Setting up a pop-up shop can be a great idea for a number of reasons. Maybe you want to test the waters with a new business venture, or you have an oversupply of merchandise after the busy holiday season? Or perhaps you are keen to get your feet wet in a new market, expand your product offering or even make some quick cash?
One thing is for certain – whatever your reasons for setting up a pop-up shop, planning ahead will be your best chance of success. Read on for some smart tips on how to proceed.
Location, location, location!
Your business is more likely to get noticed if you choose a smart location – this means choosing an area as close to a main retail area as possible.
Vacant shops are often a good bet, as you may be able to take advantage of fittings and fixtures that are already in place. Likewise, major shopping centres are often able to negotiate short-term arrangements.
If you are worried that a large shop may be too much space for you, you may instead wish to approach a shopping centre about setting up a kiosk or pop-up unit in a concourse. Most major centres are used to this type of short-term arrangement and can work out a reasonable deal for you.
Just like any new business undertaking, money is an essential consideration when setting up a pop-up shop. Depending on the size and scope of your business, you may need to meet VAT obligations – and if you are relying on investment finance, you will also need to provide a solid business plan before your project gets underway.
As with most things in life, prevention is better than the cure, so it is worth spending time setting up your plan before you jump right in with your new business venture. Organisation is also a crucial consideration – you will need to keep tabs on your pop-up shop through every stage of the process.
Keep track of your outgoing expenses – such as your rent and utility costs, as well as any equipment you buy or hire – as well as your incoming payments. This will help you track your progress, and ensure that you stay on the path to success.
Once you have a smart plan and a venue that works, it’s time to start turning your attention to the practical matters of running your pop-up shop.
For example, you will need to consider how you will display your merchandise – perhaps you need shelves or display units for DVDs, handicrafts or smaller items, or you may need to order in hangers if you are selling clothing.
You will also need to think about how you will accept payments – after all, the purpose of your shop should be to make money! If you are accepting card payments, you will need a card reader to process these, and you will require a till to keep track of your cash transactions. You will also need to make sure you have a system in place for tracking transactions and providing receipts to your customers.
Of course, you also need to think about the comfort of your staff and your shoppers. Will you have a customer toilet? Are there kitchen facilities for your staff? In the winter, you will need to think about heating, but in the hot summer months, an air conditioning unit might be a smarter choice.