As the weather warms up and places reopen, one of the first summer events many people want to visit is a farmer’s markets. A farmer’s market is an outdoor gathering where farm vendors can display and sell their produce or other goods to consumers who handpick their produce of choice. This isn’t limited to just fruits and vegetables. Meats, dairy products, wine, and homemade baked goods are all common items. Farmer’s markets prove as a great alternative for farmers to increase revenue, but it’s also a great way for the township to increase overall revenue as well. Therefore, this guide on how to run a successful farmer’s market will help any township create a bustling atmosphere for the community to enjoy.

Coordinate With Local Farms and Businesses

The first step in starting a local farmer’s market is to coordinate with local farms and businesses. This drives customers to your town. To do this effectively, consider the timing, season, and convenience for each vendor. Choose a time and season that allows farmers to sell their goods at peak freshness. Similarly, pick times that allow consumers easy access to goods without taking extra time out of their day. A good time slot could be from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm, as this is when people finish work. This also allows for sufficient travel and preparation time for farmers and businesses.

Pick a Good Location

Once you’ve scheduled the vendors, pick a good location. This should be a highly trafficked central location, like a town square or public park. This should also allow space between each stand to ensure safe social distancing. Don’t forget parking. One consideration many municipality workers don’t account for is shelter from the weather. Racine County has a continental climate with warm summers and cold winters. With that, the summers are considerably wet, so storm shelters are something to ponder for any outdoor market.

Spread the Word

Like any small business event, marketing is one of the best ways to run a successful farmer’s market. Today, a strong online presence is your greatest marketing strategy. Create social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to promote your local market and its products in real-time. You can provide important information, such as scheduling, special events, or cancellations for your visitors. In case something goes wrong, your customers are the first to see. You can also use these platforms to showcase attractions or new vendors. No matter what, social media is a strong enhancement for your market’s long-term success.

Be Open to Customer and Vendor Input

Lastly, be open to customer and vendor feedback if this is your first outdoor event. Farmer’s markets are about community, which means you must address concerns, comments, and input immediately. As you involve more people from all directions, your market becomes an integrated community hotspot. Profits increase for everyone involved, especially the township. Given that, there are many ways to receive customer feedback that can help for the future.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.