Go Back  R/C Tech Forums > General Forums > Chat Lounge
New Hobby shop ideas. >

New Hobby shop ideas.

New Hobby shop ideas.

Old 05-15-2009, 06:01 PM
  #1  
Tech Elite
Thread Starter
iTrader: (41)
 
OG RC 10T's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 2,658
Trader Rating: 41 (100%+)
Default New Hobby shop ideas.

I have been long debating opening a LHS and I am looking for ideas that would help make it a successful business.

I would like some of your opinions on what you would like to see in a LHS, and one thing that you dont like about your LHS.

Please be realistic.

For example, I would like a LHS to have hours that are open at times other than the times that I am actually at work.

Meaning open to 7 or 8 pm and / or on a Sunday - which is when Im not at work and would actually have the spare time to go and shop or use a track.

Thanks
OG RC 10T is offline  
Old 05-15-2009, 06:10 PM
  #2  
Tech Lord
iTrader: (24)
 
wingracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 13,389
Trader Rating: 24 (100%+)
Default

Be diverse. A hobby shop that only races one type of class and only sells cars and parts for that class is doomed unless the overhead is zero.
wingracer is offline  
Old 05-15-2009, 06:33 PM
  #3  
Tech Lord
iTrader: (22)
 
UN4RACING's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: MODIFIED!
Posts: 13,140
Trader Rating: 22 (100%+)
Default

Internet prices and at there time of delivery. Personally I think most of the stuff is close so I usually buy from the track or shop. But if you offer the same as internet prices and can have as wide a range of choices then you will most likely have a good crowd of buyers.
The internet is a 3 day one stop shop and with a huge variety of spontaneous choices.
UN4RACING is offline  
Old 05-15-2009, 06:38 PM
  #4  
Tech Elite
iTrader: (2)
 
MoparRules's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Rollin on 35s, NJ
Posts: 4,262
Trader Rating: 2 (100%+)
Default

i have 2 Hobbysucks USA pet peeves which i think you could improve on.

1. make it equal. say the room is 30x30. dont have half for puzzles and other small hobbies, then other small parts divided for others(RC, collector cards). have it sectioned equally.

2. make sure your employes are good people. have your friends come in as secret shoppers. 5 out of 7 people that work at my lhs are complete dicks.
MoparRules is offline  
Old 05-15-2009, 06:48 PM
  #5  
Tech Fanatic
iTrader: (17)
 
CaptCrunch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 800
Trader Rating: 17 (100%+)
Default

Originally Posted by wingracer View Post
Be diverse. A hobby shop that only races one type of class and only sells cars and parts for that class is doomed unless the overhead is zero.
Diversity is good, but stocking items for TOO many different vehicles can run you broke unless there is a constant turnover, or you have ALOT of cash to sit on a large inventory. More than a few businesses have gone bust because they had too much money tied up in shelf stock.

I think that a good idea is to have a reason to keep them comming back. I think that this is a universal rule, whether it be by having a track and having events for an RC shop or pottery classes for a ceramic shop. If all you are is a parts seller, folks can always do better online. In the same vein, make sure that you are a source of information. One of the biggest reasons to go to a LHS is to get expert advice. So do homework and be that expert.

One thing I find frustrating about some LHS owners is that alot of times they are reluctant to offer advice on stuff that you bought somewhere else. I know that their income comes through selling stuff, but if I get good advice reguardless of where I purchased an item, I'm alot more like to buy OTHER stuff from HIM.

Just my $.02
CaptCrunch is offline  
Old 05-15-2009, 06:52 PM
  #6  
Tech Adept
iTrader: (1)
 
spike240sx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 102
Trader Rating: 1 (100%+)
Default

My LHS is great, Some of the big things that keep me buying there are:

1: Every employee is very personible. You can walk in and talk to any one as if youve been friends for years. No "I'm Better Than you" attitudes. They understand that their customers are key.

2: They promote the hobby in a fun and enjoyable way. We race for fun and we keep it fun for everyone.

3: No one turns any one away for anything. They will help you wrench, look up specs, answer any question you may have.

4: Knowledge. Everyone at my lhs knows their shit, they may all have there strong points in different hobbies but they all know what their talkin about.

5: There just great guys!!
spike240sx is offline  
Old 05-15-2009, 06:55 PM
  #7  
Tech Fanatic
iTrader: (17)
 
CaptCrunch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 800
Trader Rating: 17 (100%+)
Default

Originally Posted by UN4RACING View Post
Internet prices and at there time of delivery. Personally I think most of the stuff is close so I usually buy from the track or shop. But if you offer the same as internet prices and can have as wide a range of choices then you will most likely have a good crowd of buyers.
The internet is a 3 day one stop shop and with a huge variety of spontaneous choices.

The problem with internet pricing is that it basically has no overhead built in. That won't pay the rent for a shop with a storefront or the utilities to run it. Plus, a LHS doesn't have the exposure that an internet site does (unless you do both). Honestly, a LHS usually HAS to be at least a bit more expensive than an internet sales store just to break even.
CaptCrunch is offline  
Old 05-15-2009, 07:06 PM
  #8  
Tech Lord
iTrader: (22)
 
UN4RACING's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: MODIFIED!
Posts: 13,140
Trader Rating: 22 (100%+)
Default

Originally Posted by CaptCrunch View Post
The problem with internet pricing is that it basically has no overhead built in. That won't pay the rent for a shop with a storefront or the utilities to run it. Plus, a LHS doesn't have the exposure that an internet site does (unless you do both). Honestly, a LHS usually HAS to be at least a bit more expensive than an internet sales store just to break even.
Yep I hear ya. I really think they are close on most items but the closer you are and can offer delivery in the same time frame then it will help. Customer base will be determined first on price. So if its close enough its most likely they will buy then if you can deliver in the same amount of time the deal is sealed.

If you can can conquer a way to get a large customer base then its worth the venture. Internet prices are the the key element. Most will wait for a front door delivery at large discount before driving to a shop to pay 15% more.
UN4RACING is offline  
Old 05-15-2009, 07:07 PM
  #9  
Tech Lord
iTrader: (22)
 
UN4RACING's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: MODIFIED!
Posts: 13,140
Trader Rating: 22 (100%+)
Default

I will add this to. I frequent my local shop so I usually get a 10% discount.
UN4RACING is offline  
Old 05-15-2009, 07:18 PM
  #10  
Tech Fanatic
iTrader: (1)
 
vtec.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 963
Trader Rating: 1 (100%+)
Default

whatevers popular
vtec. is offline  
Old 05-15-2009, 09:42 PM
  #11  
Tech Elite
iTrader: (64)
 
SpraydbySprague's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Conducting aggressive board meetings at my local track
Posts: 3,301
Trader Rating: 64 (100%+)
Default

Don't let the magazine covers dictate what you sell in your store.
You'll go outta business in no time tryin to constantly re merchandise the store. I've seen it happen. Instead, take a look around at what the truly popular products in your area are. Find products YOU believe in, and have good parts support for them. Customers are going to be more responsive to a store that finds a product and sticks with it as opposed to the store selling the flavor of the month.
SpraydbySprague is offline  
Old 05-16-2009, 12:32 AM
  #12  
Tech Elite
iTrader: (2)
 
OTE_TheMissile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2,688
Trader Rating: 2 (100%+)
Default

Last year a local R/C helicopter guy named Craig opened up a little hole-in-the-wall hobby shop in town, and it didn't take long for me to pal-up with him. When I first walked in there and looked around his inventory was all over the place, seemed like he had about 3 parts for every car, truck, boat, plane, and helicopter on the market, all in a room a little larger than a walk-in closet. It's a tiny place and there's no tracks or regular flying fields in the immediate area (although there used to be ), so I can understand why he took the "shotgun" approach to see what was a hit and what wasn't, but after he got to know me and how long I've been racing R/C I noticed that every time I'd order something from him, he'd ask me if that was a pretty common part to stock or if it was a wear item on the truck I was ordering it for. Or like when I bought an Onyx 230 charger from him, he put mine and 5 more on the order to stock the store with.

Long story short I guess, instead of trying to estimate what'll sell well in the beginning, stock a little of everything and see what your regulars keep asking for. And I also like to see hobby shops that stock a lot of the little stuff: soldering irons and supplies, specialty hardware (you could cover a whole wall with different kinds of Traxxas shoulder screws), oils, greases, motor spray, shims/spacers/washers, CA glue...all that stuff that you forgot you ran out of 3 weeks ago and NEED NOW to get your truck ready for tomorrow's race

As far as the price thing goes, internet vs. LHS, for me Craig's always been able to match what the internet sells for, at worst maybe a buck or two over, but where he beats the internet for me is if I place an order with him by late Monday/early Tuesday, assuming it's in stock at his distributor he will have it in my hands by that Thursday, and the price I pay for it is based just on the part cost. Even with a distribution center a hop, skip, and jump south of the border in Champain, IL, I'd be waiting a week for Tower to send me stuff Ground, and I think they still wanted another $5 for Ground shipping.
OTE_TheMissile is offline  
Old 05-16-2009, 03:47 AM
  #13  
Tech Elite
iTrader: (30)
 
Funking-Awesome's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Adelaide - Australia
Posts: 4,799
Trader Rating: 30 (100%+)
Default

Have parts IN STOCK as much as you can... You dont want to be walking into a hobby store and them saying "it will be a couple of weeks before that comes in".

That would be my number 1 rule keep most popular parts in stock with a few others.

Be diverse.
Be Honest.
Have prices on things.

Etc etc.

My .02
Funking-Awesome is offline  
Old 05-19-2009, 04:33 PM
  #14  
Tech Apprentice
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 84
Trader Rating: 1 (100%+)
Default

Don't talk down to your customers!! Treat them like idiots and they'll start searching the internet. Granted there are gonna be customers that need help but the ones that know their stuff are the ones I'm talking about.
rogueldr is offline  
Old 05-19-2009, 05:14 PM
  #15  
Tech Elite
iTrader: (2)
 
a_main_attendee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Colorado, USA, The land of the free and the home of the brave!
Posts: 2,880
Trader Rating: 2 (100%+)
Default

Be patient with new people, both to the hobby store and the hobby. Be concise and honest with your words, and always help somebody in need- but then again this advice isn't just for a hobby shop.

Take it slow and don't get in over your head. Try to live in harmony and cooperate with the other hobbyshops around the area, competition only fuels anger and nobody wins.

Always give good, sound advice. Remember that somebody looking to purchase a touring car has completely different intentions than a person who is looking to buy a monster truck... Always try to suit somebody else's needs, not your own.
a_main_attendee is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.