5 Essential Tips for Using Containers for a Pop-up Shop in Texas

Did you know that the average rent for retail space in Texas is $20 per square foot? This results in a monthly rent of $20,000 for a 1000 square foot space. That’s exorbitant, even considering that you might make it back through your sales. That’s where a pop-up shop comes in.

With a temporary pop-up shop, you will be able to set up a retail space in the busiest downtown core of Austin, Dallas or Houston, and not pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for that privilege.

Read on to see tips on how you can use shipping containers for pop-up shops around Texas.

1. Think About Your Brand Visibility

Opening a pop-up retail shop is becoming trendy nowadays, so much so that major retail brands that do not need a pop-up shop are going for this option to enhance brand visibility. Remember that your pop-up shop will need to display your brand loud and clear, be it through the paint you use, the decor you portray, or the salespeople you hire.

So, don’t forget to put effort into this aspect of your pop-up shop, as it will pay back several times over in the long run.

2. Think About Energy Sources

No one wants to be stuck without a Wi-Fi connection or lighting when running pop-up events. These events happen for a week or two at most, so you want to take advantage of every moment to the max.Ensure you think carefully about your energy sources, and have a backup generator if necessary. Better to be overprepared than under.

Remember, it’s easy to add additional energy sources to a shipping container pop-up retail shop.

3. Think About Enhancing Social Media Coverage

Everyone stops and stares when they notice a pop-up retail shop. It garners attention, and for good reason. Make sure you take advantage of all this additional attention by setting up a stand for social media pictures.This way your pop-up booth will be all over the social media channels. It could also result in you getting traditional media coverage which is always a nice bonus. Pop-up shops always attract curiosity in this regard.

4. Think About Security

You are not going to hold 24/7 events in your pop-up retail shop. So you will need to think about security at night.

The great thing about using shipping containers for a pop-up retail shop is that shipping containers are naturally secure against all the elements, this includes burglary or intrusion. Nevertheless, try to have additional measures of security around your pop-up booth. Better to be safe than sorry.

5. Think About Mobility

A pop-up retail shop usually doesn’t last for more than a few weeks. Then it’s moved around to different locations to enhance coverage and brand visibility.

That’s why using shipping containers for your pop-up shop is such a great idea! This way, once you are done with one location, you can get the shipping container picked up and dropped off at the new location.

Ready to Open Your Shipping Container Pop-up Shop?

You might be excited to open your own pop-up shop after reading this article.

If that’s the case, don’t forget to check out Equipment Management Services’ shipping container modification services. They are eager to help you with your next pop-up retail shop.

What to Build With Shipping Containers

If you’re looking to build something durable, unique, and affordable, look no further than structures crafted from shipping containers. These versatile building materials can be used for a variety of projects, with the flexibility to create a wide range of custom structures.

Shipping containers can be quite easily repurposed and used as foundational building materials. Also, you’ll have a human habitable structure made from reused materials, helping to facilitate sustainability. The carbon footprint to upcycle excess shipping containers is  many times lower then cutting down trees or mining metals.

So, what can you build with shipping containers, and what are the benefits? To learn everything there is to know about using shipping containers for your building material supply, keep on reading.

Outdoor Bars and Restaurants

Houston and Dallas offer some of the best nightlife in Texas. You can transform shipping containers into stylish, trendy venues, including bars and restaurants.

Not only are shipping containers affordable, but their small and unique look helps draw in customers. Larger restaurants give the appearance of a longer wait time, while shipping container bars open designs make it seem easy for people to grab a bite to eat at their leisure.

Emergency Shelters

Emergency shelters are another excellent use for shipping containers as building materials. Their durability, especially against severe weather, makes them a great option for emergency shelters. There are a variety of ways shipping containers can be easily insulated to provide temporary housing to the homeless or a safe haven during a natural disaster. Shipping containers can swiftly be used to create these shelters, making them an affordable option.

Customizable Homes

A building materials supplier will be able to use shipping containers to build custom homes. Since shipping containers come in a variety of sizes and prices, you can easily customize shipping container(s) to meet any specifications. Shipping containers are easily moveable from one place to another, making them ideal mobile homes. Their durability, versatility, and affordability are great for any budget. Additionally, they can make for a fast completion of a tiny home building project.

Mobile Offices

Another excellent use for shipping containers is mobile container offices. Everything from construction sites to real estate developers can benefit from shipping containers. You can purchase them with electricity and windows, instantly transforming them into a comfortable workspace.  Also, they’re easy to move from one job site to the next and can be customized depending on your needs.

Sustainable Building Materials

There are countless ways to use these versatile building materials. You can use shipping containers to build a bar, restaurant, homeless shelter or house. They also make terrific mobile offices, providing a focused comfortable workspace on any job site.

Contact Equipment Management Services today for a quote and to discuss all your new and used shipping container needs. Whether you’re looking to create a custom home or are looking to expand your business, shipping containers allow you to reuse building materials for a one-of-a-kind structure that’s environmentally and budget-friendly.

Developing Commercial Real Estate in Texas: Unique Options for 2021

Commercial property activity in Texas created more than $54 billion in 2019. Even with the difficulties of the current global climate, real estate in Texas continues to grow.

Shipping containers can help you take advantage of commercial real estate opportunities in Texas.

How much does a shipping container cost? Who is the best Texas supplier? Find out more here.

Real Estate in Texas

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected commercial real estate. Especially hard hit are restaurants, bars, and many other types of small businesses.

However, the commercial real estate market in many Texas cities has still continued to grow. For example, Dallas led the country in commercial real estate deals in 2020. Houston ranked ninth. This may largely be attributed to the influx of people continuing to move to Texas from other more expensive areas of the US. More recently, this statistic has spiked even more, as a result of the current political climate and the pandemic situation.

As a result, the Texas economy remains strong, which in-turn helps the real estate market. Texas ranked seventh in the US for the fastest rate of job growth in 2020. The unemployment rate decreased in September 2020 compared to April 2020.

So, real estate will continue to be a good investment in Texas.

Shipping Containers for Commercial Real Estate

Using shipping containers is an innovative way to maximize the value you get from your commercial real estate project. Shipping containers are strong and durable. They’ll withstand the extremes of Texas weather.

Shipping containers are also very secure. Thieves or vandals will have a hard time trying to break in.

In addition, shipping containers are portable. They’re ideal if your commercial project involves a pop-up shop or a seasonal business. In that case, using shipping containers , allows you to move to any location that is trending for your type of business.

Containers are modular by design, so you can adapt your business buildout as your needs change. Lastly, shipping containers are usually much cheaper than traditional construction materials.

You can modify a shipping container to meet any of your commercial needs. You can add features like doors, windows, and air conditioning. You can choose whatever paint colors you want. You can also choose accessories like shelving.

Shipping Container Bars

An increasing number of entrepreneurs are using modified shipping containers to open a restaurant or bar. One successful example is the Powder Keg in Houston. They use a long modified shipping container as their outdoor bar.

The location features a dog park, sand volleyball, and food trucks. Equipment Management Services (EMS) worked with the owners of the Powder Keg to develop the distinctive look and functionality of their container bar.

Fortress BeerWorks Brewery, located just outside of Houston, is another up-and-coming container bar. The outdoor bar is a shipping container that EMS modified to fit the needs of the Fortress BeerWorks site. Fortress BeerWorks features cornhole, live music, and Sunday football brunch during the season.

Shipping Container Cost

The price of your shipping container will depend on several factors. First, obviously, a new container will cost more than a used one. Also, the size of the container and its condition will affect how much you will pay for it. Lastly, the amount and type of modifications you want to make will contribute to your final build-out cost.

EMS Shipping Containers

When you’re ready to buy your shipping container, Equipment Management Services is ready to help. We offer a large selection of new and used containers. We  can also help you with any container modifications needed.

Contact us today to request a quote for your shipping container and modification cost. We look forward to becoming your long-term partner in the commercial real estate space.

Sip on This: The Advantages of a Shipping Container Pop Up Bar

New and unique bar designs will help you reach new customers and create some bonds with the local community. The pop up bar concept is an interesting one that you can take advantage of. With so many shipping container options in the Houston and Dallas area, you’ll be able to find the exact container that you need to make this happen. 

Not only will a pop up bar open you up to new and different business opportunities — they’re trendy, cost-efficient and highly mobile. Here are a few of the reasons that this idea will be excellent for you. 

1. Shipping Containers Have Very Low Overhead

There are several  container types that you can research and invest in. Not only are these options versatile, but they are also inexpensive options that keep your overhead low. 

By doing a pop-up, you don’t have to lay down significant roots that can be costly. You’ll be able to move around as needed without worrying about expensive rents or mortgages. 

2. The Designs and Sizes are Versatile

Using shipping containers allows you to test the waters on a lot of different designs and sizes. With container modifications, you can cut out windows, doorways and shelving options that weren’t there originally. 

It’s easier to modify a shipping container than it is to invest in a brand new commercial retail space. 

3. They Are Trendy and Create an Amazing Vibe

It is clear that pop-up bars are here to stay. People love them for several different reasons. We’re in the middle of a craft beer and wine resurgence that people appreciate. 

You can use location, decoration and lighting to set any kind of mood that you like. These containers are perfect if you want to set them up by the beach in the summertime or to take advantage of any festival season. Houston and Dallas are social hotspots in the spring and summertime, and there’s no reason that you can’t capitalize on these seasons with trendy pop-up bars. 

The possibilities are endless and are only limited by the bounds of your own wonderful creativity. 

4. It’s an Experiential Idea That You Can Track and Scale

Since the overhead costs and investments are relatively low, you should feel free to try different strategies to attract customers. This lets you figure out which promotions are the best and you’ll likely find something that works perfectly for your pop-up business. 

You can kick around some ideas for Taco Tuesday specials and other great opportunities. Perhaps you want to host a young, professional mixer event. So, no matter where you end up in your local area, these pop up bars give you the green light to execute any theme idea or promotion you see fit. 

Invest in a Pop Up Bar Setup That Works Best For You

When you want to invest in a shipping container pop up bar, the ideas above will help you out. All you need to do is create a plan and start shopping around for shipping containers

At Equipment Management Services, we have plenty of shipping containers for you to choose from. As well as, container modification experts that are experienced in pop-up bar conversions

We would be happy to set you up with whatever equipment that you need. 

Don’t hesitate to send us an e-mail or give us a call at (713)675-4442.

A New Way to “Do Drinks”: The Rise of Shipping Container Pop Up Bars

It’s been nearly 10 years since the pop-up craze began to take over the US bar scene. It’s difficult to find a Top 50 bar that isn’t opening up a limited-time pop-up to bring in some buzz. 

And what’s the structure everyone’s scrambling to use in their pop-up bar design? Shipping containers.

Shipping containers are cost-effective and simplistic. If you’re considering opening up your own pop-up bar this year, a shipping container is your best option.

Ready to discover why? Keep reading to learn all about the craze over shipping container pop-up bars. 

Why Everyone Loves Pop-Up Bars

Pop bars first emerged as a way for celebrity bartenders to show off their skills and sell their award-winning drinks to their fans. Instead of making guest appearances at local bars, pops ups offered the opportunity to be creative and get closer to customers.

Now, pop-ups are well-loved by both the people who host them and the customers who attend them. 

Bar-owners love hosting limited-time pop-ups to create a bit of buzz about their brand. It serves as another revenue stream. And for internationally-focused bars, it gets their name out to countries or populations that may not have heard of their brand. 

But customers love pop-up bars, too. It gives them an excuse to change things up for a night and gather with friends in a new and noteworthy locale. The limited-time nature of many pop-ups is exciting for customers, too, and gives just one more thing to boast about in the office on Monday.

A pop-up bar can be a great way to bring new fans to your brand. It can help you celebrate an exciting event (i.e. the Super Bowl) or generate hype around a new cocktail recipe you’re trying out. So, should you start your own pop-up bar?

Should You Start Your Own Shipping Container Pop-Up Bar?

If you’re interested in opening up your own pop-up bar, a shipping container is a surprising yet inevitable choice for your pop-up structure. Shipping containers are cost-effective and trustworthy. They’ve also been used by some of the most famous pop-up bars so you know they’re tried and true. 

Still on the fence about getting in on this evergreen trend? Here are our top two reasons you should start your own pop-up bar using a shipping container.

Shipping Container Pop-Up Bars are Cost-Effective

You don’t have to sign a lease or build something from scratch. Instead, just throw in a standalone sink, a few shelves for your liquor, and you’ll be ready to serve!

Shipping Container Pop-Up Bars are Buzz-Worthy

In today’s competitive age, you can’t afford to lose hype about your brand. That’s why top bars across the country are using pop-ups to keep their business relevant for years to come.

Start Your Shipping Container Pop-Up Bar Today!

Love pop-up bars and want to start your own this year? Then you need to check out Equipment Management Services’ wide array of shipping containers. Browse our shipping container gallery and start creating your very own pop-up bar today!

Shipping Container Modification: The Double Lives of Shipping Containers

Recently a man made headlines in Houston for creating a three-story home out of 11 shipping containers. While this home is the most extensive container home we’ve seen, it isn’t the most creative use. 

Shipping containers can be used for so much more. How about heading out to Round Top Texas for a few nights in a container hotel? Or check out the hottest pop-up bar, located in a container. 

Check out all of these creative uses for shipping containers. 

Flophouse Hotel 

This hotel features six containers that you can book for your stay. Outside of each “houze” are a hammock, fire pit, and comfy chairs to relax and enjoy your time in Round Top. 

Each container features recycled and salvaged building materials from across the country. The decor is artfully created with vintage fabrics, art, and carefully sourced fixtures. 

If there’s a piece of decor you love in your container, make an offer! Everything is available for purchase at the right price. 

Swimming Pool 

Instead of building a traditional in-ground pool, you can use a shipping container. You can place it below ground level, leave it above ground, or a combination of both. 

For the most affordable option, you can leave the container close to the original setup. However you can give your container pool some style by adding a window. This gives your pool a more modern look. 

Pop up Shop 

By now, you’ve probably heard about a pop-up retail shop or bar coming to your city. These temporary shops have grown in popularity as more businesses become averse to committing to long term expensive leases. 

You, too, can use a shipping container to create a temporary retail space. You can use this opportunity to generate buzz and increase your exposure and reach. 

It also allows you to stay mobile with your brand as you can move the container from one city to another. This will enable you to maximize your investment. You can also use it to test new markets for the possibility of a permanent store. 

Offices 

You can create an entire office from shipping containers. You could have everything contained in one unit to keep things mobile. Or you could make the structure permanent. 

Having prefabricated containers will reduce your construction costs. Modify your containers so that they have windows and doors. You can even have air conditioning installed. 

Spa or Sauna

Wouldn’t it be great if you could head to your private spa after a tough day at work or the gym? With a few modifications, you can create your own mini spa space.  

Get Creative with Your Shipping Containers

Shipping containers are for so much more than ocean freight shipping. These days, you can use a shipping container in several building projects. 

You could follow the conventional route and build a home with them. But wouldn’t it be even better with a container pool attached to it?  Or you could create a pop-up shop or office for your brick and mortar business. 

Contact our team today and let us help you modify a shipping container for your next project. 

Why Shipping Container Pop-up Bars are Here to Stay

You’ve heard all about the innovation and functionality behind shipping container homes. But what about the rising pop-up economy for small businesses? Shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars are all finding success with pop-up concepts.

Shipping containers offer comfort, convenience, and customization. This makes them the perfect vessel for launching a pop-up to serve creative cocktails.

Google search terms for local pop-up food and beverage establishments continue to see a healthy increase. This means now is the perfect time to break into the pop-up scene.  

Read on to learn why the pop-up bar concept is a smart business idea that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. 

They Appeal to the Experiential Marketing Craze 

So, what is a pop up and why is it such an appealing idea? Pop-ups feature a new concept for launching a small business. Pop-up bars can be permanent structures, or they can change locations.

Opening up in new places creates a sense of urgency for customers. As they want to have an opportunity to visit your bar before you pack up and move location. 

Some pop-ups only come up for the season, like summertime. While others do best with a holiday push. Owners often change the theme of their pop-up with each new opening to help target new audiences.  

This pop-up concept creates an ideal environment for offering entertaining experiences. 78% of Millennials prefer to spend money on experiences rather than tangible items. Customers value experiential marketing efforts and a pop-up restaurant or bar delivers this.

A pop-up bar offers a unique experience that is buzzworthy to its customers. Some bars tie into pop-culture trends or popular themes. This helps to attract different generations and boost business. 

They Set a Unique Mood

Popped up environments offer a different type of ambiance. It’s an installation where you can control all design aspects. This sets a special atmosphere that you can’t get in a brick and mortar space. 

Shipping containers are also easy to customize, both inside and out. You can enhance your bar’s brand with a colorful paint job and design characteristics.  

A pop-up bar also allows you to blend in with the surrounding area. Patrons get to be more in touch with nature and the outdoors. This is especially appealing during the spring and summer months in temperate regions like Houston or Dallas.

You can also enhance your pop-up bar with comfortable seating, string lighting, and an outdoor firepit. These features contribute to the unique environment you’re offering your customers. You can even expand your business by adding more containers to your bar. Check out this interesting story on the Texas Container Bar to learn more.  

Customers also have a more personalized hospitality experience in a pop-up bar.  They are right there with the bartenders or the bar owner. This encourages a more intimate and interactive vibe. 

They Offer a Cost-Effective Business Advantage

Getting into the business of pop-up bars and restaurants is a less expensive venture. Building a new bar or leasing a space takes serious capital. Retail space is becoming more expensive, so you’ll likely need a larger loan.

The cost of setting up a pop-up business is 80% less expensive than a physical location. You also have more flexibility when starting a pop-up bar. You have the option to buy a new or used shipping container

These also feature a much smaller footprint and cost less to run. You’ll likely need fewer employees to operate a pop-up bar.  

Opening a pop-up offers a way to garner unique partnership opportunities. This could be with a local liquor brand or an already existing bar or restaurant. 

Partnering up with an established bar means most of the business details are taken care of. All you need to do is set up a new location with proper permits.  

You can also attract new customers to your original bar or restaurant location. Send the pop-up off to other locations to spread the word of your bar or restaurant. This also attracts media attention and word will soon spread around the state or country.  

They Tie-In with a Creative Social Media Branding Strategy 

People love posting about innovative features in the food and beverage industry. The unique details and experience of a pop-up restaurant or bar are meant to be shared.  

This means your customers will be taking pictures of your pop-up bar. They will post about your bar and its creative cocktails in their social channels. Soon word will spread virally, and you’ll attract new followers and customers.  

Social media can also get used to announce your next pop-up launch. Doing this right will result in a line of people waiting to get into your pop-up bar. You can also work with social media influencers to further spread the word. 

They Let You Try out New Ideas 

What is a pop-up bar if not a smart way to try out new business ideas?  

It gives you an easy and effective way to test out your cocktail menu. You get to experiment with creative themed cocktails and make changes as you go. 

You’ll also get to try out different entertainment options. See how your patrons enjoy trivia, karaoke, and live music. Sell swag to see what branded bar products people prefer to buy. 

A pop-up is a great way to get feedback from customers. It offers a more intimate and personal setting for conducting market research. 

This way, you can find out what works then change it the next time you open shop. You’ll soon become a business expert in the successful launch of a bar. 

Pop-ups offer a great way to break into the competitive new bar scene. This is especially true in cities like Houston, where the competition is high. With success, you can go on to invest in other smart business ideas for shipping containers

Setting Your Pop-Up Bar up for Success 

A pop-up bar is a smart and creative way to break into Houston’s food and beverage industry. It offers a unique experience that will attract new customers and send a viral message.  

Shipping Container Pop-up Bars : Your Complete Guide

The pop-up bar seems to have taken the world by storm since they first entered the scene a few years ago. From simple seasonal pop-ups to bars based on horror movies, there’s something to fit every niche.

Because of their low cost, ease of transport, and potential for modification, using recycled shipping containers is a popular choice for many pop-up entrepreneurs. But what goes into running one of these trendy little businesses? Building and running shipping container pop-up bars can’t be more complicated than just showing up in an old shipping container with a couple of beer kegs, right?

Well, while it’s not quite that simple, getting a pop-up bar going is still easier than you might think.

Your Complete Guide to Shipping Container Pop-Up Bars

Pop-up businesses have been around for several years now, and have proven effective because they’re quick and easy to set up relative to a conventional business. They have a low initial investment and low overhead because of their versatility.

And it’s that last point that makes pop-ups so appealing. Their versatility makes it possible to engage customers with exciting experiences that they wouldn’t find normally. So often, a quality pop-up will rely on having a specific idea in mind.

What Makes a Good Idea for a Pop-Up?

Really, the sky’s the limit on what you could do, and with the fairly low cost to get a pop-up going, almost any idea could be profitable. However, there are a few ways that you could hedge your bets.

Often times they open up to capitalize on large events, like the pop-ups that accompany San Diego Comic-Con every year. They move in, usually selling limited runs of exclusive merchandise, and then pack up when the event is over. Or they offer novelty experiences, including themed drinking and dining options.

Capitalizing on seasonal events is another safe bet. Traditional Christmas markets have been popular for centuries and were really the first pop-up enterprises.

Or just finding a niche interest to theme your bar around like movies, superheroes, or video games will reliably guarantee a certain level of interest – provided you’re in the right area.

Where Should I Put My Pop-Up?

Novelty is often what gets people interested in a pop-up. But all the unique charm in the world won’t help if no one can find your bar. So the location is at least as important as finding a niche.

Most pop-ups don’t invest heavily in advertising to help keep costs down. Instead, they rely on word-of-mouth and social media to get their names out there.

And in order to capitalize on that, you need to be seen first. Exactly where differs with every city of course. If you’re lucky, you might know about an up-and-coming neighborhood where rent for a small piece of land is still relatively cheap.

But usually, all but the most densely-developed neighborhoods will have a couple plots of underutilized land. It’s just a matter of doing your legwork and finding the sweet spot between rent prices and foot traffic.

Building a Pop-Up

Having come up with an idea and picked out a location, it’s time to get down to the real work of your enterprise.

Since building pop-up bars out of shipping containers isn’t a new concept, you’re in luck. You can easily research other successful ventures to pinpoint what design qualities they all have in common.

Where were the entrances, what size container did they use, how did they set aside inventory space? There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here, so if you’ve seen it done successfully elsewhere, there’s no reason not to borrow a few proven ideas.

Then there’s the work of actually modifying your container into a bar. Finding a contractor with experience in metalworking is probably harder than just finding a roofer, so you’ll want to vet the people you take on to work on the project.

Alternatively, you can buy a container from a retailer with the means and experience to modify your container for you. Then it’s just a matter of installing the bar theme and inventory. 

Your Only Limit is Your Imagination

The beauty of shipping container pop-up bars is that you’re basically given a blank canvas.

They’re popular with the public because they frequently appeal to niche markets. Building a full-scale Pokemon-themed bar would be a risky investment, but it’s a great idea for a small, limited-time engagement.

And the choices afforded to you don’t have to stop there. If running a bar isn’t your passion, you can easily adapt the pop-up business model to suit almost any other business endeavor. Check out our list of innovative pop-up business ideas to get inspiration for your first pop-up enterprise. 

10 Innovative Business Ideas for Small Shipping Containers

Over 30 million small businesses currently operate in the United States. That means there’s around one business to every 11 people in the country!

You’d be forgiven for thinking that starting one is easy. In reality, that’s far from the truth. It takes time, money and effort, as well as a fair dose of courage. Finding the perfect place to set up shop can be a particular challenge. Business premises are rarely cheap, and choosing the wrong location can stifle opportunities from the get-go.

Funnily enough, a solution to the problem is being found in an unlikely source: Shipping containers.

That’s right, those giant metal boxes used to transport cargo overseas are now hosting businesses of all varieties, all over the country. They’re cheap, eco-friendly, durable, and portable! But what kind of businesses are best suited to them?

Keep reading to discover 10 innovative business ideas for small shipping containers.

1. Cafés, Bars And/Or Restaurants

Shipping container bars, cafes, and restaurants are all the rage these days.

Go to almost every major city and you’ll find these trendy spaces popping up all over the place. They hold a particular appeal to certain crowds. Expect a youthful, trendy, hipster clientele to frequent them. Shipping containers provide a blank canvas in terms of style. You can decorate and customize them according to needs for a distinctive aesthetic. That makes them ideal for iconic branding.  

2. Gift Shops

How about using your shipping container as a cute and unique gift shop?

Indeed, increasing numbers of business owners are opting to set up their retail stores in this way. They simply provide a far cheaper means of displaying items in thriving metropolitan areas. Do you make awesome, handmade arts and crafts goods? Containers provide a great space in which to showcase all the amazing gifts you have on sale.

3. Gallery Space

Aspiring artists have a challenge on their hands.

Getting their name and work out there is key to establishing a recognizable brand and reputation in the industry.

Displaying work in a gallery can make a big difference. Unfortunately, new artists can struggle to find space in traditional galleries. It’s a fiercely competitive industry, meaning there are far more artists than galleries available. Enter shipping containers! They can make an ideal alternative. It’s easy to convert a container into a gallery, and they’d be perfect for displaying someone’s art.   

4. Yoga Studio

We don’t need to tell you how popular yoga has become in recent years.

More people than ever before are taking to their mats to contort their bodies in inexplicable ways! And many of them attend classes specifically for that purpose. Yoga teachers could very easily use shipping containers to create a unique yoga studio. Typical yoga spaces are expensive to hire; they’re also increasingly generic. It’s always important to stand out from the competition. Holding classes in a container may be just the start a new yoga teacher needs.

5. Book Store

There’s nothing better than a good old-fashioned book store!

Many people prefer to browse the aisles than scroll the online catalog. Shipping containers provide a novel, modern twist to a traditional shop. Why not try setting up a pop-up book store? Open up the doors and shed some light on the books you have for sale. It’s bound to draw a crowd of literature lovers.

6. Office Space

Office space is ludicrously expensive these days.

For instance, in Houston, the average annual cost of renting office space per employee is $5,668. Can you afford that level of expense? If the answer’s no, then setting up your office in shipping containers can be a worthy and less expensive solution to consider.

Similarly, it may be more in line with your brand as well. The office your business inhabits says something about your company and target audience. A trendy shipping container may speak to your audience more than a shiny top floor of a corporate building.

7. Workshop

Good with your hands?

Then think about setting your workshop up in a shipping container. It wouldn’t take much to convert one into the ideal workshop. With a few workbenches set up and your equipment installed, you’re good to go!

The durable and secure nature of the container would be conducive to the work too. Everything will be kept safely inside when you aren’t there.

8. Bicycle Mechanic

A plush, fancy store is unlikely to tick the right boxes for a mechanic. A hardened steel structure is more likely to fit the bill. It definitely fits the stereotype better!

Just as they make great workshops, shipping containers would be ideally suited to a bicycle mechanic too. The size would match up to the demands of the job; the traditionally Spartan nature of containers would suit the oil and grime that often comes with the territory. 

9. Storage Facilities

Shipping containers are literally designed to store things!

Items of all shapes and sizes find themselves stowed away inside these structures. They’re solid, durable, weatherproof metal boxes that safely protect the contents inside. Why not leverage their core functionality for your own storage business? You could buy a number of them, install safe-boxes inside, and voila!

10. IT Repair Service

New businesses don’t always need anything fancy at the outset. A basic space to set up shop and operate from is all that matters. A small shipping computer is perfect if you are an IT person setting up shop. Remember, they can be kitted out exactly as you need them. Desks, internet, and storage space can be easily arranged.

Final Thoughts on Businesses in Small Shipping Containers

There you have it: 10 innovative business ideas for small shipping containers.

Millions of businesses operate around the country already. However, it would be wrong to assume that it’s an easy process. In reality, the decision to start a business should never be taken lightly. One wrong decision can jeopardize the potential for success. One particularly important component is deciding the premises. Thankfully, as we’ve seen, shipping containers can provide a practical, novel, and modern solution.

Almost any business can benefit from setting up shop in a shipping container!

Interested in buying a shipping container for your new venture? 

Contact us today to see how we can help!

The Inspirational Story of a Texas Container Bar

The city of Austin is a weird city and proud of this fact. The Texas metropolis even adopted the phrase “keep Austin weird” as a semi-official slogan to entice visitors from out of state. So it should not be much of a surprise that local businesses would try to play up the city’s unique vibe as much as possible.

Enter Container Bar, on Rainey Street, that’s built out of seven re-purposed shipping containers.

But why would you build a business out of shipping containers? Is it just a gimmick or is there more to it?

The Life and Story of Austin’s Container Bar

Admittedly, using shipping containers for construction is not new. That idea probably originated with the “micro-home” trend some years back. The idea was to build small, utilitarian, and easy-to-transport homes. With that criteria, using shipping containers was an obvious fit. Shipping containers are prefabricated, cost-effective, and easy to transport from one plot of land to another. So the first container buildings were very small homes built out of single container units. 

Their uniform size and shape let you treat them like Lego blocks during construction. You can arrange them to suit your needs. With so much flexibility, people started using shipping containers to piece together their own custom homes. From there, it was only a matter of time before someone got the idea to move the concept into the commercial space.

A few enterprising business people have already experimented with using containers for pop-up restaurants. These were usually small mobile kitchen or bars, more akin to a food truck than a brick and mortar establishment. But it wouldn’t be long until someone came along and expanded on this idea.

An Idea Born of Necessity

The Container Bar in Austin was the brainchild of Bridget Dunlap. A successful entrepreneur, Dunlap already owned several successful businesses in the city. But when she leased a plot of land near two of her existing venues, she had a mind to do something different.

Most of her previous ventures had been located in old homes that had been renovated into bars. However, around the time that she set to work on her new project, Dunlap recognized that the Rainey Street area was changing.

Dunlap’s first Austin-based bar and the first bar on Rainey Street had recently closed. It was shuttered and torn down to make way for a new, 250,000 square foot residential building. This seemed to be the herald of things to come, as the old bungalows that Dunlap and other local proprietors had been retrofitting into restaurants and venues were disappearing.

Luxury hotels and condos would take their places. And Dunlap recognized that she would need to plan ahead because Rainey Street would not stay the same forever.

A Bar Built to Move

Dunlap went into her new venture knowing that Rainey would only be a temporary home, with a permanent life elsewhere. Normally, having to pick up and move your entire establishment as part of a business plan would be a non-starter.

The decision to use shipping containers for the construction was not incidental. Nor was it just to cultivate an industrial-chic vibe. No, building with containers was essential to the bar’s future.

Ease of transport was a big selling point for people looking to build micro homes, and it would be that quality that allowed Dunlap to move forward with her plans. But even though the containers themselves are portable, Dunlap had her work cut out for her.

While shipping containers are themselves portable and durable, you need to account for all the material you are taking out during construction. Creating doorways, putting in plumbing, and especially multiple stories all need to be accounted for during the design phase.

So Dunlap sought the help of North Arrow Studio, in-order to ensure the container bar would be structurally sound while being fully mobile. Since, this bar would need to hold up to the rigors of being disassembled and moved to a new location in the future. 

All that hard work, however, would pay dividends when the finished product was settled on its first foundation.

The Opening of Container Bar

Unless you were part of the team planning and building the Container Bar, you probably would have had no idea what it would look like when it finally opened to the public.

You might expect a dingy industrial setting, maybe trying to cultivate a sense of danger and mystique. That would be the obvious direction to go. Which is probably when Dunlap opted not to go in that direction. Instead, she took advantage of the container’s compartmentalized nature to give patrons a variety of settings.

Rather than entirely renovating the interiors, Contain Bar uses a series of visual effects to give each area its own feel without entirely stripping away the containers’ utilitarian nature. There’s a winter scene, tiles and gradient patterns, dark wood cladding, gold leaf, and walls of repeating text, to name a few. These scenes are further enhanced with lighting and other visual effects to accentuate the vibe and ambiance. 

Built from seven containers over two stories, the 8,000 square foot space has a mix of indoor and outdoor areas with upstairs balconies and open courtyards.

Inside the structure, you will find multiple cubbyholes, where patrons can relax away from the main bar area. There are also several private rooms, and the mix of mood allows anyone to find a setting that suits them.

What Container Bar’s Success Means for the Future

The circumstances that brought about the Container Bar’s existence are not unique to Austin Texas. As urban areas grow, small enterprises find themselves pushed out to make way for new development.

Hence, more entrepreneurs are looking at shipping container construction. Faced with an unpredictable urban landscape, having the option to pack up and move out is an undeniable advantage.

Are you considering building with shipping containers for your new business concept? Check out some of our trendy container bar ideas. Whether as a permanent or a pop-up installation, they will always create a buzz.