One for single income traders (how do you manage?)

For traders and related people to share

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Postby Tuppence » Fri Jun 16, 2006 11:26 am

Had another thought btw - county shows. Most have a kind of food hall tent.
And a lot of the people who attend them have money.
Also a good way of "networking".

Suspect it's pricey, but if you can find someone to maybe go halves on a stall with you....

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Postby Type16 » Wed Jun 28, 2006 7:48 pm

Make an organic line - meaty & veggie.
We are not flush with £ but will pay the premium prices ---- as will many punters.
Up our end, Rhug estates & others are making £££££ from Water Buffalo meat - organically raised. Also, someone is doing things with Ostriches!

Novelty + purity = ££

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Postby Lord High Everything Esle » Wed Jun 28, 2006 7:50 pm

[quote="Tuppence"]Had another thought btw - county shows. Most have a kind of food hall tent.
And a lot of the people who attend them have money.

:lol: Martin and the County Crowd - never in a Blue Moon :lol:

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Postby PotBoy » Fri Jun 30, 2006 2:37 pm

You must use your business bank account - even if you transfer it straight back out again. This will give your bank an idea of your turnover and also it helps to keep your business separate from personal when it comes to end of year accounts, and dealing with the tax man.

I saw, tried and bought some of your stuff at an event recently and it was great. There are a couple of things I can think of: (sorry I may ramble a bit here as I think of things)

1. Do you trade only at re-enactment events? We have a local farmer's market in the Hampshire area, and there are markets every weekend around the Hampshire area. I think this is happening all over the country now - Is there a weekly market in your town where you can have a stall (or get pally with someone and maybe share a stall with them). Or any other independent deli type store. Your stuff's good so there's no reason they won't at least try it. Although it does have to be priced so that both you and they can make a profit.

2. Do you have any local "touristy" type places or shops. For example we have a local cider farm and shop and they operate as a deli and sell locally produced stuff for lots of small businesses.

3. If someone wants to buy at your stall and you have run out would you post it to them - ask that they pay for it at the time and give them a leadtime and send it on. For anything under 1kg royal mail is cheapest, but over that do a deal with a carrier and you will probably find that you get a next day service for under £5.00.

4. The final thing, I think - do you have a website? Today, more and more people prefer to shop online - unfortunately it is the future. You can set up a website for very little investment - only your time and hosting costs. If you start small with an informative website of about 10 pages - showing, pictures, costs and descriptions and an email form for people to email their orders to you. Then you need to get it out there, link to as many sites as possible and get everyone you know to put a link on their site.

5. Is your profit margin high enough? Many people say that re-enactors want more for less. Tough. Do they ask for discounts in Tescos? People can always ask and you can always say no. A sale is not worth making if you are not making any money.

6. Do you accept credit/debit cards. This is the reason I don't buy very often at trader's row at an event. I don't like to carry cash around with me but it's easy to tuck away a card somewhere. You can buy one, or they cost around £15 per month to hire and then there is a per sale transaction charge (pence in the case of debit and % in the case of credit cards).

Have you tried the Federation of Small Businesses - - their membership fee is £100 per year, but they get you discounts on all sorts of stuff - card machines and the charges that go with it, discounted telephone bills, free legal advice. What we save with them is more than the membership fee. They also run shedloads of free seminars and workshops to help you improve your business.

You could try talking to your suppliers to see if they will extend your credit terms as obviously it is in their best interests that you keep trading.

The one thing most small businesses fail on is cash flow. I wanted to grow my business but kept running out of money just short of where I wanted to be - it was 2 steps forward and 1 step back. I was lucky in finding a bank manager who believed in my business plan and was able to boost my cash and I have never looked back. The unfortunate bit is that to grow your business you will need to invest in it.

The most important thing. Keep believing. The first 3 years apparently are the worst. Many years ago I worked for a chap whose philosophy was:

First Year - make a loss
Second Year - break even
Third Year - make a profit
Fourth Year - sell it (this bit is optional :-) )

he always worked on that and he's a multi-millionaire. I'm just at the end of my third year and it's working for me.
If you don't have a website and would like some help with it email me. I also know rather more than I thought I would ever want to know on getting Google to work for you.

I think that's enough for now. I wish you well and the hard work will all be worth it soon. If you would like any help with anything, please email me I know how much hard work it is.

More bag pudding please Mistress Anthea

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Postby Sigurd-Luke » Thu Jul 13, 2006 6:32 pm

Martin, i would sugest going to your local inland revenue office, and talking to them about working tax credits!! have to be over 25 and work over 30 hrs a week as a general rule.
I get just under £300 a month to help towards food/fuel etc. which would other wise be taken out of my meager earnings!!

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