Is starting a roadside produce stand a good idea? If you don't like spending your workweek in a stuffy cubicle shuffling papers, you should consider starting a roadside produce stand. If you enjoy spending your day out in the sun, talking to people who drive all the way to your stand to see you, this business might be for you.
The roadside produce stand isn't the most complicated business in the world, but you still need to remember some basic principles and ideas to help you not just start but also succeed in your new endeavor. Here are a few ideas that will help you get your roadside produce stand up and running.
Work out the legal requirements. Starting a roadside produce stand is a fairly straightforward legal matter, but there are some oddities about this business, particularly in relation to the interstate commerce law. Going into detail about legal requirements is beyond the scope of this guide, so consult a lawyer regarding the legal minutiae involved. Again this shouldn't be too complicated, except for the aforementioned interstate commerce law.
Pick a spot. While internet-based commerce has made one's location somewhat less important than it used to be, it still matters. This is especially true if one of your main motivations for starting this business is to get out of the office.
Scout for locations that are clean, have a regular stream of traffic, and if you can get a spot that has some good scenery in it, that's even better. This isn't just for you customers; it's for you as well. To run your stand, you'll have to be there every day. It pays in the long run to choose a location that's pleasing to be in and to look at.
Work on your signage and storefront. In order turn passers-by into regular customers, you need great signage. You can either design it yourself or hire an artist to do it for you. Either way, your sign has to be able to attract people who are just walking or driving by. Expect them to be in a hurry, so your design has to be sharp and attention-grabbing.
You storefront should feature your very best produce. Put your best sellers front and center. When you're just getting started, obviously you don't have any best sellers yet. In that case, you'll need to use your judgment or do some research on what people in the area regularly buy.
Know your numbers. Once you've been in business for even a relatively short time, you'll start to see that some of your produce will outsell others. Make sure to keep good records so you know exactly how much profit each type of produce brings in. This will give you an idea of which products to shine the spotlight on.
You can even build a reputation as a "specialist." If you can be the one who sells the very best of a particular kind of produce, people will visit you from across the city just to get a hold of your produce. This will help you refine your marketing to target specific types of customers, and will undoubtedly bring you more success than if you were just seen as a generic produce stand.