utilize EBT, would also be a good idea. EBT cards, the modern version of food stamps, are a crucial component for growing your company. Since fruit is a nutritious food staple, EBT cardholders are permitted to buy it from your store. Given the number of people who use EBT cards every day, accepting them can reach a wider audience.
Launching a produce stand takes a lot of planning, consideration, and effort, but it is worthwhile. Selling your products will make you feel good at the end of the day, knowing that you helped make sure that people can afford food and provided your customers with everything they need to make their shopping experience pleasant. A successful business has happy customers. With everything you know about operating your business, you can do just about anything.