Whether it’s selling pizzas, pancakes, chips, sweets, jams, or artisan goods you’ve made yourself, getting started in street trading sounds like a godsend, but it deserves a few questions answered first.
In order to carry out your project, it is essential to rigorously study the answers to the questions you must ask yourself, which are firstly to know if there is really a demand for the product you intend to “sell” by consumers. Evaluate it objectively without overestimating it. Don’t be too enthusiastic, it’s the best way to go wrong.
If the demand is real or if there is real potential for development, clearly establish the profile of this demand.
- Is it the same all year round?
- Is there a more propitious period than others?
- Does this request occur at specific times of the day or night?
- Does this imply a continuous presence?
Write down the answers to these different questions to clarify the situation and build a really solid itinerant trade project.
The location? Have you found it yet?
Regarding the establishment of the trade, it is essential to study its establishment, the competition as for any trade.
- Where are you going to sell your products?
- On public roads, in the context of a market, a fair or any event?
- Always on public roads, but directly on the street or on the side of a road?
- Or collecting in private places?
- If you enter a market, will you compete with other traders? Will they offer exactly the same as you?
- How will your offer be different?
It is important to be able to answer these questions before you begin. Location is indeed crucial to the success of your business. Aside from markets and public events, finding the ideal venue to reach your target clientele is crucial. Just because you’re setting up on a busy highway or street doesn’t mean people will necessarily stop and consume your products. Be in tune with your expectations and the season. And if it is installed along a highway, will your customers be able to stop safely? Everything must be planned so that you can drain as many people as possible.
How to obtain authorization to carry out an itinerant activity?
In order to get started in this type of activity, you must inform yourself about the specific regulations of the service or product that is offered. This ranges from the price policy to regulations on food hygiene, conservation or toxicity of products, through the sale of alcoholic beverages, etc. Then, you must obtain from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, or the Chamber of Trades and Crafts, the card that allows you to carry out an itinerant activity in a municipality other than your home or main establishment. This card is valid for 4 years and will cost you 15 euros. The Business Procedures Center (CFE) provides you with the elements to prepare your file (forms, annexes, etc.). Keep in mind that when you send your file, you will be given a provisional certificate valid for one month pending delivery of the final card.
- To apply for the card, the future street vendor must be registered in the Mercantile and Business Registry (RCS).
- this card is valid for 4 yearsis renewable and payable (€30 from 1Ahem August 2019).
- In order not to hinder professionals in their itinerant activity, the CFE can issue a provisional certificate valid for one month at the request of the employer, pending the issuance of the final card.
How to obtain the authorization for temporary occupation of the public domain?
You will also have to request an authorization for temporary occupation of the public domain from the municipality in which you want to practice. In the case of an establishment on departmental roads located outside the agglomeration, it is before the General Council that you must make this request. And in the case of establishment in buildings or land in the region, it corresponds to the Provincial Council. Finally, in Paris, it is the Prefecture of Police that acts as a reference. Please note that your application must be acknowledged and that without a response from the administration within two months of receipt of the application, it is considered to have been denied.
What are the logistical elements to take into account?
The Macgyver of ingenuity should always be avoided because there the investments are numerous and poorly thought out, you run the risk of quickly closing the door.
- What exactly do you need?
- A converted vehicle? Be careful, the investment is substantial, even second-hand: between 10 and 40,000 euros depending on the type and condition of the vehicle.
- From a generator? A simple gas cylinder and a stand-store of a few square meters with a table? In this case the investment is minimal: less than 1,000 euros.
- Do you need to keep produce fresh? If so, are simple coolers sufficient or is a refrigerator mandatory?
In this case, a generator (from 300 euros used) or an electrical supply is mandatory. Accurately list your logistics needs to know the real cost of launching your activity.
Finally, the questions of communication (do you need to make yourself known?), prices and quality of your products remain to be resolved. Instead of relying on originality at all costs, prioritize quality first. For food products, this is even more true than elsewhere.
Don’t forget to make sure!!!
The exercise of an itinerant commercial activity exposes you to specific risks. Although it is not an obligation, it seems essential to be well dressed to work serenely as a traveling merchant:
- it is strongly recommended to take out an insurance called ” professional liability “. It allows you to be covered, for example, if someone is injured by your equipment, or if a customer has a problem with one of your products.
- In addition, insurance of the type ” multirisk it can also be very useful because it allows you to be covered from other risks, such as loss, theft, vandalism of your equipment or your stock, or damage caused by bad weather, etc. You must determine with the insurer, the risks you want to insure and the level of the deductible
- a professional car insurance can also be considered if you move a lot. In addition to coverage for damage caused to your vehicle, most professional car insurance also covers the possible loss of stock caused by an accident.
To be successful in your itinerant business, do not forget that it requires a rigorous business plan