Experience Vendors: Pop-Up Street Micro-Business Ideas

One day on Atlanta’s Beltline walking path I encountered a young chap typing away on a typewriter, offering free poems (or else very cheap ones) to passersby.

On other days, I’ve seen folks selling popsicles and even coconuts.

All of this has made me wonder whether I could open a micro-business like these, too. With Atlanta’s Beltline we have a place with a high concentration of pedestrians in the middle to upper-classes, with a high focus (sadly for culture) on consumerism and status.


I could go a number of ways with this crowd, but I don’t want to follow the traditional approach of selling food, drinks, or retail goods. No, that’s been done before. I want to take a page from the book of typewriter guy. I want to sell experiences. 

In the spirit of idea generation, I’m using today’s blog post to brainstorm a few ideas for experience-based micro-businesses that would work on the Atlanta Beltline (or any popular pedestrian area). Some of these are completely silly. Some of them would actually work.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll turn one of these into something. Until then, feel free to try these for yourselves.

  • Rolling photo booth – Put a photo booth backdrop and props on a bike-drawn wagon and rotate around to common selfie and groupie photo-taking areas, like skylines and art installations.
  • Graffiti lessons – Assuming you’re in a place that condones graffiti, put your skills to use offering lessons to passersby. Or schedule them in advance. I know I’d love to lern
  • Skateboard/rollerblade lessons – Set up shop on a busy section near a skate shop and offer to accompany people around and coach them in the tips of the trade.
  • Babysitting/dog-sitting – Assuming you can prove you’re totally safe, you take care of the kids or the dogs while the parents hit the bars/breweries (or at least the ones that don’t accommodate kids or dogs well).
  • Scavenger hunts – Set up hints and clues at various landmarks along popular pedestrian zones. For a fee, send people on adventures hunting down the clues, with the offer of a prize at the end.
  • Professional wingman – Help shy guys on talk to girls, or vice versa.
  • Adventure coordinator – Create a surprise agenda for someone’s evening on the Beltline (or wherever), taking them to restaurants, bars, art, and other cool activities within walking distance.
  • Film crew / make your own music video – Grab a scooter and a go-pro or handheld camera and become professional movie-maker (or make a music video) for a group of friends out on the Beltline having some fun.
  • T-shirt printing / tie-dye shirts – Let people make their own branded / tie-dyed shirts commemorating their experiences.
  • Join the band / karaoke – Enjoy busking on the street? For a fee, let strangers join in on the instruments or vocals.

Photo by Radu Marcusu on Unsplash

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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