4 alternative ways to fund your store
7 Sep 2020
The essential costs of launching a pop-up store can add up very quickly. Whilst many small businesses don’t have much expendable income in their first few years of business, this doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have access to the streets. Luckily, there are several alternative ways to fund a store and allow your brand to reap the benefits of physical retail.
We’ve weighed up the pros and cons of four different methods to fund your store, alongside some real case studies from brands who were able to make their idea a reality. Read on to find out how.
Platforms such as Kickstarter or Gofundme are becoming increasingly popular for emerging brands looking to fund a store. Take 26 Grains, the Hygge-inspired eatery who used Kickstarter to raise money for their first-ever cafe space. To encourage donations, they promised rewards: from a free meal in the new space to a menu item named after them. Not only is crowdfunding an easy way to raise funds, but it can also build a loyal community of supporters before your store is even open.
The downside to this? Running a successful campaign is a full-time job in itself, and it could be even more time-consuming making sure all these rewards are met once you’re open. Make sure to factor in a Plan B if you don’t meet your target.
Teaming up with another independent business could be the key to the world of physical retail for both of you. For a store that makes sense, make sure you join forces with a brand who has a similar ethos or product to you To offset the cost further, why not team up with several brands to form a concept store?
SUITCASE magazine did just that, teaming up with Modern Society and Taylor Morris Eyewear to create a concept store around a summer travel theme. Together, they pooled their resources to bring their brands to life IRL. However, it’s important to note that working with many brands could cause issues in organisation and ownership further down the line, so make sure everyone you partner up with is informed with your plans for the store.
Perhaps you already have the funds for your first store, but once the rent is paid you need a bit of extra support. In this case, consider approaching a bigger brand for sponsorship or an event hosted in your store. Not only will you be able to generate a bit of extra revenue, but you’ll also be exposed to a new audience that your sponsor will bring – this could also drive more sales in the long term. To ensure you can really capitalise on this, approach like-minded brands who are likely to have a similar customer to you.
Take Courier Magazine, who had American Express sponsor their physical marketplace of small businesses for Courier Live. It worked both ways: the magazine was able to receive the support it needed to set up the marketplace, and American Express could align itself with the businesses. On that note, make sure that when you pitch you tell potential sponsors what you can offer them in return: perhaps it’s access to a super-engaged community, your team, free content, or a social cause they could align with.
Bank loans & grants.
Bank business loans are probably the most conventional route to funding your store, but before you even apply, you’ll likely need many things ready. Many banks ask for: a full business plan, financial reports, your personal finances, and insurance details. Applying can be time-consuming, but many see it as worthwhile as they get to maintain control of their business – the bank’s main interest is getting their money back. On that note, make sure you’re confident that you’re able to pay back any loan you take out – UK high street banks charge at least 7.4% APR and loans can be as long as 15 years.