Saturday, May 12, 2012

So you just gotta have a storefront business.

Why not start a flea market business?

Flea markets are entrepreneurial hotspots. You could most likely do some market research into what people want to buy and what they are buying at your local flea market.

Over 500,000 vendors sell from America's 5,000 flea markets. There are 150,000,000 people who shop at flea markets annually.

Here are the reasons you may want to open your start a flea market business before starting a traditional business, taking the plunge and signing a long term building lease.

a. Flea markets offer a low cost entry into business

Get your sales tax license and a county business license and you are virtually ready to go. You can rent a booth for a day, a weekend or by the month. If it doesn't work out, you're out of there without losing thousands.

b. Flea markets are great for part time entrepreneurs.

You may be holding down a part or full time job and need the income. No problem. Start a flea market business on the weekend or work the flea market daytime and work a job nighttime.

c. Flea markets are a great place to liquidate merchandise.

Let's say you have a great source of slightly blemished goods at a cheap price. The flea market may be just the place to liquidate them.

d. The flea market may become your full time business.

Many an entrepreneur decided to try something new and liked the flea market so well that they just stayed there and never move on to a storefront elsewhere.

e. Flea markets are great for niche marketers.

Let's say you just want to sell something like pickles, handmade pretzels, dog collars, or a specialized clothing. It may be hard to build a storefront around a niche. With the flea market traffic that is already there it could work.

f. Start with virtually no advertising.

Just business cards and maybe flyers and you are ready to go. The flea market has already advertised so you have immediate traffic. Now just be friendly and engage the customers and let's make some sales.

g. Start with very little capital.

Flea markets allow someone with just a trunkload of merchandise to get started. I have a good friend who went to prison due to a partnership dispute. When he reentered society he had next to nothing. With a small purchase of liquidated goods he was able to build larger every week with his profits. Today he has a large flea market business and also wholesales to other dealers.

h. Give yourself a plan B.

Start a flea market Business.

I have a relative whose wife has a good job and expects a good retirement. In today's market, even her government job is at risk. She started her own jewelry business as a hedge against a possible layoff. She works flea markets, small shows and eBay to build her business, which was started with minimal outlay of funds.

i. Start with minimal business fixtures.

Usually just a table, a couple chairs and possibly some display racks and you have all you need to display your goods at the flea market. You can continue to improve things as you build your business from week to week.

j. A good add on for the Home Business Entrepreneur.

Some of us don't like to be tied down to a regular work week. Most flea markets offer all kinds of different business models. Some are only open weekends and others offer the option to have a storefront open a full work week. Some entrepreneurs like to have their schedule flexible. This is harder to do in a traditional brick and mortar business without hiring employees.

So what do you do to get ready?

First, visit the flea market you may want to sell at.

Talk to the vendors. Check out the traffic. Check out the cost of a booth. Some flea markets are online and you can do much of your research ahead of time.

Get your licenses. If you're not sure what you need ask some of the vendors at the market. They will know, as most of them will have the licenses.

Get your tables, chairs, merchandise, price labels, snacks, cooler for drinks and so on ready ahead of time. Get some ones, fives and change. You can use a cash bag, a nail belt, fanny pack or a cash register to keep a control on the cash.


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