Switch Theme:

Thought Experiment #2 - How hard is it to run a successful FLGS?  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
»
Author Message
Advert


Forum adverts like this one are shown to any user who is not logged in. Join us by filling out a tiny 3 field form and you will get your own, free, dakka user account which gives a good range of benefits to you:
  • No adverts like this in the forums anymore.
  • Times and dates in your local timezone.
  • Full tracking of what you have read so you can skip to your first unread post, easily see what has changed since you last logged in, and easily see what is new at a glance.
  • Email notifications for threads you want to watch closely.
  • Being a part of the oldest wargaming community on the net.
If you are already a member then feel free to login now.




Made in gb
Androgynous Daemon Prince of Slaanesh





Devon, UK

 Peregrine wrote:
 Mathieu Raymond wrote:
And yet Valet d'Coeur locally requires all employees to master quite a few games to give impromptu demos. It really depends on how much you pay your employees, I'd say. If you want them to be good, you pay them well, they'll learn games rules.

If you pay minimum wage... indeed, expect minimum involvement.


It's not just the motivation issue, it's the practical problems in having demos available for more than a small number of products. It's very easy to have a couple demo decks for MTG behind the counter, and pretty obvious that you should have the ability to show a new customer. But what about some niche-market board game that sells very few copies per year? Now you're writing off a substantial percentage of your total inventory of that game as a demo copy that makes no direct profit, and taking up space somewhere to keep it available. And just putting it on a shelf in a back room somewhere probably isn't enough, you need it out and set up so that your customer doesn't have to wait while you dig out the game and get it ready to play. Then what if the one person who actually buys that game already knew they wanted it without a demo? Now you've wasted all that investment.

The only reason GW-style demos work for GW is that their stores have literally three products and you can fit the entire demo space into a 4x4 table. And, while having the single employee tied up in a demo and unable to serve other customers would seem bad for a normal retail store, GW's stores seem to have so few customers that it doesn't really matter.


A niche market board game isn't the sort of thing you demo, that's the sort of thing that customers come in for knowing what they want and knowing that they want it.

You demo the gateway products and/or the big sellers, the niche stuff will be sought out and purchased by people you couldn't possibly teach anything new about the product.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/05/07 03:14:08


We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't. - Frank Howard Clark

The wise man doubts often, and changes his mind; the fool is obstinate, and doubts not; he knows all things but his own ignorance.

The correct statement of individual rights is that everyone has the right to an opinion, but crucially, that opinion can be roundly ignored and even made fun of, particularly if it is demonstrably nonsense!” Professor Brian Cox

Ask me about
Barnstaple Slayers Club 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





IL

The key elements to sales are knowing your product line and being able to talk with people. You don't have to know the game inside and out but you do need a general idea of what the different factions are and what products and new releases are available. If somebody walks in and says I want X from warmahordes it's not going to help if you stare at the customer like a deer in the headlights. Have a white board with a list of the weekly new releases and other recent releases. Having a dedicated new release shelf or section right near the register is also helpful as it helps customers avoid having to search for a purchase.

Being able to talk with people is probably the most crucial skill and it's one that sorely overlooked within the gaming and comic community. The stores that I see doing well are the ones that engage the customers and know how to talk with them. It's not about an aggressive "hello! what army can I ram down your throat!" approach like GW used, but it's important to acknowledge the customer and find out what you can help them find or answer questions. Simply by engaging customers you can turn a small sale into a large one because you turned them onto something they didn't know you offered or they were on the fence about which options are best and the discussion gets them to commit to a purchase. In most situations people specifically walk into a store looking for something and wanting to make a purchase but it requires the staff connecting with them first.

If you have crippling social anxieties and can't talk to people or you find that you're rude and short with people then your business is not going to do well. So it's very important to go into any sales job with the understanding that in order to succeed you need to develop a strong set of "people skills" as face to face interaction drives your entire business. If you can't do that then you need to stick to being an online vendor or come up with a way to make an automated gaming vending machine. There's far too many comic and hobby shops that are run by somebody who loves the idea of being surrounded by their interest but hates dealing with the public and sees them as a distraction or an inconvenience. Think of the comic guy from the Simpsons, don't be that guy who refuses to budge from behind the counter, if a customer is looking for something get up and walk them over to the item. Don't be dismissive of your customers or their interests even if you like something better and don't openly air your complaints about the industry/business or gaming companies because while you may just see it as venting it creates a negative energy and it's an incredibly quick way to lose your customer base. When store owners or employees are constantly griping it creates the impression that they don't enjoy their job and lack the motivation to listen to or assist the customer.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/05/07 18:18:25


Paulson Games parts are now at:
www.RedDogMinis.com 
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Best bush pilot in the Outer Rim





Bathing in elitist French expats fumes

 paulson games wrote:
The key elements to sales are knowing your product line and being able to talk with people. You don't have to know the game inside and out but you do need a general idea of what the different factions are and what products and new releases are available. If somebody walks in and says I want X from warmahordes it's not going to help if you stare at the customer like a deer in the headlights. Have a white board with a list of the weekly new releases and other recent releases. Having a dedicated new release shelf or section right near the register is also helpful as it helps customers avoid having to search for a purchase.


Applies to non-gaming retail sales as well. I have an employee who gets "that look" everytime someone uses a non-standard term (framing is pretty specific, a lot of it sounds arcane and so you need to be able to interpret customer questions pretty intuitively) and I can hear their confidence in her dropping every time. I have to swoop in and smooth her feathers at some point in almost every sale.

A white board? It's 2017... people expect an interactive screen the size of a jumbotron. Come on, man!

 GamesWorkshop wrote:
And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kids!

http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/0/503887.page (My humble P&M thread that I'll sometimes update, here on Dakka.) 
   
Made in us
Uhlan




Somewhere in the Ginnungagap

 paulson games wrote:
The key elements to sales are knowing your product line and being able to talk with people. You don't have to know the game inside and out but you do need a general idea of what the different factions are and what products and new releases are available. If somebody walks in and says I want X from warmahordes it's not going to help if you stare at the customer like a deer in the headlights. Have a white board with a list of the weekly new releases and other recent releases. Having a dedicated new release shelf or section right near the register is also helpful as it helps customers avoid having to search for a purchase.

Being able to talk with people is probably the most crucial skill and it's one that sorely overlooked within the gaming and comic community. The stores that I see doing well are the ones that engage the customers and know how to talk with them. It's not about an aggressive "hello! what army can I ram down your throat!" approach like GW used, but it's important to acknowledge the customer and find out what you can help them find or answer questions. Simply by engaging customers you can turn a small sale into a large one because you turned them onto something they didn't know you offered or they were on the fence about which options are best and the discussion gets them to commit to a purchase. In most situations people specifically walk into a store looking for something and wanting to make a purchase but it requires the staff connecting with them first.

If you have crippling social anxieties and can't talk to people or you find that you're rude and short with people then your business is not going to do well. So it's very important to go into any sales job with the understanding that in order to succeed you need to develop a strong set of "people skills" as face to face interaction drives your entire business. If you can't do that then you need to stick to being an online vendor or come up with a way to make an automated gaming vending machine. There's far too many comic and hobby shops that are run by somebody who loves the idea of being surrounded by their interest but hates dealing with the public and sees them as a distraction or an inconvenience. Think of the comic guy from the Simpsons, don't be that guy who refuses to budge from behind the counter, if a customer is looking for something get up and walk them over to the item. Don't be dismissive of your customers or their interests even if you like something better and don't openly air your complaints about the industry/business or gaming companies because while you may just see it as venting it creates a negative energy and it's an incredibly quick way to lose your customer base. When store owners or employees are constantly griping it creates the impression that they don't enjoy their job and lack the motivation to listen to or assist the customer.



Many people lack listening skills as well which is more important than knowing what to say imo. Ask open ended questions, find out what a person really needs and most of all listen to the customer. People really appreciate it when they feel they have been listened too.

Beyond that many LGS I have been in, lack things such as branding, they don't have their inventory straight, they don't keep accurate accounting information, they aren't clean, product is not properly faced, etc etc. In my experience this is usually because the owner loves games but doesn't know anything about business. People often dont' want to learn business practices or sales skills. They are somehow turned off by it for some reason. It's as if salesman must = cheesy car salesman trope. A good salesman sells without the customer even knowing they are being sold too. A good salesman also sells the customer something they want, because retention is everything. If you sell a customer a boardgame they aren't going to like you wasted your time and more importantly you wasted the customers time and money. And you need remedial training if that's the case.

I mean the above example someone gave about having a niche boardgame that only sells a few copies a year would be hard to demo illustrates my point about not having a business mindset. Why would you carry something that has such an awful turn over rate? You aren't amazon you can't be the carry everything store. A simple square footage report should tell you what to clearance and what to expand but again most stores I have been in don't even bother.

The sad thing is they actually get great margins at least here in the US, 47% to 50% off MSRP for most things! That's fantastic, you could lower the price below MSRP and still pay the bills if you had solid sells numbers. But no we will just let MTG keep us afloat because we have no business model. MTG by contrast has the worst margin! Why aren't you creating communities for the things that give you a bigger slice of the pie?

The industry itself is also a huge barrier. I've been inside an Amazon fulfillment center and I've been inside Alliance's warehouse. One is a well oiled machine the other is a chaotic mess, I'll let you guess which is which. I remember having to drive up and get some Armada releases that the store I was the sales manager at had huge preorders for. The reason I had to drive up was they forgot to put our order out for delivery! That's a big distributor too, never mind if you want to carry a game for a smaller company that the data shows will sell well at your store, getting it is going to be like pulling teeth. You'll probably have to go direct and you'll probably get the absolute worse terms that won't even make it worth your effort. It's like they don't want to sell their stuff.

Then you are going to have to contend with draconic policies like ANA's where unless you have the right "scale" you can't sell online. Which is a fancy way of saying unless you move tons of our product you can't sell online. Which is a big F U to the small business because how are you going to move the volume required if you aren't allowed to have one of the most important channels in a multi-channel strategy? The ugly truth is the whole hobby industry is a mess in a lot of places, from the companies that make the games down to the LGS. Yet the industry continues to grow astronomically. One day I imagine someone with a strong business sense and a solid model will take advantage of this.
   
Made in gb
Regular Dakkanaut




The most important thing? Learn how to make a good sandwich and a decent coffee.

The city I live in isn't that big, yet it somehow manages to sustain a GW and 4 game stores. The 3 decent gaming stores all provide decent food. In fact, one of them is very well placed near a lot of offices and I'm pretty sure it's the café that keeps them going.

Other than that, communication is vital. The best gaming stores engage with customers and know how to talk to them. Being knowledgeable is important, though I wouldn't expect everyone to be an expert in everything.

Events are key too. If you can run an X-Wing tournament or MtG event well you'll get people coming in for them and that equals the possibility of new customers. One of our local stores does very good X-Wing tournaments while another tries to run them but doesn't really seem to have a clue, which led to the last one being cancelled due to lack of interest.

You can't compete on price (mostly) so don't bother. A small discount is good, but you should be relying on having gaming/painting space, a decent level of stock, a good environment and a friendly community to drive sales.

Finally, remember you're a business. The objective is to make money. Don't give your mates a job because it's a nice thing to do. Don't let your personal feelings about a game get in the way of a sale.
   
Made in gb
Cunning Chieftain






And be ready to drive new products.

Consider X-Wing. It's cheap, it's fast to play, and frankly the majority of the ships are iconic (no. Not you K-Wing. Back in your box, you ugly duckling before I get the whippy stick again....)

It's also a hit game. If there's any competition in your locale, victory will likely go to they who do the best promotion. Open up with fast and easy intro games, organise a Tournament quick as you can. Try to become the 'go-to' place for that specific game. But, be wary of overstocking. Yes it'll likely sell through in time, but can you really afford that shelf space if it's a slow seller in the end?

So listen to your reps. Get some buddies (or carefully chosen regulars) in on the 'getting to grips' session.

If there's a natural froth for a game, you'll soon notice. If you're struggling to enjoy it - consider how that might affect your sales pitch. If you've really got no enthusiasm for a game, but it seems popular, whatcha gonna do?

Fed up for Scalpers? Why not join us? 
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Best bush pilot in the Outer Rim





Bathing in elitist French expats fumes

 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
If you've really got no enthusiasm for a game, but it seems popular, whatcha gonna do?


Sell the hell out of it. You're not in business to sell what you like, but what the customer wants. Unless it is grossly offensive, you can't afford to bypass a product that could keep your business afloat.

 GamesWorkshop wrote:
And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kids!

http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/0/503887.page (My humble P&M thread that I'll sometimes update, here on Dakka.) 
   
Made in us
Uhlan




Somewhere in the Ginnungagap

 Mathieu Raymond wrote:
 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
If you've really got no enthusiasm for a game, but it seems popular, whatcha gonna do?


Sell the hell out of it. You're not in business to sell what you like, but what the customer wants. Unless it is grossly offensive, you can't afford to bypass a product that could keep your business afloat.



Yeah totally agree. It's not about what you enjoy but what the customer enjoys. I sold more copies of Zombie Dice than I can count despite the fact that I would never ever play it. My motto is there's no such thing as a bad game, only the right game for the right person.
   
Made in us
Seven Year War Afficianado




MN

Have apartments above your shop that you own and rent out. Then, your store doesn't have to make any money because the renters above it keep the place open.

It also helps if you have someone else in your household with a real Job so you can stay alive even when times are tough. Cash flow is king!

I post these two suggestions in semi-jest.... I think.

Do you like Free Wargames?
http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/ 
   
Made in it
Gargantuan Grotesque With Gnarskin




Italy

 HurricaneGirl wrote:


5. Forget about free time. Weekends/evenings are your busiest times. I missed SO many new movies because of it.


If you work on the weekend you still have the remaining part of the week to watch movies. Theatres are open 7 days a week and movies are in program for several days, especially the biggest ones.
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut






 Easy E wrote:
It also helps if you have someone else in your household with a real Job so you can stay alive even when times are tough. Cash flow is king!


One of Glasgow's more long-lived games shops apparently ran on just such a system, so the rumour goes. I'm told it was basically subsidised by the owner's wife's income, and if he opened unusually early, it was because they'd had an argument and she'd chased him out the house.
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Bird from Hell






 DrNo172000 wrote:
I mean the above example someone gave about having a niche boardgame that only sells a few copies a year would be hard to demo illustrates my point about not having a business mindset. Why would you carry something that has such an awful turn over rate? You aren't amazon you can't be the carry everything store. A simple square footage report should tell you what to clearance and what to expand but again most stores I have been in don't even bother.


That "simple square footage report" ignores the need to get people in the door at all. Carrying the full range of products, even the ones that don't sell as quickly, gets you a reputation for "{store} has everything" and gets people to come in the door. If you have a limited inventory of only the stuff with the best profit numbers then the people who hear about that niche-market game are going to go straight to amazon instead of coming to your store because they know you don't have anything they want. And since they're already avoiding your store why make an exception when they want to buy something that you do carry?

But no we will just let MTG keep us afloat because we have no business model. MTG by contrast has the worst margin! Why aren't you creating communities for the things that give you a bigger slice of the pie?


Again, the simple numbers don't tell the whole story, a problem random business people have when trying to analyze the gaming industry without prior experience. MTG may have poor margins but it has amazing sales volume and small space requirements. If you carry MTG and do a halfway decent job of hosting regular tournaments you can guarantee a steady supply of customers coming in every week (or more frequently!) to feed their addiction. In contrast, that high-margin item might not have the same recurring customer effect. For example, RPG books are a marginal product line no matter what the per-book numbers are, because once you sell the core rulebook to a customer they're never buying anything else no matter how many times they come in and use your table space. Board games are usually played at home, so you aren't building communities for them. Etc.

#FreezePeach

My DKoK painting blog.

My X-Wing painting blog.

SELL ME YOUR FORGEWORLD SUPERHEAVIES

Armored Company
W/L/D: 2130235/0/1 (I played myself once and had a draw) 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




want a successful FLGS ? simple, don't open one and already it is doing better then most.

Thinks Palladium books screwed the pooch on the Robotech project. 
   
Made in us
Hurr! Ogryn Bone 'Ead!






Well, one major aspect is getting an initial group started. That is, in order to get people to come into your store, there needs to be a crew there that they can start games with. That's probably one of the hardest parts about starting one.

After that, you as a manager would have to have the guts to be able to talk to unpleasant customers/gamers (anyone who'd give your place a bad rep for one reason or another), and be willing to kick them out should the need arise.

You say Fiery Crash! I say Dynamic Entry!

*Increases Game Point Limit by 100*: Tau get two Crisis Suits and a Firewarrior. Imperial Guard get two infantry companies, artillery support, and APCs. 
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut



Alpharetta, GA

I travel extensively for work and I'm always looking for an FLGS to stop in. Here is what you can do to guarantee I will NEVER come back (all of these are real examples):

1. Have a large table in the middle of the shop with all your (the owner) half-built and half-painted miniature projects. Make sure that table is set up in a way that it blocks access to products you are trying to sell. Also, make sure there is an unbroken chain of discarded projects and boxes from the table to the cash register so no one can tell what is for sale and what you are working on.

2. Run some RPG games for your friends in the middle of the store on weekend nights. Be sure there are plenty of open food containers and fast food wrappers all over. Also, make sure they are all yelling and swearing as they play. Nothing says "spend money at my store" like a bunch of obnoxious late-teen, early 20 somethings yelling at each other and dropping constant f-bombs. S**t, swear all you want, what is the image you are giving a new walk-in customer?

3. Please be condescending and look at me like I've grown a second head when I ask if you carry a particular product or product line. I'm also very interested in your 15 minute rant about why the game is horrible, will fail and why you refuse to carry it. Never mind that the game is in the top 5 most popular mini games in the country.

4. Cats. One store mascot is fine. Several cats in a small shop is miserable for a person highly allergic to the little devil spawns. I can't wait to buy your older product completely covered in cat hair.

5. Advertising yourself as a game store. And then I show up and it's really just a club house for CCG players. Nothing wrong with that. I just don't want to waste time going to a 'game store' that is nothing but the latest MtG releases, a box of snacks from Costco for sale and a vending machine. How do you call yourself a 'game store'? Bonus points if you found some old futons or recliners in the trash and set them up in your store so some sketchy looking guy can play X-box in store on a TV that has severe color and/or display issues.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/05/10 19:54:08


 
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Pre Heresy Black Templar Librarian






North of Chicago, IL USA

Brian2112 gets it! Add gakky parking for completion!

Forgeworld Download Page <-- Here there be cool stuff! DA:70S+G+M+B++I++Pw40k08+D++A++/fWD-R+T(M)DM+
 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




Brian2112 wrote:
I travel extensively for work and I'm always looking for an FLGS to stop in. Here is what you can do to guarantee I will NEVER come back (all of these are real examples):

1. Have a large table in the middle of the shop with all your (the owner) half-built and half-painted miniature projects. Make sure that table is set up in a way that it blocks access to products you are trying to sell. Also, make sure there is an unbroken chain of discarded projects and boxes from the table to the cash register so no one can tell what is for sale and what you are working on.

2. Run some RPG games for your friends in the middle of the store on weekend nights. Be sure there are plenty of open food containers and fast food wrappers all over. Also, make sure they are all yelling and swearing as they play. Nothing says "spend money at my store" like a bunch of obnoxious late-teen, early 20 somethings yelling at each other and dropping constant f-bombs. S**t, swear all you want, what is the image you are giving a new walk-in customer?

3. Please be condescending and look at me like I've grown a second head when I ask if you carry a particular product or product line. I'm also very interested in your 15 minute rant about why the game is horrible, will fail and why you refuse to carry it. Never mind that the game is in the top 5 most popular mini games in the country.

4. Cats. One store mascot is fine. Several cats in a small shop is miserable for a person highly allergic to the little devil spawns. I can't wait to buy your older product completely covered in cat hair.

5. Advertising yourself as a game store. And then I show up and it's really just a club house for CCG players. Nothing wrong with that. I just don't want to waste time going to a 'game store' that is nothing but the latest MtG releases, a box of snacks from Costco for sale and a vending machine. How do you call yourself a 'game store'? Bonus points if you found some old futons or recliners in the trash and set them up in your store so some sketchy looking guy can play X-box in store on a TV that has severe color and/or display issues.



Did you come thru Stockton, ca. by any chance cause some of those places sound really familiar
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut




Reynoldsburg Ohio

Asterios wrote:
Brian2112 wrote:
I travel extensively for work and I'm always looking for an FLGS to stop in. Here is what you can do to guarantee I will NEVER come back (all of these are real examples):

1. Have a large table in the middle of the shop with all your (the owner) half-built and half-painted miniature projects. Make sure that table is set up in a way that it blocks access to products you are trying to sell. Also, make sure there is an unbroken chain of discarded projects and boxes from the table to the cash register so no one can tell what is for sale and what you are working on.

2. Run some RPG games for your friends in the middle of the store on weekend nights. Be sure there are plenty of open food containers and fast food wrappers all over. Also, make sure they are all yelling and swearing as they play. Nothing says "spend money at my store" like a bunch of obnoxious late-teen, early 20 somethings yelling at each other and dropping constant f-bombs. S**t, swear all you want, what is the image you are giving a new walk-in customer?

3. Please be condescending and look at me like I've grown a second head when I ask if you carry a particular product or product line. I'm also very interested in your 15 minute rant about why the game is horrible, will fail and why you refuse to carry it. Never mind that the game is in the top 5 most popular mini games in the country.

4. Cats. One store mascot is fine. Several cats in a small shop is miserable for a person highly allergic to the little devil spawns. I can't wait to buy your older product completely covered in cat hair.

5. Advertising yourself as a game store. And then I show up and it's really just a club house for CCG players. Nothing wrong with that. I just don't want to waste time going to a 'game store' that is nothing but the latest MtG releases, a box of snacks from Costco for sale and a vending machine. How do you call yourself a 'game store'? Bonus points if you found some old futons or recliners in the trash and set them up in your store so some sketchy looking guy can play X-box in store on a TV that has severe color and/or display issues.



Did you come thru Stockton, ca. by any chance cause some of those places sound really familiar


That sounds like my local store Owner's Dream Store, just change out MtG with Battletech. Oh and add in non gaming related stuff his wife picked up at fleemarkets and yardsales. And DOn't forget the Members only program.
Man I hate my local store owner
   
Made in us
Seven Year War Afficianado




MN

Based on this.... I would say it is pretty darn hard to run a retail store of any type right now.


US retail stores closing at record rate

By Niles Niemuth
12 April 2017

US retail store closures for 2017 are on pace to exceed 2008 when more than 6,000 locations were shuttered. In the first three months of this year 2,880 store closures were announced, compared to 1,153 in the same time period in 2008. If the current pace of retail bloodletting continues total store closures could top 11,000 by the end of the year, an unprecedented number.

Along with mounting store closures, retailers eliminated 30,000 jobs in March, with a similar number cut in February, making it the worst two-month period for workers in the retail sector since 2008, when the economy was in the depths of the recession caused by the bursting of the housing bubble and stock market crash.

According to Retail Metrics, the combined same-store sales for retailers in the first quarter of this year are expected to rise only 0.3 percent, the worst quarter in four years. Current expectations are well below the 0.8 percent growth in retail sales, which economists had predicted in February. Without positive sales growth posted by discount giant Walmart the retail industry would have posted negative figures. The dismal first quarter of 2017 follows poor in-store holiday sales at the end of 2016.


http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-22/retail-bubble-has-now-burst-record-8640-stores-are-closing-2017

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2017/05/12 21:27:23


Do you like Free Wargames?
http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/ 
   
Made in gb
Cunning Chieftain






Stock layout is indeed important.

I don't much fancy having to dig through higglepiggeldy piles of stuff to hopefully unearth a treasure. At least put it on a shelf in some semblance of order - and put aside some time in your week to redress the shelves, because people will put stuff back in the wrong place. And ideally, match it with an online stock system. Could simply be a spreadsheet you manually update, to some pricey third party automatic stock system. So long as it's reasonably kept up to date, is good.

And stock display/furniture? Just because you're on a tight budget doesn't mean bin Diving for furniture is acceptable. I can put up with tatty, but when I fear lifting something off the shelf for fear of collapsing the unit, you've gone too far.

I know it's frightfully snobbish, but it does hold true that if your store looks cheap, customers will make a judgement about your products.

If you have rescued old stuff, at least do it up. Screw here, spot of glue there, sand down and repaint/revarnish. Doesn't take much. Make it as presentable as possible.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/05/12 21:35:03


Fed up for Scalpers? Why not join us? 
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Best bush pilot in the Outer Rim





Bathing in elitist French expats fumes

Easy E wrote:Have apartments above your shop that you own and rent out. Then, your store doesn't have to make any money because the renters above it keep the place open.

It also helps if you have someone else in your household with a real Job so you can stay alive even when times are tough. Cash flow is king!

I post these two suggestions in semi-jest.... I think.


Those are actually really good advice. Real estate can soften any hard turn of the economy. We're looking into buying a commercial building for just this purpose. I keep my teacher's license current and work on history curriculum on the evenings just in case.

Easy E wrote:Based on this.... I would say it is pretty darn hard to run a retail store of any type right now.


US retail stores closing at record rate

By Niles Niemuth
12 April 2017

US retail store closures for 2017 are on pace to exceed 2008 when more than 6,000 locations were shuttered. In the first three months of this year 2,880 store closures were announced, compared to 1,153 in the same time period in 2008. If the current pace of retail bloodletting continues total store closures could top 11,000 by the end of the year, an unprecedented number.

Along with mounting store closures, retailers eliminated 30,000 jobs in March, with a similar number cut in February, making it the worst two-month period for workers in the retail sector since 2008, when the economy was in the depths of the recession caused by the bursting of the housing bubble and stock market crash.

According to Retail Metrics, the combined same-store sales for retailers in the first quarter of this year are expected to rise only 0.3 percent, the worst quarter in four years. Current expectations are well below the 0.8 percent growth in retail sales, which economists had predicted in February. Without positive sales growth posted by discount giant Walmart the retail industry would have posted negative figures. The dismal first quarter of 2017 follows poor in-store holiday sales at the end of 2016.


http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-22/retail-bubble-has-now-burst-record-8640-stores-are-closing-2017


2016 was a weird oddity for smaller retail stores, but everyone is feeling the crunch this year. It's certainly harder. I'm lucky to at least deal in an industry that can't really ship product. (Shattered glass is not a good sales point)

 GamesWorkshop wrote:
And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kids!

http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/0/503887.page (My humble P&M thread that I'll sometimes update, here on Dakka.) 
   
Made in it
Courageous Skink Brave





Think about your opening hours and how they'll really work around your likely clientele.

Got two LGS and a GW,

GW is a pig to go to, it's open 11-13, then 14.30-19.30 Tues-Sat, closes Sun-Mon and Wednesday morning. Also has no parking within a 10 minute walk (though, to be fair almost the entire town is car free with good public transport and bike network. Just a pig for folk like me who live in a different​ city).

LGS #1 opens Mon-Sat, 9.30-12.30, then 15.30-19.30 (21.00 on Friday) and has a secondary school and college on the same block, both of which let the students out at 13.00.

LGS #2 doesn't do mornings. Opens Tues-Sun at 14.30 and closes at 20.00, apart from Tues, Weds and Friday when it's open till 2am.



   
Made in be
Longtime Dakkanaut




 Ketara wrote:
I think the first requirement to run a an LGS is to approach it as a businessman.


As a businessman, when I look at an LGS it just seems like a pointlessly hard way to make money.
It's basically yet another alternative for people who cannot accept that making money and having fun are two separate things and that mixing them only results in less fun and/or less money.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Mathieu Raymond wrote:
Easy E wrote:Have apartments above your shop that you own and rent out. Then, your store doesn't have to make any money because the renters above it keep the place open.

It also helps if you have someone else in your household with a real Job so you can stay alive even when times are tough. Cash flow is king!

I post these two suggestions in semi-jest.... I think.


Those are actually really good advice. Real estate can soften any hard turn of the economy. We're looking into buying a commercial building for just this purpose. I keep my teacher's license current and work on history curriculum on the evenings just in case.


It's terrible advice.
It boils down to: because your FLGS is a stupid waste of money, you should have other investments which actually make a bit of money to afford it.
How about you start by not considering a money-losing venture a business.
If it doesn't make enough money to pay >1 person's wage + profit, it's not a business, it's a hobby.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Slipspace wrote:
The most important thing? Learn how to make a good sandwich and a decent coffee.

The city I live in isn't that big, yet it somehow manages to sustain a GW and 4 game stores. The 3 decent gaming stores all provide decent food. In fact, one of them is very well placed near a lot of offices and I'm pretty sure it's the café that keeps them going.

Excellent advice, don't open a FLGS, open a café, that makes money.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2017/05/13 20:19:28


 
   
Made in gb
Androgynous Daemon Prince of Slaanesh





Devon, UK

So, in summary, you have no concept of what a lifestyle business is?

We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't. - Frank Howard Clark

The wise man doubts often, and changes his mind; the fool is obstinate, and doubts not; he knows all things but his own ignorance.

The correct statement of individual rights is that everyone has the right to an opinion, but crucially, that opinion can be roundly ignored and even made fun of, particularly if it is demonstrably nonsense!” Professor Brian Cox

Ask me about
Barnstaple Slayers Club 
   
Made in be
Longtime Dakkanaut




 Azreal13 wrote:
So, in summary, you have no concept of what a lifestyle business is?


It's generally a terrible idea.
It usually results in the person working 80 hours a week, making little to no money and not enjoying most of those 80 hours.
An alternative is to work a really lucrative job for 5 to 10 hours a week, and then spending the remaining 70 to 75 hours just having fun.

Which one seems like the good plan there?
   
Made in gb
Androgynous Daemon Prince of Slaanesh





Devon, UK

That's a failed lifestyle business, assuming that the business owner does indeed resent the hours and isn't happy doing what they love.

But my point remains that the goal of every business isn't simply to make millions, sometimes just covering the needs of the business and the owner is enough.

Also, lol at lucrative 5-10 hours a week job.

We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't. - Frank Howard Clark

The wise man doubts often, and changes his mind; the fool is obstinate, and doubts not; he knows all things but his own ignorance.

The correct statement of individual rights is that everyone has the right to an opinion, but crucially, that opinion can be roundly ignored and even made fun of, particularly if it is demonstrably nonsense!” Professor Brian Cox

Ask me about
Barnstaple Slayers Club 
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Bird from Hell






morgoth wrote:
An alternative is to work a really lucrative job for 5 to 10 hours a week, and then spending the remaining 70 to 75 hours just having fun.


Lolwut? Where can I find these jobs that pay enough to live on with only 5-10 hours a week, and don't demand longer hours? Are you assuming that everyone is a billionaire living off their investments, and can just spend 5-10 hours a week doing celebrity stuff?

#FreezePeach

My DKoK painting blog.

My X-Wing painting blog.

SELL ME YOUR FORGEWORLD SUPERHEAVIES

Armored Company
W/L/D: 2130235/0/1 (I played myself once and had a draw) 
   
Made in be
Longtime Dakkanaut




 Peregrine wrote:
morgoth wrote:
An alternative is to work a really lucrative job for 5 to 10 hours a week, and then spending the remaining 70 to 75 hours just having fun.


Lolwut? Where can I find these jobs that pay enough to live on with only 5-10 hours a week, and don't demand longer hours? Are you assuming that everyone is a billionaire living off their investments, and can just spend 5-10 hours a week doing celebrity stuff?


Dude, get skills, sell skills.

I could work two months out of a year and still earn more than enough to live decently.
   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Laundry Operative #666







morgoth wrote:
 Peregrine wrote:
morgoth wrote:
An alternative is to work a really lucrative job for 5 to 10 hours a week, and then spending the remaining 70 to 75 hours just having fun.


Lolwut? Where can I find these jobs that pay enough to live on with only 5-10 hours a week, and don't demand longer hours? Are you assuming that everyone is a billionaire living off their investments, and can just spend 5-10 hours a week doing celebrity stuff?


Dude, get skills, sell skills.

I could work two months out of a year and still earn more than enough to live decently.


Nantwich just called, they've got an entire mine full of salt to take that statement with.

Latest blog post - Unboxing: Oathsworn Miniatures: Burrows & Badgers - New Blood - 29/05/2017

Dakka plog attempt #3 - A miscellany of miniatures

2017's "A Tale of Many Gamers Painting Challenge" - Part 1 - January to June - Time to get your paint on...

Gamgee on Tau Players wrote:we all kill cats and sell our own families to the devil and eat live puppies.
 
   
Made in be
Longtime Dakkanaut




 Dysartes wrote:
morgoth wrote:
 Peregrine wrote:
morgoth wrote:
An alternative is to work a really lucrative job for 5 to 10 hours a week, and then spending the remaining 70 to 75 hours just having fun.


Lolwut? Where can I find these jobs that pay enough to live on with only 5-10 hours a week, and don't demand longer hours? Are you assuming that everyone is a billionaire living off their investments, and can just spend 5-10 hours a week doing celebrity stuff?


Dude, get skills, sell skills.

I could work two months out of a year and still earn more than enough to live decently.


Nantwich just called, they've got an entire mine full of salt to take that statement with.


Don't tell me you don't know other consultants taking home 700+ a day...
   
 
Forum Index » Dakka Discussions
Go to: