Cheat Sheet

Pop Up Business For Dummies (UK Edition)

From Pop-Up Business For Dummies by Dan Thompson

Creating a pop up business embraces a new, nimble way of working that’s perfect for the 21st century. Pop ups aren’t just a temporary use of space because there’s a recession; they’re a new way of using town and city centres, and they match the needs of a new generation of entrepreneurs.

Considering the Best Use for Your Pop Up Venture

When planning your pop up, be clear about what it does. Pop up businesses use an empty or underused space to do something exclusive, distinct or special. They have a clear start and end date, and don’t aim for permanence. Use a pop up to:

  • Provide a space for a seasonal sale or event.

  • Offer a chance to test or prototype a new business.

  • Let you carry out market research for a new product, range or service.

  • Provide an interesting way to launch a new product.

  • Reach a different audience than your usual one.

  • Happen in a different place to the one where you usually do business.

  • Be a special event to increase customer loyalty.

Being Agile in Your Pop Up Business Planning

Pop ups are fast, furious, flexible and fun. Planning is essential to success, but plans for pop up businesses are living, working documents, not set in stone. Aim to use agile methods (an idea taken from a type of software development), and make sure that you:

  • Aim to be up and running as early as possible.

  • Welcome change.

  • Get your team to work together daily throughout the project.

  • Build your pop up around motivated individuals.

  • Trust people to get the job done.

  • Measure progress in actions, not words.

  • Reflect on how to be better, and tune and adjust regularly.

Thinking about the Right Space for Your Pop Up Venture

Finding a pop up venue can be great fun; you get to explore your local area and spot all sorts of spaces you’ve never noticed before.

  • Does a local space particularly match your pop up? Sometimes, a particular building or a public space seems ideal for a project. The perfect space increases customer interest, brings the media along and ensures your pop up is talked about after it’s closed.

  • Where would your pop up have the biggest visual impact? Sometimes you want your pop up to scream your brand from the rooftops; maybe literally. Look for places where your pop up can stand out, grab the attention of passers-by, get media attention and be remembered.

  • Does a pop up put your brand right in front of your target audience? If you’re selling to a target audience, put your pop up right in front of them. Maybe the guy selling coffee from a van outside the train station is the pop up king.

  • If your pop up has an ethical angle, does a particular venue match it? Lots of pop ups are about more than simply selling something; and many highlight a particular issue or debate. Finding the right venue helps to make the point.

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