I’ve been doing a lot of thinking over the weekend (a dangerous move according to some near and dear to me). Though I’ve been thinking beyond anything online and more into the retail realm.
Now I walk through Derry everyday and look at the amount of commercial property that lies empty. I’m not the only one either, Mark Nagurski did an excellent post on the very same subject. I’m looking from another angle.Commercial landlords desperately and urgently need to rethink their strategies on how they lease out their property. The idea right now is not to give big long leases but attractive short ones. Micro shops and pop up shops are the perfect way to occupy empty space. The idea of pop up shops aren’t new but if you want to have a go at starting up in retail now is a good time to start planning for the Christmas, ahem, rush.If I were a landlord I’d rather have a place occupied for a shorter period of time than lying empty. So how about shorter lease times.6 months?3 months?2 months?4 weeks?1 week?2 days?1 day?All doable in my eyes.With a good dollop of marketing (announce the sale to your user base on Facebook, Twitter and uVoucher to increase awareness). Nothing beats being out on the street and mixing with potential customers.1. Pick something you can sellThe last thing you want is stock at the end of the sale so you want to pick items that you’ve got a good chance of shifting. Sounds simple but I’ve seen this sink some companies over the years.2. Creative thinking on the rent.Easier with some landlords than others I’m sure (I’ve never tried). Can you negotiate for free? Offer a percentage of the revenue you make in your venture. Free free free, whatever you can get for the least amount. And only have the premises for the time you really need it. November through to December 24th, don’t forget an online presence if you can (e-commerce would be better but only if you can really complete the orders).3. Your brand is everythingJust because it’s a short lease shop doesn’t mean that your brand should suffer. Without going mad with the money try and get some creative design thing going. You can find some really cheap printing deals (or even Vistaprint for the ubercheap) to get flyers and all that stuff done.4. Know your costsRent and staff are the big numbers. The minimum wage is rising to £5.93 (£237.20 a week) in October this year. Goes without saying really but it’s so easy to end up running at a loss. A better strategy would be not to pay anyone and run it yourself.There’s a large amount of #JFDI in there I know and it will require some creative thinking from a few parties. At the end of the day it’s all attainable we just need some creative minds to embrace it. Who’s first?