Our top blogs in 2014

As 2015 draws ever closer, we take a look back at some of our most popular blog posts about popups, business and marketing techniques. These gems may just give you the inspiration to start something new!

Start ups

hello-my-name-isHow to promote your start up
From websites to advertising, how to ensure your start up gets the best coverage.

How to hire your first employee
Interview techniques, how to spot a dud CV and what you should look for in a good worker.

Top three books for entrepreneurs and independent retailers wanting to open a pop up shop
Some bed time reading for budding entrepreneurs – definitely add these to your wish lists!

How to decide on a name for your business
From the obvious to the mysterious, your business’ name should reflect what your company is all about.

Pop up management

recycled-displayGetting creative with pop ups: creating an experience
How to make your pop up more than just a shop, by creating an experience.

Three quick tips on how to make your pop up shop sustainable
These simple tips will ensure that you will leave a guilt-free footprint.

What point of sale systems are ideal for pop up shops?
A traditional till, or a fancy iPad system – what suits your business?

The benefits of a pop up shop
In our tell-all article, we explain exactly why pop up shops can be beneficial to you.

Marketing

felixShould you ditch the website for social media?
We take a look at the benefits of opting for a social media-only presence online.

Experiential marketing: what’s it all about?
Our top experiential marketing campaigns are put under the spotlight here, explaining what exactly makes a marketing campaign experiential.

Getting the most out of your social media
How to utilise social media to the fullest if you’re a start up, or if you’re running a pop up shop.

How to give your business a PR boost
What can you do to help increase your presence in the community? Here we look at a few easy PR wins.

Business

brainstormingThings you can do on your down time as a small business
When business is slow, here are a few things you can do to keep the momentum going.

Contactless card payments and their benefits
Why contactless cards can be a godsend for your business, especially if you’re dealing with small transactions.

Alternatives to discounts for small businesses
When you can’t afford to reduce your stock, here are a few ideas to help promote your business without resorting to slashing the price of your products.

To bag or not to bag: should your provide carrier bags for customers?
We take a look at the pros and cons of giving away bags to customers.

Bitcoins explained: how they can work for your business
What exactly is the bitcoin currency, and how can it benefit small businesses?

Free working space from Barclays and 3Space

Group of Business People Working on an Office DeskAs an advisor for 3Space, we’re proud to announce that they are partnering up with Barclays Bank to provide free working space to local enterprises and innovators.

 

The scheme, dubbed Hatch, will see under-utilised Barclays’ properties transformed into spaces for entrepreneurs, startups and local businesses and community groups.

 

These spaces are ideal places to serve as a community hub, and a haven for small businesses to hit the ground running.

 

Currently there is already a Hatch in Oxford, and three more are due to open next year.

 

Andrew Cribb, CEO and Co-Founder of 3Space said: “Through our experience in transforming otherwise empty buildings across the UK we have identified a need for a type of local space where creatives, social enterprise, non-profits and local entrepreneurs can work, collaborate and experiment, creating value from an otherwise under-utilised resource, whilst also providing the foundation for sustainable local economic development.”

 

Each space will make use of the existing layout, and the Oxford Hatch has turned the former bank vault into a space equipped with a 3D printer and workshop tools.

 

Free training will also be provided by Barclays staff to support business growth and give technology advice.

 

Read more about the innovative programme at 3Space.

How to promote your start up

times-squareIf you’ve just set up your business, you might be looking into ways of getting more customers and more coverage. How can you make an impact and compete in a market saturated with other similar businesses?

 

A website

One of the first things anyone will check when looking into your company is your website. Have you got one set up, and is the content on the website valuable? Having no website can lose you business, but having a bad website with no information on it can mean that you have a lasting negative impression on a customer.

 

Spend a good chunk of your marketing budget on getting a website up and running. There are some great free solutions out there on the market, as well as some build-your-own alternatives, but if you don’t feel confident with the out of the box solutions, consult a great designer, programmer and copywriter to give you a website that will last you years to come.

 

Social media

The next thing that your customers will use to research you is your social media profiles. With so many social media outlets to choose from, it’s advisable to choose a medium you feel comfortable keeping up to date, rather than signing up to every social media website and letting it stagnate.

 

Twitter and Facebook are obvious starting points, but if you’ve got a business that can translate well into a visual medium, then other social networking sites such as Instagram, Pinterest and Vine may serve you well.

 

Keeping on top of social media can be a tricky feat, so you may want to consult a specialist, or take it in turns to manage your social media accounts for a day.

 

Advertising

Nothing beats a bit of traditional advertising. From taking out an ad in the paper, to promoting yourself on a billboard or bus stop, outdoor advertising can reach markets that might have otherwise never been exposed to your business.

 

To drum up some immediate business, print vouchers and hand them out in the street, or drop flyers through letterboxes. You can also target local businesses that may be interested in your services.

 

Experiential marketing

Create an impact with a pop up shop and wow your customers with an experience they may not have ever had before. If you’re new to the market, a pop up shop can be a great way for customers to experience your product without the commitment of buying.

 

Take a look at some of our top experiential marketing campaigns here for some ideas. And if you fancy getting involved in the world of pop up shops, drop us a line and see what we can do.

How to prepare for the Christmas rush

christmas-baublesIf you’re holding your pop up shop during the festive period or your small business gets extra busy in the build up to Christmas, being prepared is the only way to ensure you can get through this season successfully.

 

There’s lots of opportunities to retain customer loyalty, get your name out there and rake in more business, so don’t simply ride the wave and hope to get out the other end unscathed. Embrace the busiest period of the year and use it to your advantage.

 

Train your staff

If you’re running a pop up shop you may be using temporary staff that don’t necessarily feel like a big part of your company as they know they will be moving on once you pack up and move elsewhere. However, they are your most important asset so treat them like it.

 

Hire extra helping hands: you’ll need it, and spend time training them for every possible situation that could happen in the store. Disgruntled customers, extra busy periods, stock running out, and how to keep happy customers happy.

 

Make it easy for customers

Have as much stock out on the floor as possible, and make it easy for customers to find a staff member. Whether that’s by making your staff wear a uniform, Christmas decorations, or big name badges, make sure you can easily spot your employees.

 

Keep your displays simple, but eye catching and use as much as your shop floor as possible without making it cluttered. There’s nothing more frustrating than being in a shop that is full to the brim with products, people and fixtures and fittings!

 

Have a back-up system in place

If you run out of a particular product or won’t have an item in for a while, then don’t turn the customer away. Invest in a mobile device such as an iPad and encourage users to book online or leave their email address so you can let them know when you’ll have the product back in stock.

 

Get protected

Make sure that you have some sort of pop up retail insurance in place. It will protect you, your customers and your stock, so that if there were any accidents or incidents in your store, you won’t have to worry about being out of pocket. When things get busy, there’s a much higher chance that you’ll need to protect yourself too.

 

Make the returns process clear

If there’s one thing people care most about at Christmas, it’s how to return an unwanted gift. If you’re not going to be around town after Christmas for your customers to return their purchase, make sure you print clearly on their receipts how to return items to you, or set up a dedicated page on your website for this purpose.

 

How to improve your customer service and retain relationships

shooping-trolleyCustomer service is at the core of any good business. It’s especially important in any customer-facing industries such as retail, hospitality and even e-commerce. If you’re offering a customer a product, then good service is of upmost importance.

 

Customer service should not just focus on solving problems with unhappy customers too – you should also focus on retaining loyal customers by offering an all-round good service.

 

Remain positive

Always remain positive no matter what. It may seem odd to be a beacon of positivity, but if you are negative in any way this can impact on your customer, especially if they are already annoyed at your service!

 

When dealing with annoyed customers, use positive language and try to steer them away from focusing on the bad. Never raise your voice and remain calm and collected.

 

As a rule, you should always smile too, even when you’re on the phone – believe it or not, customers can hear you smiling!

 

It may sound like a lot of work, and a lot of fakery but it will retain your customers, and you can always blow off steam in the staff room with your fellow colleagues.

 

Remain visible

There’s nothing more annoying than going into a shop and not being able to easily pick out a member of staff when you need one. Consider a uniform, or if you’re not the type of company that wants to enforce a strict dress-code, use badges or lanyards to make your team members visible.

 

When customers enter the store greet them with a friendly “hello” and ask if you can help at all. However, don’t hover around them. If they don’t need your help, let them get on with it. An off-hand approach can be more positive than a hard-sale approach. Most customers will feel uncomfortable when pressured, and even if they make a purchase, may feel like they had a bad customer service experience, as you were hovering around when they were making the choice!

 

Remain humble

Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know the answer to a customer’s query, but don’t leave them hanging. Offer a solution: “I don’t know, but let me check with someone who does,” “I’m not sure about that, give me a moment to check our stock room,” etc. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that you aren’t sure on something, but you will have a problem if you can’t offer a customer an alternative solution.

 

Finally, and most importantly, thank your customers for shopping with you at the end of their purchase and through other mediums such as email marketing or social media. Your customers will feel appreciated, and you will get more repeat business if you acknowledge their importance.

Pop up shops go global

_MG_2937Here at Popupspace, we’re not the only one to offer our unique business model of sourcing temporary property for pop up shops and events: it’s a global industry that is expanding all the time.

 

We take a look at some of the global pop up sourcing companies out there and see who they have helped pop up.

 

Popup Brands, Australia http://www.popupbrandshq.com/

Popup Brands offers a sourcing service for pop up shops Down Under. Visitors can add their spaces and attract tenants through their streamlined website. Launched in 2013, it has now established itself as the go-to place to find pop up shops in Australia.

 

Storefront, USA https://www.thestorefront.com/

Storefront specialises in finding temporary spaces in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. As well as traditional retail space, they offer spaces at markets, shopping malls, galleries, craft fairs and kiosks. Really, it’s the place to find a vacant spot in any of these major cities.

 

Along the way, they have worked in collaboration with companies such as Westfield, W Hotels, New York Metro, and Hotel Roger Smith.

 

Popup Square, Amsterdam http://www.popupsquare.nl/

Sourcing spaces in the capital of the Netherlands, Popup Square lets landlords lists properties and tenants browse through them for their perfect space. From shops to galleries, this pop up sourcing company has some of the funkiest places in the city on offer.

 

Popup Berlin http://www.popup-berlin.de/

Finding popup shops in Berlin, this website is the go-to place for finding out what the coolest pop ups in the city are this week, and also to source a space should you want to dip your toes into the world of pop ups!

 

From small Berlin retailers to big names such as Etsy, Popup Berlin has worked with companies of all sizes to get their project off the ground.

 

Don’t forget, we offer pop up sourcing in the UK, so if you’re looking to promote your business, drop us a line today!

How a pop up shop can enhance your existing business

pop-upIf you’ve got an existing online brand and you want to explore ways of promoting yourself further, a pop up shop can be an ideal way of marketing yourself.

 

A temporary venture, it’s a great way to attract shoppers of the high street without expensive advertising, online marketing or any other traditional promotion.

 

Make use of the scraps

Online fashion house Poppy England has taken advantage of a pop up shop to poppy-englandpromote their brand further. Already an established online shop, the designer has creations in small retailers and boutiques, however this new pop up shop is designed not just to get sales, but to get customers for life.

 

Mums can enjoy cake and tea, while children will love creating in workshops that will make use of the offcuts used in Poppy England’s designs.

 

So not only is this venture a clever way to attract new customers, it’s a great way to get rid of the material that would otherwise go to waste.

 

Encourage future sales

You don’t necessarily need to use a pop up shop as a place for people to buy your products in a traditional sense. Brands such as adidas have used virtual walls in the past to allow shops with a small floorspace to display all kinds of footwear they sell. Customers can then create their perfect shoe and then order it direct to their home, making the online experience offline.

 

If you don’t have the budget for a virtual wall, you could simply display the range of products you have on offer and allow users to order items from your existing online shop via iPads or other tablet devices in store.

 

Promote a new product

We’ve talked about experiential marketing before, and a temporary retail space often forms part of a product launch for many established brands. It allows customers who are familiar with your existing product line to experience your new product without having to commit to buying it.

 

These experiential stores are created with an aim to get more people talking about your brand, rather than putting their money where their mouth is. It may seem like a risk if you’re a smaller business, but it can really help you stand out from the crowd.

 

So you don’t need to simply have a business idea to experiment with a pop up shop. Many large and established companies use pop up shops in addition to their online stores and existing retail spaces to keep customers engaged.

How to hire your first employee

interviewIf you’re thinking of expanding your business, or need some extra help when setting up your own pop up, then hiring your first employee is probably the next thing to do on your list.

 

Make sure you have all of the paperwork in place

Get acquainted with employment law and draw up a simple contract. If you’re a small business with a small turnover, it may be wise to consider employing someone as a freelancer or contractor, especially if they are only doing a temporary or ad hoc job. It means that you have less paperwork to do, and aren’t responsible for arranging your employee’s tax and national insurance contributions.

 

Define the job role

Be specific about who you are looking for and what you expect them to do before advertising the job. Create a clear and well-formed job description: there’s nothing more unprofessional than a badly spelt, vague job description. You’ll get more applications if you are clear about the qualifications you expect the application to have, the experience they need, and the roles and responsibilities they have. You should also put a salary on the job advert – even if it’s a range it will make sure you get the right people applying for the role.

 

Do some background research

There’s no harm in looking at an applicant’s public social media profiles such as Twitter or LinkedIn to get a better feel for if they are right for the job and clued up in your industry. Additionally, you may want to arrange a phone or Skype call before meeting them face to face to get a feel for if you like each other.

 

See through the charade

Many people may stretch the truth on their CV or over exaggerate. See through this, and get your applicant to explain themselves over certain CV points you may see as a bit foggy. Make them feel relaxed too: some of the best interviews can be casual chats where you can really get to know your future employee’s personality. After all, they will be the first person working for you: you will want to get on with them like a house on fire!

A shop just for Christmas, not for life

christmas-marketThe C-word may fill some with dread, realising that Christmas is just a short while away, but it’s never too early to start planning for the festive period. Pop up shops tend to be snapped up pretty quickly in the lead up, so start planning now if you want to make an impression on the Christmas market.

 

The holiday season is the perfect time to experiment with a pop up shop too, as sales will be heightened, there are more shoppers on the high street, and you’re more likely to make an impression on passing customers. Almost like shooting fish in a barrel.

 

Pop up shops during Christmas can also be great for existing brands: a couple of years ago HMV launched pop up shops throughout the UK, where it usually would have no presence. This helped them capture a market that they would have otherwise lost to online sales.

 

Fortnum and Mason are also holding a pop up shop in Somerset House, adjacent to the ice rink. Helping get people in the Christmas spirit, it will be selling unique skating inspired products that you won’t be able to get anywhere else.

 

And an unexpected appearance on the Christmas pop-up scene is Amazon (as if it needs any more presence during the Christmas period!). It’s opening pop up shops in the USA promoting its hardware, so shoppers can play with Kindles and the like before committing to buying them.

 

So whether you’re an established brand or are looking to make a dent on the Christmas scene, you can achieve this with a pop up shop. Get in touch with us and ask us about the availability we have for Christmas this year, before it’s too late!

Three things you need to know about opening a pop up

popup-shopThinking of popping up in a temporary shop? Got a great idea for how to utilise that empty shop round the corner from you? Great! But there are a few things you’ll need to know before you get the ball rolling.

 

It’s hard work

As with any new business, it will be hard work getting everything to run smoothly and to be the best shop it can possibly be. You will need to plan as much as you can in advance before finding the space of your dreams. How long would you like to run it for? What would you like to sell or advertise? How can you get people through the door? Make sure you have these things in mind while planning your pop up.

 

Be prepared

Set up a website, social media profiles and start printing flyers and posters for your event. Advertise yourself as much as possible before the big day and ensure that people know where you’re going to be. Look into pop up insurance if your lease doesn’t include it, as you will need it to protect yourself and your customers.

 

Create an experience

You’re not going to be around for long, so don’t just be like any other shop and fade into the background. Use bright colours, memorable displays and make a lot of noise about your pop up to get people to come and visit. And if you’re looking to do something a little more interesting, use your pop up as part of an experiential marketing plan and get people talking about your pop up for years to come.