Afropunk Festival PickThis weekend I attended the Afropunk Festival in NYC.  I hadn’t attended it in years so had no expectations really just figured it was going to be like any other NY summer festival.  But what I experienced is a festival celebrating ARTISTS in all our sizes, shapes, forms, disciplines and points of view.  It was beautiful…it was a time for folks to express their most creative self loud and proud!  And just because folks were free to share their creative selves doesn’t mean that they did not have their business minds together.

Creative business owners turned their booths into mini boutiques, inviting customers in and heavily marketing their wears and services.  Pricing was mostly clearly printed, reasonable and considerate of the artists’ time and labor.

I was particularly proud to see this, considering that Artists and Creatives often admit to having difficulty asking for what they’re worth.

What was most impressive to me, as a freelance Bookkeeper/Accountant, were the systems business owners used to process, confirm and collect payments.  In many cases, the payment process was seamless and appeared to offer comprehensive reporting for the vendor on the back end. This is particularly important when selling at an open venue or marketplace.  These are 5 tips I learned from the business owners who had the most seamless payment processing system.

  1. Before you vend at any outdoor event or marketplace, download a Point of Sale (POS) payment processing software and try it out FIRST!  Click here for a list of the Best POS systems for 2015.
  2. Have 2 or 3 mobile phones or tablets (with credit card readers) available and ready to process payment.  While 2 are in use the other one is recharging its battery.
  3. Have at least 2 helpers at your booth that are both knowledgeable about your products and services AND capable of processing a sale from packaging/wrapping the purchased items to processing payment.
  4. Make transparent your prices and acceptable forms of payment.  Customers feel hustled when you don’t have a ready answer to “What price is this?” and you’re making up prices on the spot.
  5. Bring LOTS of smaller bills, especially single dollar bills, to make change especially if you’re far from a bank and keep any stash of cash secretly in a locked money bag and personally hold the key.

Have a great week!
Your fellow Creative Entrepreneur (CE),

#afropunkfestivalnyc #artandmoneymatters #creativeentrepreneursontherise