5 Essential Safety Tips for Pop-Up Vendors: Insights from a Firearms Instructor

Over the summer, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Keisha Bibbs on Make It Happen Sis! The Podcast. Keisha, a skilled firearms instructor and the owner of Responsibly Armed Self Defense and Tactical, shared invaluable advice for staying safe as a solopreneur—wisdom we all can use. As the holiday season approaches, I want to translate Keisha’s insights, particularly those aimed at pop-up vendors, into actionable tips. Read on for five crucial ways to stay safe in this unique business scenario.

1. Vet the Host

In today’s world, pop-up events are everywhere, and that’s more than amazing. Before parting with your hard-earned cash, however, ensure you vet the host. Have they organized pop-ups before? Is it an individual or a business entity? What kind of online following do they have? Conduct a bit of research to understand the event and its potential audience. If feasible, visit the location beforehand to familiarize yourself with the area. Ask the host for a layout, and if possible, request a spot near an exit for added safety.

2. Don’t Go Alone

For solopreneurs, it’s best to ask a friend to accompany you to vend at an unfamiliar location. If that’s not possible, share your location and event details with a few people so that someone is aware if anything unexpected happens.

3. Have a Go Bag

This one applies in any situations. While traveling, ensure your vehicle is equipped with essentials for emergencies—water, first-aid kit, flashlight, and more. A quick online search can help you determine what you need. Include running shoes and an item that can serve as a protective tool. Preparation is key.

4. Get a Cart

When transporting your inventory and supplies to events, keep your hands free. Utilize a cart or wagon for loading and unloading. These can also serve as a barrier between you and potential intruders. Stay situationally aware—make eye contact with those around you and be present in your surroundings.

5. Have a Plan

Above all, have a mental plan that matches a physical safety plan. Consider potential scenarios and plan accordingly. If a dangerous situation arises, do you know where to take cover? Are you carrying a protective device, and do you know how to use it? A plan is only effective if you’re prepared to execute it.

In conclusion, while contemplating these safety measures might seem daunting, they could be the very things that save your life. Don’t be afraid to discuss it and plan accordingly. For more insights, tune in to Episode 9 of Make It Happen Sis! Podcast.