Risky Business? How to Make The Most of Your Startup or Pop-up

Starting a new business is a task that’s as exciting as it is daunting. On average, half of all startups fail within their first five years, but don’t let this deter you; new businesses continue to boom and in the last year, the pop-up economy generated £300 million more than the year before. While start-ups can be inherently uncertain things to run in the beginning, there are a few simple measures you can take as owner to give your SMB the fighting chance it needs to succeed.

Busy coffee shop

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With pop-ups springing up so frequently in recent years, it may surprise you to know that the legalities of running one are pretty complicated. If you plan to offer hot food, alcohol, performance, films, sport or music at your venue (and chances are, you will be offering at least one of these things) you will have to apply for special privilege from your local council’s licensing authority.

Performances and sport are legally classed as ‘regulated entertainment’, and the government licensing page offers comprehensive advice on how to apply for a license. If you’re serving food or alcohol, the requisite licenses should be sought out, alongside food safety training and certification. These high overheads will need to be taken into account

Health and Safety is another legal concern for your pop-up or start-up. Every business, no matter how new or temporary, needs to abide by the Health and Safety Executive’s standards. Check them here. Carry out a proper risk assessment and make sure that first aid materials are on hand, and that at least one staff member is trained.


Insurance is an important part of setting up any business. With pop-ups, most leases include insurance and a service charge, meaning you do not have to worry about this. For start-ups based in offices or elsewhere, the situation is more complicated. Product and public liability insurance are not compulsory, but they are strongly advised for businesses that supply goods or provide services to members of the public. Should any customer have a problem with your startup, your product or public liability insurance should cover it.

Save money on business insurance policy

Entrepreneurs who have set up a shop, be it pop-up or permanent, should follow these retail security tips to keep their premises safe. Investing in a comprehensive security system will minimise your business’s risk of falling victim to theft and shoplifting—a recent study has shown that for every £77 spent, £1 is lost. A high quality alarm system will also reduce your business’s insurance premiums, with CCTV cameras acting as the most effective deterrent against crime.

When investing in security measures, don’t skimp on price. Your business is your livelihood and there is no pride in not being careful. It is also helpful to make a daily security routine, complete with a checklist. That way you will know for sure that you are keeping your business safe on a day-to-day basis.