FESTIVAL SERIES: Days 3 & 4: I-P Vendor Tips

FESTIVAL SERIES: Day-3-4-I-P-Vendor-Tips

Mon Sep 04 2017

Here we go again, bringing you those insider tips from the food and drinks vendors at this year’s Barclaycard presents British Summer Time festival in Hyde Park, London. It’s a six-part series, so you can catch up on A-D tips and E-H tips at your leisure. Keep your eyes on @BcardBusiness for the next in the series. 

I - Inspirational people and influencers 

From your mum to your business hero or several people along the way, taking advice and inspiration from all sorts of people is key to business success. Some will help build up the confidence you need to successfully build a business, others will give you practical advice on how to run an eCommerce website, how to accept card payments or how to access funding to set up shop etc. Our vendors talked a lot about community and the importance of working together in the world of small business, not in competition.
Advice? Make a list of your influencers, take their advice, grow your business and become an inspirational person yourself.

J - Jump on the right opportunity

574 new festivals popped up in the UK between 2007 and 20171. With so many opportunities to appear in unexpected, temporary places for your customers, now’s the time to do your homework, find the right festivals and jump on the opportunity. 

K - Know the crowd

Picking the right festival to sell at is crucial. A crowd at a ‘90s nostalgia festival might be all bandanas, glitter tattoos and pop singalongs.

While a food festival will be full of people who know their falafel from their freekeh. Will your product sell well as it is? Should you steer clear altogether?

Or can you adapt your product to fit? Barclaycard customer and experienced festival vendor Waffle On knows that while savoury waffles might work well for the lunchtime rush, it’s the sweet waffles that draw the after-hours crowd. And hot dog vendor Oh My Dog! uses playful marketing tactics to woo the crowds…

FESTIVAL SERIES: Day 3: I - P Vendor Tips

L - Live it, love it, breathe it

And Waffle On also knows that to be a successful food vendor you need to live, love it, breathe it. Thank goodness waffles smell so good. Owner Eddie Ruffett talked to us about hard graft and long hours, and how that’s only ok with the right working culture, where staff are more family than colleagues. 

M - Mentors

Mentors are so important for small and high growth businesses in particular. Let’s face it, we can’t all be experts in everything, so partnering with people who are or can help you learn new skills is invaluable. Check out our Joe Wicks article – he’s got nothing but praise for his mentor.

N - No cash? No problem.

Cold, hard cash is great for piggy banks, not so good for festivalgoers or vendors at festivals. Cash can run out, be hard to access, cost money to handle, pose a security risk and be logistically difficult. Paying by card on the other hand is quick.

Did you know that contactless card payments are 15 seconds faster than cash payments? So by having a card payment machine in your arsenal, you might well find yourself speeding through long lunchtime queues, making your customers happier and leaving yourself with more time to do things like re-stock shelves and think about how to cater for dietary requirements.

O - Offer your loyal customers exclusives

Selling delicious food or banging goods at festivals is one thing. Drumming up interest on social media before, during and after the event is another, potentially awesome way to increase footfall and drive loyalty beyond a single event. As well as making food look flipping delicious on social feeds, our vendors talked to us about rewarding followers with exclusive treats at events. Apart from anything else, it’s a great way to understand if and how your social channels are converting interest into business.

P - Partnerships & Pop-up commerce SWOT

Two powerful ‘P’s to round of this instalment of tips. Partnerships, like mentors, are a smart way to fill in those all-consuming skills gaps. Small business owners are expected to nail accounting, business plans, logistics, day-to-day operations, people management…the list goes on. Smart partnerships can often give you breathing space to think about the future of your business. Take, for example, your payments provider. Go with one who just offers you the hardware for taking card payments, or go with one who gives you that, plus security protection and easier money management.
And finally, a bit of homework. If you’re thinking of retailing at festivals, do the good old SWOT – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It’s a great way to get your head straight on whether or not it’s right for you. And take our ‘should you retail at festivals?’ quiz too, it’s quick, fun and informative.

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