Market Prep for Small Business

Market Prep for Small Business

As a small business owner, I have done 100+ markets, events and pop-ups over the past five years - as well as curated, planned and hosted dozens of my own events with fellow friends and vendors alike - which has given me great insight into the nature of prepping and being well prepared for both local and out-of-state markets.

Being extremely organized will give you a greater sense of control, as well as make the whole experience that much smoother. I've complied a list ( with links ) to many of the essentials you would need to get yourself started, and set-up for success.

In 2019 I got my start doing SODO Flea here in Seattle - which is an outdoor market requiring a tent. Some markets have the option to rent a tent , or share a tent - but if you plan to do multiple outdoor markets at various venues, the up-front cost of buying your own can end up saving you long term. It just depends on if you have a spot to store it, and space in your car to take it to and from your events.


10 x 10 Tent
Weights - most markets require tent weights for safety reasons!
Walls ( optional ) - great for rainy weather, blocking sunlight, or giving your booth a more cohesive vibe ( so you don't see your neighbors stuff )
Rug ( optional )


Folding Table 4’ - folding tables are essential! I love that this one has adjustable height so you can nest tables for a more dynamic set-up
Folding Table 6’
Table Cloth - I love a basic canvas drop-cloth. They are affordable, look neat, and get softer each time you wash.
Folding Chair (s) - a simple black or white folding chair is great - but if you know me, I am pro standing at markets! however, it is nice to have on hand for taking a moment to eat lunch, or a moment to rest.

Rolling Rack (s) - invest in a good quality and DURABLE rack if you are a vintage seller and plan to lug these around a lot. Z-racks are the best, but take up the most space in your car.
Pop-up Dressing Room ( optional ) - if you sell clothing, having a fitting room is going to exponentially increase your sales at in-person markets.
Mirror ( Standing ) - a full-length mirror that stands on it's own is also hugely important, as you might not have something to lean it on, or a way to hang or prop a smaller cheap one.
Mirror ( Table ) - if you sell jewelry or accessories, a small table mirror is also beneficial for people to try things on. I found a really nice table mirror from Ikea that I use for markets when I am selling my hand-knit beanies.


Hang Tags - these should be your personal branded tags that you use for the items you sell
Pricing Stickers
Hangers - personally, I am a fan of wood hangers, but you can also get fabric or wire hangers - but having something cohesive definitely will elevate the vibe of your booth
S Hooks - these are great for pants, handbags, or hanging any type of work that you want to display in a "hanging" manner.
Safety Pins
Measuring Tape - a small measuring tape will come way more in handy than you might think!


Square Reader - do yourself a solid and order a working card reader ASAP for accepting payments!
Shopify Reader - for those of you using Shopify POS
Back-up Plan - how will you accept payments if your card reader stops working, your phone dies, or there's no internet? Have a print-out of your business Venmo code, or some other way to take payment in a pinch.
Shopping Bags
Logo Stamp ( optional ) - I purchase plain shopping bags, and use a stamp to add my logo. Cost-effective and smart so you aren't over-buying branded goods ( in case you change your logo, branding, etc. )


Business Cards
Business Card Holder
Promo Hand Out
Postcard Holder


Hand Sanitizer / Wet Wipes
Portable Phone Charger

* I earn a very small commission on purchases made using my Amazon storefront links - which helps offset the time and efforts of putting together resources like this for my dear and lovely internet community. thank you for supporting!

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