Business accelerators: 5 ways to make your pop-up locations successful

October 3, 2017

In our previous post about pop-ups, we discussed six ways they can help a business. It was a great primer about how a pop-up can contribute to your bottom line. But, because we’re Clover, we didn’t want to stop there. So in this companion post, we’ll focus more on how pop-ups work, tackling some of the common logistical hurdles you might encounter.

Choose the right location.

One thing you’ll find when researching possible pop-up locations is that there are a lot of choices out there. That’s when it’ll behoove you to remember the old real estate adage: “location, location, location.” You’ll want to position your pop-up in a high-traffic area that makes sense for your clientele. The Insights app from Clover can analyze your business’s specific characteristics and provide you deep understanding of where the best location might be relative to your existing—and potential—customers.

Go in with eyes wide open.

For being a short-term site, there are a lot of moving parts to consider—most of which can have an impact on your long-term finances. Rent and utility costs, storage and display spaces for inventory, internet availability, and type of point-of-sale system are just a few considerations to check off of a long list. Your goal is to make money, so make sure you’re fully aware of the depth and breadth of the financial implications your pop-up location budget carries with it.

Make sure it’s a good fit.

As we pointed out in the previous article, sometimes solo businesses aren’t able to attract much traffic as a standalone proposition. But, when complemented by a smartly selected partner that shares a similar customer base, a profitable synergy forms that’s good for both businesses. The question is: which combinations of brands do and don’t make sense in a pop-up location?

For example, a breakfast concept is a natural pairing with a dinner restaurant pop-up, since the hours don’t conflict and you’ll both be needing food prep. But be aware that the “breakfast-y” atmosphere needs to be quickly and easily transformed into a dinner ambiance. Beyond this example, you’ll need to coordinate things like: hours of operation, clean-up requirements (mainly for food service), foot traffic considerations, licensing and permits, inventory storage, and more. By maintaining a delicate balance between the hosting merchant and the pop-up, you can ensure a smooth operation for both of your businesses.

Know when it’s time to stay put.

By their very nature pop-ups are designed to be a temporary arrangement. (Think merchants using the space to capitalize on seasonal trends like Halloween.) However, what happens when a pop-up is faced with the fact that they’re doing so well they can justify committing to a permanent space? This reality presents logistical hurdles of its own.

When shifting a growing clientele to a new permanent address, visibility is everything. You need to advertise and showcase your new location so you can ensure your customers are in the know. Tell them your new address along with directions from your current location, parking requirements (if any), hours of operation, and grand opening date. Armed with this information, your customers with be able to smoothly transition their business from old to new.

Get the right POS system.

We alluded to this earlier, but the importance of this step cannot be overstated. Having a flexible point-of-sale system can make all the difference between success and failure. That’s why Clover offers so many choices for merchants that match the way they do business.

  • Clover Station, a traditional countertop POS, features a pivoting touchscreen and the ability to accept all types of payments.
  • The ultra-portable Clover Flex helps you accept payments wherever you are—whether in the aisle, at the table, or at the counter.
  • The Clover Mini is perfect for simple payment processing or acting as full-featured POS.
  • The Clover Mobile is a portable, powerful POS that fits in the palm of your hand.
  • The Clover Go lets you accept credit card payments on the go or wirelessly from your own tablet or smartphone.

With the information above as a starting framework, do your research, talk to peers, and consult with experts. Think carefully about whether a pop-up is a good fit, consider the marketplace realities and think about what actions on your and your team’s part will be required to make it a success.

[image: UT POP-UP! TYO by Dick Thomas Johnson on flickr]

Clover is sold by leading U.S. banks including Bank of America, BBVA, Citi, PNC, SunTrust and Wells Fargo. You’ll also find Clover at our trusted partners including CardConnect, Restaurant Depot, and Sam’s Club. For more information, visit us at