How to Start a Roadside Stand Business
Starting a roadside stand on a busy highway or regular driveway for selling produce from your farm or garden requires a lot of planning and research. Following these steps will guide a would-be roadside stand owner to start selling his or her produce successfully.
Researching extensively is the first step when opening a new business venture. It’s recommended that you research widely to understand more about the competition, potential customers, and what they may expect from you depending on the location and farming season. Brainstorm on reasons why customers will consider stopping at your roadside stand to grab some fruits. Think of ways you’ll use in retaining the customers you get from the first day because repeat business is the pillar of any successfully business. You ought to figure out how to offer your customers top-notch quality service and good value so as to entice them to keep coming back.
If there is significant competition in your locality, you should figure out ways of competing in a healthy manner. Come up with ways you can improve the services provided in other food outlets in order to be competitive and relevant in the industry. In other words, you ought to be unique and give customers reasons to consider you as the most favorable option in the local area.
Several states prohibit the selling of farm products without licensing. Hence, check with your local government for any legal concerns or restrictions before you set up your roadside stand. You might come across vital publications and workshops that will offer you detailed information about these legal concerns. You may also be required to have certain permits before you erect the roadside stand signs. You should check with your insurance company to know whether the roadside stand can be covered under the homeowners insurance policy or you have to buy a new cover. These are critical safety concerns, both for your customers and your staff.
Take out enough time to observe the traffic in the location that you have considered to be your potential markets. Ensure that the location of your roadside stand is near or on a major travel route. Setting up your roadside stand in such locations will help you cut down on signage costs and benefit greatly from the ‘drive by’ business opportunity – which is the core target of a roadside stand business.
Roadside stands are incredibly convenient for drivers, but that convenience is purchased with a lot of risk. According to Abels & Annes, “Car accidents that occur on the shoulder of the road are very dangerous, and often, deadly. In fact, of all fatal accidents in the nation in 2009, about 40% of them involved the shoulder of the road impact.” Be intentional about selecting locations that offer lucrative traffic but do not endanger sales clerks.
Every entrepreneur understands that market share is an important metric for every business and plays a critical role in strategic planning, valuation, and long-term growth. But what matters most is the profit margin. If your roadside stand business can marry quality and convenience in addition to a compelling back story for unique products that resonate with the clients, then you can be sure to have numerous customers stop by and purchase your products.