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?