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I Feel Like Branching Out

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Being an electrician is fun and I love it with all my heart. However, I feel the urge to branch out. Im mulling over the idea of opening a gun/fishing store. It seems like combining my 2 favorite things might be profitable for me. Ive heard through the grapevine that the big outdoor sports retailer in the area is not doing so hot right now. Mainly due to change in ownership/management. So it might be about time to start making a move on this. Plus from what I have discovered there is only one main Class 3 dealer in the area, and having a second can't be a bad thing. Forms, fees, and licensing are required and are BEYOND time consuming. Especially the FFL forms. Im just not sure if I should hold off and wait and see what the big store does or not.

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I would wait a bit and see how the laws end up changing.  There is a ton of concern about what is being sold and how it is being sold and whom it is being sold to.  I would hate to see anyone get into the start up costs for a business only to have the main products they sell be taken off the market or such tight restrictions placed that they cannot make a profit.  I do believe that it would be a great idea, we have a friend here who has his Class 3 FFL and he basically sells out of his house by order only.  You want it, you pay for it, he gets it.  Plain and simple way to get a clientele established before going all in and keeping inventory on a shelf somewhere.  Good luck in whatever you decide!  Just my 2 cents. 

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I would wait a bit and see how the laws end up changing.  There is a ton of concern about what is being sold and how it is being sold and whom it is being sold to.  I would hate to see anyone get into the start up costs for a business only to have the main products they sell be taken off the market or such tight restrictions placed that they cannot make a profit.  I do believe that it would be a great idea, we have a friend here who has his Class 3 FFL and he basically sells out of his house by order only.  You want it, you pay for it, he gets it.  Plain and simple way to get a clientele established before going all in and keeping inventory on a shelf somewhere.  Good luck in whatever you decide!  Just my 2 cents. 

Im not so much concerned with the high cap mags and AR style rifles. Those seem to come and go with the times. Every time there is even the faintest sniffle of a possible ban the prices go through the roof. Then level back off. Honestly, I think the Big Name players, have to much time and money invested in them for any form of legislation to affect them. Really I dont have much interest in buying or selling them anymore, anyway. Every gun shop on God's green earth sells them. I really want to focus more on bolt action rifles, higher end shotguns, and certain manufacturer's handguns. As well as the fishing related items. I appreciate your input and it is definitely something to think about. Thank you.

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Do you have any experience running your own business?

Are you good with a budget?

Do you have a LOT of money on hand to have a high inventory?

Do you already have a Class III license?

Are you a gunsmith, or will you hire one?

 

Two observations:

 

If I want an AR-15, and come to your store, but all I see is some lame bolt action rifle and a rich man's shotgun, I'm going somewhere else to buy a gun.  And, when I decide to buy a bolt action rifle next year for deer season, I'm going back to the shop that sold me the AR-15.  I'm loyal like that.

 

Also, you said in the hunting forum that you didn't get out even once this year to hunt because work is so busy.  Is this gun/tackle shop going to be a part-time or full-time endevour?  If it's going to be part-time, you better find a new full-time job because you don't have the time to put into it to keep from going broke.  If it's going to be full-time, you better be sitting on some cash because you aren't getting a paycheck for a LONG time.

 

Not trying to squash your dream, but if you do it, do it right.  Make a detailed business plan, and someone you know and trust in this industry to go over it and help you edit it to reality.

 

Good luck!

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Do you have any experience running your own business?

Are you good with a budget?

Do you have a LOT of money on hand to have a high inventory?

Do you already have a Class III license?

Are you a gunsmith, or will you hire one?

 

Two observations:

 

If I want an AR-15, and come to your store, but all I see is some lame bolt action rifle and a rich man's shotgun, I'm going somewhere else to buy a gun.  And, when I decide to buy a bolt action rifle next year for deer season, I'm going back to the shop that sold me the AR-15.  I'm loyal like that.

 

Also, you said in the hunting forum that you didn't get out even once this year to hunt because work is so busy.  Is this gun/tackle shop going to be a part-time or full-time endevour?  If it's going to be part-time, you better find a new full-time job because you don't have the time to put into it to keep from going broke.  If it's going to be full-time, you better be sitting on some cash because you aren't getting a paycheck for a LONG time.

 

Not trying to squash your dream, but if you do it, do it right.  Make a detailed business plan, and someone you know and trust in this industry to go over it and help you edit it to reality.

 

Good luck!

I was thinking a joint venture between my wife, myself, and a friend of ours. Basically the wife is gonna be running the store with me helping out as needed. Money isn't so much of an issue. This idea would be bank rolled by a wealthy friend of ours who will help us learn how to run a business. I have had a class 3 a LONG time ago that I let expire. Otherwise this is basically new to us. I just dont know if I want to jump into this right now ornor not. Gun smithing is a large part of this idea/venture.

As for the ARs. I just dont see the money in stocking them. I can make more off selling a custom Remington .700 then off selling 2 say DPMS AR15 rifles. The prices on those rifles fluctuate more than the stock market does. I may very well change my mind on stocking them, but if I do they are going to be custom work and not remotely stock. Thank you for the input.

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Over 50% of small businesses fail within five years, so you'd better do more research than posting a question on a fishing forum. Here's one blog column that may give you food for thought:

 

http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/05/top-10-reasons-small-businesses-fail/

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I would do some real soul searching and be honest with myself first of all....

So what would make you different from all the rest???

I hope your answer is your customer service... second to none.....

What would be your niche??....You need to identify what your market needs are and how you would address and support them...

Again your customer service.....second to none....

I hope you see where I am going with this....You ,You and You will need to be there full time to establish your business goals and make sure they are carried out....It is not an easy task treating people the way you would like to be treated when relying on employees, you will need to be there full time to instill your vision....

There is a huge difference from doing something you enjoy and turning it into a business. I know because I did it for 26 years and enjoyed every minute of it......Just some food for thought.

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Does your wife share your passion for firearms, and have A LOT of knowledge about them?

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Over 50% of small businesses fail within five years, so you'd better do more research than posting a question on a fishing forum. Here's one blog column that may give you food for thought:

 

http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/05/top-10-reasons-small-businesses-fail/'>http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/05/top-10-reasons-small-businesses-fail/

That just gave me a lot to think about. Im going to do some more research on that. Thank ya sir.

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Does your wife share your passion for firearms, and have A LOT of knowledge about them?

Yes she does. She knows more about them then most people do. She is extremely knowledgeable about rifles, be they semi auto, fully auto, or bolt action. Handguns she has a working knowledge of.

She is also VERY good with money, budgeting, and talking with customers. Which is what she does now.

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I would do some real soul searching and be honest with myself first of all....

So what would make you different from all the rest???

I hope your answer is your customer service... second to none.....

What would be your niche??....You need to identify what your market needs are and how you would address and support them...

Again your customer service.....second to none....

I hope you see where I am going with this....You ,You and You will need to be there full time to establish your business goals and make sure they are carried out....It is not an easy task treating people the way you would like to be treated when relying on employees, you will need to be there full time to instill your vision....

There is a huge difference from doing something you enjoy and turning it into a business. I know because I did it for 26 years and enjoyed every minute of it......Just some food for thought.

It definitely is going to take time. Lots of it. From what I gather I would definitely need to start small, and work my way up. Establishing a client base seems like it is going to take me the most amount of time. Well the world was not built in a day, and neither is this venture of mine going to be either. I agree with you wholeheartedly on the customer service, I believe that is the most important part of a business.

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Im not a business man, so i cant advise you on it. But I can advise you on major life changing decsions. Its simple. PRAY ON IT. Seek wisdom and guidance. Good luck brother. If it is Gods wiill then it will be done. And whatever you do, keep stay on the same page with your spouse.

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You need an extremely detailed business plan. It needs include: your mission, your goals, how you how you're going execute it, and risks. Risks is every obstacle you could face. Competitors, financial risks, risk that your potential customers simply are not interested. You need a contingency plan for all those risks, if it possible. Then all 4 of your partners need discuss how you're going share percentage. Could be base on how % cash put in or other assets, or you just come to written agreement.(talk to a cpa about former I'm too buzz to explain and it been a year since I've done partnership accounting.)

A great plan can falter if you crap out on execution. Many people think accountants care about bottom line and salesmen care about top line. Me, I care about lines in-between. That where the art is, you can learn a lot about manager's style. Or use it as base to find parameter to explore to learn more. I definitely base the business on limited liability. Just my .02 or however it worth. Time for another beer :)

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Im not a business man, so i cant advise you on it. But I can advise you on major life changing decsions. Its simple. PRAY ON IT. Seek wisdom and guidance. Good luck brother. If it is Gods wiill then it will be done. And whatever you do, keep stay on the same page with your spouse.

Amen Brother.

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You need an extremely detailed business plan. It needs include: your mission, your goals, how you how you're going execute it, and risks. Risks is every obstacle you could face. Competitors, financial risks, risk that your potential customers simply are not interested. You need a contingency plan for all those risks, if it possible. Then all 4 of your partners need discuss how you're going share percentage. Could be base on how % cash put in or other assets, or you just come to written agreement.(talk to a cpa about former I'm too buzz to explain and it been a year since I've done partnership accounting.)

A great plan can falter if you crap out on execution. Many people think accountants care about bottom line and salesmen care about top line. Me, I care about lines in-between. That where the art is, you can learn a lot about manager's style. Or use it as base to find parameter to explore to learn more. I definitely base the business on limited liability. Just my .02 or however it worth. Time for another beer :)

Thank ya.

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Speaking of the spiritual and guidance craps, maybe you should pull a Steve Jobs.. Go to India and trip on acid then come back and change the world. :D isn't it funny how Apple's original logo was colorful which could be related to his psychedelic trip? Amazing stuff.

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Speaking of the spiritual and guidance craps, maybe you should pull a Steve Jobs.. Go to India and trip on acid then come back and change the world. :D isn't it funny how Apple's original logo was colorful which could be related to his psychedelic trip? Amazing stuff.

I am the Walrus! ;):D

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Would you be wearing the pink tutu?

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Would you be wearing the pink tutu?

Depends how much your looking to spend. :D

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I would be VERY, VERY leery about the "partners"...I understand the financial backing as being necessary.

 

I would want a "buyout" clause spelled out for EACH partner, including the financier.

 

 

 

People can change, and often do, when money is involved.

 

My opinion, fwiw, would be to go alone, using the financial backing with a plan/contract to pay off/back money in certain, defined terms. The legal document would state the financier has ZERO say in the running of the business...that is for you and your wife.

 

Whatever you decide, best of luck to you.

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My advice, You won't know unless you give it a shot. If you don't try it will be sitting in the back of your mind forever. Just do your research before you go all in. I mull around going in business for myself. For me to do that in the trade I work in would take away all of my free time and that is the primary thing that holds me back. I know one baitshop owner who loves his job. He can't fish anymore because diabetes has taken his legs from him. He fishes vicariously thru the guys who come into his store.    

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My advice, You won't know unless you give it a shot. If you don't try it will be sitting in the back of your mind forever. Just do your research before you go all in. I mull around going in business for myself. For me to do that in the trade I work in would take away all of my free time and that is the primary thing that holds me back. I know one baitshop owner who loves his job. He can't fish anymore because diabetes has taken his legs from him. He fishes vicariously thru the guys who come into his store.    

Thats what has kept me from starting up in the trade. That will take any and all free time, faster then this little venture Im looking at will. This would be more so my wifes company then my own. She would deal with the day to day operations and what have you. Its basically a way for her to make more than she currently is and for us to get our FFL class 3. Personally I want to continue electricianing, and intend to do just that, only with less hours of manual labor. I guess you could say this would be my side project.

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Not only did I own a scrap metal co for 35 years, I also owned a steel slitting operation, new steel sales, stamping plant, x-ray silver extraction and sales and built a storage facility.  The one thing I do know about any business is not to be underfunded, not only does it take time for a business to operate in the black, but personal living expenses don't stop.  Even though your wife is your main partner, it's still only one income generated from that business.  Your a young man, you may want to start a family, now your wife is at home and she may have to be replaced by an employee, that may open up an entire new set of additional expenses.

 

You start getting into rental leases, insurances and partners, get an attorney and put everything in writing.  Most importantly limit your personal liability by incorporating. To succeed in any business one needs be 100% focused, personal hunting and fishing come last or not at all.   I don't know anything about retail business except that I don't like them, mainly because you have to wait for the door to swing open with customers rather than being aggressive going out to find business.  That said, many are quite successful at it.  I would not let any new laws curtail my interest in this endeavor, you just have to adapt.

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I get ideas from 3-5 people of week on business ventures through the trust I manage and I can tell you unless you are really prepared have done a SWOT analysis, have your projected cash flows for the first year at least, and have tremendous work ethic without getting a reward quickly YOU WILL FAIL.  I would say the majority of small well capitalized ventures fail that have come across me, don't want to be a pessimists just stuck in reality.  You'd be better off using the additional capital provided by your "wealthy friend" in a low overhead business where inventory is low and bought on demand with no store front and only online sales through Gunbroker/Ebay/Web. That way your risk is minimal and your money is tied up in product that has value, not paying for overhead.

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