The Farmer’s Market is a Great Place to Start a Business!

I run into a lot of people that have a great idea for a business, or they have something that they think they can sell. Unless they take action and find a way to put the idea into practice immediately, the chances increase that they will never do anything with the idea. However, the chances of success are very good if they start right away.

A great way to put legs on a business idea is the local Farmer’s Market. In my town of Owatonna, MN, we have a very active Farmer’s Market. From the beginning of May to the end of October, vendors set up tables in Central Park downtown and sell baked goods, crafts, fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, artwork, jewelry and much more.

I have had a chance to interview some of them and have learned some interesting things.  One eight year old earned $900 in one summer selling children’s jewelry that she and her family made. She earned this money $1 and $2 dollars at a time. Another vendor makes artwork out of old farm tools. He shows up with his trailer loaded down and sets up his display on the lawn. Regularly you see people carrying away his artwork. I recently met a couple that sell jelly, jam and other canned goods. They average around $200 a weekend. This is something that they really enjoy doing, they work on it together and they can do it in their spare time. Today I met another couple that designed a really cool cage for growing tomatoes. They not only sell them at the market, but they have started selling them online. Check out their cool product at www.eztomatocage.com.  There are dozens more stories just like these.

This is a great opportunity for teens. I met a young man this morning that is selling T-shirts to raise money for a mission trip. He is one of the few teenagers that I have seen at the farmer’s market. If you have been thinking about starting a business where you create something to sell, the local farmer’s market is a great way to test your product and business. Please encourage teens in your life to give this a try. It may be hard for teenagers to find jobs, but they could find even better success producing their own products and selling them locally.

It is a great environment for selling.  Here are some of the benefits:

  1. A steady stream of customers looking for homemade goods to buy.  – At our farmer’s market, especially in late summer when garden produce is being harvested, there are hundreds of customers that are interested in shopping locally, and that makes them great potential customers.
  2. It’s a great place to test a business idea. –   If you think you have a product that people would buy you can test it on hundreds of interested customers, many of whom will give you an honest opinion or a helpful idea.
  3. No marketing costs.  – You don’t need to do any expensive marketing to attract potential buyers since they will be walking past your table anyway.
  4. A place to test your selling skills. – Becoming a good salesperson is something that most people need to learn. You can gain those skills at your local farmer’s market.  Selling something that you have made, something that you enjoy or something that you know a lot about can really help you become a successful salesperson. These are skills that are very important for young people to learn and for adults to improve on.
  5. A place where the customer is not looking for the cheapest price. – This is one of the great things about the local farmer’s market. People are not shopping price. They can already get low price at the supermarket. They shop the farmer’s market to find homemade, homegrown and locally produced goods.

So I hope to see you at the farmer’s market. It is a wonderful training ground to becoming an entrepreneur, and it is a great place to earn part-time or potentially full-time income.  If you have kids in your world that need a place to learn how to sell, or how to start and run a business, please consider this opportunity!

About The Author

Duane Rockensock

Duane (Rocky) Rockensock is a husband, a dad, and the National Reconditioning Manager for AmeriGas Propane. Since he was a teenager, Duane has loved hearing the stories of how people have started creative businesses or found ways to use their talents to accomplish amazing things. For that reason he started this blog to encourage teens and adults to find their purpose and to provide the tools and resources to make that happen!