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Is the Airport the Next Big Place for Small Business?

Homepage Forums General Is the Airport the Next Big Place for Small Business?

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    With so many startups appearing in the last few years, it’s no wonder that they are competing for space; but one place many small businesses owners might not have thought to open their doors is the local airport. Recently, there has been a push to open innovative restaurants and shops within their terminals and the payoffs can be huge.

    Airports are filled with hundreds of thousands of potential customers with money to spend. Things like delays makes for a captive audience but bad weather can break a day’s sales if flights are cancelled. That along with dealing with tons of bureaucracy and long commutes makes the move to the airport not a great choice for everyone.

    The logistics of opening shop in an airport can be long and expensive. Some airports require years of paperwork and your business idea may even have to be judged before a panel before it is approved. Most airports take a percentage of gross revenue or an annual minimum guarantee along with the rent. But many small business owners who have made it to the terminals say that the exposure alone is worth it. Locals who before did not know their business’s locations outside of the airport seek them out after discovering them before a flight.

    Staffing is another logistical nightmare. Long commutes paired with high security standards means that finding employees can be difficult, especially for young businesses who can’t pay high wages. Not only do your employees have to get security and background checks, they also have to be willing to walk as much as 30 minutes from parking to their post.

    Many airports are implementing a pop-up program that allows for startups to have short-term leases to try out the airport scene; and once in, the rewards can be great. Vacationers wanting to spend on souvenirs, families needing to eat, business people having a quick drink, and all of them essentially restricted to an area means big sales. So even though it can be difficult to get approved for a airport rental space, those who make it often find success—and almost guaranteed success is a small business owners dream.

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