Micro Business Ideas with Carts & Kiosks
Despite this global pandemic, and now a vaccine coming out, we can still explore owning a business even with the decline to our economy, and current Covid-19 pandemic. One such operation to explore, is the Kiosk and Cart business. They can be highly lucrative ventures.
Location is the major key to the success, of this particular business venture. You can buy new or used, rent or lease a cart, or kiosk, and can even have it custom-built.
In the past, you could operate your little shop at a variety of locations such as in a mall, or sporting and entertainment events, flea markets, busy downtown streets, tourist spots, or near a location where workers gather, for meals or snacks, and other creative outlets limited only by your imagination, and your local city/town hall policies.
Researching the Mobile Cart & Kiosks Business Model
Today, we must take safety into consideration therefore requiring you, the owner, to design your little shop, to include social distancing, maybe use display cases with a cover for products, offer masks and paper gloves next to your hand sanitizer. Include a friendly ‘reminder‘ sign about safety for all. Respect for others, and their safety, shows them your own attention to the importance of everybody’s health, not just sales.
The Kiosk/Cart business venture is much less expensive to enter than the traditional retail store. You can start out part time and if business is slow at one location you can pick up and move to another (with a Cart business) busy street. Upfront investment for a kiosk or a cart can range from just $2,000 to $10,000 and is part of a fore cast $12 billion industry, and expected market growth by 2025.
The Kiosk/Cart business venture is not a new type of business. We have seen them at theme parks, festivals, annual exhibitions with rides and food courts, our corner newspaper stand. I remember my beloved library ‘book mobile’ out in the suburbs. Maybe governments can help closed and bankrupt business owners re-start with this type of business?
Key Points to Observe
- Make sure you have a Business plan.
- Research for required licenses or permits at your local city/town hall. Speak to somebody in your local business development center. They exist to help with new businesses.
- Ensure you can handle working with the public.
- Research your location prior to setting up shop. Observe the amount of foot traffic. High or medium-high traffic is best.
- Offer a special 1-hour price special for down times (less traffic hour)
- Design your Kiosk/Cart for eye appeal. AVOID clutter.
- Focus on providing outstanding customer service, and a unique retail experience.
- Do NOT compete with larger retail stores.
- Set your cart or kiosk shop near complementary stores. Stores that will drive traffic to you and NOT steal traffic. You’re looking to ‘share‘.
- Kiosks can be found in malls, and will require rent, and may include a percentage of your retail sales but also already provide an existing stand for your specifications whereas a cart is mobile.
- Both types, cart or kiosk will provide the owner with the opportunity to sell a variety of goods from crafts, wholesale items, or from larger retail stores.
- Entering this business also offers flexibility and the opportunity to work seasonal times. Offer items for a limited time such as from Christmas through to Fathers day.
- Review carefully any lease you may have to sign, and all rules and regulations if in a mall. Seek out a lawyer for legal advice, if necessary.
You will need patience to commit to your cart/kiosk store post for long hours (especially if outdoors), have an excellent knowledge of retail and business management, and a flair for designing attention-grabbing displays, a cash register, credit or bank card processor with card tap function, a part-time assistant, dress professionally, comfortable seating, and a mat to protect your feet. Sounds almost like equipment for a trade show. 🙂 I’d suggest a radio too!
Kiosk Business Ideas
One idea from Becky and Deb, of Save Your Town, offer business and community ideas about how to revive and save their towns. They are a pair that have fantastic ideas for entrepreneurs, and communities. I’m a fan, can you tell? They’re also willing to work with others to help, and they openly share their ten years of knowledge online with articles, podcasts and videos. Visit their site, and Youtube video’s, check them out!
One idea these two ladies shared in their newsletter, was pop-up shops. Using little ‘sheds‘ converted into stores, and located in areas for the public. Again, location is key for success. Further add-on of this idea due to this pandemic, these little pop-up business’ can be easily set up, to include social distancing between them. Maybe add a little area roped off, to extend distancing, near the entrance and help keep customers apart. I hope that makes sense. How would you feel about seeing a set up of tiny stores, in your area? Would you contact your local mayor and suggest such an idea?
Business Closures & Financial Struggles
I believe that all levels of government, should pay attention. They could learn to keep their ears open to suggestions from their citizens, and hear offers and ideas that could help and/or get inspiration, in the recovery of businesses, and our local community economies.
Canadians can look around their communities, and they see the fallout from this pandemic. Many small businesses were forced to close. They were considered as non-essential, and forced into financial hardships. Sure, there were government assistance cheques but did these last as long as the forced shut-downs? This pandemic affected businesses, and national economies, around the world. Changed our lives.
Canadians are asking questions, ‘why did only the big box stores get a free pass?’ The government should really consider having small business owners NOT be forced to fully pay for their business costs, power, equipment rentals, water, waste, insurance, etc. I’d suggest require half payments. They were forced to close for an event not in their control. Literally, an act of God. This type of financial assistance could help revive business and kickstart our economy.
If they were forced into bankruptcy, these small businesses should not suffer further financial hardships, paying debts. If the Canadian government can forgive corporation debts then why not do the same, for small business owners?
Recovering to our New Normal
The pandemic delivered a major blow for society in many areas, and I don’t believe it will be the last one. Contamination is going on all around us, in almost all four directions from industries of all manner. This is an experience we can all learn from, and now set down an improved Emergency preparation plan, for any future (related) event that hits our society.
A government that assists in rebuilding tattered small local businesses recover from the shut-downs, may be able to redeem themselves for incurring such hardships. A second area of focus for small mobile cart, and kiosk business owners, and staff, is security. Maybe the government can have a kiosk for Police officers to be near by? deter ideas of robbing these small business stands.
For now, supporting our local small business owners, to enter an outdoor cart or kiosk business venture, may help towards building a return, to our near former economy. It won’t be perfect, and will have obstacles, such as inclement weather conditions, available spaces to host tiny stores, and people who are anti-mask and anti-vac, all to keep safety measures alive but we can learn to adapt.
All new changes have new learning curves but a work-around is always found. We are an intelligent species and up for a challenge, yes?
Learning in Motion
Extra Learning Resources
16 Money-Making Mobile Business Ideas
How to Start a Vending Cart Business
10 Best POS Systems for Small Businesses
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Article(C)2021 An Informal Cornr, all rights reserved. Ginsense writes articles on business, health, science, technology, society and enjoys advocating for independence, security and a better world for all of us.