Off Topic Chit Chat Get to know other eflight modelers in the WattFlyer community here in this off topic forum. NO politics or religion discussion please (Holiday well wishes are ok)

Hobby Store Franchises?

Old 03-11-2008, 01:15 AM
  #76  
gfdengine204
Super Contributor
 
gfdengine204's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Sandwich, IL
Posts: 9,565
Default

Of course, to create such a poll requires the knowledge of what we (as customers) want in advance.
gfdengine204 is offline  
Old 03-11-2008, 01:23 AM
  #77  
FlyingMonkey
Flite Test Fan
 
FlyingMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: 32459
Posts: 8,930
Default

...

Last edited by FlyingMonkey; 03-11-2008 at 07:11 PM.
FlyingMonkey is offline  
Old 03-11-2008, 01:26 AM
  #78  
FlyingMonkey
Flite Test Fan
 
FlyingMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: 32459
Posts: 8,930
Default

...

Last edited by FlyingMonkey; 03-11-2008 at 07:11 PM.
FlyingMonkey is offline  
Old 03-11-2008, 01:38 AM
  #79  
Murocflyer
WAA-08 Pilot #1
 
Murocflyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Posts: 7,044
Default

I just can't see how you could make enough money to feed the family selling RC stuff in one local.

Look at all the places going out of business.

Frank
Murocflyer is offline  
Old 03-11-2008, 02:19 AM
  #80  
gfdengine204
Super Contributor
 
gfdengine204's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Sandwich, IL
Posts: 9,565
Default

In my area (radius 40 miles) we have 2 HTU and a brand new place opened by 2 brothers. The brothers are great, friendly and helpful. As well they had a bunch of the little stuff we all need (servos, extensions, etc etc). They are in an area similar to what Guy has mentioned. From what I hear so far, they get pretty good business.

I have only seen one fold, and that was run by 2 guys in my club, but in my town that is not surprising. And that was in 2002.
gfdengine204 is offline  
Old 03-11-2008, 02:50 AM
  #81  
Rabbitcreekok
Community Moderator
 
Rabbitcreekok's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: McAlester, Oklahoma
Posts: 10,811
Default

Originally Posted by Murocflyer View Post
Couldn't Guy "explore" the RC business online first and then if it's successful go the brick and mortar route? This way he could keep his present job?

Frank
The problem with this idea, Frank, is that the major suppliers, who you must have to be successful, will not sell to you unless you have a store open to the public. Kirk Massey, who does most of his business on line at New Creations RC has such a store. I have been to his store and drove past the store twice before I spotted it. He has tons of stock of all kinds, all electric, and is open to the public, but that is not his main source of business. But you have to have the store.
Rabbitcreekok is offline  
Old 03-11-2008, 02:55 AM
  #82  
FlyingMonkey
Flite Test Fan
 
FlyingMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: 32459
Posts: 8,930
Default

...

Last edited by FlyingMonkey; 03-11-2008 at 07:11 PM.
FlyingMonkey is offline  
Old 03-11-2008, 02:58 AM
  #83  
FlyingMonkey
Flite Test Fan
 
FlyingMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: 32459
Posts: 8,930
Default

...

Last edited by FlyingMonkey; 03-11-2008 at 07:11 PM.
FlyingMonkey is offline  
Old 03-11-2008, 03:42 AM
  #84  
Lieutenant Loughead
UNCLUB OWNER
Thread Starter
 
Lieutenant Loughead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 4,406
Default

Originally Posted by FlyingMonkey View Post
Ok, here is a question....

$189-$119=$70

playing the numbers, how many planes would you have to sell in a month to pay the $2730 for rent, the insurance, the electric bill, the telephone bill, internet bill, website expenses, the ad in the yellow pages, the cost of stationary, and cleaning supplies.

Of course, in addition to that, how many planes would be needed to equal your existing salary, or as stated, 50% of said salary.
As I said before, that example is the SMALLEST profit margin. Quite frankly, parts are marked up 300% -- last weekend (at the unclub), I spoke with a guy who works at one of the hobby shops. He explained to me that the nitro car guys will be lined up outside the door, 15 minutes before the store opens -- why? Because they raced on Saturday, broke some things, and need replacement parts NOW (not next week, with the internet) so they can race on Sunday.

It seems, you sell the car / boat / plane / heli at a very low margin, in order to sell parts at 300% markup.

Originally Posted by FlyingMonkey View Post
ok, then if Guy was accepting of the idea, then we could give some suggestions as what to ask.
Agreed -- however, I'm not sure there are enough people here to get a true representation. What we'll get is 10 people who say they want 10 different things, with a little overlap -- in the electric RC airplane arena. :o

In any event, I'm up for it -- fire away!
Lieutenant Loughead is offline  
Old 03-11-2008, 04:31 AM
  #85  
FlyWheel
Ochroma Pyramidale Tekton
 
FlyWheel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Clover, South Carolina
Posts: 3,033
Default

Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead View Post
Hey guys,

I've decided I'm tired of working for incompetent people, working my butt off and stressing over my job, while they earn $100,000,000 per year (that is an actual number -- the company I work for earned $100 million per year, the last two years in a row).

I want to be my own boss, and have decided to pursue my passion -- Remote Control.

Now, if I open my own store, under it's own name, I figure I won't have any income for several months (years?), and the store will be out of business shortly thereafter. However, if I pay the cash for a franchise, I'm (almost) guaranteed success...

So, what are some RC hobby store franchises? I can only find two:Are there others?

Also, I look forward to talking with anyone who has ever traveled down this same road.
If hobby shops are anything like bike shops, you'll still be broke!
FlyWheel is offline  
Old 03-11-2008, 04:35 AM
  #86  
FlyWheel
Ochroma Pyramidale Tekton
 
FlyWheel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Clover, South Carolina
Posts: 3,033
Default

Originally Posted by Slowjohn View Post
I've often thought that IF I could either get the backing or come into enough money that I'd open a place outside of a town/city that'd have a flying field, a dirt track for the RC off road stuff, a paved road race course and maybe a small shallow lake for the boating crowd. Inside would have a couple of slot car tracks, a work area for the participants/customers and it'd all be geared for the electric bunch. I'd want to have some items in stock to sell but as for having lots of kits or ARF/RTF stuff I'd think a catalog store type of thing might work. I'd have to stock a few decent RTF/ARF trainers for the newbies and of course the mandatory free flying lesson(s) to get them started along with several on site simulators.
I like FM's idea of the restaurant and a place for the women folk too, maybe not a spa but something for them anyway. Maybe could even have an indoor shooting range if I had enough acreage. Only thing is I'd have to move away from the small towns USA part of the country where I'm located now.

Best of Luck to you LL,
SJ
Hobby Stop in Rock Hill, SC. has that. At least for the ground RC'ers. Back of the shop they have apaved banked oval (with full size grandstand, no less) and a dirt track next to that. They hold races there too, I believe.

No lake or flying field though.
FlyWheel is offline  
Old 03-11-2008, 02:07 PM
  #87  
pburt1975
Hotel California
 
pburt1975's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,456
Default

Originally Posted by FlyWheel View Post
Hobby Stop in Rock Hill, SC. has that. At least for the ground RC'ers. Back of the shop they have apaved banked oval (with full size grandstand, no less) and a dirt track next to that. They hold races there too, I believe.

No lake or flying field though.
HTUSA down the road from me is very similar. In the back they have a rock wall for crawlers, a slot car table thats pretty cool (they'll also rock crawl the scenery on that table) and anything else you want CAR/Truck RC related.

But I could not walk in there and ask specifically for " a 9g servo that produces 17oz of torque". They had no clue (3 different employees). Nor could I ask them "If I bought that motor, what would be a good prop combo for it?"


Guy, to go a different route, have you considered Joining the AMA for help on this? Indirectly ofcourse.
Join the AMA and 2-3 local clubs. Go fly with those guys often and learn their needs. Speak casually about your "store" and what stuff you are planning to stock. It may cost you 300-400 to join all the local clubs, but your word of mouth advertising would hit the directed audience. I can see you spending more in "public advertising" and NOT getting the same return.

Points on parts, stock options. HTUSA here has both Dubro parts and Electri-Fly parts, but what they have in 1 they dont have in the other. And if they do, its 1 package of each. Lots of stuff can be ordered, but if I need to wait a week for you to do it or wait a week for me to do it, I'll choose me because it'll save another trip to the LHS.
Another lhs is the same way. Their product shelves consist of 1 package of each item they carry. If you need 2 packs, it'll have to be ordered. If you need a specialty item, hope the guy knows what you are talking about or again shop online.

On the parts thing still, last time i went into the HTUSA they had NO blades for the Blade CX. They also had no LG, swash plate or main rotor shaft. It was like that the previous week. IMO those should be stock items, with plenty in reserve and more on order.

I'd love to put a store on 7acres and offer flight classes to customers, especially customers new to flying. At the same time, it would be possible to include a card with each plane purchased informing the buyer they are allowed 2 30 min flight sessions with a skilled instructor. Do what you can to make it a successful event for the buyer, they will return.


AT all cost Guy, good luck with it. I say you do the brick and mortar store, run it for a year or 2, then sell us all franchises
pburt1975 is offline  
Old 03-11-2008, 02:40 PM
  #88  
Lieutenant Loughead
UNCLUB OWNER
Thread Starter
 
Lieutenant Loughead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 4,406
Default

Originally Posted by pburt1975 View Post
Guy, to go a different route, have you considered Joining the AMA for help on this? Indirectly ofcourse.
Join the AMA and 2-3 local clubs. Go fly with those guys often and learn their needs. Speak casually about your "store" and what stuff you are planning to stock. It may cost you 300-400 to join all the local clubs, but your word of mouth advertising would hit the directed audience. I can see you spending more in "public advertising" and NOT getting the same return.
I haven't joined the AMA clubs, but I talked with the guys at the "unclub" last weekend -- they are 100% for it. They say there's nobody in town that meets THEIR needs (we've got some stores that concentrate on cars, we've got one store that concentrates on big gas airplanes, and we have one store that doesn't know what it's doing -- HobbyTownUSA).

Originally Posted by pburt1975 View Post
Points on parts, stock options. HTUSA here has both Dubro parts and Electri-Fly parts, but what they have in 1 they dont have in the other. And if they do, its 1 package of each. Lots of stuff can be ordered, but if I need to wait a week for you to do it or wait a week for me to do it, I'll choose me because it'll save another trip to the LHS.
Another lhs is the same way. Their product shelves consist of 1 package of each item they carry. If you need 2 packs, it'll have to be ordered. If you need a specialty item, hope the guy knows what you are talking about or again shop online.

On the parts thing still, last time i went into the HTUSA they had NO blades for the Blade CX. They also had no LG, swash plate or main rotor shaft. It was like that the previous week. IMO those should be stock items, with plenty in reserve and more on order.
RC Hobbies used to have three tiers -- a $100k investment, $150k investment, and $200k investment. Now, they really only stick with the $150k, but they said I COULD do the $100k if I really wanted to.

The main difference between the $100k and $150k is the inventory. The $100k model has 2 of everything in stock, and I'd place orders twice per week. The $150k model has 4 of everything in stock, and I'd place orders once per week. My plan is to go with the $100k model, and then order extras of the better-selling items.

Originally Posted by pburt1975 View Post
I'd love to put a store on 7acres and offer flight classes to customers, especially customers new to flying. At the same time, it would be possible to include a card with each plane purchased informing the buyer they are allowed 2 30 min flight sessions with a skilled instructor. Do what you can to make it a successful event for the buyer, they will return.
I agree -- this is exactly the kind of thing I would LOVE to do. However, when you run the numbers, it just isn't profitable.

Originally Posted by pburt1975 View Post
AT all cost Guy, good luck with it. I say you do the brick and mortar store, run it for a year or 2, then sell us all franchises
LOL -- actually, this thought crossed my mind last week. I came up with a name for my store about a year ago, and grabbed the web rights as quickly as I could. I've been keeping that a secret for a while, but why not share now? www.missioncontrolrc.com (My plan here is to go with a "theme" -- the store "music" will be NASA radio broadcasts {from space} during the 1960's.)

Who wants a franchise opportunity? I guarantee mine is less expensive than your other two choices!
Lieutenant Loughead is offline  
Old 03-11-2008, 02:57 PM
  #89  
pburt1975
Hotel California
 
pburt1975's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,456
Default

Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead View Post
I haven't joined the AMA clubs, but I talked with the guys at the "unclub" last weekend -- they are 100% for it. They say there's nobody in town that meets THEIR needs (we've got some stores that concentrate on cars, we've got one store that concentrates on big gas airplanes, and we have one store that doesn't know what it's doing -- HobbyTownUSA).
Results from the "unclub" sound promising. Time for a bigger batch of flyers that the AMA clubs would open up to you.

The main difference between the $100k and $150k is the inventory. The $100k model has 2 of everything in stock, and I'd place orders twice per week. The $150k model has 4 of everything in stock, and I'd place orders once per week. My plan is to go with the $100k model, and then order extras of the better-selling items.
Sounds like a good plan. I can never find micro control horns in any of our shops lol


I agree -- this is exactly the kind of thing I would LOVE to do. However, when you run the numbers, it just isn't profitable.
No, not for that 1 kid/adult that you have helped. But what about all their buddies at school or work that they will tell "I bought this plane from Missioncontrolrc and the owner/clerk was nice enough to take me out to learn how to fly it". Lowes does a similar thing when they bring people in to learn home improvement projects. Teaching them pays for itself when they come back and buy the second time. Dont think of it as 1 kid, 1 plane, 1 deal. If he walks out happy and successful, he will be back and happy to buy again. May even bring a buddy with him for the heck of it.
And above all else, it will give you a GREAT reason to spend all day sunday at the field (because I assume you'll atleast be a Monday - Saturday operation**).


LOL -- actually, this thought crossed my mind last week. I came up with a name for my store about a year ago, and grabbed the web rights as quickly as I could. I've been keeping that a secret for a while, but why not share now? www.missioncontrolrc.com (My plan here is to go with a "theme" -- the store "music" will be NASA radio broadcasts {from space} during the 1960's.)
But now you're selling/specializing in model rockets, not airplanes, at least thats my thoughts on the NASA/space theme. From my point of view, simply the word NASA implies rockets.


** Most strip malls have a set hour schedule. If the strip mall is open from 8am to 9pm, they will often require your store to meet those hours as well. Have you looked into this aspect to see what impact it may have?
pburt1975 is offline  
Old 03-11-2008, 03:28 PM
  #90  
Lieutenant Loughead
UNCLUB OWNER
Thread Starter
 
Lieutenant Loughead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 4,406
Default

Originally Posted by pburt1975 View Post
** Most strip malls have a set hour schedule. If the strip mall is open from 8am to 9pm, they will often require your store to meet those hours as well. Have you looked into this aspect to see what impact it may have?
Hmmmm -- I had not considered that. However, the store is a 7-day per week deal, so Sunday at the flight line would not work.

Also, I know "Bonefish Grill" is not open until dinnertime -- so the strip mall must not require them to be open until 4:00 PM or so... Now that I think about it, Pei Wei doesn't open until 11:30 AM -- so I think I'm good on that front.

I have two other ideas for helping the father/son education -- again, I'm keeping these to myself, for the moment, but it would be similar to the Lowe's thing were they have one night per week where they have some "hands on" training (or a lecture, depending on the instructor).

Yes -- micro control horns will be available by the 100's. That's one of my pet-peeves as well.
Lieutenant Loughead is offline  
Old 03-11-2008, 03:34 PM
  #91  
FlyingMonkey
Flite Test Fan
 
FlyingMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: 32459
Posts: 8,930
Default

...

Last edited by FlyingMonkey; 03-11-2008 at 07:10 PM.
FlyingMonkey is offline  
Old 03-11-2008, 03:49 PM
  #92  
Lieutenant Loughead
UNCLUB OWNER
Thread Starter
 
Lieutenant Loughead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 4,406
Default

Cons:
  • Purchase / Lease of square footage (of acerage or indoor flying warehouse).
  • Additional liability insurance premium. (This is quite high, because it's a business.)
  • Potentaial radio conflicts with the two existing AMA clubs in town (as well as parkflyers)
  • Would need to be outside of limits of civilization. (Low traffic area.)
  • There is no incentive for customers to drive to me, when they can fly in the field next to their home and/or office.
  • There is no incentive for customers to PAY to fly at my site, when they can fly for free in the field next to their home and/or office.
  • If customers will not PAY to fly at my site, I have money tied up in expenses, which is not generating revenue.
Pros:
  • I would have the only hobby shop with an indoor / outdoor flying area in the Tulsa metro area.
I see quite a few "cons", and only one "pro"... :o

FM -- I know you are a big fan of Hodges. Let me ask you a few questions:
  1. How far away do you live from Hodges?
  2. How far away do you work from Hodges?
  3. How often do you visit Hodges?
  4. How much money do you spend at Hodges, on an average monthly basis?
  5. How much money would you be willing to spend to FLY at Hodges? (Per hour, or per day rate?)
Lieutenant Loughead is offline  
Old 03-11-2008, 04:10 PM
  #93  
Grasshopper
Some Assembly Required
 
Grasshopper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 12,070
Default

I think to compare any hobby shop or base its success on Hodges is inaccurate and irrelavent. Hodges is a one of a kind place that virtually no other hobby shop compares to but that doesn't mean there aren't a lot of successful hobby shops out there.
Grasshopper is offline  
Old 03-11-2008, 04:16 PM
  #94  
gfdengine204
Super Contributor
 
gfdengine204's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Sandwich, IL
Posts: 9,565
Default Very well put

Originally Posted by Grasshopper View Post
I think to compare any hobby shop or base its success on Hodges is inaccurate and irrelavent. Hodges is a one of a kind place that virtually no other hobby shop compares to but that doesn't mean there aren't a lot of successful hobby shops out there.
Tom, I have been thinking the same thing as you. To say to someone starting up you should replicate Hodges just seems like biting off way more that one could be expected to chew, so to speak.

Starting with a shop, then maybe having a goal to have an associated field, is a great thing to work towards, but Guy has made it clear that it is not feasible. Who are we to try to change his mind?
gfdengine204 is offline  
Old 03-11-2008, 04:40 PM
  #95  
pburt1975
Hotel California
 
pburt1975's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,456
Default

Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead View Post
Cons:
  • Purchase / Lease of square footage (of acerage or indoor flying warehouse).
  • Additional liability insurance premium. (This is quite high, because it's a business.)
  • Potentaial radio conflicts with the two existing AMA clubs in town (as well as parkflyers)
  • Would need to be outside of limits of civilization. (Low traffic area.)
  • There is no incentive for customers to drive to me, when they can fly in the field next to their home and/or office.
  • There is no incentive for customers to PAY to fly at my site, when they can fly for free in the field next to their home and/or office.
  • If customers will not PAY to fly at my site, I have money tied up in expenses, which is not generating revenue.
A lot of those cons go away if you can establish a meeting place with the customer after the fact. And there is incentive for them to come to you or met you some where, just from my experience had the LHS guy said "You know, if you come back by here on -such and such date- maybe we can run through the controls on that and I can help you get it in the air", I would have been back there on that date battery charged and ready to go (infact I'd be tempted to buy a second battery for more instruction time - get the catch).
Forget the personal flying site thing, it is a "can be done" kind of thing if this hits the ground running good. I can see the banner now, 2nd Year Anniversary party - Being held at our exclusive field at -location-. Plenty of food and drinks on hand as well as merchandise.

just an FYI, I would happily pay 20 bucks a month to fly at an approved site. To know that I wont have a cop or park ranger approach me while flying would be enough for that. And to have a place where I can fly with others. Yes, its a lot like joining any local AMA club, but with no obligation to pay the entire year or be an AMA member to fly there. but thats all, later date stuff.
pburt1975 is offline  
Old 03-11-2008, 05:05 PM
  #96  
FlyingMonkey
Flite Test Fan
 
FlyingMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: 32459
Posts: 8,930
Default

Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead View Post
FM -- I know you are a big fan of Hodges. Let me ask you a few questions:
  1. How far away do you live from Hodges?
  2. How far away do you work from Hodges?
  3. How often do you visit Hodges?
  4. How much money do you spend at Hodges, on an average monthly basis?
  5. How much money would you be willing to spend to FLY at Hodges? (Per hour, or per day rate?)
it is about a 4 hour drive.

the same

I was trying for once a month, lost my job, and finances became an issue.

Planning another visit for this month, I will attend SEFF, and scheduling permitted the warbird meet they hold there annually.

The new schedule that gives me 5 days off a month will now allow me to travel that way more often.

My last two "major" rc purchases were from Hodge's. Both over the phone. One was the new E-Flite Taylorcraft and most recently a Spektrum DX7 with two 6100 rx's.

As far as a fee to fly, I don't know. I could certainly see myself willing to pay a "membership fee".



I think you are missing several pro's to owning your own field.

Let's see if I can address some of the points you felt were con's.

Purchase / Lease of square footage (of acerage or indoor flying warehouse).


Your payments go towards something you own, not someone else's mortgage. If you were to buy the land, and the shop didn't go as planned, you would still have something you could sell. Renting, you have spent all that money, month after month, and if you closed doors, there's nothing to show for it. I know that's a negative view, so let's look at it in a positive way. Let's say the business succeeds, and you want to expand. Renting you have no choice but move to another location. If you own your own land, and building, then you can just build more. It's an investment of yours you can keep contributing to, not someone else's.

Additional liability insurance premium. (This is quite high, because it's a business.)

You're going to be paying insurance anyways. I am sure that the insurance costs to cover a business in a strip mall are not going to be cheap. I am willing to bet that the coverages will have to be enough to cover the loss of your space, as well as all of your inventory, but that of the surrounding businesses and theirs, even if it isn't stated exactly that way. I am not sure how they do it for fields. I am pretty sure the AMA will provide some insurance for club fields if you wanted to go that route. I am confident a lawyer could set something up for you, even if it means keeping the field separate from the business. Making people sign a liability waver, and posting signs would be another route to look into.



There is no incentive for customers to drive to me, when they can fly in the field next to their home and/or office.

You could say the same thing about Mac's. He's out in the middle of no where. Farms and parks all around. There's a club field not too far from his in a state park. Yet you will always see people there on the weekends, and often on weekdays. The gathering point is the reason to go there. The shop being on site is a reason to go there. The frequent events is a reason to go there. People like to be around like minded people. If they had a place to gather, that's where they will go. You mentioned the unclub. They have a centralized place to meet, don't they? Would they rather do it somewhere, where they could buy supplies, use a bathroom, make use of electricity and water?



There is no incentive for customers to PAY to fly at my site, when they can fly for free in the field next to their home and/or office.


I am sure you could work something out. I think that the benefit of having people there flying, and thus buying, outweigh the need to charge for the use of the field. You could charge groups, for use of the field during events though...



If customers will not PAY to fly at my site, I have money tied up in expenses, which is not generating revenue.

See above.




Some additional benefits.



You can set your own shop hours. As someone else mentioned, you are obligated to be open certain hours by the mall. I know at the camera store I worked at, they could be fined if they weren't open when they were required to be. You could do things during unconventional hours, which would fall under....




You can host events. This comes with many benefits that might not seem obvious. Mac's largest profit draws are during events. Especially ones organized by other groups. SEFF is the creation of a club by Atlanta, 2.5 hours away. They bring the show to him, because of his set up. Even with the vendor's selling right outside his shop, I bet thousands of dollars passed over the counter. I wasn't paying as much attention at SEFF, being it was my first time there, but I was more observant at other events, and I saw sales were one right after another, for large dollar items. I would guess he makes more at each of those events, than he does for the rest of the month together.

Also, hosting these events, he is able to create a customer base much larger than he would otherwise. I would never have step foot in the shop if it wasn't for these gatherings.

(This benefit is doubled if you are talking about having a dirt track for cars on the property. As you mentioned, these guys love their events as well.)

There is also the fact you can host night flying events. Which would mean you could open your doors to different customers, which would add to what you could stock and sell. Lights for nightflying sell better when you have a few guys out having fun, and others standing by, wishing they could join in. A short walk to the shop, and then they're in the air with the rest of the guys.






Your payments go towards something you own, not someone else's mortgage. If you were to buy the land, and the shop didn't go as planned, you would still have something you could sell. Renting, you have spent all that money, month after month, and if you closed doors, there's nothing to show for it. I know that's a negative view, so let's look at it in a positive way. Let's say the business succeeds, and you want to expand. Renting you have no choice but move to another location. If you own your own land, and building, then you can just build more. It's an investment of yours you can keep contributing to, not someone else's.




Room for growth. As I mentioned earlier, if you had your own land, you could build storefronts that you could rent out to other people. Let them pay you, instead of the other way around. Going back to the restaurant idea. This would be a good way to draw people in that might otherwise not come by. Imagine a nice glass fronted building, with some tables outside, where a family could sit and watch the planes fly by. The interest that this would generate could only boost sales. In addition to the monthly income you would generate from the rent. I am not talking a fancy place, a hotdog and hamburger shack would be more than enough. Maybe someplace that sells pizzas and sandwiches as well.




Shared expenses. Instead of paying all those bills for two locations. You could have them all on one site. You would still get the tax deductions for business expenses. You wouldn't be paying for fuel costs driving back and forth to work. I know you said your mother didn't like the idea of you uprooting the family. How does she feel about you quitting your job to open a business? I don't know what your housing situation is, so I can't say "just sell the place you're in now, and buy something on more land". It might not be an option.







Originally Posted by Grasshopper View Post
I think to compare any hobby shop or base its success on Hodges is inaccurate and irrelavent. Hodges is a one of a kind place that virtually no other hobby shop compares to but that doesn't mean there aren't a lot of successful hobby shops out there.

He has a successful model where so many others are failing. Is it really wrong to look at what makes it work, and try to apply it elsewhere?



Originally Posted by gfdengine204 View Post
Tom, I have been thinking the same thing as you. To say to someone starting up you should replicate Hodges just seems like biting off way more that one could be expected to chew, so to speak.

Starting with a shop, then maybe having a goal to have an associated field, is a great thing to work towards, but Guy has made it clear that it is not feasible. Who are we to try to change his mind?

Oddly enough, Hodge's started out the opposite way. The field was there, and that created the demand. It grew as the demand grew.

As far as changing his mind. If he asked me to butt out, or to not give my input, I would understand, but he did ask me for my reasons behind the suggestions. Unlike some who say, yeah, go for it, or no, don't do it. I say go for it, but let's examine everything.

I doubt Guy plans to open shop tomorrow. So having plenty of choices and ideas to pick from, would be a good thing, wouldn't it? Will everything I think should go into a hobby shop work for him? No, but maybe an idea I have that he doesn't like, will help strengthen another idea he does like.

If my ideas were perfect, I would just write up a business proposal and ask a bank for some money. Maybe I would ask Mac for the chance to start a Hodge's franchise
FlyingMonkey is offline  
Old 03-11-2008, 05:35 PM
  #97  
Grasshopper
Some Assembly Required
 
Grasshopper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 12,070
Default

[QUOTE=FlyingMonkey;374469]


He has a successful model where so many others are failing. Is it really wrong to look at what makes it work, and try to apply it elsewhere?


Not at all. I'm sure Mac has spent years developing what he has. Unfortunately for LL, he's a young man with a young family so starting out trying to duplicate the best is difficult if not impossible. People starting businesses generally have to start small because of lack of funds. As he said, if he had that kind of money, he wouldn't be opening a hobby shop. Even buying a piece of land can be a finacial drain on a young person with a family. Having 4 children of my own, I know this very well. So if he were to buy land, then that's all he has. No building, no inventory no income.

The bad part is he is young and starting out. The good part is he is young and starting out.
Grasshopper is offline  
Old 03-11-2008, 06:22 PM
  #98  
FlyingMonkey
Flite Test Fan
 
FlyingMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: 32459
Posts: 8,930
Default

...

Last edited by FlyingMonkey; 03-11-2008 at 07:08 PM.
FlyingMonkey is offline  
Old 03-11-2008, 06:45 PM
  #99  
pburt1975
Hotel California
 
pburt1975's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,456
Default

Originally Posted by FlyingMonkey View Post

Obviously I am the only one who thinks that if one is going to risk his livelihood, and the financial security of his family, that he should pattern it after a working model, instead of one that keeps failing. He himself said two shops closed up in town. What will be different from his shop, that so many other strip mall hobby shops have failed to do?
Hodges found something that worked in their area, LL will have to do the same. No disagreeing there, but just because Hodges is a great success does not make it the ideal model for all areas. A good model to get ideas from, yes, but to build a carbon copy is not only impossible but improbable.
I dont want to see him fail any way shape or form, but I'd hate for him to go into bankruptcy trying to build the impossible.
pburt1975 is offline  
Old 03-11-2008, 06:45 PM
  #100  
gfdengine204
Super Contributor
 
gfdengine204's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Sandwich, IL
Posts: 9,565
Default

I am in no way just wanting Guy to do it so we can sit back and watch. I want him to be successful. I want to be a repeat customer. But, I say it again, he has said he is not interested in the idea of buying land or interior space for a flying area at this time. I can understand why, and I respect that decision.

I would love for him to have a clone of Hodges, but that is not the way he wants to go.

Fred, if you are interpreting this as negative against you, well, my opinion is not a personal attack, just a redirection to what Guy wants. We could dream for him all we want, but that doesn't provide any forward progress.
gfdengine204 is offline  

Quick Reply: Hobby Store Franchises?


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.

Page generated in 0.14152 seconds with 13 queries