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Hobby Store Franchises?

Old 03-11-2008, 06:56 PM
  #101  
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Originally Posted by FlyingMonkey View Post
Yeah, it has taken years to get where he is, but, it's going to take years to establish any business.


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?


It's one thing to have a shop that is able to keep it's doors open. He needs one that will be enough to support itself, and pay him a living salary for him and his family.

I get the feeling that there is a negative sentiment for my views. Who is doing Guy more disservice? Me, who says, let's look at what works, what doesn't, and try to learn from it. Or those who say, sure, it would be cool to watch some guy try to open a shop?
We're (I'm) not saying that you shouldn't look at what works and model it after that. But believe it or not, there is life outside of Hodges that is very successful. You make it sound like if he doesn't do it like Mac, he will fail. There are hundreds of successful hobby shops around the country that have no flying field, no resturaunt, no spa or any of the other things you mention.

None of us are saying go for it and you will succeed. We're just saying you don't have to be Hodges West to do so. As far as two other shops closing in his area, there is such a thing as learning from others mistakes and doing something well.
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Old 03-11-2008, 07:02 PM
  #102  
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...
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Old 03-11-2008, 07:05 PM
  #103  
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....

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Old 03-11-2008, 07:33 PM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by pburt1975 View Post
A lot of those cons go away if you can establish a meeting place with the customer after the fact.
Well, the meeting place is already established -- the "unclub".

Also, there is a grade school (K-4) behind the strip mall I like. I regularly fly there on weekends, and I've flown my Blade CX2 (MD500) in their gym. I've thought about asking to use it for events (or training) from time to time -- I have not yet approached them about it. (Mainly because I'm not even close to signing a lease.)

Originally Posted by pburt1975 View Post
just an FYI, I would happily pay 20 bucks a month to fly at an approved site.
That's cool -- but the "unclub" is free, and nobody has booted us out of there for the last 20 years. There's even a guy who flys a glow-powered glider... Some small business owner called the cops one time, saying our radios were setting off his security alarm -- the cops came out, and told him we had just as much a right to be there as he did.

Actually, the cops like to park their cruisers next to our flying site, and do their paperwork (and watch us fly). I've talked to several of them, just to make sure we're cool -- every one of them said we're okay.

Again -- there is no need for a dedicated flying site in Tulsa. There's more room than you can imagine. Tom and Kev are posting similar statements, because they've both flown at the "unclub".

Even if I could get some pilots to pay $20 per month to fly... Let's look at the numbers: The INDOOR facility I was looking at has two warehouses that could be used for indoor flying. It costs $7,700 per month (that's not a typo). The place I'm looking at leasing is $2,250 per month. The difference is $5,450 per month -- I would need 273 people to pay me $20 per month to make a $10 profit on that deal. Can you imagine 273 people showing up to fly indoors?! How many of them would pay $20 next month?

As I said, it's just not cost effective.

That being said, I want to say something... If I had a half-million dollars, I would be HAPPY to open a place just exactly like Hodges. The reality is that I do NOT have nearly that much money to invest, I will be borrowing everything to start this venture -- and I don't want to start $500,000 in the hole.

However, I want Flying Monkey to know that I appreciate him. I've learned a lot about Flying Monkey in this thread -- he and I must be identical twins... We both are very strong willed, when it comes to our opinions, and we feel slighted when the majority public does not see our viewpoint. He deleted his posts from this thread -- I have been known to do exactly the same.

Flying Monkey -- While I disagree with the Hodges model for my specific case, I do feel your pain. Don't feel like you must run away from this thread -- you are welcome here.
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Old 03-11-2008, 07:41 PM
  #105  
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I agree, there are a number of strong willed persons on Wattflyer, period. Just because we disagree doesn't mean the effort is not appreciated.

Guy, maybe Fred is our long lost younger brother?
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Old 03-11-2008, 07:46 PM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead View Post
Well, the meeting place is already established -- the "unclub".

Also, there is a grade school (K-4) behind the strip mall I like. I regularly fly there on weekends, and I've flown my Blade CX2 (MD500) in their gym. I've thought about asking to use it for events (or training) from time to time -- I have not yet approached them about it. (Mainly because I'm not even close to signing a lease.)

That's cool -- but the "unclub" is free, and nobody has booted us out of there for the last 20 years. There's even a guy who flys a glow-powered glider... Some small business owner called the cops one time, saying our radios were setting off his security alarm -- the cops came out, and told him we had just as much a right to be there as he did.

Actually, the cops like to park their cruisers next to our flying site, and do their paperwork (and watch us fly). I've talked to several of them, just to make sure we're cool -- every one of them said we're okay.

Again -- there is no need for a dedicated flying site in Tulsa. There's more room than you can imagine. Tom and Kev are posting similar statements, because they've both flown at the "unclub".
I can understand that, its a different atmosphere here in VA. Not many places to fly unless you're a club member, own your own land or are just in the know on a good spot.

Time to scale down. Get you a little hotdog cart and patrol the unclub with servos, batteries, RX, motors, esc's and maybe some sodas
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Old 03-11-2008, 07:48 PM
  #107  
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I can hear him now....(to the tune of a ball park vendor) Hot Dogs, Peanuts, Lipos, Get your digital servos!
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Old 03-11-2008, 08:03 PM
  #108  
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Tom -- you and Kev will have to buy me the red and white striped shirt...

Maybe that can be the official uniform at my store...
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Old 03-11-2008, 08:06 PM
  #109  
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You get the store running and I'll bring the shirt.
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Old 03-11-2008, 08:10 PM
  #110  
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Tom -- what if I go with the hot dog cart idea? Do I get a free shirt?
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Old 03-11-2008, 08:14 PM
  #111  
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If you give me a free bag of peanuts, maybe. And, if the weather is anything like it was when I was there, you might want to consider hot coffee, hot chocolate and hand warmers too.
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Old 03-11-2008, 09:34 PM
  #112  
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Hey Tom...

"THOSE AREN'T PILLOWS!!!"

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Old 03-11-2008, 09:41 PM
  #113  
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Remember that Guy asked our opinions and input at the beginning of this thread. All of us are freely giving our opinions and they are worth what they cost. If he choses not to adopt our ideas, that is his prerogative and we should not take offense, unless he is rude in stating his choice and I don't think Guy is rude.

That said, why the h%## don't you like Hodges? Just kidding.

Can I have a free shirt also, Tom.
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Old 03-11-2008, 09:42 PM
  #114  
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Hot dogs? Will they be Wigglin' Weenies???
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:41 AM
  #115  
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Free Stuff?!?!

Dont tell Bill!!!
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Old 03-12-2008, 01:43 PM
  #116  
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Originally Posted by stinkweed007 View Post
Free Stuff?!?!

Dont tell Bill!!!
No one needs to tell Bill.....with his luck, he'd win ANYWAY....
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Old 03-12-2008, 02:11 PM
  #117  
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Originally Posted by LL
I don't know about setting up a hobby shop in the Rose Bowl... It is certainly large enough, and the rent would probably be inexpensive enough -- but it's in a kind of bad part of town, and I doubt the franchise would like such an odd building... :o
Quote from the AMA thread, I thought relevant here...

1 part of you wanting to go with the franchise was help in a location. If you went with the Rose Bowl building, your brick and mortar shop would even stand a chance, and give you that 'edge'. You said so yourself, there are no issues with places to fly outdoors. Plus, the guy just held an indoor event there, was it successful? if so, maybe the area isnt THAT bad?
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Old 03-13-2008, 04:04 PM
  #118  
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Okay, here's another option I've been thinking about for the last several weeks...

Let's say I worked for a company outside of my home state. Let's say that I paid $650 per month for an office, with an attached (small) warehouse.

Let's say I spent my workdays (M-F, 8AM to 5PM) at this location... Let's say there's a sign outside, which says, "RC Warehouse" and "Discount To The Public".

Inside, I have my desk, and a computer (where I do my actual work), but the office is set up like a mini-hobby store, with ONE of everything on the "showroom floor". If you see something you like, I have more of everything in the warehouse.

Would you shop there?

My thought is, if I need an office, maybe I can kill two birds with one stone...

My only REAL concern is that someone may steal stuff from the showroom, while I'm in the warehouse, filling their order... :o

Obviously, this could be an internet business as well.
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Old 03-13-2008, 04:59 PM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead View Post
Okay, here's another option I've been thinking about for the last several weeks...

Let's say I worked for a company outside of my home state. Let's say that I paid $650 per month for an office, with an attached (small) warehouse.

Let's say I spent my workdays (M-F, 8AM to 5PM) at this location... Let's say there's a sign outside, which says, "RC Warehouse" and "Discount To The Public".

Inside, I have my desk, and a computer (where I do my actual work), but the office is set up like a mini-hobby store, with ONE of everything on the "showroom floor". If you see something you like, I have more of everything in the warehouse.

Would you shop there?

My thought is, if I need an office, maybe I can kill two birds with one stone...

My only REAL concern is that someone may steal stuff from the showroom, while I'm in the warehouse, filling their order... :o

Obviously, this could be an internet business as well.
If everything was enclosed in glass cases, then you wouldn't have to worry as much about theft while in the back. A simple door chime would alert you while in back to the presence of a customer up front. There are ways you can minimize the possibility of theft. Of course, smash-n-grabs would be another story. But then, in OK, you can shoot those people, right? (Or hire me to take care of security.....)

As long as the prices were competitive and the service was good, I would shop in such an endeavor.
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Old 03-13-2008, 05:14 PM
  #120  
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Well, the overhead would be VERY low (we're talking ZERO dollars of overhead), so the prices should be lower than anywhere else in town.

As I said earlier, I'd have items in stock, and I'd have lots of warehouse space to carry MORE items that customers ask me to stock. (The warehouse doesn't have to LOOK pretty!)

Glass cases -- I had not considered that. Good call.

Also, if they "Smash and Grab", they only get ONE of the item they're trying to steal...
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Old 03-13-2008, 05:58 PM
  #121  
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Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead View Post
Well, the overhead would be VERY low (we're talking ZERO dollars of overhead), so the prices should be lower than anywhere else in town.

As I said earlier, I'd have items in stock, and I'd have lots of warehouse space to carry MORE items that customers ask me to stock. (The warehouse doesn't have to LOOK pretty!)

Glass cases -- I had not considered that. Good call.

Also, if they "Smash and Grab", they only get ONE of the item they're trying to steal...
Exactly. While they might get one of a few things, I would imagine the chances of it happening are less than that of, say, where I live. Something about concealed carry laws made things feel "different", I think, but I digress.

Do you have a place in mind? And.....here's a slant. Would it be something you could start up before leaving your current employ, say being there on the weekends of select evenings for walk-in customers, but available 24/7 via internet? There are some smaller hobby shops around here that are only open by appointment only, or in the evenings.
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Old 03-13-2008, 07:21 PM
  #122  
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Originally Posted by gfdengine204 View Post
Exactly. While they might get one of a few things, I would imagine the chances of it happening are less than that of, say, where I live. Something about concealed carry laws made things feel "different", I think, but I digress.
LOL -- I'm a big fan of our concealed carry law. Honestly, I think we should go back to the day were every Oklahoman is born with a gun on his hip. My theory is that bad guys won't be bad, if they know they'll be shot from 10 different directions, by 10 different "innocent bystanders" he didn't notice a moment ago...

Originally Posted by gfdengine204 View Post
Do you have a place in mind? And.....here's a slant. Would it be something you could start up before leaving your current employ, say being there on the weekends of select evenings for walk-in customers, but available 24/7 via internet? There are some smaller hobby shops around here that are only open by appointment only, or in the evenings.
Yes, I have a place in mind -- $650 per month, and they have a vacancy. It's not nearly as fancy as the $2,250 sq ft retail place, and the front of the store looks like a door and a garage door. (No window space.)

I called the land lord a few hours ago -- he said there was something like 1,300 square feet, counting the office, warehouse, and handicap bathroom (he mentioned the handicap bathroom several times -- he seems to be very proud of that)...

He told me they were picky about who they let run a business there -- I told him what I had in mind, and he was very happy with my answer. He went on to say the biggest issues were noise and smells, because most people rent the spaces as offices. (I didn't tell him I might be thrust bench and torque bench testing!)

Yes, I also considered the idea of only being open on weekends. The trouble would be my busy schedule -- this weekend, for example, my kid has one soccer game on Saturday, and three more on Sunday! (That's 4 hours of game play, not counting the travel time, and time between games.)

My only fear, when thinking of opening my "warehouse" before leaving my office job, is that I'd have to come up with the $650 per month (plus utilities) for rent. If I can land this other job where I'll be working for the business in another state -- well, I just might be able to talk the company into paying the $650 (or a portion of it) for my office space.

I need to figure out how to add a shopping cart to my web site... :o
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Old 03-13-2008, 07:46 PM
  #123  
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Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead View Post

Yes, I have a place in mind -- $650 per month, and they have a vacancy. It's not nearly as fancy as the $2,250 sq ft retail place, and the front of the store looks like a door and a garage door. (No window space.):o


Is the garage door something you would be making use of?

The building we were renovating for lease, we looked into adding inside the roll up door, what they call "storefront" which is the glass window and doorway. You could ask the land lord if you could have one of those installed. You could put it (depending on how the garage door is installed) either inside, or outside. Using the garage door as a way to provide additional security when the shop is closed.
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:32 PM
  #124  
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Originally Posted by FlyingMonkey View Post
Is the garage door something you would be making use of?

The building we were renovating for lease, we looked into adding inside the roll up door, what they call "storefront" which is the glass window and doorway. You could ask the land lord if you could have one of those installed. You could put it (depending on how the garage door is installed) either inside, or outside. Using the garage door as a way to provide additional security when the shop is closed.
That's a GREAT idea. I will ask.

Then again, I don't see why I couldn't just frame something up inside the garage door...

On the other hand, ALL the OTHER (ugly) garage doors (other tennants) will still be there... :o

The cool thing is that people would be able to tell if I'm open, by simply driving by. They don't even have to stop.
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Old 03-13-2008, 10:31 PM
  #125  
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never mind

Last edited by Dorsal; 03-13-2008 at 10:36 PM. Reason: not worth it
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