The "Pop Up" System: Getting a Pop Up Store Started
From the Desk of Dusty Henson:
I am just fascinated with business. Making deals and researching new business and marketing concepts is something that I have known and worked with since I was a boy growing up in Abilene, TX; and I guess you could say that deal-making and research marketing is somewhat of a hobby of mine.
Our business, El Paso Saddleblanket Company, is located in a two acre building right in the middle of El Paso, Texas just off of Interstate 10. It is a HUGE wholesale distribution showroom and the Largest Southwest Trading Post ON THE PLANET.
In the last 52 years, I've seen about everything you can imagine in this type of industry and there are very few things in business nowadays that just blow me away. However, there is a new type of business model out there that is really making people money and has products SELLING, SELLING, SELLING --- Pop Up Stores!
Pop Up stores are basically stores with short term flexible leases that sell merchandise and eventually you would sell the store as a business, liquidate the merchandise through a going out of business sale, or you can keep the store open if it becomes an outstanding location.
Okay, here's what I'm impressed with about the "Pop Up" system. First off, you will always get the Grand Opening Honeymoon, then when and if you choose to close the location, with the right promotion you can create a frenzy with a Going Out of Business Sale. So (in theory) once you get started you could have multiple ongoing stores opening and closing all the time.
Carrying one brand exclusively, like El Paso Saddleblanket Co., will keep the inventory and bookkeeping simple. Any size of retail space located in strip centers or in any downtown area is best, you can go big or even as small as a kiosk stand. You can use book shelves filled with pottery, tables used to stack merchandise, rugs piled on the floor, unique artifacts and plaques to hang on the walls, southwest jewelry displays, and on and on. Things piled high and deep and EVERYTHING is for sale. Your employees can work on commission and you can have the business open 7 days a week.
You may also want to avoid being one of those generic cutesy or boutique style shops. You want the deals and price to be the standout theme of the pop-up. A "must-have, last chance, for a limited time, buy now before all gone" concept.
For marketing strategies, I would recommend to not do television, radio, and most newspaper advertising. Social Media in our day and age is the absolute best and most affordable. The most popular platforms currently are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, once you build your presence here, the sky's the limit. Other no-fail options to target your local customers are mailing colorful postcards to both individuals and businesses, handing out promotional fliers, and having an in-store email address sign up with weekly promotions. The trick is to spend as little money as possible. Don't waste time trying to deal with multiple sales people or advertisers. Don't take anything on consignment. Don't let your kids or other people hang around and cause distraction. Just Sell, Sell, Sell, and get the money. (Remember Bullshitting is Not Selling). Utilize the telephone, calling customers and potential customers on a regular basis is important.
I know this will work- there's no doubt about it. Some other advantages of this type of business is that you have very little investment other than merchandise. There's no special equipment or trained technical personal required and with the merchandise having a decent mark up, you should do quite well.
With empty store fronts all over the country, being able to use social media to quickly get the word out on your Pop Up locations, and with little to no costs; this concept is already starting to take off. It's time to get in on the ground floor of this money making concept!
"O.K, Dusty, What Else??"
Please understand that opening your own Trading Post does not necessarily have to be a 'Pop Up', it could also be a permanent location just as easily. With all the big box stores, it can be difficult as an entrepreneur to find a product or niche that will work for yourself. I would think about $20,000 to $30,000 of inventory could get you off to a decent start, but $50,000 plus would be better. If you have a clean open location, you can open your store in three days or less. Our experienced staff would be willing to help advise you on selecting the best products for your initial order that will get you on the ground running. Remember the key is to NOT spend much money other than inventory and to SELL. So, find a location, select a name, get a simple business license, and get started. The hardest part is making the decision to do it. Focus on your own business and ignore all of the negative bullshit on T.V. or from negative people.
If you have a sincere interest, call me at 1-800-351-7847 or better yet come to El Paso, Texas and see what a C student and college flunk out like me has done. Your only investment with us is inventory. No franchise fees, no phony business set up fees, or sales kits written by some professor - No TRICKS.
One morning you will wake and realize that there isn't any more time left. If you have an interest in getting something done, you gotta act now.