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Small Businesses in a Large Business World

BDaggerhartBDaggerhart subscriber Posts: 2
edited April 2008 in Business Planning
I have always dreamed about opening my own music store someday.  It started when I worked for Shelby Music Center in Shelby, NC, which is one of the longest-lived family-run music stores still around.  I have dreams of selling drums, guitars, bass guitars, keyboards, and even "real" pianos (which I will explain momentarily), as well as offering studios for private lessons and band rehearsal, and even a small venue with recording capabilities.  I have background in recording, and even have my own private studio, so I don`t feel this would be too much to add on to my venture.  As far as the pianos go, I currently work for (and make good money at) the largest piano dealer in the southeast USA, and have done well for myself here, and feel that A - the experience has been great for me in learning about proper and ethical selling, and B - I could get into the acoustic piano market without a huge hitch, since I would be backed by a large company.  My question, though, is about feasibility.  Guitar Center, a Wal-Mart of musical instruments, can pop up a store anywhere it wants, within 30 miles of another Guitar Center, and more and more of them are opening all the time.  They will (presumably) always be able to sell their products for less than I can, and make a higher margin at the same time.  My wife and I want to own and control our own lives, without being subject to the whims of corporate bosses for all eternity, but we`re unsure if this is the right time.  What kinds of advice can you offer?


  • RunItByDebRunItByDeb subscriber Posts: 0
    I wouldn`t focus on price -  there are other reasons WHY people purchase items from a smaller, more intimate store....competition will always be out there for price...internet, walmart, etc....what VALUE are you going to be providing that they can`t get via internet or via walmart...(buying a large dollar item from a salesperson who makes $8/hr and also works in the produce department?)..
    if you KNOW you can do this business, i say focus on why they will buy from you, not about price!!
    you can do it!!!
  • BDaggerhartBDaggerhart subscriber Posts: 2
    You are definitely both correct, and I`m actually aware of that
    information - it still seems very intimidating, though, to try to
    compete with the Big Boys, especially with places like Wal-Mart and
    Target now carrying entry-level instruments.

    I just read a neat article in the May issue of MMR about designing your
    store to be more pleasing to be in.  Something along the lines of how
    Starbucks reinvented the look and feel of the fast food restaurant, a
    lot of small businesses are putting in small lounges, nice furniture,
    pleasing wall paints, and lots of other niceties to make people
    actually want to be in their store.  This would definitely be in my
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