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In the Beginning...

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Liebestraum, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. Liebestraum

    Liebestraum

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    For a while now I have been contemplating what to do with myself once my tenure in the military ends. I joined mostly due to financial difficulties, and I now feel more prepared to make my way in other, better paying careers and I feel like I know what I want to pursue.

    I would like to start my own gunshop, complete with most, if not all, services you would expect from your LGS. Only problem is, I don't really know anything about running a gun shop. I'm sure the general business running items I can learn from Google, or from a business degree using my GI bill, but the Firearms specific information and nuances of the trade are hard to come by. If any of you own a shop, work in one, or have any expirience with managing one in the past, I would like to pick your brain on the subject.

    Some things I would want in my store:
    Guns
    Gun accessories
    Shooting gear
    Ammo
    Reloading supplies
    Safes
    Shooting clothes
    Holsters
    Indoor Range
    Outdoor Range (would be nice, but not counting on getting the space right away)

    If you want, you can send me a PM and we can establish email contact, or you can brain dump into this thread. I appreciate your expertise.
     
  2. wjv

    wjv Zip It Stan Lee.. . .

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    Go work in one for a year or two. . . .
    Get some real life gun shop experience. . . .
     

  3. concretefuzzynuts

    concretefuzzynuts Brew Crew

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    According to some on this site you must also become an a-hole. :supergrin:
     
  4. Liebestraum

    Liebestraum

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    I will try to avoid being a dick. :supergrin: Also, not really any gun shops in my home town area which is a reason I want to start one. Working for one will be difficult.
     
  5. jph02

    jph02

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    Agreed. This makes a helluva lot of sense, plus it gives you income and something to do in between
    Thanks for your service. Are you retiring? If not, consider National Guard or Reserves so you can get your 20 and be eligible for retirement benefits as well.
     
  6. Huaco Kid

    Huaco Kid

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    You'll need a REALLY HOT young girl working behind the counter that doesn't know the first thing about firearms.
     
  7. arclight610

    arclight610

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    Gun shops take alot of start up capital.
     
  8. 427

    427

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    Get in touch with the ATF and find out about all the rules and regulations that come with having an FFL. Then learn about all the state and local rules and regs.
     
  9. robin303

    robin303 Helicopter Nut

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    I agree with jph02 in a way. Either stay in and get an MOS to be an armorer or go to the Guard. I'm guessing you need about $500,000 to even start.
    I would check out gunsmith schools that way you can be on TV and everybody here can bad mouth you. :rofl:
     
  10. NickC50310

    NickC50310

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    I would bet you would have to have a great training program that you can offer and or a range and or gunsmithing services. Starting a brick and mortar shop of just about ANYTHING these days would be about suicide as far as I can tell unless you sell something that cant be bought on the net such as services. EVERYTHING is cheaper on the net.

    My normal FFL guys do training (AWESOME TRAINING), gunsmithing, transfers, Class 3, LEO sales, etc. I would bet they make very little off normal retail sales. I once asked them about having them order an FNX for me. They told me the price I was getting from CDNN was CHEAPER than they get it for from their distributor!

    Just my .02!

    Thank you for your service OP and welcome!
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012
  11. Shadyscott69

    Shadyscott69

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    A business is a business is a business. Doesn't matter if you are selling widgets or airplanes. The same rules apply.

    If you are good in business practices, you really don't need to know squat about the product you are selling. It can help, but it really isn't necessary. Surround yourself with excellent employees and they take care of the small details.

    For example, there is a nationally known firearms and accessories company who advertises on this and eleventy billion other forums. I happen to know the owner very well. He doesn't know jack squat about guns. He is a CPA and he is a marketing and numbers genius.

    He did close to 20 million in sales last year, and his margins are unbelievable.
     
  12. Liebestraum

    Liebestraum

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    Good advice about the ATF. I guess I always saw them as an enforcement agency and not a source of information. Some good advice so far. And Scott, if you know him would it be possible to ask him if he would be willing to converse with someone looking to get their foot in the door? I don't expect I would be in competition with a company that large, so hopefully he wont mind.
     
  13. wjv

    wjv Zip It Stan Lee.. . .

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    Name the shop Hooters. . . . :supergrin:
     
  14. LuvDog

    LuvDog

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    This is a great recommendation for any store.

    But, I agree you'll need a lot of capital in the beginning.

    I'm not sure how most shops stay in business actually.

    The ones that seem to be more resilient are the ones that rent guns and have a range.
     
  15. Liebestraum

    Liebestraum

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    I would intend to have a range and gun rental. That kind of thing just doesn't exist for a long distance in my area. I would also intend on running classes and instruction for CCW, hunter's safety, and anything else I can get my hands on. I know if I could become a distributor for a manufacturer there's a chance I can land LE contracts and the like too, so that would also be an eventual goal.
     
  16. Gallium

    Gallium CLM

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    I would advocate against it.

    Do you have


    • any experience running any business?
    • a business degree?
    As someone else recommended, work in a gun store for a bit. Running any business requires far more than love for the business. It requires having your salesman gene "on" 24x7, as well being patient, being thorough.
     
  17. Gallium

    Gallium CLM

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    You are going to need help. Assemble a team. You should be able to trust all of these folks with your life, money, girlfriend, and dog (dog might be the most important here)

    - someone solid on handling paper, phone calls, with good organizational skills

    - someone with LE experience + instructor certifications and preferably armorer certifications as well. Around here there are literally A TON of 40 something NYPD/etc retirees who are itching to do something.

    - someone with good people skills (cleavage and nice face/hair never hurts either) who can engage potential customers in verbal intercourse dialogue

    - someone with the skills you are going to bring, but not so ambitious to push you in-front of the bus :whistling: in an attempt to take over, but who can shadow/back you up when life otherwise interrupts.

    - a gunsmith. This is going to be the hardest position to snag. No decent gunsmith with clients or work is going to give up what he/she has to work for a startup WITHOUT serious incentive.

    - couple of level headed college kids to act as a gopher/assistant/gal-guy friday.


    What state /county are you in?
     
  18. Rabbi

    Rabbi The Bombdiggity Lifetime Member

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    You are going to turn your favorite hobby into a bad living.

    As others have said and will say, business is business, I wont waste yourtime giving you a lesson on that (although I suspect you need a painful one)

    The real issue is, "why?" all the other questions are technical details. (be sure you get those right) Do you think you will be happy being in a room with guns all day making a poor living? They are not really yours, your goal is to get rid of the, you wont really be hanging around like minded people all day, you will be dealing mostly with people who know little about guns but for some reason need "a" gun....or people who wont leave you alone and you would never pick them for a friend in the first place. All while being beat to death over products with very low margins that can be purchased elsewhere for less.

    If you just want to make money and play with guns, take that same amount of effort and money and open a better business. A shoe store, a hot dog stand, a carpet cleaning business, whatever and actually make some money so you can enjoy shootings.

    Having said all of that to be blunt, I have been there and done that. You have no damned business being in this business at this time. You dont have the money and NO ONE is going to give it to you (unless you had a windfall of somekind or wealthy family) You dont have a clue what you are doing, and you cant learn it as you go. You have to know and have before hand.

    If you think I am wrong, go for it, it is your game. Play it how you want.
     
  19. Rabbi

    Rabbi The Bombdiggity Lifetime Member

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    Half million dollars and up. That is the answer to "store and range"...again, everything else is a detail and no one is going to give you the money.
     
  20. Gallium

    Gallium CLM

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    :rofl:

    First time I think I ever laughed at you on money matters.

    For a 1/2 decent indoor range the filtration system alone is going to cost close to what you are citing as his entry fee. :supergrin:

    (just tweaking your nuts a bit while underscoring your message to him :))
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2012