There’s no denying it: Pop-up shops are unlike most other businesses. Whether they’re limited-run restaurants, monthly events, or special, one-night-only affairs, many traditional business tactics are out the window. While sales tracking and reporting are, of course, still important, long-term business strategies don’t always apply (unless, of course, you’re a serial pop-up shop entrepreneur). Like any business, there are expenses though. Budgeting for these pop up shop costs is an important step for a successful opening night.
Establish a Budget to Control Pop Up Shop Costs
Costs can quickly escalate out of control, which is why it is crucial that you keep them reigned in as you prepare to launch. If you’re looking at repeatedly running your pop-up shop or holding a recurring dining event, it is recommended that you allow yourself 4-6 months of operating capital to ensure that you can meet day-to-day expenses while you build a customer base.
You have no shortage of business needs that will require cash, and it is important to understand where you can cut corners while identifying the areas in which you will need to spend a bit more. Your budget should take the following points into consideration.
- What type of pop-up are you opening? Are you looking to rent restaurant space, a stall at a farmer’s market, or a cart or truck that you pack up and drive away? In all cases, you need a reliable space that garners ample foot traffic, and you may need to pay a premium to do this.
- Utility and insurance costs. You need to keep the lights on, the gas flowing or even a generator to operate. Business insurance is required in most states, and if you are utilizing a vehicle, that will need to be insured and gassed up as well. If you are operating outdoors, this may be a lesser concern, and power may be skipped altogether if your POS solution can operate over cellular networks or can cache information offline for later uploading.
- Inventory. This seems like a no-brainer, yet so many start-ups underestimate the amount of capital needed to get things started. This gets more expensive if you are operating a pop-up restaurant, as you will need more equipment than operating a retail spot.
- Staff Costs. Even if this is just you and yourself, there are still bills, rents, mortgages, and meals to pay for at home. Understand the market in your area for salaries and hours and budget accordingly. This should include time spent seeking and interviewing potential staff.
- POS. You need to know what kind of POS solution you will put into place, as well as any associated costs. Obtaining an easy to use POS system that allows freedom of payment options and processing without a long-term contract, preferably with mobility, cellular, and offline capabilities are ideal.
By keeping this short list of items in mind, you can easily remain flexible to change capital spending when the need arises. This allows you greater freedom of choice in making effective, profitable decisions around how your pop-up business will run and where it will reside.
Getting Your Location Right is Half the Battle
Outside of securing your start-up budget, the most important factor for a successful pop-up business is the location. When you find a prospective location, research other pop-up businesses who have worked in the area to look for business trends. You want a location with good foot traffic in an area that is easily accessible. If customers have to walk five miles uphill each way, cross a footbridge guarded by a troll, and scale a small mountain to find your pop-up, you’re only asking for trouble.
Being aware of any pertinent zoning or licensing which may apply to your location is important. Nothing feels worse than getting all your ducks in a row just to be told your chosen location won’t work out. Your location of choice may raise or lower insurance rates too. Your ideal location must be an aesthetic and logical fit for your products and services, as you do not want to be selling brand items that are out of place for your audience.
Pulling It All Together With an Innovative POS Solution
Managing cash flow is just one of many aspects you will be expected to manage when your pop-up business presents itself to the world. Payments need to be processed, products and inventory ordered, menus established, and a workflow implemented for your operation to run effectively. There are too many variables in business to trust them all to manual or legacy POS processes, and this all becomes a larger challenge if you are operating on a seasonal schedule. That’s why you need to select a POS system that is flexible, affordable and can scale if your business grows. You can realize additional cost savings by selecting a POS provider that does not lock you into a payment processor or a long-term support contract. In this way, you can do what is best for your business while keeping your focus squarely on the customer.
Managing inventory is one of many pop up shop costs that can be handled by a modern POS system. With your limited storage and the very short period of time you have to distinguish yourself from the competition, you must know precisely what you need and when you need it to avoid overstocks or out-of-stock items. Customers remember the service as much as they do product availability; if you do not have what they want they will move on to a competitor. With the right POS solution in place, you reap the benefits of being able to rapidly change course at the drop of a hat.
Payment processing and accounting are better managed and present you with live data so you can adjust your business model as the market dictates. Processing credit and debits cards, as well as supported tap payments and app-based wallet payments all work to separate you from the rest of the crowd.
Some additional benefits, such as cloud storage and report access via a smartphone or tablet app, will present you with extra functionality that you should keep in mind when selecting a POS system for you pop-up storefront. It must be easy to use while enabling you and your staff to thoroughly engage your customer base.
The Right Provider to Tackle Your Pop-Up Shop Costs
While these steps all serve to guide you on your path to pop-up shop success, each aspect brings with it a unique challenge that must be addressed. Having an innovative POS solution on hand provides you with a wide range of customized functions that all serve to enhance the ability to conduct business with the flexibility to change as your needs and schedule changes.
Standing up a pop-up shop is a difficult task full of cost-inducing challenges. When you enlist the help of someone that has been there, you gain a high level of expertise that helps you to get past the most intimidating of challenges. The solution talech is here to develop for you will match your flexible needs in an unpredictable business world. Reach out to us today to sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your professional POS provider.