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#1
And by music store I mean instruments (guitar+bass and drums to start).
However their is one other store in my city and they control the largest of the brands eg. Gibson, Fender, Marshall and Mesa, Not to mention Ibanez and Peavey.
Anyways I suppose since I cannot rely on the some of the more popular brand names to make my store stand out it will have to be customer service and hopefully something new and more enjoyable for musicians in my store.
Thats where I could use some advice What have you always enjoyed about your favorite music stores and where have others fallen short for you Pit-dwellers??

EDIT

Since your all being so generous with info. Maybe one of you could be of some amazing help. Its very hard to find marketing info for my area I.E #of guitars/amps sold in the area for 2009, strings etc. If anyone can help find me marketing info or even put me in touch with someone who knows I would forever be in your debt. Please PM me if you think you can help. Also I am in Canada, Alberta to be more specific.
Last edited by Toqueface at Jun 28, 2010,
#2
Freindly advice rather than pushy sales persons. Reassurance when buying, for example my local music shop will happily adjust the set ups on instruments I have brought from them for free.
Trust in me and fall aswell.
#3
Staff, really.
In most music stores, the staff regard customers as an irritation, who have arrived to interrupt their lengthy day of getting paid to do jack shit.
Look pleased to see customers; don't let them wander in, look around and wander out - engage them, ask if they're looking for something in particular.
#4
Staff that don't throw a strop when I ask to try instruments and gear would be nice.
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#5
You can still get some good brands in - ESP, Schecter, Jackson etc.

Otherwise, wide range of pedals/amps to try out, perhaps quiet rooms for those. Friendly staff who don't badger you but don't ignore you are also a huge plus, especially if they know what they're going on about.
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#6
Staff that know exactly what they're talking about and that can play the instruments is always helpful.
Price match/beat guarantee.
Have a couple of different areas so more than one guitar/amp can be played at once and be allowed to crank them up loud.
Have some interesting guitars and amps, try and get some minarik guitars in for example or some vintage amps etc.
Different instruments, have a couple of banjos, mandolins steel guitars etc.
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#7
Maybe you should try getting some other brands in there too as well! Try lesser known brands or brands that aren't as "mainstream" (hate to say that) as Marshall or something. Try getting Cornford and ENGL amps in there and give me a huge discount

And as for msuci shops, I like it when the staff aren't pushy salesman. Also when they're cool with letting you try gear out and will (if you know them or you're buying/trying) stand and have a friendly chat with you.

EDIT: +1 ^^ what he said.
Last edited by Matt_Malmsteen at Jun 28, 2010,
#9
Quote by MightyAl
Staff, really.
In most music stores, the staff regard customers as an irritation, who have arrived to interrupt their lengthy day of getting paid to do jack shit.
Look pleased to see customers; don't let them wander in, look around and wander out - engage them, ask if they're looking for something in particular.

+1

Also interior with some old school flava.
#10
All that has been said, plus this:

I think it's important to have a good variety of different guitars to choose from. I understand that this probably isn't feasible for a small store that has just opened, but it really helps. A lot of stores will only sell like 2 brands, or have nothing but stratocasters or epiphones, and copies of them. If you could have a guitar for every style, that would be great.

Also a lot of small stores have very few amplifiers, as they don't sell them often and they can't afford to have many in stock. For that reason, they only sell generic beginners amps. If you're going to have few amps, have at least one or two "good" ones. Trying out an expensive guitar through a 15 watt Stagg kind of defeats the purpose.

I understand that what I'm saying probably isn't feasible in practice, but if you could do that, it would be great.
#11
Maybe have some guitar lessons there as well?
Having more then guitars and basses might me a good idea, have some really abstract instruments like ocarinas or siitars.
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#12
Ahhh quick replies are satisfying!

Ill definetly be pushing to get some of those brands suggested in stock (jackson is off the table however as well).
To be honest I wouldn't even consider trying to battle with the current main store because of their strangle-hold on the market here. But they don't carry brands like Schecter/ESP, Also there was another store in town that was doing spectacular but they decided that they would rather stick with just the pro-audio side of things.
I already know for a fact most of the old faithfuls to that store would gladly give a new place a shot to avoid the big store in town.
Do you guys think their is a good market for modded stuff now too? boutique pedals is mostly what im thinking. Also more gear for hip-hop artists and stuff I wouldn't say its really my thing but I know theirs no where else in town that caters to them.
#13
You mean you're PLANNING on opening a music store? My and my friends tried; it's a lot of work, planning, and you need to have a lot of connections. So good luck with that.
R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio. Supplied amazing music to both me and my mother.

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#14
Quote by Ascendant
+1

Also interior with some old school flava.


Yeah, a good thing to do would be to make the shop seem inviting and comfortable instead of crowded with fragile instruments and nowhere to sit comfortably, try out a guitar or two and have a chat with you about their interests in purchasing.

If somebody comes in with a guitar and says that one of the selections on their pick up selector isn't working and they're worried they've fucked the pick up or something, if all it needed was a little contact liquid or whatever its called on the switch, don't charge them. Don't say "that'll be £2." when you don't really need that £2, just say "Ah don't worry about the money, ". That kind of thing.

Also, if someone comes to try out some gear and seems quite interested, if they want to borrow a pick just pass them one and when they go to give it back at the end of the session just tell them they can keep it. Giving away little things which really don't cost you anything will keep the customer coming back. It works on me anyway .

Btw, good luck! this has been something I've been interested in doing myself as well.
Quote by WtrPlyr
Quote by alans056
Maybe the price tag is clouding your judgment ?
yeah probably. Or the circuits.
#15
I don't like being told by some ignorant scene kid that the guitar I'm playing has been setup professionally when the action on it is so low that it's unplayable. Have higher hiring standards than Guitar Center, pretty much.
#16
Friendly staff, interesting guitars.

That's all you're going to need to go up against the big store. Good luck dude!
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#18
Quote by isabiggles
Friendly staff, interesting guitars.

That's all you're going to need to go up against the big store. Good luck dude!

No.

TS, despite all the wonderful claims people are making about having friendly staff, interesting interior etc, you need to have a business plan. Where are you going to get guitars from, where will you sell them, how much income do you need monthly/yearly, how much are you going to have to pay for utilities, rent, taxes etc, how much profit you're going to make off of the guitars, and you need a large amount of money to even get started.

No bank is going to give you any money unless you have a flawless business plan set up and have an idea that they think will actually make money. If you already have several major instrument shops, they might not even grant you a lone unless you have an exceptional idea, that really sets your shop apart (and that goes beyond having friendly staff and interesting guitars).

Sorry to be a buzzkill here, but setting up a business is a huge thing, especially when dealing with such expensive goods as instruments. Before you even start, think how you can even offer what bigger stores offer, which is going to be nearly impossible since you lack their financial backing, their experience and connections.

What I would suggest is, start small: Open up a second hand guitar shop, and sell used things for a percentage. It will give you a feel of how it is to run your own shop, you wont need as much money, since you won't be paying for the guitars (people give you their guitars to sell, and you keep, say, 5-10% sales commision), and you'll actually offer something that larger stores don't sell, namely guitars that have been used, and thus run for a lower price.
#20
Quote by King Zirconium
I don't like being told by some ignorant scene kid that the guitar I'm playing has been setup professionally when the action on it is so low that it's unplayable. Have higher hiring standards than Guitar Center, pretty much.


Ha, this.

At the Guitar Center I worked at they hired anybody. Never tested their product knowledge or anything. Then they threw them to the wolves.

But try to carry a wide range of stuff like everyone else has already said. Boutique pedals and what have you.
#21
The way TS phrased his opening paragrah made me assume that he had covered the actual business aspects of the store, and was simply looking for some ideas about how the store should be designed, key points etc.

If he's trying to open a store without a business plan, funding etc..... he's in for a hell of a shock!
Quote by GLP_Arclite
Pooping is well good though, to be fair.


I've got a handle on the fiction.

I'm losing my grip, 'cos I'm losing my fingers.
#22
they might not even grant you a lone unless you have an exceptional idea,

You mean a Loan? And Im not going to get snappy as you are completely correct. However I am taking all the proper action needed to become a legit business. Hah the best part is that distributors refuse to give you pricing info without a signed lease and open shop where as banks refuse to give you a loan without pricing info. Its a cycle of retardation to keep average people out.
I do have several cards up my sleeve though I'm already on excellent terms with the only amp tech for miles and miles (line6,egnater,mesa) to name a few of the brands he is registered to service. On good terms with a larger more successful store that should allow me a fair lease to start and backing support. And My partner and I together probably have enough cash to cover half the stock will need which will be a big hand in getting a loan.
But thats all the information I will divulge. I just wanted to clear it up that im passed the typical "Lets open a music store!!" dream phase and am at the owning your own business is a pain in the ass phase.
#23
Quote by CoreysMonster
Lots of stuff


All though I'm sure this is all good advice, the whole "No." thing isn't really correct because TS asked us for little things we like about our smaller music shops that keeps us going back there instead of the large chain stores. Not that he should disregard your words, it's just that it felt like you shot us down or something with that opening sentence but really we didn't need to be .
Quote by WtrPlyr
Quote by alans056
Maybe the price tag is clouding your judgment ?
yeah probably. Or the circuits.
#24
Quote by Toqueface
You mean a Loan? And Im not going to get snappy as you are completely correct. However I am taking all the proper action needed to become a legit business. Hah the best part is that distributors refuse to give you pricing info without a signed lease and open shop where as banks refuse to give you a loan without pricing info. Its a cycle of retardation to keep average people out.
I do have several cards up my sleeve though I'm already on excellent terms with the only amp tech for miles and miles (line6,egnater,mesa) to name a few of the brands he is registered to service. On good terms with a larger more successful store that should allow me a fair lease to start and backing support. And My partner and I together probably have enough cash to cover half the stock will need which will be a big hand in getting a loan.
But thats all the information I will divulge. I just wanted to clear it up that im passed the typical "Lets open a music store!!" dream phase and am at the owning your own business is a pain in the ass phase.

Whoops, you actually know what you're talking about

Just wanted to make sure. Carry on with the ideas!

(also I just got home from work and hardly slept, sorry for the spelling mistake)
#26
Get ready for a large power bill.
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#27
Friendliness of the staff. For me this includes:

- Not pushing a sale/offering garbage
- Being knowledgeable on what they're doing
- Allowing some room/time to think about a decission
- Support the customer with the choice, but provide alternatives (and I mean real alternatives, not something that's completely crap for the customer)
- Overall neat being.

And guitar testing is important. I can understand when a guitar shop is small and every damaged (scratches/knicks) can mean an important item lost, but floor models make buyers feel that the store really is there to help them choose, not only to sale. And it guarantees that customers will keep coming back.

Just my two cents as a guitar buyer
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#28
free picks with every purchase of anything in the shop,even picks
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#29
Spear Guitars. Stock them.

EDIT: Also set up some effects loops in the shop so people can try them out properly.
Last edited by homeless-john at Jun 28, 2010,
#30
- staff advice and help tailored to the customer. Some people like being fussed over, others (like me) like to be handed a guitar lead and allowed to get on with it.

- somewhere to turn things up as loud as i want, a soundproof room or something.

- if i ask to try something i expect to be allowed to try it. if it's expensive obviously a store worker can stay with me to make sure I'm not doing any harm, but i don't expect to be fobbed off by some obviously made-up excuse.

- if you can't get the bigger brands, check around the internet to see what the buzz new gear is (assuming your city is internet-savvy lol), the boutique stuff (depending on your market) etc. A lot of people won't look past the big brands, but a lot will, and if you have rarer, but sought-after stuff that's hard to get, you might get sales from them (maybe even online sales if the stuff is really rare). Also have good-value stuff (MIJ tokai and the like).

- don't make stuff up to get a sale. Just because I act like I believe you doesn't mean I do, and even if I don't know, you can be sure I'm hitting the internet the instant I get home to check up on what I've been told, especially if I already suspect it to be guff.

- If I ask to try an expensive guitar (heck any guitar), don't plug me into a marshall MG with the cheapest cable you have. you're trying to talk me into buying the guitar, not talk me out of it.

- if I look like I can't afford it now, (a) you might be wrong and (b) I might be able to afford it later and if you annoy me by not letting me try it, you can be sure I'll be buying elsewhere.

Not saying you'll do any of these (heck you haven't even opened yet), but these are some things which piss me off in music stores I have been to.

EDIT: ^ good call on the fx loops. Have a bunch of pedalboards set up with all (or at least most) of the pedals you stock, so people can try them. if you ask, you might only try 2 pedals, say. If 15 pedals are set up which you can try for no extra bother, you might sell a couple of pedals which the person had no intention of buying before he/she walked in.

- always treat people well. That kid in the tattered band t-shirt might run a guitar blog, or be a big name on a guitar forum, and if you piss him/her off, you could be badmouthed on the internet quicker than you can say, "of course you can try that guitar".
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Jun 28, 2010,
#31
Stock some interesting acoustic guitars.

As a primarily acoustic and classical guitarist I get really pissed off when I walk into a store and I only see tacky and overpriced classical guitars and average steel strings in a corner surrounded by about 200000 different types of electric guitars. There are many good brands for beginners to stock like Yamaha and many other brands which stay in the middle range and prove to be really good guitars. Stuff like Seagulls, Epiphone masterbilts, Alvarez...

As for classical guitars, I'd stock a few Alhambra guitars. Their middle range (3C, 4P, 5P, 7P, 8P) are great guitars for people starting off with classical guitar, bossa nova, or other types of music that requires this type of guitars.

How about a few basic PA systems to rent out for gigs etc for starting bands? Not everyone can buy a PA for their first band but most people do play gigs with their first bands and would probably enjoy a service like that.


Also, advertising, lots of it.
#33
Quote by Confusius
Also, advertising, lots of it.


Definitely! Especially for local gigs and stuff. That what i love about my local store
#34
Quote by Confusius
Stock some interesting acoustic guitars.

As a primarily acoustic and classical guitarist I get really pissed off when I walk into a store and I only see tacky and overpriced classical guitars and average steel strings in a corner surrounded by about 200000 different types of electric guitars. There are many good brands for beginners to stock like Yamaha and many other brands which stay in the middle range and prove to be really good guitars. Stuff like Seagulls, Epiphone masterbilts, Alvarez...

As for classical guitars, I'd stock a few Alhambra guitars. Their middle range (3C, 4P, 5P, 7P, 8P) are great guitars for people starting off with classical guitar, bossa nova, or other types of music that requires this type of guitars.

How about a few basic PA systems to rent out for gigs etc for starting bands? Not everyone can buy a PA for their first band but most people do play gigs with their first bands and would probably enjoy a service like that.


Also, advertising, lots of it.
Have you considered having a launch party somewhere? Get some local bands playing(which would certainly let them know about your store), give away some (cheap) stuff, invite someone from the local paper and get them pissed so they give you a good write up...
#35
Quote by MightyAl
Have you considered having a launch party somewhere? Get some local bands playing(which would certainly let them know about your store), give away some (cheap) stuff, invite someone from the local paper and get them pissed so they give you a good write up...


That's an awesome idea. Do you know anyone with a bar or club? If you can join up it could easily turn into profit for both of you.
#36
This may seem a little off track but could you consider giving lessons (not you yourself personally, but hire people to do it for you.) From what I can tell our local guitar shop makes a good chunk of its income by the lessons they give verses the merchandise they sell.
I pride myself on my humility.
#37
Have you considered having a launch party somewhere? Get some local bands playing(which would certainly let them know about your store), give away some (cheap) stuff, invite someone from the local paper and get them pissed so they give you a good write up...


We thought we would do some radio promos before our opening weekend and have a BBQ also A draw for a nice guitar something like get 1 entry for every 25 Bucks spent in the store etc. But to be honest were a ways away from that point. A show with live bands might be do-able but thats a batch of problems I just dont have the time to plan yet.

I love the effects loop idea's and I actually had that idea as well Plus having the nice amps ready for testing rather than practice amps.

Since your all being so generous with info. Maybe one of you could be of some amazing help. Its very hard to find marketing info for my area I.E #of guitars/amps sold in the area for 2009, strings etc. If anyone can help find me marketing info or even put me in touch with someone who knows I would forever be in your debt.
#38
it might be worth hitting up the more mature (i don't mean that in a bad way, i prefer UG, lol) guitar forums like rig-talk, harmony central (er... not sure if it's more mature ), the gear page (mention robben ford will be opening your store) etc.

also maybe post this thread (if you haven't already) in the guitar gear and accessories forum here?
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#39
it might be worth hitting up the more mature (i don't mean that in a bad way, i prefer UG, lol) guitar forums like rig-talk, harmony central (er... not sure if it's more mature ), the gear page (mention robben ford will be opening your store) etc.

also maybe post this thread (if you haven't already) in the guitar gear and accessories forum here?


I wasn't sure if it would fly in the GG & A forum but if you think it will fly I will do that.
I'll consider the other sites as well seen as how its been successful here.
#40
Definately give lessons. If you give out lessons you have a constant customer, they will most of the time buy all their shit from you, strings, picks, pedals.
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