7 things to consider when opening up a pop-up shop
Retail giants continue to fall here, there and everywhere, even the resiliently successful ones like Tesco turn cannibal by focusing on online sales to spite their dwindling offline marketplace. It means there are increasingly more vacant premises on UK high streets that, often due to the sheer size of them, are an impossible model for any and every entrepreneur starting out. However, not all is lost and there’s still room in the UK retail sector for the right independent stores to flourish. We look at some of the hurdles to get over to make your journey running a pop up shop as smooth as possible.
Consider your end-goal before you start
It’s easy to be swooned by the magic of having your own shop or stall in a public place, selling your goods and wares. There’s something magical about it. But things often do go south, so is there an alternative? Can you sell your goods at a fair, an event, or online without the pressure of regular costs?
Plan, plan, and plan some more
There’s never anything wrong with planning. Market research, historical trends, competitors, government or local grants, and any other help you may be eligible for can be a huge benefit to you. Everybody knows about the struggling high street, and we know that something must and will happen. Keep a close eye on it and your research could pay off double.
Location, location, location
As with planning, location will play a significant part in your overall success. Do you sell to businesspeople, students or the older generation? Your planning should have identified some key areas for you to target, so do your all to be close to the action and stand the best chance of success.
Even if you’ve bagged a space in a prime location, widen your audience by proactive, intelligent marketing. As with many small businesses looking to open a pop-up, you’ll probably already be online and on social media. Push your channels further, produce offline marketing such as leaflets and posters and, where possible, push for a joint effort if there are other independents in the vicinity. Strength through unity!
Budget like mad
None of this so far comes without an initial layout. Again, as part of your planning process, you should ideally have gone over your budgets meticulously and stayed on track. If you have a strong local or social following, consider calming down your marketing efforts. If you’re all about the products, try investing in improved (or simply more) stock.
Most pop-up stores are D.I.Y., so a big part of the fun is working the hours, meeting your customers and selling your gear yourself. That’s not always possible, though, and sometimes you need to enlist some help. Before you go searching online, is there anybody that can help you out on the cheap? Think family, friends, and students before plumping for a full-time staff member.
Probably one of the most important aspects of any pop-up shop, or any business for that matter, is compliance. Without the right legal blocks in place, your pop-up shop could be committing a crime and, if and when you’re caught out, the legal and financial implications could ensure you never open up another pop-up again.
High-quality insurance is a good place to start. Our team at Lockyers can help support your project and equip you with insurance for your contents, stock, equipment and liability cover. Give us a call on 01924 278222 to find out more.