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i wanna open a music store



  • djprocdjproc subscriber Posts: 1
  • kelseyharrellkelseyharrell subscriber Posts: 0
    i guess i`m next to chime in on this conversation. i have a close family member that makes LOTS of money. he teaches people how to invest their money, and he`s wanting to do some business ventures of his own. One of those is that he wants to open a music store in CO, in which their are around 3 universities in the area, as well as a well know n ampitheater where concerts are frequently performed. he wants me to run it, with me gaining 60% profit in about 5 years. he`s basically willing to finance my dream.
    what pitfalls do i need to look for and be aware of in opening this type of business.
    where/whom do i contact about buying instruments in bulk
    how do i find people for repair services and such?
    kelseykelseyharrell12/3/2007 11:33 PM
  • djprocdjproc subscriber Posts: 1
     Actually, now instead of the whole library, I think I`ve narrowed it down to a few selected compilations. They seem to be the "rage" at the moment. I hope to just license a few CD`s, the rights may be expensive, anyone got an idea what maybe one song could cost? 
  • SeeUatTheTopSeeUatTheTop subscriber Posts: 0
    A good place to start would be the  The Harry Fox Agency.  www.HarryFox.com"In 1927, the National Music Publisher`s Association established HFA to act as an
    information source, clearinghouse and monitoring service for licensing musical
    copyrights. Since its founding, HFA has provided efficient and convenient
    services for publishers, licensees, and a broad spectrum of music users.""With its current level of publisher representation, HFA licenses the largest
    percentage of the mechanical and digital uses of music in the United States on
    CDs, digital services, records, tapes and imported phonorecords."Best of Luck,Joe
  • SeeUatTheTopSeeUatTheTop subscriber Posts: 0

    Hi Kelsey
    Location, location, location...Do your homework on the
    towns demographics regarding competition e.g.; the number of music stores
    already in the area, are they full service...meaning do they support all
    musicians from school band to garage bands, do they provide music lessons,
    instrument repair, school band equipment rentals etc...go to these stores and
    see what, if anything you could improve on. Do they have an online presence to
    bring in additional sales. Also take into consideration any of the big chain
    stores like Guitar Center and Sam Ash that may be in the area...there is a lot
    of work involved and this is just a tiny sample of the questions you need to
    answer first.

    As far as finding all the top distributors that can
    provide you with every imaginable product you would need...that`s the ez part
    and when you get to that level I would be more than happy to provide you with
    that list...also, you need to subscribe to industry publications like Music
    Trades Magazine and MMR magazine... these are essential resource
    Best  of luck on your venture,

  • entreplanetentreplanet subscriber Posts: 3
    I would suggest making a business plan, laying out realistic costs i.e. construction, inventory, pos, design, etc. You`ll want to hire a real estate commercial broker to find you some spaces to look at. They cost nothing and their commision comes from the landlord, not the tenant, so it`s free.
  • songbyrdmtsongbyrdmt subscriber Posts: 0
    Hi- I just joined and appreciate all the good advice I`ve seen so far.  I`m considering opening a retail store for instruments, sheet music and accesories with lessons and other services (including music therapy, group classes, jam room/recording studio, repairs, etc.)  I`m a music therapist and have taught piano/voice/guitar lessons as well for 20+ years and have worked in a print music store in college.  I`m really excited to start the research to prepare my business plan. 
    I guess my question is...Is there ANY way to find out if other music retailers are considering putting in a store in my area without alerting the world to my plan?
    By the way, I also appreciate the info re: Music Trades Magazine and MMR, I just completed my subscriptions to both as well as some of their other supplimentary materials!
    Hoping everyone is still here and interested....
  • SeeUatTheTopSeeUatTheTop subscriber Posts: 0

    songbyrdmt and welcome,


    Sounds to me like you certainly are getting your ducks in row and... you have the background to support it. Any suggestions I`m able to lend are based on my experience of dealing with both Mom & Pop shops as well as the Big Dogs.


    Since I`m not sure what part of the country your in it`s hard to shed light for your area. In general, based on the stage you are at, I would begin by performing a google search to determine the number of stores within a minimum 10 to a15 mile range of the area you`re considering to open in.


    Since not all music stores deal with the same type of customer,  you will need to determine which stores specialize in the products and services that you will be offering and focus on those stores. Existing stores who have a loyal customer base are equally as important and, sometimes more so, than future competition.


    How long have they been established? How far away are they? Do they have an internet presence? Do they specialize in high end or low end instruments or both? Do they have a repair tech in house? Do they offer a school / student rental program? Do they hold seminars and clinics?... you get the idea.


    The most successful independently owned store owners I know are service driven on all levels. After you have determined who your possible competition might be, it`s time to take some road trips. Get out to all those stores and see first hand what they`re about. Take notes to determine not only what sets you apart but, what made it a pleasurable experience or not... right down to the simplest details.


    As far as finding out who might be looking to establish a store in your area... in my area, which is just outside Chicago, I could obtain that info if available through the local building and planning commission. Anyone proposing to open a retail outlet needs to obtain certain building permits as well as check to make sure they meet all zoning rules etc...this is were "entreplanets" advice would come in handy... a well established commercial real estate broker can be a wealth of information.


    Lots of homework...hope this helps.



  • songbyrdmtsongbyrdmt subscriber Posts: 0
    Thanks for the advice, through checking my city website, I found that they have a small business support committee to help start-ups like me! 
    I am in the Phoenix area (although a suburb on the edge) and there is a Sam Ash around 20 miles away, and a Guitar Center about 25 miles away (although in drive time, they are about 40-45 minutes away).  There used to be a Keyboard & Guitar City a little closer, but when I stopped to buy strings there on Friday, they were closed down!  (Not sure if this is Good or Bad for me...)  Otherwise, the only competition is a small guitar shop about 15 miles away and a run-down studio/used instr. store about 12 miles away.  I`ve only been able to find one guitar teacher, 2 piano teachers and 1 Kindermusik specialist anywhere close to my area and my town has 100,000+ people so I think I could get a big piece of the market. 
    I`m really leaning on starting with the concept of group classes to carry the load (Kindermusik, early childhoold, group guitar/keyboard 101, private lessons, etc. since this is what I know best)  Then the retail stuff would just be bonus to add later.  The hardest part to swallow is the RENT at around $2.50 and up per square foot- yikes.  This alone could mean the end of my plans....  I`m considering doing a test on the market by offering some of these things this summer (if I can find space to use) to see if there`s enough interest to make the jump.  Or even hunting for other musicians to share studio space to help with the rent....
    I`ll keep ya posted, thanks for the advice!
    Robyn in AZ
  • TheBiggerIdeaTheBiggerIdea subscriber Posts: 0
    To the young man of 20 keen to open a music store. I am a professional musician living in NYC with  25 years performing experience playing in clubs, have had CD releases played on radio, own my own independent recording label, -in addition I have also 15 years sales experience working in other mediums, and presently have a couple other projects I am trying to get off the ground.
    I too was at one stage considering a similar concept to the one you had mentioned being interested in. Without wanting to put out your fire -so to speak, can I share some insight into where the music industry is right now that you might find very important in considering.
    For the last 2 years I have attended several major seminars on the music industry. Unfortunately, CD sales are at an all time low. One of the greatest CD retailers in "Tower Records" pulled up stumps about a year ago- and they had many stores and distribution nationwide. Why did they close? Because many of your age group are downloading their music- and this trend will be continuing. Your early question to a poster "What is an LP" shows that you were not aware of what also happened just prior to you being born (It is a long playing record) Your kids and possibly soon your closest generation will probably also ask in the not to distant future "what is a CD ?" as this paradigm shift in music recordings continue.
    Even the major recording studios don`t know yet how to effectively position themselves in this new era, and as a result, they are hardly signing or marketing new talent because they still have a lot of bugs they have to figure out to keep them as profitable as they once were.
    I truly do not want to be the bearer of bad news-as it hurts me just to acknowledge the truth- as I am in this industry,  however if you truly wish to entertain this thought further, perhaps considering some type of music store that maybe has a stage for daytime performances from bands, combined with a coffee shop option-and BOOTH"S WHERE CUSTOMERS CAN IMMEDIATLY DOWNLOAD A TUNE OF THE PERFORMING BAND OR OTHERS, might be an option. The capitals is simply so you understand that this message is hopefully received in full before you jump in without knowing what is going on behind the scenes.Good look and keep the idea`s on the boil.  
  • guitardadguitardad subscriber Posts: 0
    I`ve thought about opening a guitar-centric music store twice: once around 2000 and now again. Both times I subscribed to Music Trades, and I just sent in my subscription to MMR. I`m in suburban Philadelphia, and believe there is a niche for a store with good customer service (most of my local dealers even fail to return my phone calls). The biggest challenge I am facing is that all the major stores carry Gibson, Fender and Ibanez, the big three, and compete on price. I would like to offer other brands, because they are rarely available to demo and there would not be as much competition. But I`m not sure I can sell enough to cover the rent. Any tips for how to estimate sales volume for this type of store?
  • SeeUatTheTopSeeUatTheTop subscriber Posts: 0

    Hello guitardad...
    This is a very tricky industry and sometimes not for the faint of heart. You`re starting out in the right direction by seeking advice before jumping in with both feet.
    The magazines you`re subscribing to offer a wealth of insight on the various facets of the industry however, everything I mentioned in my reply above from 02/ 02/ 08 should still be taken into consideration.
    You mentioned you would like to offer other brands... Premier Guitar is a great magazine to check out... they feature boutique style guitars built by some of the finest luthiers in the world and... Premiers target audience is guitar fanatics. Go to http://www.premierguitar.com/Main/Default.aspxfor a taste.

    Lastly and most important in any biz venture, besides location, location, location... NEVER open a biz if you`re under capitalized. I opened with six months of operating capital that would cover every inch of overhead in the event that my projections were off and, I needed every penny.
    Hope this helps... Stay in touch
  • KiraboKirabo subscriber Posts: 0

    I too am in the process of gathering information on starting a music instrument shop.  I am in NorthernAZ and there is not another store within 15 miles.  I live in a tourist area and want to tap into that market.  I am thinking of mostly acoustical instruments; Native American flutes and drums and some recording equipment so that people can create their own meditation CDs or mp3s.  I am also thinking about using rooms in the store for lessons in music and spirituality (there are plenty of experts in the area) and jam sessions. 


    I would also like selling `higher end` guitars.  My thinking is that not a lot of tourists will be buying guitars...too much to carry back home.  So why not sell the best, since most of the guitar shops in the area sell lower end or mid range Fender, maybe a martin or two and a few other brands but no one really sells higher end acoustic guitars.  So they guitar enthusiast would come here for the better guitars and the few tourists that are into guitars may buy one.


    I have taken courses at the college on business planning and have started a business plan.  I am having difficulty getting information on costs for guitars...what the cost are, what the profit margins are...how much inventory do I have to have?  Does the inventory change depending on the brand? Do I need to purchase the guitars or can it be on consignment?  I have contacted Fender, Martin, Gibson even Ovation and either they do not respond or tell me I need a sales tax number and a store front.  Well that to me is a bit down the road.  I am still trying to find out if this is feasible.  Is there someplace I can get this information?
  • recuerdemerecuerdeme subscriber Posts: 0
    I`m in the same boat as the original poster.  I think I`ve found a great niche and target area for a cd/dvd store.
    My question is where to find distributors for CDs.  I`ve found only one by searching the web, and it`s Super D.  They charge an insane amount.. I`d be better shopping at walmart or something lol .
    Am I wrong in thinking that buying from a distributor/wholesale should be cheaper?  If I have to buy at 18+$ imagine what I`d have to sell for ....
    If anyone can shed some light on this I`d be so grateful.
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