If you grow fruits and vegetables on your plot of land, you can take advantage of the educational opportunities a fruit stand business provides in teaching your children about money and its value. They will learn how to greet the public and how to work as a team, and you can all make some extra money in the process.
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Choose your location. If you have property or can use property that borders busy streets, set up a stand and begin selling your fruit and vegetables. If you don't have a location readily available, look for empty lots that allow easy access and get permission to use the area. Other options are farmers' markets in your area.
Get legal paperwork. Make sure you check with your county or city about any licenses or permits you will need to run your fruit stand. Ask if there are any additional rules you need to follow regarding location and selling practices. It's better to know what you are up against before you get started so there are no surprises later.
Build your fruit stand. If you have carpentry skills, build a makeshift shelter that will protect both your produce and yourself from the elements. However, an easier way is to purchase a fabric canopy. These can be found in various sizes in home improvement or patio stores. Although you will need a couple of additional hands in putting up the canopy, it is easy to store when the season is over. Make sure it is anchored down so it doesn't take off with the wind.
Start your display with several folding tables. Wood or plastic boxes will be needed to hold the produce. However, you don't want all of your fruit to sit on one level. It's more appealing and customers can see your wares better if the items in the back sit higher. So, use some of those boxes up-side-down with another box of fruit on top to give it a different level. Baskets are also attractive display containers. After arranging your display, stand back and view it as a customer. The more appealing your produce looks, the more you will sell.
Name your business. The most important thing about choosing a name is to make sure customers know what you are. Use the words "produce," "fruit" or "vegetable" in the name. For example, "Johnson's Juicy Fruit Stand" is better than "Johnson Enterprises." Make or get some signs. You'll need one over the top of your fruit stand and several "sandwich board" signs to put along the side of the road a half block or so from your stand so customers can plan to pull off the road.
Rise early and get used to it. You must pick your produce early in the morning for it to be fresh for your customers. You've heard that word-of-mouth is the best advertising, and this is especially true with a small business with little funds for formal advertising. If your produce is fresh and delicious, people will tell their neighbours about you.
Think variety. Plan your growing season to include flowers, mushrooms, and dried or potted herbs. If there is a creative person in the family, sell handcrafted items as well. Birdhouses and feeders are an excellent addition, too.
Tips and warnings
- Try growing one or two unusual items (blue corn, munchkin pumpkins, herbs) and include a free sheets with a few recipes for using them. It's good advertising when customers tell others about the unique produce.