By Deb Brown
The old way of doing business is one building, one business. What if you could test an idea and have a business inside a business?
Anyone of us either knows or can find someone who is making things from their home and selling it.
What if you encouraged already existing home-based businesses to host a trial popup in your store?
These small popups can be short term, over a season or if it works out a permanent addition. Perhaps you’ll let them try their idea out for free for a short time. If it works, you can determine together if they pay rent to you or a commission.
Who do you know that is a:
- Quilt maker
- Widget maker
Look for those that are doing business from their homes. Maybe they are just beginning to think about making some money with their products.
How can you help them, and your business at the same time?
Invite them to set up in a corner of your shop, as a pop up.
Then try these ideas:
- Meet the artist event
- Have a party announcing your new acquisition
- Create a Facebook event and do something special to announce their arrival
Why does all of this matter?
- You will be bringing in new people to your store to meet these crafters. Cross promotion is good for business.
- You’re giving a hand up and not a hand out to a new business person.
- You’re enlivening your community using local resources.
- You’re making your store a place where people come for an experience.
- You’re building community and that strengthens the town for everyone.
More rural economic development tricks
- Boost your rural retail business with this trick - November 5, 2021
- Business plans are not worth the paper they’re written on - February 6, 2020
- How to get the city to suspend the rules for you - January 7, 2020
- Using events to promote service and industry businesses - September 11, 2019
- How do you start a microbrewery? With micro-steps - March 11, 2019
- Small town makerspace idea: Old Geezer Club - September 12, 2017
- How we got a filmmaking crew to tell our small town’s story - May 29, 2017
- Go visit your customers - October 18, 2016
- Christmas starts early. Get ready now. - October 4, 2016
- Serendipity and maker spaces - May 23, 2016