I thought I’d let you know a bit about my story of starting up Pop up Spot. I had been sitting on the idea since university and as the old cliche goes, if I didn’t do it then somebody else would.
I first graduated university with an engineering degree that I wasn’t particularly interested in and found it tough to find a job in something I was interested in. As I got older, my interests changed and I knew I wanted to have a career in something I was passionate about. I was really into food and drink and explored the idea of starting up my own business in this field but found that turning that idea into a reality was a tough prospect. Gaining a physical premise on a long-term lease and all the confusion that comes with that put me off. So I then went back to uni within Strathclyde Business School, where the idea of Pop up Spot was born!
I convinced myself I needed more work experience before launching Pop up Spot but this was just an excuse. Late in 2019, I decided that it was time I took the leap into making it a reality.
Looking back, the biggest mistake I made was trying to perfect everything for launching Pop up Spot and the amount of time that was wasted which was unrealistic as no business starts off perfectly. If I could pick one thing that I have learned most from running a business in 2020 is that it is more valuable to learn from doing.
Early in 2020 I was ready to promote the launch night, had pop ups set up in the diary and then COVID-19 struck. Unfortunately, everything had to be cancelled and I was back to square one. I would be lying if I said I made the most of the time in the initial lockdown as it took me a few months to regain my focus and confidence, however, fast forward to August and I was excited to have pop ups booked for the next few months. I had to adapt to new procedures, pop ups where previously the aim was to attract as many people as possible had to be planned sensibly to make sure there was no overcrowding.
I’ve loved helping local business make their next steps and watching them grow. I’m fed up of the high street being filled with the same unethical, fast-fashion clothing shops, average chain restaurants and coffee shops. I want to bring an opportunity for those that are passionate about their business. During 2020, some businesses Pop up Spot was able to help were Glasgow Plantmama, Full Circle Bakes and The Pepper Society. They are all super passionate, inspiring people who strive to do their best for their business and the local communities. Working with them continues to inspire me to help other small businesses achieve their potential.
After a year like we have had, I believe it will make everyone more grateful for the people around them and how important having human connection is. I am inspired by the passion of many local business owners and their desire to keep pushing through and constantly adapting with what has been going on. I know from experience, it has not been easy not knowing what will be allowed or not in the coming weeks and constantly adapting to new restrictions.
If there is something I hope for 2021 it is that we don’t stick to isolated working. Just because we have adapted to working from home, doesn’t mean it should continue to be the norm. I think having a more flexible working schedule is desired by most but I hope this doesn’t mean the end to going into the office, co-working spaces, as well as social gatherings.
Here’s to a better 2021, lets see where it takes us.