The Pros and Cons of Pop-Up Marketing

Over the last few years there’s been a huge rise in the number of start-ups and businesses creating pop-up experiences for their customers as a tool for testing the market and drumming up business in a unique way. Just look at BoxPark in Shoreditch – an ongoing popup space for new businesses in London.

If you’re not familiar with what pop-up marketing is, the Cambridge Business Dictionary describes it as:

A store that opens suddenly and usually exists for a short amount of time. Or; A temporary pop-up store often appears when retailers take advantage of empty retail space.

Whilst this trend is taking off and more and more people are jumping on the bandwagon, we wanted to explore the pros and cons of pop-up marketing, so you can decide whether it’s something you want to invest in for your business or not.


The Pros

1. Cheap or free rent

Pop up spaces are usually free or very cheap to rent over other shop rates – great if you’ve a small budget.


2. Its great PR for your business

Pop Ups still have a novel feel, especially in towns and cities that haven’t had an influx of pop ups. This can help generate press coverage in the local paper, magazines, radio and on blogs.


3. It can help create a buzz and pull people into your shop

People will come just to experience the novelty of the pop up and that can introduce them to your business and products for a long term relationship.


4. You can interact with your customers 1-2-1

Many online only stores lose the experience of talking to their customers 1-2-1, even with the use of social media. Creating a ‘real’ space for you to interact and engage your customers will not only feel good for them, but help you understand your customers better and even test new ideas and products and get real-time feedback.


5. Pop-ups can increase sales and help you offload old stock

This short burst of activity can boost sales temporarily and help shift stock you’ve been holding onto for too long.


The Cons

1. Finding space is hard

Dan Thompson, founder of the Empty Shops Network and author of Pop Up Business for Dummies is a huge advocate for this trend in the UK. However he says that “finding a space is the trickiest part”. Many landlords and estate agents are suspicious of popups and won’t even consider it. Finding space will take time.


2. Marketing in good time

You need to create buzz and excitement before you open, as you won’t be there long. This can be hard work and will add to your budget.


3. Customer service can slip

Your customers may feel they can’t return an item or have prolonged customer service once the pop up is over – this could put them off buying from you.


4. Limited stock/choice for customers

Popups are generally small spaces with limited choice, which might not show off your business in its best light, and may be frustrating for your popup customers.


5. You cant keep the pop up going

You may not be able to continue the pop up even if you like the location and it’s a great success. Some of the success may also be down to it being temporary – so you’ll need to plan how to prolong the buzz and interest.


6. Health, Safety and Insurance

Finding suitable shop contents insurance can be difficult and empty shops and spaces can have health and safety hazards that you may not be prepared for.

Essential Skills Required for a Successful Career in Construction

Building a successful career in construction is more than just being up for the physical challenge of the job. It’s a hands on industry that relies on people with practical skills and know-how but also planning and managerial skills and a high level of professionalism.

Although many start their careers at the bottom and it can be tough at times, the industry can be incredibly rewarding and can offer a great deal of career progression.

So, what makes for a successful career in construction? We take a look at the skills and experience you’ll need to make it:


Hands On Practical Skills

This really is a given in the construction industry as it relies so heavily on practical skills. This includes good hand-eye co-ordination and a level of fitness to be able to complete the physical aspects of the job.


Good Communication

Both verbal and written communication skills are required to be able to progress in the industry. Not only for communicating with clients and customers but also for managing and communicating with staff and co-workers to ensure a project is running smoothly and issues and ideas are shared in a way that is understood by all involved. Being a good listener also goes a long way with clients and staff.


Problem Solving

Many roles in the industry rely on critical thinking and the ability to anticipate and react to problems quickly with the client’s best interest in mind.


Plans interpretation

A technical skill that can be learnt over time and through training but is essential for career progression is reading blueprints and understanding construction, plan and shop drawings.



Construction is by its very nature a team effort – not one person is responsible for the success of a project. This requires being a good team player and as you progress, being a good manager or people and inspiring and motivating those around you as well as yourself.


Commercial Awareness

Every project will have a commercial aspect and understanding this can be a real asset in your career, as business is about profit – for you/your company and the client. Cost accounting and financial analysis are also key skills that can be honed to ensure a successful career.


Time Management

Projects that overrun are costly for both the construction team and the client. Being able to manage your own time, and that of you staff is imperative to a strong career – as is an assertive attitude and prompt response.


Enthusiasm, dependability and flexibility

These three traits have been cited as essential for a construction worker. It can be tough, so you need enthusiasm to complete the job in hand. You need to be dependable and turn up and do as you say you will. And, as projects invariably change due to various factors, you need to be able to adapt to change easily.


Innovative and creative

Many successful construction professionals enjoy being creative and innovating in their work – and this can give you the advantage over someone else in the same position as you. Balancing this with risk assessment is a great skill to to have.


Sound health and safety knowledge and awareness

Safety – for yourself, your co-workers and staff and your client is imperative. Keeping this at the forefront of your mind will ensure everyone is safe and secure in the working environment and will help anticipate and prevent problems and dangers.


Business management

To excel in a career in construction, and move beyond the hands on elements of the job, a good business-head is required. Being able to hone your entrepreneurial and business skills to generate profit and run a sustainable business will help in many higher level roles in the industry, even if you do not run your own business.


Legal and contractual skills

These skills can complement the hands on and the business management traits attributed to a successful career in construction. Being aware of legal aspects of construction will give you a broader awareness of the full scope of the project in hand and allow you to adhere to contracts and anticipate issues in advance.

The New Allergen Legislation: What Restaurants Need to Know

Hospitality and Catering businesses based in the European Union (EU) need to be aware of a big change to the law around how products are labelled in regards to Allergens.

This change is coming into place in December 2014. It was published in October 2011, to give businesses like yours time to adapt, however if you are unaware of the change till now, you’ve a couple of months to understand and prepare yourself for it.

To help make it simple, we’re outlining the details of the change and how it’ll affect your business below:

The Change in The Law

From December 2014 allergen information must be provided for foods sold non-packed and/or pre-packed for direct sale.

Food which is sold loose or served out-of-the-home will also require clear allergen information to be made aware to consumers.

What This Means for Your Business

From December 2014 you will need to highlight 14 types of food allergen contained in the food you offer clearly on your:

  • menus
  • packaging
  • displays

These 14 allergens are:

  1. Gluten
  2. Peanuts
  3. Crustaceans and molluscs
  4. Tree nuts (almond, hazelnut, walnut, cashew, pecan nut, Brazil nut, pistachio nut, Macadamia nut and Queensland nut)
  5. Soya
  6. Milk
  7. Sulphites and Sulphur dioxide
  8. Fish
  9. Egg
  10. Lupin
  11. Sesame
  12. Celery and celeriac
  13. Mustard
  14. Cereals containing gluten

Some allergens have been excluded from this regulation as they’re uncommon in the EU. They include:

  • Garlic and onion
  • Yeast
  • Chestnut
  • Pine nut
  • Coconut

Although you don’t need to highlight these particular allergens, you may wish to include them for the benefit of your customers.

If you have a set and regular menu, this shouldn’t pose too much of a problem for you. However, if you change your menu and dishes on a frequent basis (for example if you base them on fresh and in-season ingredients) you will need to update the information available to your customers when you update your dishes. This of course can add a time consuming task but it is essential that you do it. Try to find ways to manage this and automate it as best as possible – and put a system in place to make this information readily available for your customers.

It’s also important to educate your staff about the change to legislation so they’re also aware of what you customers need to know and how you must display the information in your restaurant.

Additional information to help you

This change is complex and it’s recommended that you look through the guidance which The British Retail Consortium and the Food and Drink Federation have produced. In this guidance, they set out clear criteria for educating your customers and details on how to declare each allergenic ingredient.

You can read the guidance here.