Setting Up for Opening Day

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'Twas the night BEFORE,
the night before

With the holiday season upcoming, all the kiddies await the night before Christmas. However, as a cart owner, it has always been ANOTHER night that is on MY mind.....and that is night before we OPEN for business.

And because typically that first day of business for a 'holiday' cart is November 1...set-up is usually done the night before....or on October 31..... ...which is coming up right quick!

When I opened my first cart, back in 1996,  I thought I had everything set and ready to go.

Once the mall closed at 9:00 pm, I wheeled my nventory, and supplies, and equipment in from the car. By midnight, I'd made a list of about ten things that I didn't have on hand, but needed in order to finish setting up.  So I made a trip to an all-night Wal-Mart to pick up the things I needed....which was about 45 minutes away. 

By the time I finally finished setting up, it was about 4:30 in the morning, and I headed home for a few hours of sleep before our BIG opening the 'next' day.

Brady Flower has FREE Kiosk Profit tips for you!

However, when I got home, I found out that I had locked my house keys back at the mall, in my CART. It quickly dawned on me that I wasn't going to get much sleep that night.....

.....and rather than make the trip back to mall, I went to a 24 Kinko's and made some last minute copies, before
heading off to the mall to open up.

Boy, was it a long day. And I can't tell you how glad I was to get into bad that next evening.

Now, I never had to pull an 'all-nighter' in subsequent years when setting up my carts. I learned a little trick that has made the set-up process go MUCH smoother.

IF you ASK, many leasing agents will actually let you come in TWO nights before you open in order to set up. In fact, some PREFER to 'split' the set-up process into two nights and have at least SOME of their seasonal holiday licensees set up two nights before.

Why would you want to set up two nights before you open? No matter how well most cart operators prepare for their 'set-up', they almost ALWAYS forget SOMETHING. Unless you are just plain lucky, or super prepared, YOU are probably going to forget something TOO.

If you can set up TWO nights before you are scheduled to open, you have the WHOLE next day to take care of whatever it is, WITHOUT scrambling around the morning of your opening day. You can take care of whatever it is you need the next day, get a good night's sleep, and are FRESH for your opening day!

It really PAYS to phone your leasing  agent and ASK if you can set up TWO nights before opening rather than the night before.

Will all leasing agents allow you to set up two nights early?  In a word, no. Some malls make it policy not to have a cart 'on the floor' unless it's open for business.

If that is the case, don't throw a hissy fit with your leasing agent. Accept that fact, and do your best to prepare to set-up the night before. 

However, if your leasing agent is gracious enough to ALLOW you the privilege of setting up the night BEFORE, the night before you open, I highly suggest you TAKE that option. It will make your life MUCH easier. You will be able to set up in a much more calm and collected manner.....

....without having to scramble around at the last minute.

The more calm, cool, and confident you are when you run your business, the more attractive you and your business appears to other people..... leasing staff in the your staff and employees... ...and to your customers, too.

And it is my experience that the more attractive you make yourself in ANY aspect of your life, including in your business life, the  more success you tend to have.

And you tend to sleep better at night too! That's for sure!

Brady Flower

P.S. For more tips on how to run a successful mall cart or kiosk, subscribe to the Specialty Retail Report at:

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