Airbnb for Commercial Realestate – How two Aussie Founders are shaking up the property market with PopupShopup

PopupShopup makes it easy to access a space for your “pop up” shop. It’s a hassle-free alternative to the endless paperwork and frustration with finding a space that suits your needs.

The business is based in Perth, Australia, and has a database of over five thousand brands. The company connects business with space owners and allows them to pay for the space through a secure portal, handling the legal aspects and offering insurance at a discount. They also offer promotion and a wide range of tools including a PayPal partnership that streamlines that entire process. Consumers are able to communicate with space owners via a provided messenger utility, sending and receiving offers until both sides have reached an accord.

For this interview we spoke with the owners of PopupShopup, Ronan Bray and Daniel Rainone. I was interested to learn about their journey and the challenges they faced when going against such an established industry.

Both Ronan and Daniel shared the sentiment that starting a business as a partnership as opposed to a singular owner/operator has its benefits. Along with sharing the financial burden of the company’s success, there is the benefit of having two minds to look at every problem and come up with solutions. It’s the age-old adage “two heads are better than one” at work, but with shared workloads as an added bonus. It’s important to find the right person, however, whom you can bounce ideas off of, that is like-minded enough to avoid constant clashes over the direction of the company and will provide you with honest feedback, good or bad.

Next, we discussed some of the challenges the two of them faced in taking the company from an idea to a concept to the market. Ronan stated that the biggest challenge in the beginning stages is balancing full-time work with nurturing a fledgling business.

Many aspiring entrepreneurs won’t be able to afford quitting their nine-to-fives to start a business will face the same challenge, and there isn’t any shortcut for it according to most successful businesspeople–you’ll simply need to accept that sleep and social life is sacrificed in favor of the freedoms earned later.

This challenge is often what separates the workers from the business owners. Similarly, Daniel mentioned the challenge of maintaining a work-life balance, as the business will logically burden your thoughts constantly, which can adversely affect your personal life. This is particularly true when you’re wearing all the hats of the company–sales, legal, web design–as many entrepreneurs will do in the beginning.

Both owners agreed that staying organized is one of the ways to handle these challenges. Frequent discussions and meetings lead to concrete goals for the upcoming week, and this can help to deal with much of the concern that arises when one is away from the office. Daniel asserted that it’s also important to keep things simple.

PopupShopup has used Excel spreadsheets from conception, and has opted not to move to CRMs even as things have grown more complex. While this may not work for everyone, the point is that they found what works for them and have kept it simple enough to avoid unnecessary complications. The company also uses Facebook Messenger and Dropbox to stay in communication with one another and to share important documents, each of which have the added benefit of being free.

Ronan mentioned members of the UK version of the reality show Shark Tank–Richard Branson in particular–as good sources of information in business, as each have published books about how to be successful. Daniel recommended using friends and family, who likely incorporate a range of professions, as sources of inquiry. These people are also more likely to give honest, constructive criticism. Both men spoke on the value of mentorship, emphasizing that the person needn’t be in your same industry as long as he or she is experienced and willing to share their insights. It is important to find the right people, both agree, those who provide critical feedback rather than just trying to appease you.

Similar to the mentors they advocate, Daniel and Ronan are experienced and successful in their own right, and our 26-minute interview is full of invaluable insight for fledgeling entrepreneurs. As always, thank you for listening!

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Ronan Bray and Daniel Rainone from PopupShopup

Popupshopup is like AirBnB for Commercial Realestate - they provide hassle-free access to commercial space for your business (from as little as $1.00!)

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