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Old 01-11-2010, 10:00 AM   #101
MacroGuru
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Sometimes wisdom comes up in the oddest places

Joe Dirt: You're gonna stand there, owning a fireworks stand, and tell me you don't have no whistling bungholes, no spleen spliters, whisker biscuits, honkey lighters, hoosker doos, hoosker donts, cherry bombs, nipsy daisers, with or without the scooter stick, or one single whistling kitty chaser?

Kicking Wing: No... because snakes and sparklers are the only ones I like.

Joe Dirt: Well that might be your problem, it's not what you like, it's the consumer.

Awesome and I love it...I am in the process of switching out the inventory on the Golf Shoe website from the 2009 to 2010 models and I am seeing some of these shoes and not wanting to put them up and I always think back to that last quote...because seriously my most profitable shoe to me is the one of the ugliest pair of shoes I carry.
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:09 PM   #102
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Was having a discussion at work with someone else I know that is trying to do their own business. He has been doing it awhile, but I think there are 2 items that are really hurting him.

He is in the sports card market. (tough market, lots of swings although, seems we are past the 90s where it seems EVERYONE did sports cards because they thought they were going to become a millionaire, but are now instead stuck with 5,000 cases of 1990 score baseball)

1. Risk. As in, his wife doesn't want none. There are things you can do to minimize risk, but if you design a business with zero risk and make a decent amount of money, then you should probably teach people. Unfortunately his mode is digging through the $1-$2 stuff and maybe finding something for $10 to sell. That is all great and if you make it work for you, you can be successful. Unfortunately his wife doesn't want 2,000 $1 or $2 items to sell because she sees it as $1000 or $2000 rather than $7000-$10000 spread out over a 9-12 months and if he would sell 1500 @ 4 a piece and have to discard 500 at a loss, she seems to focus on the loss rather than the big picture. It is called inventory for a reason and I can't think of a store that would have a constant rolling stock that they sell once they get it in. (save for like a fresh fish market or perishable foods)

2. Selection. Another of his failings is that in many markets, you want a selection of items. He just doesn't have enough items at one time for people to buy alot of. Things like Comic Books/Magic Cards/Sport Cards/Scrapbooking/Grocery Stores, you have people that will buy many different things. Sure you can carry a selection of 50 Brewers cards, but it is better to carry 50 of each team.

Interesting how other people go about their business.
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:23 PM   #103
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Having owned a card shop back in the mid 90s i will say it is a very tough business. Customers want change in a heart beat and it is virtually impossible to keep everything. I found that it was good to keep a fair amount of new product but focused more on picking up older cards 50-70s or sets and had a steady group of clients that really wanted these cards. I would say finding a niche and getting becoming an expert in where to find it and what will sell is the most important and yet toughest part. When i sit back and look and the flood of product on the market now i just get sick.
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:39 PM   #104
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When i sit back and look and the flood of product on the market now i just get sick.

Hope you didn't think I meant that all people with card stores in the 90s thought they were going to become millionaires..

The market is absolutely flooded with stuff. If I was going to get into that market, I'd stick with just selling new stuff by the box/case. Selling singles would be really brutal and you definitely need a selection unless your singles are top end stuff. Even then some people get stuck in the baseball cards = $ and they get caught up in Becketts and other price guides rather than what the actual market is doing. I see this with Star Wars stuff too. Just because it is Star Wars does not mean that it is worth $$$.
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:59 PM   #105
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Oh no i did not take your comment the wrong way. I actually took over the shop from someone who owed me a bunch of money and there was no way he was going to pay me. It was a business i knew a lot about from having tables at card shows for a couple of year before. Owning a card shop was a learning experience and something i would never do again. I used to love collecting cards and now i really could care less.
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:37 PM   #106
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I used to love collecting cards and now i really could care less.

I don't think you are unique in that aspect. People that open stores related to their hobbies have a tendency to do it less or get completely turned off by it.

I like collecting, but only non-sports cards.

This is my favorite.



Of course my wife has one..

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Old 01-20-2010, 03:44 PM   #107
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I do collect signed sports cards/magazines/photos still. I have a monster Cubs collection and a very special collection of Muhammad Ali.
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:45 PM   #108
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I have a monster Cubs collection

I'm shocked.
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:43 AM   #109
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Humorous side story, on particular place I was interested in had just went off the market the day I called. I guess the people that leased it were opening up a combination Horse tack and bread shop. What the hell? I did not know there was a big demand for a saddle and a loaf of bread...

So, from page 1, I can revisit this post.

That Horse Tack and Bread store. Ya, it closed. At 6 months, it lasted longer than I thought it would. I honestly drove by every day waiting for the lease/closed sign to go up and yesterday was the day.

Some business ideas just don't make sense. Maybe if they were baking their own bread and designing their own saddles I could maybe see it, but I don't see how the 2 go together unless you are making a old country store unique kinda place.

At least I have another place to look at although, I think the rent was a little high if I remember correctly, but it wasn't NNN.
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:33 AM   #110
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So I call the realtor to get the prices ($12/sq with all the CAM/Taxes/Insurance so, not a bad starting spot). I told him about how I was interested in the place 6 months ago, but the bread store got in there before me so, I've just been watching the place over the last 6 months waiting to call him back. The realtor could not stop laughing.. guess he thought it was a bad idea too.
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:52 PM   #111
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Yeah i would definitely scratch my head seeing a Horse Tack and Bread store. No matter how i look at it i am not seeing how the two go together or how the heck you would make any money unless you had some special product or niche.
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:25 PM   #112
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Yeah i would definitely scratch my head seeing a Horse Tack and Bread store.

It was a mother/daughter thing. The mother wanted a bread store and the daughter wanted a tack store. Of course, you do the obvious and mash them together.
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Old 02-01-2010, 03:35 PM   #113
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Wisconsin's state sales tax teletax system sucks. Took me darn near 15 minutes of pressing keys to get everything correct. Every time I entered sales for the quarter, it kept says "You have entered 3 Million Six Hundred Sixty million dollars". Ok, just a tad off there...

Going tonight to look at that space that was cleared out by the bread store. My target is around $1,100 for a leased space, right now it would be $1,200 so, have to see how much wiggle room they have. From the limited discussions I've had with them, they seem eager to get another tenant in there as opposed to some of the other places that did not seem to care at all.

Oh, and more information on the bread store.. I thought it couldn't get worse, but what they were doing was buying outdated bread from other stores and then marking it up and selling it. (Like a Hostess thrift store). Good god man...
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:13 AM   #114
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Still gets worse on the bread front. They opened the store, to sell old bread and didn't have any suppliers. Good god! How do you open a store without someone to supply the inventory? I think that the underwear gnomes had a better business plan. I'd like to think that I'm passing along valuable information of what not to do, but I think this kinda stuff is pretty basic.

Review of the place went good. Actually it is the best place I've seen to date and I really like it. Bigger than I thought (1,500 sq compared to the 1250 he initially said) so the $12/sq makes it a little more however when he said they want $12 then he changed it to they would want $10 and then he followed it up with 'thats what we would like' meaning that there probably is still room to go lower. I am guessing that they have alot of wiggle room because the previous tenants signed a 2 year lease and didn't make it through 1 year so, they will be doubling up possibly depending on what the other tenant had written into the contract.
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:59 AM   #115
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I think that the underwear gnomes had a better business plan.

Clearly. At least the underpants gnomes had the supply end covered.

Maybe the bread store had some kind of deal with the bread gnomes?
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Old 02-05-2010, 04:32 PM   #116
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I want that spot I looked at.

In a final analysis of it, the place has darn near everything I want

1. 1500 sq ft with an area sectioned off for store.
2. No NNN Fees
3. Potential HVAC capped at $500 / year in expenses
4. No buildout needed (just paint)
5. 60-70 car parking
6. Easy to locate and give directions to.
7. Price is good @ $10/sq (although, need to exchange numbers. I'd like $9.25)

Would I like it in a little higher traffic area? Yes. That is the main negative that I see. However, I can afford to build up the marketing side of the business over a 3-6 month period and not have it kill me as I don't need $10K of sales from day one. Plus, getting that spot where the traffic is at its highest is extremely pricey ($22/sq) and/or there would be direct competition between tenants and I couldn't go there even if I wanted since there is a 1/2 mile stretch owned by the same company and 2 businesses have products that could be seen as competition vs me.

From a financial standpoint there is really nothing stopping us from opening a place. If we opened, didn't sell a single thing, didn't get a single customer and closed after 1 year, the money we would lose is acceptable and wouldn't destroy us.

We have some questions on staffing that we need to work through, but I think I got some of those nagging questions answered this afternoon when I talked to the person I want to hire part-time. I had some good news yesterday because another person I know has offered to volunteer for 2 days a week and 1 or 2 Saturday's a week. He is a pretty stand up person so, I'm pretty confident in him coming through.

The only roadblock right now is just getting taxes squared away from 2009 which I'm working on this weekend.

Hopefully in a few weeks I can actually say what I'm doing and have some of you as customers in the future.
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Old 02-08-2010, 05:05 PM   #117
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Around our families, we have been pretty tight lipped about what we do from a business standpoint. Mainly for 2 reasons.

1. Loose lips sink ships (so to speak). We were burned once by people being too flappy with their lips so we just shut it down in telling people anything in what we do. There is nothing more frustrating in trying to purchase an item, and someone goes 'HEY, HOW MUCH YOU GOING TO SELL THAT FOR!!!!' or telling everyone how successful you are and throwing around numbers or having your own relatives try to do the same thing you are doing and compete with you. (That was the final straw to any information coming out)

2. There are elements of our families that believe that other members of the family should be giving them money. We just didn't want to have to deal with that. Unfortunately, this will come out when we open a brick and mortar store since everyone knows that anyone who owns a business is a millionaire. (/sarcasm)

Last night we pulled back the Wizard's curtain to my sister and her husband. We have been using them as a little bit of a reference on basic business dealings since he has owned his own stores in the past. (grocery stores, got out of the business several years ago). I think we completely shocked them to the degree that we do it.. I don't know what they thought we were doing, but after I showed them last night, I just got a 'Holy Shit' from them. I don't think they realized how serious we were into our business until that point.

The rest of my family.. ya, they can wait. Kinda sucks in not being able to share, but there are a few elements that are going to make it tough and we would just assume not have to deal with those elements at this time.
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Old 02-08-2010, 05:22 PM   #118
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Is this what they call building the suspense?
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Old 02-08-2010, 07:13 PM   #119
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Is this what they call building the suspense?

Haha...I think so!
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Old 02-08-2010, 07:48 PM   #120
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Is this what they call building the suspense?

*L*

Nah, just trying to note different items going on for business side. Most everything in the last few months has been lease related which is pretty dry stuff.

I could spin a tale on the discussions of a 2x2 dumpster vs 4x4 dumpsters and the frequency of pickups if you so wish.
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Old 02-08-2010, 09:12 PM   #121
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Also, probably not that hard to figure out what kind of store I'd be opening. Unless no one pays attention to me at all, in which case, yes you might have trouble.

I think the only guesses I have seen are porn and comics and you can rule out bread store and baseball cards since I downplayed those businesses and the difficulties in them.
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Old 02-08-2010, 09:42 PM   #122
cubboyroy1826
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Oh how about a horse tackle shop?
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Old 02-08-2010, 10:02 PM   #123
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Oh how about a horse tackle shop?

Sooooo close.
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Old 02-09-2010, 08:03 AM   #124
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Wait, porn store was wrong?
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:05 AM   #125
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Wait, porn store was wrong?

Very wrong, and if I tried to combine a porn store and horse tackle shop, I'd have to move my operations down to Tijuana.

I still don't know who the hell would buy porn nowadays. Although, guess it is like someone buying bottled water. "Um, you know you can just turn on the faucet right?"
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:49 AM   #126
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Very wrong, and if I tried to combine a porn store and horse tackle shop, I'd have to move my operations down to Tijuana.

I still don't know who the hell would buy porn nowadays. Although, guess it is like someone buying bottled water. "Um, you know you can just turn on the faucet right?"
It's adult toys and such though, isn't it?
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:54 AM   #127
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I want that spot I looked at.

In a final analysis of it, the place has darn near everything I want

1. 1500 sq ft with an area sectioned off for store.
2. No NNN Fees
3. Potential HVAC capped at $500 / year in expenses
4. No buildout needed (just paint)
5. 60-70 car parking
6. Easy to locate and give directions to.
7. Price is good @ $10/sq (although, need to exchange numbers. I'd like $9.25)

Would I like it in a little higher traffic area? Yes. That is the main negative that I see. However, I can afford to build up the marketing side of the business over a 3-6 month period and not have it kill me as I don't need $10K of sales from day one. Plus, getting that spot where the traffic is at its highest is extremely pricey ($22/sq) and/or there would be direct competition between tenants and I couldn't go there even if I wanted since there is a 1/2 mile stretch owned by the same company and 2 businesses have products that could be seen as competition vs me.

From a financial standpoint there is really nothing stopping us from opening a place. If we opened, didn't sell a single thing, didn't get a single customer and closed after 1 year, the money we would lose is acceptable and wouldn't destroy us.

We have some questions on staffing that we need to work through, but I think I got some of those nagging questions answered this afternoon when I talked to the person I want to hire part-time. I had some good news yesterday because another person I know has offered to volunteer for 2 days a week and 1 or 2 Saturday's a week. He is a pretty stand up person so, I'm pretty confident in him coming through.

The only roadblock right now is just getting taxes squared away from 2009 which I'm working on this weekend.

Hopefully in a few weeks I can actually say what I'm doing and have some of you as customers in the future.

Awesome news! have you made the offer yet? Or are you just waiting to see what taxes bring you?
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Old 02-09-2010, 10:47 AM   #128
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It's adult toys and such though, isn't it?

Adult toys as in ... ?
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Old 02-09-2010, 10:52 AM   #129
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Awesome news! have you made the offer yet? Or are you just waiting to see what taxes bring you?

Last night I was talking to the realtor about it. My suggestion was that since they wouldn't take any options, I asked if they would put an option in the middle at the 6 month time period that would need to be executed within 3 business days.

I understand their concern about options being tenant biased. If the market prices go up, I do the option. If they go down, I back out. However, I'm not fully prepared for a 2-3 year lease. If I'm doing good at the 6 month point and sales are increasing, then I have a desire to stay because moving your business shouldn't be taken lightly. Also, executing an option at 6 months, I would not believe the marketplace for rentals would adjust that much. I've been watching places for the last 9-12 months and only just now have I seen a few places drop their price.

The realtor said they would put together something which I would assume to be a counteroffer to my unofficial proposal.
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:03 AM   #130
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I had a idiot moment today or maybe it was a revelation. I'm working with a bank on doing a business loan. The loan was approved last year in the amount of $20K. It would be a line of credit that I'd have to personally guarantee (it is all great that I'm a LLC however, in the beginning, everyone wants personal guarantees as opposed to being backed solely by the business)

Anyhow... while I'm fretting about getting together taxes, updating the business plan, etc to go back it, I suddenly remember that we already have a $18K line of credit backed by the home equity. I'm not sure if there is any benefit to securing a new line of credit when essentially the collateral is the same thing.

I sent the message to my accountant for his input. The only thing I can see is that if I do a new loan, it would be in the business name so, that might be a benefit long term.
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:39 PM   #131
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So when did the game store open up?
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Old 06-22-2010, 12:03 PM   #132
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It has been awhile since I posted in this so, figured I'd post a 'ya well duh' update. In the abscene of posts, I have decided not to move forward with the brick and mortar store although, I'm still in business from an online/Ebay capacity.

And yes Warhammer, it was a Game/Hobby store. I'm shocked that it wasn't guessed since I frequently comment on the board game/Warhammer threads and my interests in my profile say games.

There were a few factors that ended my search.

1. A place. Despite the economy, just seemed every place I looked at either didn't match my needs OR the owner just didn't care if they rented it or not. With the amount of available space, it really was a surprise at how unwillingly many of the people I was dealing with just didn't care if they leased it or not. Many of the places that I initially looked at are still empty and I'd assume they will be empty for a long time (one is going on 4 years).

2. My daughter. On one hand, I wanted to do this for my family, but it would cost me time with my daughter in the short term. At the end of the day, that wasn't something I wanted.

And the capper, when my accountant looked at my numbers and what we were doing now, he looked at me and said 'why in the world would you want a store front when you are doing this good now?'. My brother-in-law, who also owned a store, said my profit margins were so high right now, why bother.

So, for the time being, I shelved the brick and mortar portion of my business 'dream'. I'm still quite actively doing the online portion and I'll have to deal with my inventory coming from failed businesses, sellers going out of business or people getting out of a hobby.

I have a crapload of Mongoose Publishing d20 stuff for sale cheap if interested...
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Old 06-22-2010, 12:07 PM   #133
Mustang
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Funny side note.

When discussing what we were doing, when my wife told her Dad what we were looking at doing, we laid out the items we would be carrying. One of the items was roleplaying games.

He looked kinda quizzical and said, "Well, guess people like that kinda thing. What types of costumes?"

My wife was kinda confused and asked what he meant.

"Well, roleplaying, when adults dress up together"

Noooooo, not THAT kinda roleplaying.
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Old 07-19-2010, 04:25 PM   #134
Mustang
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I'll post this here first in hopes someone sees it.

I'm a novice access user at best, but I have a business need where I need to build a simple database that would consist of an item number, price and quantity which is fine, but then I need the ability to query the DB using a text format (or whatever format would work).

So, If I have a database with items A, B, C, D, E.... and I submit a query looking for A, E, H... I'd need to output a report with the item/cost/quantity.

I gotta believe this is fairly easy so, if anyone want to assist, drop me a line. Heck, doesn't even have to be Access.. if I could do it via Excell even or something else, that is fine.
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:01 PM   #135
Mustang
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Location: Wisconsin
Haven't had anything new come up recently so, not alot to add. With Ebay's new fees/rules starting up this year, really time to split up some of my sales and try to get my own site going.

I posted it in the random thoughts section, but if anyone is interested in a side job doing graphics, drop me a line...
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Old 05-28-2011, 10:13 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by Mustang View Post
Haven't had anything new come up recently so, not alot to add. With Ebay's new fees/rules starting up this year, really time to split up some of my sales and try to get my own site going.

I posted it in the random thoughts section, but if anyone is interested in a side job doing graphics, drop me a line...

Are you looking for a logo? Banner? What?

I looked for logo design and just found one that had a style like I like and paid like 15 to 20 for it...got a ton of quality work that way.
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Old 05-29-2011, 02:15 PM   #137
JonInMiddleGA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustang View Post
Funny side note.

When discussing what we were doing, when my wife told her Dad what we were looking at doing, we laid out the items we would be carrying. One of the items was roleplaying games.

He looked kinda quizzical and said, "Well, guess people like that kinda thing. What types of costumes?"

My wife was kinda confused and asked what he meant.
"Well, roleplaying, when adults dress up together"
Noooooo, not THAT kinda roleplaying.

Can't believe I missed this bit of TMI from your f-in-law.
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