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Stands on busy highways command higher-than-usual prices compared to their driveway or regular side-of-the-road counterparts.The highway stands attract travelers, who are generally willing to pay more for convenience than local customers are.
While it’s true that some roadside sellers are simply profiting from extra yield (and feeding their families on most of the bounty), many actively manage inventory and determine the appropriate mix of pricing/distribution to yield the greatest profitability.
Sales direct to consumers at roadside stands may command premium prices but not sell through all inventory.
On occasion, I patronize permanent stands that operate seasonally along highways with plenty of traffic.
These roadside enterprises may not become business empires that will one day be purchased by Google for billions of dollars.
They argue that the bigger-is-better thinking can go against the connect-with-the-soil spirit of the classic stand.
“It’s very off-putting to see a farm stand without very much ‘farm’ to it,” says Sara Trunzo, a project manager with the Maine Farmland Trust.
The inherent nature of the roadside stand is that customers drive (or walk or cycle) by on a regular basis.
It’s much simpler to stop by a stand while commuting to work or running errands than to plan a trip to the grocery store, supercenter, or warehouse club, or spend your Saturday morning at the farmer’s market.
An even better location with higher traffic will not generate more profits if there is a limited amount of product to sell.
Finding the right level of exposure to attract the right number of prospects (no more, no less) is an art, but whatever cash you save in overhead, you can pocket in profits.