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How to start my own business

Traders- Hints & Tips | Need Some Inspiration?

Thinking of starting your own creative business as a maker, artist, crafter or food start up? Here are some tips.

Starting a business, Pedddle

Starting your own business is a life goal or New Year’s Resolution for many. People often ask us what we think they should do or how they should get started. We opened up the discussion to our stallholders – as they have all been there, done it, and literally have the t-shirt. 

Firstly, read our Top 10 Tips on Setting up Your New Business – it has a great list for you to get started. The main things to focus on are: 

Decide what to make – Are you selling food items? Are you selling children’s clothing or toys? You’ll need all of the relevant checks and insurance. Other products are easier and require less jumping through hoops, but it’s important to refine your product offering and decide exactly what you’re going to make. 

Research – Do some market research. Are there similar things already on the market in your local area? Visit events, chat to market organisers, perhaps even ask other stallholders. What gaps are in the market? Could your product work well or fit in at a certain market? Is it the kind of item people buy again and again, or as a one-off? All of these things will impact what you sell and your marketing strategy for it.

Focus Group – Get friends or family over to test, comment on, and look at your product(s). Opinions are subjective so don’t be beaten down if they offer negative feedback, learn from it and grow. Try and invite people who’ll give you an honest opinion. Being able to develop a product doesn’t make your first attempt wrong – it’s a start, and learning is a journey.  

Choose a business name – This may also be worth bringing up to your focus group. Is it easy to pronounce and spell? Does it have punctuation or apostrophes (this may effect your social media handles and website URLs)? Does anyone else have that name (check companies house or National Business Register)? Can you get the social media handles (names) you want? Can you get the website domain name you want? To have the same name across all platforms is something overlooked by many, but it is really useful if you can. 

A logo – Get a logo made by a good designer, if you’re not confident with graphic design yourself. It’s important to keep your branding standardised. The things you need to look for are: a high resolution image, colour variations of your logo and a note of the hex colours used (this is a code that starts with a # and will help when keeping to your brand colour scheme), clear logo images for your social media profiles, a vector version of your logo (with this you can create lots of images and drop this vector logo onto images too – see our article about Canva). Pedddle’s own graphic designer does an amazing start-up package for new businesses – email Rory at [email protected] to find out more, and take a look at their work on Instagram here.

Insurance and financial details – You’ll need Public Liability Insurance to sell at a market, and you may need to adhere to various regulations depending on what type of product you’re making (e.g. food hygiene regulations for food traders). Consider the different types of insurance you may need to, and self assessment taxes. Also consider how customers will pay you at markets – many are cashless these days so you will need to look at a card payment system. Pedddle has partnered with Square card readers to give our members a great offer – click here to find out more

Start to build an online presence – Social media is key. Generate some excitement about your new business and perhaps do a countdown to launch date. Join online communities and Facebook groups to get ideas and share.

Get making! – Get products made up and ready to go – this is the first step to launching your business. Once you have some products made, you’re good to go! You can then market and sell. 

Contact retail outlets – Want to sell at a retail outlet? If you’re considering wholesale, click here for our tips. If you want a market stall, you can contact organisers directly through Pedddle

These steps are just the basics to consider – setting up a small business is both a challenge and a huge learning curve. However, it is also incredibly rewarding! 

The trick is to find your niche and don’t be afraid to ask questions. The creative community always pulls together, and there will be lots of fellow makers willing to help you, as we are here at Pedddle. 

Check out our other blogs for further tips – this article on How Canva can Help is a useful tool for creating images and designing graphics, and click here to find out more about Improving your SEO. 

Images by RawPixel