Promptness: It is key to make sure you arrive on time and be consistent when you are vending. *Photo supplied
Promptness: It is key to make sure you arrive on time and be consistent when you are vending. *Photo supplied

The Economic Empowerment Zones Agency recently concluded its 3-part Vendors Seminar Series. The seminars included a wide range of topics that provided tips and techniques common within the vending industry. The series was very successful with over 50 participants at each of the events ranging from seasoned veterans to those considering vending for the first time.

The subject matter was very timely as vending as a business has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years.  In addition to many of the local markets such as The Olde Towne Market; The Hidden Treasures Market; and The Rubber Tree Market vendor opportunities have popped up at schools, churches, and retail hubs around the island.  In addition to local jewellery, crafts and food products, many entrepreneurs are utilizing the markets to test and introduce a full range of innovative new products to the Bermuda.

I have highlighted some of the key topics discussed by our panelists as some of the key considerations to vending as a business. They include:


1
. Importation- take note from where the merchandise you are purchasing is being produced or warehoused. Often times the same item can be sourced from different regions and buyers should research their products to avoid incurring costly in-land freight charges.

2. Mobile Credit Card Processing- for many vendors the convenience of customers being able to use their credit and debit cards is often the difference between making or losing the sale.

3. Using social media to generate interest- this is an easy and inexpensive way to keep your customers informed of product availability and your location on any given day.

4. Merchandising to attract customers- utilizing attractive flags, banners and tents is a way of attracting customers and separating yourself from the competition.

5. Creating a positive customer experience- good customer service and attention to detail are key components to creating a positive customer experience.

6. Merchandising to increase revenue- rotating and pairing items as well as using creative props to elevate your merchandise is a way to encourage increased sales from new and repeat customers.

7. Governmental information and requirements- having up to date payroll tax, permits and health certificates are important compliance requirements.

8. Which market best fits your business niche- Know your product and the customer base that best suits your business.

9. Lessons from market organizers- Arrive on-time, be professional, and be consistent when vending at any organized market.

10. BEDC Support and Services- Meet with a BEDC Officer to discuss your business plan and learn more about the support and services that are readily available.

 While each of the points highlighted are crucial to success as a vendor, the key consideration that every vendor should be aware of is:

 Choose a product that you are passionate about - If you believe in your product and enjoy what you do, then the sales will come!  

If you as a vendor use the above referenced list as a guide then you will be well on your way to having a Happy Holiday Season.    For more information on the Vendor Seminar series and to discuss your business idea in general contact BEDC at 292-5570 or e-mail info@bedc.bm

Ray Lambert, is the economic development officer for the St George’s Economic Empowerment Zone. The SGEEZ Office is located at the Storekeepers House on Ordnance Island, St. George’s — call 704-9057 or 292-5570 ext. 255