Shipping containers are about versatility, and in recent years small business owners have realised that they can run practically any business in a converted container and thrive.

From street food vendors to barbers, shipping containers are economical, robust and easily adapted to form an ideal workspace, and there is an inherent novelty to a converted container that means that even now they cannot help but draw attention and capture footfall.

It is an unconventional space, and because of this, does require some adjustments in its approach compared to a traditional retail space, in order to maximise its advantages.

A Question Of Size

The first question to ask, and by far the most important, is whether your entire business will fit into a shipping container.

In the vast majority of cases, the answer will be a resounding “yes”, but make sure to keep in mind that certain pieces of furniture and equipment vital to the functioning of your business need to fit in a space that is eight feet wide and just over eight feet high, before floors, walls and insulation.

Nearly every business can fit into a shipping container or a stack of them, but some may require more adaptations than others.

Planning And Location

After figuring out that a shipping container is right for you, the next step is to find a suitable location and get in touch with your local planning authority to ensure that you would be fine to open a business in a shipping container.

Whilst the growing number of shipping container stands, stalls and shops show that you absolutely can use a container, different planning authorities may have their own rules and requirements, and it is always better to ask first, as it saves both time and money.

Buy And Prepare A Shipping Container

Once you have an idea of the right location and the general size of container you need to run the business you want, the next step is to buy a suitable container and modify it for your needs.

In order to get the best results, consulting with a professional is essential, as they will know what works best with a modified container, fit in windows, doors and insulation perfect for your needs as well as recommend decorations and furniture that accentuate the appeal of a container store.

Consider Branding And Style

One of the reasons why a container conversion is so eye-catching is that it can easily be painted with a brand’s colour scheme and iconography, which provides a striking billboard for a business.

If your business does not already have a brand identity, think about where your container would fit into that look; what colours would best represent how you want your customers to feel about you and your products, and how does the industrial chic of a container add value to them?

Launch Your Store

Once everything is ready, it is time to go and sell products. Be as bold and confident with your marketing campaigns as your shipping container is and put your best foot forward when greeting new customers.

Look at what works, what does not, and evolve your business from there.

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