Is A City Center Even An Urban Center Without A Street Business?
The answer to the above is simple: probably not. We’re all used to seeing street businesses as we go about our usual errands. There are the food carts selling a range of delicious cuisines; the handmade jewelry that we can’t help being tempted by; or even the performance artists who juggle or pose as human statues to the delight of passersby. Street businesses are an essential component of city centers– and they can be surprisingly lucrative.
If you’re looking for an entry into the business world, then street businesses really aren’t a bad place to begin your search; but as you might expect, it’s not all easy street (sorry) with this kind of business. If you’ve ever found yourself tempted to make your business mark in such a way, then you may appreciate this comprehensive overview of all the pros and cons that you may face…
PRO: A Retail Outlet Without An Outlet
If you want to sell products or food to the general public, then the primary option is to hire a retail space and use this as your store. This is how most cities and suburban areas operate, and few people would think of doing anything else. After all, the advantages of having your own retail store where you can sell your products are endless; you have space, recognition, foot traffic…
… You also have bills, overheads, electricity and heating costs, maintenance costs; retail stores might be the most established method of capturing the public’s imagination in person, but they’re certainly not the cheapest. You can see how this impacts businesses any time you stroll through your local city center; you’ll likely see ‘closing down’ signs, or even premises sitting empty and waiting for a new occupant. As www.BusinessInsider.com points out, retail can be an incredibly tough business to make work, and the overheads contribute to this issue.
A street business has all the advantages of a retail store without half of the problems. If you’re selling from a cart or a food truck, then you don’t need to worry about business land taxes, rents, disputes with your landlord, or maintenance of an entire building. Everything is right where you need it, is kept to a small confined space out of sheer necessity, and you still have all the advantages of foot traffic and shopping crowds that make retail stores so attractive.
CON: You Do Still Have To Maintain Your Cart/Vehicle
While your overheads will definitely be lower with a street cart or vehicle, you’re still going to have to maintain what you do have; street businesses aren’t a ticket to maintenance-free business ownership. If you have a cart, you will still need to take care of the wheels and deal with random issues such as breakdowns or damage to your awning. If you have a vehicle, you’re going to occasionally need to dip into your pocket to buy new roll-up doors from the likes of www.Dynatect.com, and you’ll have to pay the usual vehicle maintenance fees. Street businesses are lower-maintenance, but they’re not without some maintenance costs.
If you’re considering a street business as you dislike all of the associated hassles that go with running a retail store, it’s important not to think you can 100% avoid these problems just because you’ve taken your business to the streets.
PRO: You Have Complete Flexibility
Let’s say you own a retail store. You learn that another city close to you is hosting a huge event, which will bring potential customers pouring into the city– though sadly, you won’t be taking advantage of it because your store is still going to be in your own city.
If you have a street business, you don’t have to experience any of the same FOMO: you can just pack up and move over to where the crowds are going to be, giving your business a huge boost as a result.
The above is just one example in which the flexibility of street businesses is incredibly beneficial; even just being able to move to another location within the same city offers a whole new opportunity. You can go where the business is and take advantage of events like sporting matches and big events, which should allow you to make a decent profit.
CON: Well, It’s Not Quite Complete Flexibility
Of course, the above sounds ideal; moving around from place to place, always capturing the biggest crowds who have the most money to spend. Sadly, there’s a pretty substantial ‘however’ that needs to be dealt with.
If you’re running a street business, then you’re going to have to familiarize yourself with a huge amount of bureaucracy. You’re going to have to obtain permits, some of which you will need to have accreditation to obtain– for example, you will likely need some kind of food hygiene certification to sell from a food cart. Permits can be granted city-wide, which is incredibly useful, but it’s unlikely you’re going to be able to go to another city with the same permit; you’ll have to apply all over again for the jurisdiction for wherever you travel to.
The time, inconvenience, and potential cost of doing this should still be worth it, but it’s something that you have to factor into your plans. While you do have flexibility with street businesses, it’s not complete flexibility; you can’t just go anywhere you choose and set up shop for the afternoon. You still have to abide by the rules, regulations, and red tape of each individual area, so if paperwork gives you a headache, this might not be the best option for you.
There’s no doubt that street businesses can be successful, especially for first-time entrepreneurs. However, it’s important that you keep the ‘cons’ in mind, and are sure you would know how to handle the issues that they present. If you like the pros and can deal with the cons, then a street business might just be the best choice for you.
A Few More Words
Well, I guess online does not encompass all the possibilities of business. However, as this contributed article highlights, there are advantages and disadvantages for any business, even a street business which might be easier to set up. One other point I should also highlight is the fact that even if your physical business is mobile or a street business, you can still create an online presence for it as well. After all, being online is more or less the same idea – reducing overhead expenses, finding a market, and making a profit!.
However you choose to do business, just be sure to arm yourself with as much information as you can before you undertake the project. You need to know the odds so that your outcome can be as successful as you envision. Much success and please let me know your thoughts.