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Made in us
[DCM]
Drag on Society





Armpit of NY

Here's another long thread from BoardGameGeek about opening and running a store - https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/691669/so-you-want-start-game-store-recommended-resources

My advice is to agree with the simplest advice - don't. You're likely going to be in a tough niche market, competing fiercely with the internet. You need to be well capitalized, familiar with the hobby, make excellent business decisions, and be willing to do things you may not want to (like becoming intimately familiar with Magic and handling and selling single cards from it) to have a prayer of success.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/07/12 01:56:08


 
   
Made in us
Douglas Bader






 flamingkillamajig wrote:
I think the family friend is more looking to run it less for profit and more for fun (and partly for his son who does it as a hobby)


Then my best advice to you is to save up a bit of money so when this "store" inevitably goes bankrupt and puts up its remaining inventory at a nice discount you can take advantage of it. If you are opening a store as anything other than a ruthless exercise in maximizing your profits then you are setting yourself up for a very expensive failure.

There is no such thing as a hobby without politics. "Leave politics at the door" is itself a political statement, an endorsement of the status quo and an attempt to silence dissenting voices. 
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka






 Ouze wrote:
Hey, so seriously though, read some of these articles. They are very short - more of short essays than articles. They cover literally everything - store burglary was literally the most recent article. But you really want to start at the beginning for it to make sense. Maybe we could discuss some of this stuff before it gets locked for being a poop fling.



Also, there's this:


   
Made in gb
Regular Dakkanaut





Your friend could probably consider just running a club of some sort instead of a store or business.

As a club you can still charge and have subscriptions and also do occasional bulk orders for people. Our local club charges for subscriptions and they've worked it out so we'll that there's enough for them to buy really good terrain, tables, battle mats etc. It's well run, open and is probably much less stressful than a shop!
They hire a hall twice a week, but if your friend already has space they'll then have to consider insurance and other things to cover their backside more.

 
   
Made in us
The Last Chancer Who Survived





Norristown, PA

There's a game shop near me that's more like a game center. They seem to be really successful. They have PCs and consoles set up for people to come in and play and they pay by the hour, plenty of tables for wargames and magic (but no fee to play tabletop games). Retail wise they have a very small amount of stock and seem to mostly just order new releases they know their customers will buy, other stuff is probably done by special orders. They also have a snack bar making lots of different kinds of food, including homemade ramen. They also have big screen TVs playing sci fi and anime stuff, and comfy sofas.

Makes me feel like a plain ole retail store with a bunch of tables isn't the way to go in 2019, unless you're already established. You can probably get away with not having video games, but you really need to make it a fun hangout kinda place, and you have to find a way to monetize everything you can (within reason) to keep your doors open. Lots of events, good food (don't need a full kitchen, but at least have tasty coffee drinks), and a cool atmosphere that makes people wanna come in and stay and and spend money.

   
Made in gb
[SWAP SHOP MOD]
Killer Klaivex







 Peregrine wrote:
 flamingkillamajig wrote:
I think the family friend is more looking to run it less for profit and more for fun (and partly for his son who does it as a hobby)


Then my best advice to you is to save up a bit of money so when this "store" inevitably goes bankrupt and puts up its remaining inventory at a nice discount you can take advantage of it. If you are opening a store as anything other than a ruthless exercise in maximizing your profits then you are setting yourself up for a very expensive failure.


Depends on his friend's income. One of the local high streets near me is full of yummy mummy stores, which sell wine & cheese, or odd assortments of dresses, or things that look like antiques if you squint sideways. They all open at 10-11AM, close at weekends, and I highly doubt any of them earn a dime. Heck, I doubt they even bother keeping accounts.

Likewise, I know another street where the guitar shop owner has a lawyer for a wife and shows up whenever he feels like it.

If you've got the money, there are worse ways to burn it than a vanity store.


 
   
Made in gb
Androgynous Daemon Prince of Slaanesh





Devon, UK

It's also surprisingly easy to cover your costs as a business. It's all the pesky stuff like feeding yourself and covering mortgages and then the paying other people enough to eat and live so you don't spend your entire life there that cost the real money.

Just covering rent, rates, utilities and stock and opening when you like needn't be expensive nor especially high risk.

Equally, if you need storage space for a business, a shop front can make sense over a small unit somewhere, with the extra visibility and walk in trade off setting some of the costs while your business is actually largely done elsewhere.

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
Regular Dakkanaut





 Azreal13 wrote:
It's also surprisingly easy to cover your costs as a business. It's all the pesky stuff like feeding yourself and covering mortgages and then the paying other people enough to eat and live so you don't spend your entire life there that cost the real money.

Just covering rent, rates, utilities and stock and opening when you like needn't be expensive nor especially high risk.

Equally, if you need storage space for a business, a shop front can make sense over a small unit somewhere, with the extra visibility and walk in trade off setting some of the costs while your business is actually largely done elsewhere.


This is so true. I've seen a small shop which sells coins, medals and other collectibles just open rarely, but it's been running for 20 years by my memory. I'm sure if the guy either owns the property outright or doesn't ahve a mortgage to pay he'll do fine with a few bits here and there.

The other side of this, is that most smaller shops in niche markets will do well to sell online. My local FLGS opens at some infuriating times, but the guy sells waaay more online and spends more time in his off-site warehouse/lockup.

 
   
Made in us
Napoleonics Obsesser




MN

As an entrepreneur and small business owner (Bakery, Coffee shop, and various other small projects) let me share a few bits of advice.

Before starting a business, you must be prepared to lose three things:

1. All of your money. You will spend a lot and get very little back monetarily. I had over 250K in sales, but it all goes back into the business to keep it going in the form of employees, ingredients, stock, repairs, machinery, etc.

2. All your friends. You will no longer have time to do anything with them other than run the business. As the owner, you will have to be proficient in marketing, merchandising, logistics, tax rules, legal regulations, and being the head bottle washer. Unless they are coming to see you at your store front, be prepared to never see them again.

3. All of your family. Similar reason to you friends. Eventually, your significant other and children start to feel like they are second fiddle to the business and will resent it because all of your free time and money are being consumed by it. This puts a huge strain on nuclear families, and you can forget about ever seeing your extended family.

If you are willing to risk and lose all the above things to live your dreams of owning your own business, you might be ready to move forward. But then, you still actually have to go through the process of starting and running a small business. That is a whole other kettle of fish and requires a huge commitment of time and money. There is a reason most small businesses die within five years.

Edit: A common Joke.

Want to end the year with a $100K as a small business owner?

Start with $500K!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/07/18 15:33:13


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




 Peregrine wrote:
 flamingkillamajig wrote:
I think the family friend is more looking to run it less for profit and more for fun (and partly for his son who does it as a hobby)


Then my best advice to you is to save up a bit of money so when this "store" inevitably goes bankrupt and puts up its remaining inventory at a nice discount you can take advantage of it. If you are opening a store as anything other than a ruthless exercise in maximizing your profits then you are setting yourself up for a very expensive failure.


So much this ^^^^

I had a friend who ended up in the same situation - parents were well-off, got him a shop so he could turn his hobby into a business. It was probably the worst thing they could have done. As a result of not actually having to risk anything to start this business he treated it far too much like a club or friendly meet-up room, basically anything other than a business. I don't think he appreciated how much work should go into keeping such a business going and it eventually shut, costing him nothing much in terms of money but quite a lot in terms of his personal relationships and a huge amount in terms of personal development, because he didn't seem to learn anything from the experience. So, yeah, huge warning signs, red flags, alarm bells with this one. Those were already there when your first port of call seems to be a forum rather than doing any proper market research.

If you must open a store, learn how to make a good sandwich and coffee. Most of the stores around me that are in central locations seem to survive because they get a lot of custom from office workers at lunch, most of whom have no interest in gaming but don't fancy queing for 10-15 minutes at the deli down the road. Build a community as much as you can and treat it as a business, not as a fun diversion.
   
Made in us
Speed Drybrushing





San Francisco, CA

if it's not already been mentioned, spend some time on

http://blackdiamondgames.blogspot.com/

Follow
https://www.facebook.com/blackdiamondgames/
and
https://www.facebook.com/garyraybdg1/

And pick up a copy of Gary's book, Friendly Local Game Store
https://www.facebook.com/commerce/products/1745623922166816/

Do your homework. It's a lot of work (duh), but Gary Ray of Black Diamond games is a top tier retailer of a top tier store. Spend time reading his writing, it'll help a lot. At the very least, get his book

I play...

Sigh.

Who am I kidding? I only paint these days... 
   
Made in us
Napoleonics Obsesser




MN

When I ran the numbers, the only way this really works is....

1. You own the building
2. It has rental property above it
3. Said rental property makes enough to pay for the store
4. You have a significant other or benefactor that pays for your life expenses.

This is not a business for the faint of heart, it is hard work!

Do you like Free Wargames?
http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/ 
   
 
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