Hustling for good

36 hours to set up a pop up store

Week 6 with Escape the City and one of the weekend’s challenge was to set up a Popup store within 48 hours in East London. Crazy? At first yes! But with the awesome people around — everything is possible.

Here are 8 lessons learnt from the experience of making it happen, from pitching to the producer, working with an awesome team, and being one of the top teams with the most profit from the night.

1. Be a charming chameleon.

Learning by iteration and taking on any curve balls we managed to understand how our actions would eventually impact our outlook on sales. The power of the team is more than that of the individual, by working together to bounce off ideas, promotional offers, website development, marketing, social media presence, we managed to accomplish more in 36 hours than any one personal alone could have. We managed to make over £4000 in revenue — the result of being open to change, and making the most of our individual situations as teams.

2. Confidence sells

The weekend brought everyone on the tribe a bit more closer to realising the potential that each and everyone has. We’re confident in the actions we take, more committed than ever to our values as people that are inherently creators.

The window of wishes

3. Know thy audience, help them, be their guide.

What worked on the street was understanding the potential customer’s journey — either by helping one family give information on which bus to take to get to Tate Modern, or looking at where the customer’s eyes were going, if they looked at the shop and were intrigued, that is when you approach them and tell them a bit more, more often than not, they crossed the road and went inside. Or entice pedestrians with free samples of sweets or an Indian dressed as a bright red Santa Claus.

4. Be nice to everyone.

Positioning, timing, appearance, approach all matter when trying to gain potential customers off the street. There is a lot of instinctive segmentation based certain cues that are picked up on the street, and how much persuasion is needed on each customer while trying to be nice to everyone, or high fiving others. Having left a good impression on someone may bring them back. Being nice pays back.

5. Always remember to negotiate.

As team leader I was meant to negotiate on the stock we were about to purchase. To start off with the product briefs we had, we forgot to negotiate on the trade price, something that we figured later on when we started talking to other teams about how much they bought their products for.

6. Live and die by your numbers (creds to Emma Walker)

We did not have any sales targets — even though we knew how much stock we had and what our costs were, figuring that out should have been a priority, but in the heat of the moment we decided to prioritise and leave that to the day. A valuable lesson for the future.

7. Act, act, act.

Making sure to just be present, mentally and being invested in the process can make a difference between a sale and tons of unsold stock. Overall the experience proved to be very valuable, and with a time constraint we were being pushed to take action, decisions, we all had to deliver…despite most of us never having done something similar. Actions are better than words.

8. Have fun!

Being yourself is the easiest way to someone’s heart, and their pockets. There is no point of doing something like this if you’re not going to have fun. It’s ok to let loose and just go with the flow.

What do you think makes a good pop up? Put your thoughts down in the comments. :)