Market managers are the brains of our farmers’ markets!

As a market manager, you are a visionary and a leader. You are the one making things happen, and you have many responsibilities. Whether it’s brainstorming special events, taking care of operations, or dealing with vendor conflicts and issues, you are in charge of planning, organizing and promoting your market.

The leader is what makes or breaks a team. Since so many things require your time and attention as the market manager or leader, it can be challenging to set specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely (SMART) goals and accomplish the objectives you have in mind for the market. Luckily, there are a few fundamental ways to manage all your responsibilities to lead a successful, long-lasting market. Here are three checklists every market manager should have.

Having a market manager that stays organized and on-top of planning is a huge contributing factor to the success of your market. Using checklists that you can print out or fill out on the computer will help you stay organized all year round.

The three most important checklists you should use are:

  • a Weekly Checklist to Prepare for Market Day.
  • a Weekly Checklist for After-Market Procedures.
  • a Monthly Checklist for Market Activities.

These checklists will keep you organized which will help you stay cool, calm and collected throughout the excitement of market day.

Weekly Checklist to Prepare for Market Day:

An organized, cohesive Weekly Checklist to Prepare for Market Day will ensure things run as smoothly as possible when market day arrives. Items on this list should include anything that needs to be done in preparation for market day, like writing cheques for live entertainment or posting weekly updates on your social media channels. It’s often the little things that we forget to do, but they make a huge difference when they are not ready on market day. Being well-prepared will create a memorable experience for your staff, vendors, volunteers, and customers. A good experience will keep everyone coming back for more, for years to come!

Weekly Checklist for After-Market Procedures:

Referring to a Weekly Checklist for After-Market Procedures is just as important as preparing for market day before it arrives. Everything that happens after the market closes is likely what your vendors and volunteers will remember most. After all, it’s the last they see of your market. Staying equally as cool, calm and collected in the hustle of packing up is very important. Using a checklist will help pack-up run efficiently and smoothly. This checklist should include anything finance-related, such as tracking your inventory and revenue.

Monthly Checklist for Market Activities:

A Monthly Checklist for Market Activities is a great place to keep track of actionable items that occur on a monthly basis. This checklist should consist of responsibilities that you’re in charge of, such as ‘Organize finances’ or ‘Plan staff meeting for end of the month.’ Referring to this checklist, adding items, and checking completed items off the list will help you ensure that you are fulfilling your monthly responsibilities. By extension, this will also help you delegate tasks and keep your whole market running effectively.

Using these checklists will help you achieve your responsibilities and be an effective leader. After all, being a market manager means being a leader and not just a task-doer! Weekly Planning, Monthly Planning, and Yearly Planning are also useful resources to keep you on track as you lead your market to success.

If you’re looking for more in-depth information, please enroll in the Ontario Farmers’ Market Certification Program. The first three webinars of the Ontario Market Manager Certification Program deal with market manager best practices that include the successful use of checklists. Farmers’ market educator Michelle Wolf examines the all-important policies and regulations that govern farmers’ markets that run effectively. These webinars equip with you the most critical knowledge to run a thriving, long-lasting market that brings in lots of revenue.

Do you have urgent questions about farmers’ market manager best practices? Chances are someone else has asked the same question. Check out the FAQ here.