Is your farm ready for the spring growing season? If you’re planning to have a farm stand to sell your produce, read this first. These are the six must-haves for any high-revenue farm stand:
- Open Sign
Tell people your farm stand is open for the season or open for the day by having an eye-catching open sign. You can either get a sign made or make one yourself. Many people like the aesthetics of a hand-made sign because it feels more natural than a commercially produced one. However, the important part is just that it can be seen from the road.
You may also want to do some local advertising to attract visitors, but many farms simply use roadside signs and rely on word of mouth from past visitors.
- Produce Stands
Display your produce with stands or racks to get people’s attention. The better you make your produce look, the more likely people are to buy. It’s worth it to invest in merchandising if it can help you sell more of what you’ve grown to reduce waste.
Shoppers tend to get tunnel vision, which can blind them to additional purchase opprtunities if the other options aren’t overtly offered to them. By displaying your produce in a way that’s visually appealing, you may also convince some visitors to buy produce that they wouldn’t have otherwise considered simply because they can see that you have it for sale.
- Convenience Goods
Another way to upsell shoppers is to offer convenience goods that utilize your produce. Selling baked goods and complementary products provides higher margin items for sale that can boost revenue. For instance, if you’re a fruit grower, selling pies, pastries, juice/cider, ice cream, etc. increases order value with products that you can charge more for because shoppers won’t have to make them themselves.
- A Way to Accept Credit Cards
Working to convince shoppers to spend more money isn’t going to be effective if they can’t feasibly spend more. Fewer people are carrying cash these days, which means that cash-only operations are limiting their sales potential by only accepting what shoppers happen to have on them when they stop by.
Retail businesses that accept credit cards make more money, and the same is true for farms. Offering non-cash options increases the average purchase because shoppers don’t need to have the funds physically on them to make a purchase.
With all the convenient credit card processing options available these days, you can easily find something to fit your needs that doesn’t cost much on a per transaction basis. Some farm stands even offer credit cards as a payment option to patrons for a small fee that covers their costs for using it. (Just be sure you read your credit card processing agreement to ensure that this practice is within the terms and conditions before doing it.)
- Portable Toilet
Not offering a restroom limits the amount of time people will spend at your farm stand. It may also deter visitors from stopping in on a whim while running other errands or traveling to/from their regular destinations.
Having access to a portable restroom is a must-have for families with kids and anyone who may have other stops to make before returning home. Depending on the location of your farm, it may also convince travelers passing by to stop and visit.
- Kids’ Activities
Farms with kids’ activities become a destination for families, play groups, schools, birthday parties, and other kid-friendly gatherings. Some farms offer free activities (like play grounds and iconic photo opportunities) while other charge for access to fun activities (like tours, hay rides, and corn mazes). Either way, the adults accompanying kids are likely to spend substantially more if there are activities for their children to take part in during the visit because visits are going to be more frequent and longer.
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