Whether you’re making the leap from internet business to physical premises, or starting up a new venture for the first time, pop-ups can be a brilliant platform to experiment. Try out new business ideas, build a customer following, and get a taste of what a physical shop or venue would be like without the long-term overheads commitment. From that artisan food stall to some temporary office space, there’s a lot to be gained if you get the basics right.
Understand Your Goals
Start out with a clear aim in mind, and let that inform all your decisions. Set smart goals around what you hope to achieve – raising awareness of your brand, capturing customer data, or making a certain amount of sales. For smaller businesses, the main goal is usually testing if there is a real, viable market for what you are planning to sell. Think in advance about what you’re hoping to learn from your ‘test audience’ and set up questionnaires or other feedback mechanisms to capture valuable insights and feedback on what you have to offer.
Decide On A Budget
Although it’s less financial risk than a permanent set-up, a pop-up shop will still be a significant outlay for your business, so plan your budget out carefully. Be realistic, but set hard limits and don’t be tempted to go over them – you need to make sure it’s a net gain for you. Work out the available space and square footage first, and then you have an estimating system for electrical contractors, prop hire companies, furniture rentals and whoever else you need to involve. You may also need to think about new temporary office space, specific public liability insurance and charges for payment processing, Internet connection, and other utilities.
Think Through Your Branding
You probably already have a good idea of what your brand is, and this will inform how you bring it to life in a physical space. Understand your brand DNA and how to translate into a feeling and an experience. This will also include things like the music you play, the way you present and merchandise your products and what Point of Sale materials you use. You may need items such as roller banners, light boxes, and signage to help you communicate a key message clearly to potential customers.
Plan Some Promotion
As you pop-up shop will only be in place for a short time, you need to also focus on getting people to you, so make sure that you have a solid marketing plan in place. Combine lots of different channels for maximum reach – flyer-drop the neighborhood and local offices where you’ll be located offering a special discount, draw people in with teasers on your social media channels, even consider platforms such as DAX (Digital Audio Exchange) that let you advertise on Spotify and other music streaming services. Getting the message out there is key to generate buzz and footfall to make your venture a success.
Enjoy every moment of running your pop-up and getting to know your new customers.