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5 top tips to get trading on a market tip no 5 May 16, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Clevercow @ 7:20 pm

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Well with Christchurch food Festival firmly behind us it’s time to write about – Analysing the day, was it worth it?

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It is helpful when doing a market if you know what stock you are taking with you, treat it like a shop with a 1 (or more) day opening – you need to know the opening stock,  closing stock and make sure that your takings add up to the remainder.

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When entering a weekly market don’t be disheartened if the 1st few weeks don’t bring in much money,  stick with it as people will get used to seeing you there and gradually you will build up a customer base.

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When doing events don’t forget to add in th following –

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Pitch cost, van hire, ingredients, staff cost, any other cost involved in setting up i.e. gazebo, tables etc.

One thing that I forgot to mention is the valuable P.R. you get from Markets and Events. As a hint I always take my photo books with pictures of the cakes I have already done along with plenty of  enquiry forms. for me this has always been the bonus with cakes being booked for weddings etc later in the year.

In the end it all depends on if you make a good amount of money and get your name out to a good amount of people that determines whether it is worth it.

I have done some markets that I won’t be attending again and some that we will go to every year, all I can do is give you my tips and hope you make the right choice! – Happy trading!

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Useful links –

Anonymous Traveling Market

Christchurch Food Festival

Winton Carnival

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Clevercow Website

 

5 top tips to get trading on a market tip no 4 May 5, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Clevercow @ 10:00 am

Today we’ll be covering easy customer service and how to sell!

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I would consider myself a very customer focussed person and have had many customer service jobs in the past however I am always having to kick myself when I talk to the public at events, markets and fayre’s but why?…

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Well the trouble is I am confined to my kitchen! The most that I talk to someone other than family and friends is when someone calls to enquire for a cake. So put me on a stall in front of the general public and I start talking without the urge to stop!

I can imagine our customer (on this occasion we’ll call her Jane) spots the lovely cupcakes we have on the stall and asks what is in the strawberry ones, off I go explaning not only what is in that cake but also all the other cakes we have on offer. I think this maybe nervousness or the pressure inside of me to get someone to buy a cake, either way Jane thinks I’m a bit weird and may take the cake and walk away thinking never to get in touch again or doesn’t bother as she would hate to get me to speak again!

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Similarly I could be the type of person who usually deals with Facebook, twitter and email and rarely has to speak to customers,  Jane comes to my stall and asks what is in the strawberry cupcake only for  me to say strawberries and that’s it! Jane walks away without buying one and feeling as though I couldn’t care less if I sold the cake or not.

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What I’m trying to say is we all work extremely hard locked away, just because someone is interested in our work don’t be too over-confident but take an interest in your own pride and joy, strike that happy medium and don’t scare customers!

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I have put together some bullets of what I think is important when facing a customer on a market stall –

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  • Make eye contact and smile even say hello – a customer will want a warm face that is easy to approach.
  • If you have a stall with the ‘wow factor’ people will stand and stare or  look as they are passing by – offer a flyer with your details on so they can take something home and remember the amazing stall.
  • When speaking with a customer try to focus solely on that conversation and nothing else, if someone else needs your attention politely explain you will be there in jiffy.
  • If you are running a discount say 20 % off when you buy one product with something else then don’t forget to offer it even if it seems the customer didn’t see it.
  • Always ask if there is anything else you can get them they might want 2 more cakes!
  • Always say goodbye, see you again!

and tomorrows blog is …… analysing the day, is it worth me doing it again?

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Useful links –

Anonymous Traveling Market

Christchurch Food Festival

Winton Carnival

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Clevercow Website

 

5 top to get trading on a market stall tip no 3 May 4, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Clevercow @ 10:05 am

What should I sell?

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The 1st thing you will need to do is decide on what you are going to sell, again this is helpful if you have been to the market before so you can see where the gap is and fit nicely in. Don’t necessarily think that if there is someone else selling cakes you can’t  either, obviously cakes come in an array of different types so chose a different one (of course if there are 6 other traders selling the same thing it maybe wise to find another market where business will be better)

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Remember to K.I.S.S – or Keep It Simple Stupid!

Of course it is easy to say – well I want to showcase everything I bake and give the public a large choice of all my products but having an overcrowded stall can work in the opposite direction and confuse the general public with too much choice, the safe thing to do is to choose a simple range of items to sell, we always sell our cupcakes, a few large cakes, brownies and then a hot new item to showcase so last year it was whoopie pies and this year, well that top-secret of course!

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We also keep the flavours simple by only having a max of 5 different types. As is the same  every year we shall be releasing all our cake details on Thursday!! And look out for something very yummy too!

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Tomorrows blog….easy customer service and how to sell!

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Useful links –

Anonymous Traveling Market

Christchurch Food Festival

Winton Carnival

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Clevercow Website

 

5 top tips to get trading on a market stall tip 2 May 3, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Clevercow @ 10:00 am

Today’s tip is …..organising what you will need to take.

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With markets and events organisation is the key! Events such as Winton Carnival and The Christchurch Food Festival take a week to organise fully so it’s wise to have a master list of all the things you need to consider.


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Finding the perfect stall

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Most people use gazebos for a stall and we’ve been through them all we started with your bog standard gazebos’ which we found collapsed and lasted all of 2 seconds and have made our way up to our gorgeous bright blue pop up gazebo! I have to say by far it is wise to invest it saves time and effort and whats-more to put it up you don’t feel like you are taking part in the crystal maze!

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So next is for the master list! I have put together a list of things that you might need for your stall however this is for a cakey stall, others may vary –

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gazebo

weights

guy ropes

tables x 3

bunting

table cloths

cake stands

signage

flyers

price list

business cards

note pad

pens

enquiry forms

design books

packaging – bags, boxes serviette etc

chairs

money-box

change

stock

bin bags

sanitizer spray

vinyl gloves

spatula/tongues to serve

sharp knife

kitchen roll/blue roll

scissors

string

scellotape

insurance certificate

food and hygiene certificate

You may think this is a little too much to take however every market we have done we have needed at least one of these.

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Other things to consider are –

chalk boards

a board

chalk board pen

And if we are serving hot food then all utensils involved.

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Oooh and don’t forget your camera! You went to all the hard work of organising this day, get it on your website, facebook page and twitter page for all to see!

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Tomorrows blog… what should I sell?

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Useful links –

Anonymous Traveling Market

Christchurch Food Festival

Winton Carnival

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Clevercow Website

 

5 top tips to get trading on a market stall… May 1, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Clevercow @ 1:00 pm

We’ve been taking part in events and markets for 5 years now and with the festival season coming up I thought it would be good to share 5 tips over the week covering finding the right event, organising what you will need to take, what products should I sell? easy customer service and how to sell! and analysing the day, is it worth me doing it again?

Today I’m covering – finding the right event

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Obviously this is one of the most important things when starting trading at an event or a market. But what should affect your choice?

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Look around

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We take part in the Annual Christchurch Food Festival and before starting we took a day off to see what it was actually like. Now the clue is in the title  what with it being a food festival so we knew we where selling the right product at least. However the Winton carnival you wouldn’t nessasarily assosiate with food yet there are about 20 food traders so it’s wise to check them all out.

The second thing we looked for was the amount of people attending. Obviously we want as many people there as possible but being told how many people attended the previous event by the organisers and actually seeing how many attend are two quite different things, Event organisers tend to stretch the truth slightly to get more traders on board. If there is a good flow of people throughout the day then there is a good flow of sales to be made.

Next is to check the competition

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Now using Christchurch as an example again, when we started 5 years ago we where the only cake stall selling our fab cupcakes that were relatively new to the UK, now there are 6 cake stalls with 4 of us specifically selling cupcakes, if I was someone looking for a market to take part in I would know this might not be the best one, however if  I went to Wimborne food festival for instance and saw there was only 1 or 2 other cake stalls then this would definitely be beneficial.

This obviously applies to all,  from cheeses to handbags!

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You may want to ask other traders what they think of the event? Do they think it is worth taking part? Has it been beneficial to them? Is it well organised?

I would always reccommend taking part in events or markets that are already established, of course I know everyone needs to start somewhere and obviously in business you should take risks but take a wedding show we did recently for instance, the show was the first one and a table cost £85 (reduced from £150) the show was in a good position (a restaurant at the end if the pier) and the previous week they had done a baby show with good numbers through the doors. On the day it turns out the doors where open to the general public (hence the large numbers) and we could have counted the actual brides on one hand, we had 2 members of staff attend and incurred no sales so therefore this event just didn’t work for us and as a small business this risk is too high for us to continue with new events.

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Tomorrows topic….. Organising what you need to take.

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Useful links –

Anonymous Traveling Market

Christchurch Food Festival

Winton Carnival

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Clevercow Website

 

Public Holiday?? I wish!!…. April 20, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Clevercow @ 2:31 am

The sun has been out and that has got us ladies at Clevercow booking up our carnivals, summer fetes and festivals!

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First on the list is the 29th of April – One of the most memorable dates this year……………yes! My birthday! Haha well it is, but there is something  little bigger than that – The royal wedding of William and Kate!

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Clevercow Catering is heading on down to Redhill Park for a fabulous fun day. We’ll be serving yummy hot – beef, cheese, chicken and Veggie mushroom burgers all with a choice of 2 rustic salads and not to mention some cold refreshing cloudy lemonade, ginger beer, tropical juice or water!

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Organised by Moordown traders association this promises to be a fun packed day!  There is entertainment for all plus the Moordown traders are organising a painted Easter egg competition to be judged at 4 pm, just bring your egg along to the MTA stand.

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There will be a bridal fancy dress competition for the under 12s. Can be Bride, Bridegroom or Bridesmaid, entry forms from any shop with the MTA logo or the Moordown Community Centre.  A Parade,  a Punch and Judy show, a Children’s entertainer, face painting and bouncy slide so come and join the Community and have a fun afternoon.

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We are mega excited about the day and of course would love to see you all there!!

The next is Christchurch Food festival on the 7th and 8th of May which we will be attending for he 5th year running – I shall post a blog on this too super soon!

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And just a brief note to thank everyone for all the support and votes that flooded through for the Langtry Manor Business Woman Awards, unfortunately I didn’t get enough to secure my place in the top 3 but the comments I had from fellow cake lovers were amazing and a real boost! It was lovely knowing the support was there! I wish all those who did make it through the very best and no-doubt I will try again next year!

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Votes are still running for the Whats on 4 Awards and of course we would love to win ‘best party supplier’ so your votes mean everything to us!! If you would like to cast your vote before may 6th please vote Here!

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Clevercow Cakes website

 

1 cake, 2 cake, 3 cake more!… April 11, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Clevercow @ 2:10 am

 

I should have written this blog earlier in the week, but couldn’t due to the amount of cakes to prepare for this weekends wedding show anyway never mind here we are!

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Earlier in the year we recognised some ‘cupcake hype’ with many local cake companies donating cupcakes to a cupcake camp? Well it had me thinking – What on earth is a cupcake camp? so I logged on and found out the info.

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Cupcake camp was set up in order to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, the way it worked was for local suppliers to donate some cupcakes (as many as we can!) these would then be sold to the general public for a bargain £1 each! It was also a day for the family with live music, fun for the kids and local businesses exhibiting their goods.

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We could also take part in a cake decorating competition and have our delicious designs judged by the one and only Zoe Clark amongst other local cakey businesses.

*Our Best Of British Entry

The camp was a Roaring success with hundreds of people turning up to munch on our fabulous cakes! The statistics at the end of the day were – 1700 cupcakes donated, £1800  raised for Macmillan and all sold out within 90 mins!

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We entered 2 competitions –

Best of British and Best Novelty and were chuffed to see we had one best novelty with our fun little Mr Men cupcakes!

*Our Winning Cupcakes!

Needless to say a fun day was had by all and we will definitely be taking part next year so we can raise even more dosh!