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PostPosted: Thu 02 Jun 2016 14:28 pm 
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It seems I've taken my graphic design career as far as it can go. The competition in this field is fierce. There is a lack of shops in this region. The local hobby shop is mostly RC and the chain store 30 minutes away in Charlotte, NC (Hobbytown USA) closed down many months ago. I'm not very good writing business plans, but I'd really like to give this idea a go.

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PostPosted: Thu 02 Jun 2016 15:03 pm 
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I've thought about it in the past too. As far as I am aware, there is only one shop selling models and supplies within about 20 miles or so of me, and they have less stock than I have in my own stash...

I'd be very wary of starting up a business without doing extensive research though. More than likely, the reason there isn't a model shop close to you is that there isn't the market to support one. Bear in mind you wouldn't just be in competition with physical stores, but also the internet, and online retailers don't have the same pressures of paying for physical premises in prime locations.

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PostPosted: Thu 02 Jun 2016 15:06 pm 
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This life we lead is not a trial run.
By all means try for your dreams.
The worst that can happen is you'll have to say I tried.
Perhaps there is a tax consultant in your area which can help sort out the business plan.

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Its not just how good your painting is, its how good the touch-ups are too.


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PostPosted: Thu 02 Jun 2016 15:11 pm 
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The worst that can happen is you sink all of your money into it, it fails and you are left with nothing...

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PostPosted: Thu 02 Jun 2016 16:23 pm 
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Location: Rock Hill, SC - USA
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I've been bankrupt before and living paycheck to paycheck isn't much better.

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PostPosted: Thu 02 Jun 2016 17:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue 21 Oct 2008 21:29 pm
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Location: Philadelphia, USA
I've heard these things:

1) If you own the building instead of renting, you are a lot better off.
2) Plastic models are a small-but-steady part of a hobby shop's profits.
3) Choosing a good location is vital.
4) You must have an on-line presence, and that presence must be user-friendly and up-to-date.
5) Once you commit to owning a business, then the rest of us can relax and just tell you what you ought to be doing.
6) Once you get to the point where you need an additional employee, you need to realise that no one will do things just as you would have done them.
7) My grandfather owned a pub - he was successful, in part, because he didn't sip up the profits.

I wish you every success!

Happy modelling!


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PostPosted: Thu 02 Jun 2016 19:38 pm 
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Give it a go, but sell on-line too, (you may get a regular customer buying from OZ, if the postage is not too high).
Mike


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PostPosted: Thu 02 Jun 2016 19:52 pm 
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I too have often thought about opening a model shop, but do I want my hobby becoming my living? :shrug:

Sean, the guy who runs my LMS used to be quite an avid modeller, but since opening his shop a few years ago has found he has no time for modelling as the shop takes up most of his time.

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PostPosted: Fri 03 Jun 2016 14:25 pm 
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I'd strongly advise you to start with an eBay store. The costs associated with opening a shop are quite high. From the eBay store you can move on to your own Internet Hobby Shop (like Sprue Bros., etc.) then, finally if all goes well, you open a "brick and mortar" store. Doing the store first would be "backwards" in this day and age.

On the other hand.... your imagination may cook up something no one has seen before and you'll be laughing all the way to bank in a few years. Right now, you have the most important thing--optimism.

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PostPosted: Fri 03 Jun 2016 14:50 pm 
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Location: Rock Hill, SC - USA
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eBay stores (like all stores really) only work if you have a good, wholesale account with a distributor. A drop-ship arrangement would be even better. That way I wouldn't have to keep an inventory. I tried this years ago and set up a drop ship account with a distributor, but his product line wasn't very interesting. The prices were too close to retail to make a profit.

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PostPosted: Fri 03 Jun 2016 15:17 pm 
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First off, if you have a vision of making a fortune I would advise caution, I don't think any of my trader and shop acquaintances would pretend they make a whole load of money out of it. You can probably forget about pursuing the hobby yourself, the hours are long and the graft is hard. I'm on two closed facebook groups set up by model shop proprieters, one has nearly 2,500 members, the other nearly 7,000 members. They post up daily deals and offers and going by the number of posts put up by members this strikes me as a pretty good way of trading, although you will need an inventory and outstanding post and packing to make it succeed.

peebeep

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PostPosted: Fri 03 Jun 2016 18:42 pm 
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SkyPainter303 wrote:
It seems I've taken my graphic design career as far as it can go. The competition in this field is fierce. There is a lack of shops in this region. The local hobby shop is mostly RC and the chain store 30 minutes away in Charlotte, NC (Hobbytown USA) closed down many months ago. I'm not very good writing business plans, but I'd really like to give this idea a go.


Graphic design you say? What about a shop doing custom decals for cars, bikes and others. From 1/1 To scale models? That could be a great job without to big a risk.

Jesper.

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PostPosted: Fri 03 Jun 2016 19:07 pm 
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Location: Swindon
I've had the 'what if I won the lottery' chat with various people over the years. A few have said why don't I open a model shop. I always reply that once my hobby becomes my job, I will have to find a new hobby. Although the idea sounds good of having your own model shop, and if you go for it, then you are to be commended and good luck, but I wouldn't do it.

Jesper's suggestion of starting a decal company could be a winner. If you can find an area with a gap, you could end up on a winner. It's finding that unique gap. Utilise the talents you have, and then you can still enjoy model making.

Mark.

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PostPosted: Fri 03 Jun 2016 23:18 pm 
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Location: Rock Hill, SC - USA
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jhl1908 wrote:
Graphic design you say?
I did have a company with my brother-in-law doing graphic design, vehicle graphics, and textile graphics. The Metrolina market area (Charlotte, NC) is saturated with those types of companies. There are many sign shops and screen printers in my home town of Rock Hill, SC (pop. just under 70,000).

I am trying out a business plan software tool. Right now I need to figure out how to research my market.

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AMT 1/25 1966 Ford Mustang, Tamiya 1/700 HMS Nelson

Shelf of doom: Revellogram 1/72 F8F Bearcat, Airfix 1/72 Islander


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PostPosted: Sun 05 Jun 2016 10:12 am 
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The best form of research is door knocking or appointments with companys that would be interested in your line of products. What we call 'flyers' need only to be sent to companys that you consider require your services or product. Not a hard sell you understand but an introduction to the services you could provide and see what percentage of take-up you could achieve.

I too have considered a model shop but locally, a new one opened but is primarily for the railway enthusiast with aircraft kits etc coming a close second. I inquired at the shop and discovered he had a market stall first, couple of years, with lower overheads and then asked his regular customers IF he opened a shop what would they like to see/have. So far, past 12 months , he seems to be doing OK (?) but . . . I haven't seen his accounts.

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PostPosted: Sun 05 Jun 2016 19:51 pm 
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Unless you have an unlimited supply of money to throw about (and will probably lose) steer clear!!!. My experience is of model shops in the UK. 60 years ago in the fifties I worked in a model shop and that decade was the golden age of modelling. Even then, the shop had to rely on an income from DIY sales. Profit margins were low and the biggest problem was CUSTOMERS= we fickle brand of hobbyists who order something and when it arrives have changed their allegiance from aircraft to tanks and they don't want it. So you are left with an obscure kit that nobody wants!!!.
Then you have the problem of wholesalers and manufacturers who, as you are a newby, want cash up front and unrealistically large orders for which you don't have a market! Then you have staff problems! finding someone with a good all-round knowledge of the various fields of modelmaking is nigh on impossible.
After68 years of modelling I have seen many shops open and close after a few months of low turnaround with large overheads (including close friends who tried and failed.)I may sound pessimistic, but you are entering a minefield blindfolded and no sense of direction. Also all the people who say do it probably don't support their local shop and buy mail order or at model shows anyway. regards, Walter


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PostPosted: Mon 06 Jun 2016 03:13 am 
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Location: Rock Hill, SC - USA
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I shop at my local hobby shop, but I don't spend an awful lot there because I am not into R/C. His plastic kit prices are high and his selection isn't excellent. My favorite brick-n-mortar hobby shop is four hours away! Free Time Hobbies has aisle after aisle of plastic and all the PE and resin to go with. His online presence is well established too. I did have a wholesale account years ago and tried selling on eBay, but the wholesale discount was small. I was getting out priced by other eBay sellers.

I am just treading water with my current design career. In the Charlotte metropolitan area there quite a few colleges and universities pumping out art graduates all going after the same fifty graphic jobs per month. Something needs to happen.

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AMT 1/25 1966 Ford Mustang, Tamiya 1/700 HMS Nelson

Shelf of doom: Revellogram 1/72 F8F Bearcat, Airfix 1/72 Islander


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