Opening a shop..

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Nathan J, Aug 23, 2004.

  1. Nathan J

    Nathan J Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi all,
    I am not sure if this is in the right forum or not, but here goes:

    My friend and I were thinking of opening a small HT store, but there are alot of things I have to research first.

    Does anyone have an idea of how much money it would take to do this? Or how much equipment you must purchase in order to be a dealer? (buy in?) I am sure it is different amounts for different companies, but I just need some idea to see if it is feasible or not.

    I would like to start out with perhaps three brands of speakers, TV's, etc.

    Any help or info would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Nate
     
  2. Cam McFarland

    Cam McFarland Supporting Actor

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    I would imagine its gonna be awful tough with internet competition. Brick & mortar shops have it rough nowadays, especially if not buying in large quantitiies.
    Contact some of the brands you like & see what they say you have to buy to become a dealer.
     
  3. CalvinCarr

    CalvinCarr Supporting Actor

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    On the contrary I would think if you have an affluent area of town it would be easy. Here we have a very wealhy area and most people don't even want to hang christmas decorations. Advertise on road sides and put flyers on cars in that area. You can make a lot of jack installing and don't even have to have a store front at times.
     
  4. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Get a feasibility study together. Local marketing firms or banks can normally help provide this for less then $1,000.

    Don't worry about the internet as much as worry about Circuit City, Best Buy, Costco, Sam's Club [​IMG]

    Figure you need 12 months capital to cover your operating expenses, things like Rent, employee wages, tax, standard utilities, etc. Quickbooks will tell you 6, but you're better with 12.

    If you can't easily raise venture capital, but are dead set convinced you have a good idea or if your feasibility study looks good but can't easily get funding, you might think about talking to the SBA. (http://www.sba.gov/) It's easy to talk smack on the SBA, but in some instances, it works.
     
  5. Alf S

    Alf S Banned
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    Boy oh boy...seeing that you live in such a busy city/state that I imagine is chock full of stores that sell at deep discounts etc, I'd think it would be very difficult to make a great deal of money opening a "boutique" shop showing just a few Home Theater brands of products.

    Maybe 5 years ago it would have had a better chance, but in today's HT world of quick and cheap prices, I for one wouldn't be willing to sink my lifes saving into such a venture.

    Just my opinion tough.

    p.s.

    More power to ya though if you can pull it off!

    Keep us posted.
     
  6. CalvinCarr

    CalvinCarr Supporting Actor

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    Like I said in my earlier post some people are lazy or just don't know. We have several custom shops here and I have seen several in Orlando that cater to the well to do. Selling package sytems with install. Anything from a simple big screen with 5.1 surround to the skies the limit with lighting control from the bathroom....[​IMG]
    Definetly get a market study done though.
     
  7. Alf S

    Alf S Banned
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    The biggest hurdle I see is just having 2 guys run this whole thing...

    I don't see how they could do all this fancy install stuff AND sit around a B&M store and sell, take calls etc.

    Plus any electical work etc would require permits, and I bet just to set foot in a strangers house to install anything would require insurance or some kind of certification. Too much hassle in my opinion.

    Unless you can buy your stuff REAL cheap, I don't see how a small little store can stay alive in today's electronics market. You REALLY need to be well established and need to have been in this business for years to get people to give you all their HT money.

    Sure the idea of selling stuff you know and love sounds fun, but to make a living doing it in today's crowded HT market doesn't seem realistic anymore.
     
  8. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

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    I hate to say this but the businesses that survive in this field may have to sell things that are for profitibility vs performance. I bet there would be a lot of people who won't take you seriously unless you have a crappy Bose product hooked up to something with a THX logo (this is what most people recognize and those of us in the hobby know better). The problem with a hometheater store imho is that you might also setup some form of financing otherwise a lot of your potential customer's will go to a Best Buy or Circuit City because they provide these means.

    Good luck if you go this route but remember everyone who ever made it in the world of business have heard the "you can't/won't make it" statement. Some of us are destined to own businesses, get rich, or become celebrities but rest of us are destined to be a clock puncher which you can always join later if you can't get into the first grouping.
     
  9. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    Most people start out in their garage selling equipment and providing install services. Store fronts are a large cash drain on a budding business. For serious installs, you will need to have a general contractor license and possibly some form of electrician license. All the local HT stores make their money from the large installs (not the $100 profit on a set of speakers). I would suggest having a reference theater (in one of your homes) that you can demo to potential clients. Good luck!
     
  10. david stark

    david stark Second Unit

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    I would also take cafeful consideration of what brands you carry. Some brands (usually higher end ones) protect thier dealers. For instance if you look to buy an infocus projector you can only (or I've only seen) buy the 4805 HT projector online, all others if you can buy online can only be bought if you live in thier area, hence if you are a dealer for these brands you are not competing against the internet and huge chain stores.

    One of the shops I buy my audio gear from is a pretty specialised and high end store which again does not have to compete against online traders (in fact his nearest competitor for one brand is > 500km away), but a very small percentage of people go there because it is specialist shop and the stuff ius expensive.

    Good luck if you decide to go for it, and I'm sure you will always remeber the customer is king. I now refuse to shop at some stores because of poor customer service and this is after spending > $10k (CAD) there.
     
  11. Scott Tucker

    Scott Tucker Stunt Coordinator

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    Unless you are doing high end custom installs, don't even consider it. With the Internet and overall shrinking profit margins, it is a losing proposition. Just look at stores like Circuit City, Ultimate Electronics and the like. Even companies with huge buying power like them can't even show a profit. Having had my own store at one time i would say "run! run far away from the idea." Best of luck if you decide to do it though.
    Scott
     
  12. Mark Sherman

    Mark Sherman Supporting Actor

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    I have nothing to say to this.




    Do your Home work and take your time before you dive in.

    More to come
     
  13. Mark Sherman

    Mark Sherman Supporting Actor

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    WOW. I have put together complete B&W Surround sound system with a Rotel Receiver and a Rotel DVD player for under $3500.00. A Bose LS50 System at Best Buy will set you Back more than that and not sound nearly as good.

    we have also put together 2 channel set ups that are well over $125,000.00.


    We cater to Everybody. From the simple HTIB to the most Insane GOLDMUND home theater that are well into 6 figures.
     
  14. Alf S

    Alf S Banned
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    So Nathan..are ya opening a shop or what?
     
  15. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Run by Appointment. I know a couple of guys(3 total) who do this just fine. They focus more on installs though.

    If you get aggressive with trade in policies, in home delivery and install of said product(which counters the trade off of a cheaper price), You should be competitive.

    I know plenty of people who don't want to stroll into Ultimate or Best Buy and buy their gear.
     

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