EVALUATING YOUR FARMERS MARKET TO KEEP IT VIBRANT
Periodically evaluating your legal documents, record keeping, customer satisfaction, vendor engagement and other operating procedures can be an important way to keep a market vibrant, healthy, and relevant. Assessing doesn’t necessarily mean everything gets changed or even that the market leaders are engaged in a long, drawn out process, but it does mean the market is being intentional about its overall health and the impact your market is having on not only your customers and farmers but to the community in general. Here are some tools & resources to help get your market thinking about reassessment:
- Evaluate Your Market Using Farmers Market Metrics is a training series from the Farmers Market Coalition that will help you gather, manage, and report data so you can manage your market better, understand the fluctuations in your market throughout the season and year to year, and integrate your market data with other markets’ data to show a larger network impact. It includes resources on how to collect customer counts and vendor sales as well as resources on how to conduct effective evaluation surveys. Also see the FMC’s Farmers Market Metric Guide for lots of great tools to collect and share your metrics data.
- Farmers Market Assessment Tool from the University of California Davis will help your market choose and implement evaluation strategies for your particular market. It will help your market distinguish between types of evaluation tools and their appropriate uses, decide how to evaluate your market, collect data, and interpret data and reach conclusions.
- Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development is a Kentucky non-profit that offers several services to help evaluate your farmers market including a business review, a marketing analysis, business management and operations analysis, and record keeping assessment. See their website for more details.