Small businesses are prepared for this holiday shopping season with “Shop Small” hashtags and stickers popping up in stores across the country. Now with Thanksgiving week upon us, what are last minute ideas for small businesses to roll out during this upcoming month of holiday splurging?
Local craft fairs and temporary markets are popular during the holiday season. If you have products that you are interested in selling, some of these seasonal markets are still accepting applications for vendors. The following calendars include many of the upcoming shows:
DFW Craft Shows: A calendar view allows you to click on the events that occur on a particular day of the month. Some days have more events than space is available, and a ‘plus sign’ followed by a number designates that there are more events listed on that day. All are in the DFW area.
Fairs and Festivals: This list allows you to search by zip code and within a 10, 25 ,50, 100 or 250-mile radius of that zip code as well as by month and year. For instance, 42 events will occur in December within a 50-mile radius of the Central Dallas Library located within the 75201 zip code. The advanced search feature allows you to further narrow your search by arts, crafts, food, music, and/or commercial fields as well as a specific date.
If your small business is going to participate in a holiday fair or market, there are some simple steps to take to be prepared, according to the Small Business Administration.
1. Make sure that the products that you will be bringing are a good fit for the market. Each craft fair, flea market and festival will draw its own unique crowd. It is important that the products you bring will be appealing to that event’s target audience. Do not hesitate to ask the organizers of long running events what the likely audience will be.
2. Be sure you have all the special requirements for the event. Communicate with organizers and double check that you have the correct dimensions for everything from your vehicle to booth to signage. Also, pay close attention to what is included at the event such as chairs, tent, power outlets, refreshments, etc. Is the event indoors or outdoors? Plan accordingly for the weather.
3. Bring plenty of products, promotional materials and staff to ensure that customers can ask questions and pay for merchandise without having to wait in a long line. Pick staff that are outgoing and energetic and keep snacks and refreshments on hand to keep them happy and enthusiastic. Have promotional materials on hand in case people are not interested in purchasing right away. Also, an email list will give you an opportunity to reach out to them in the future.
If you are not sure about whether you want to participate in an event this season, this is a wonderful opportunity to visit different events and see if they would be a good fit for years to come. Talk to vendors and ask about their experience with the organizers and the event itself. Engaging in casual conversations will help you learn from other small business owners and can expand your business network.