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Old 07-27-2012, 10:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Thinking about starting a shop

Hay I am thinking about starting a shop. If there are other shop owners I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.
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Old 07-27-2012, 11:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You ready to be married to a one sided relationship that will ultimately end in divorce for the next two years?
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Old 07-27-2012, 11:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Mhm that I am. But there will be no divorce, Just more abuse.
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Old 07-27-2012, 11:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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2 years is the fail point for 95% of all new shops if you can make it past that then you have to make it between 5 and 8 years before you turn a profit. At the start of opening a shop you have to have embraced E-commerce on a level that at least makes up 30 to 60% of your sales which means you need to be smart in your SEO, web programming, and how you sell product.

As for a B and M expect people to window shop but not buy and be prepared for the "I can get it cheaper on the Internet" bullshit that is associated with it. To combat that you need to go full specialty dealer so say fuck you to Burton, not interested to Ride, and maybe to K2 and Nitro. If you have the stuff no one else can get anywhere else it will happen.

In this economy opening a shop is going to be one of the toughest things you can do.
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Old 07-27-2012, 06:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yea I am setting up with a few start up company's like HomeWood to bring in a decant board at a cheaper price. Burton buy in is way to high to consider and ride wants me to commit to a contract with them.
I appreciate the help.
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Not a shop owner, but there are 8 local b&m shops that I visit; 5-6 have a good off season gig. 3-4 of them get the high-end pro stock (i think) before you can get it on line and the others are more of the mid and entry level mallish. The good shops do some pre-season/pre-inventory order taking that a customer can do to ensure getting a limited high-end stock...idk this seems to be more of this...at least with the hot items...if you wait too long, the stock gets sold quick and you can't get it. However due to the location I think its abit of an unusual market with some competition...idk but sb only b&m would be very tough.

In reality your buyers are young uppity professionals that make some money, older geezers that have some money and mom's that are buying shit for their tweenies. But its the tweenies that you kind of do things like "a dive bag lounge atomsphere" or the chic "evo, artsy, micro brew" to get uppity professionals the cool hang out vibe and they respectively drag mom and dad or their uppity friends in.
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Old 07-28-2012, 09:21 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Not sure about lounge atomsphere or micro brew typed stuff.
Tweens get money from mom & dad, and if I feel uncomfortable in a shop more than likely I won't let my kids go back let alone spend money there. At least my kids get there money from me and I need to be happy with whom I'm laying out $500+ bucks with

I used to buy online, I have gotten to know one of our local guys real well. I now buy all my gear from him. Only if he can't get it do I order online.

He has taken great care of me and my 2 kids. The knowledge he brings is great as is his shops customer service. That in itself makes up for online pricing. If I have a part fail, not often but as we all know it does. He may have a spare he gives me, may borrow me equipment till my part comes in, or just hook me up in some fashion. Again customer service, that makes the world of difference to me. I can't get that same day service online.

From this I tell and recommend people I know or meet to go to his store and ask for him by name and let them know I sent them. Many of these people have done this and become customers there.

This is what I look for in a shop, I'm just an average dad that just started riding a few years back, with normal kids 16 & 15.
Hopefully if all goes well in your new shop this is the relationship/customer service you will want to provide.
Hoping in this economy you connect with the right people, as choosing a partnership seems like a good choice at the time, but sometimes it doesn't work out so well. So choose those people VERY carefully !!!!

Good luck on your new shop
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Old 07-29-2012, 02:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Self promotion is fucking huge. There's a shop in my home town that as far as product has done everything right. They are one of the only Nitro dealers in the state, they deal L1 and Analog, they get Rides LE's... they deal what others don't. Speak their name to the average weekend warrior in the city and probably 1 in 10 might have heard of them, might. Why? Zero self promotion.

Spend some of your budget on cheap ass free stickers with you shop name on them in a cool font. Small. Basically copy what zumiez does. Drop a couple in everyones bag the first six months. Enough will get put up by the kids and boom, you're name's gettin out there.

Throw a contest. Get in with a brand and make a deal, they sponsor the contest, you do all the work, and you get something to give away from the brand.

Price match online. To an extent. Obviously don't with sites like Whiskey and SteepandCheap and fuck The House and Dogfunk. They're super corps and do nothing for the industry. If someone brings them up, calmly and politely explain why you don't match them.

This sounds weak but, get a good god damn shop logo and make diecut vinyls. The entire reason Grenade made it was cause every single fucking bro bought a grenade diecut for their trucks and subarus. It sure as hell wasn't cause the gloves were good. I'm not saying you'll survive on sticker sales, but to get that sticker they gotta go into you're store right?

If you last long enough to need shop kids, don't fucking hire the local gnar who skates or rides super good. He's probably A idiot. Talk to the kids and find the ones that actually know what they're talking about. Product knowledge is much more important than sporting ability. Also that'll help get the culture of our industry back on track.

Find something to sell OTHER than skate in the summer. Do sell skate, most snowboarders skate. But do something else too. If you're area has a big longboard scene (find out if you don't know, even if you think you know, doublecheck. silverfishlongboarding) get into that. Longboarding gear has very similar pricepoint to snowboard gear and if you're the only shop in town where someone can put their mits on high ticket stuff, niche.

As soon as fiscally possible, get some shop riders. They will be stoked as hell to even just get a discount, they tell their friends, their friends tell their friends... the more people know you exist and associate you with a good vibe the more likely you'll be to succeed.

I'm a shop kid/been in the industry.

Where's this new shop?
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Have you done your market research to make sure the place you're opening a store can support you? I really hope so because having a feeling that a snowboard shop might do okay in a certain area is not enough, especially when you're risking your money and years of your life.

Or is this a purely online shopfront type thing? If so, I really hope you have someone who knows advanced online sales, ad buying and seo.

Don't start buying stock until you at least figure the above stuff out because you'll fall into the trap of thinking that a passion for snowboarding is enough to make a business successful. You NEED to know how you're going to make those sales and you need to test that sales theory out before you go any further.
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:04 AM   #10 (permalink)
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If you go through with this, good luck.

I've also had an itch to open one.
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