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Hobby Store Franchises?

Old 03-10-2008, 07:32 PM
  #51  
gregore2992
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"Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained" someone famous said that once.

All business owners take a risk/chance in opening a busiess. If it was easy, we would all have our own companies!! Look at all the owners of businesses now, you gotta start somewhere. There seems to be a shortage of "go for it" attitude and support for LL. IMHO
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Old 03-10-2008, 07:42 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by gregore2992 View Post
"Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained" someone famous said that once.

All business owners take a risk/chance in opening a busiess. If it was easy, we would all have our own companies!! Look at all the owners of businesses now, you gotta start somewhere. There seems to be a shortage of "go for it" attitude and support for LL. IMHO
Thank you.
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Old 03-10-2008, 08:16 PM
  #53  
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I totally say go for it. I just don't see the need to be a franchise. Been thinking about it myself although not seriously.
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Old 03-10-2008, 08:40 PM
  #54  
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LL, have you thought about talking to other LHS owners not located in Tulsa just to get their slant on it? It might give you some good information on what is or isn't successful for them. The reason I say outside of Tulsa is so they might share without feeling like they are helping a competitor.

I can't promise that you will succeed in running your own business, but I can promise that you won't succeed if you don't try.

We have a large sign our product development group's area that says,

"Those of you that think it can't be done need to move aside for those that are about to do it."

Good luck!
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Old 03-10-2008, 08:59 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by Grasshopper View Post
LL, have you thought about talking to other LHS owners not located in Tulsa just to get their slant on it? It might give you some good information on what is or isn't successful for them. The reason I say outside of Tulsa is so they might share without feeling like they are helping a competitor.
Good idea. I haven't talked to anyone outside of Tulsa -- mainly because I've been so busy with work, kids, filling out applications for a franchise, FLYING etcetera...

I'll see if I can contact someone. One thing I thought about doing was volunteering my time at a local hobby shop, just to see if it's something I really want to do...

Originally Posted by Grasshopper View Post
I can't promise that you will succeed in running your own business, but I can promise that you won't succeed if you don't try.

We have a large sign our product development group's area that says,

"Those of you that think it can't be done need to move aside for those that are about to do it."
EXACTLY! Thank you for that. I find it funny that I seem to have a reputation as a pessimist (and don't have a "can do" attitude) -- when I feel exactly the opposite about myself. :o

I think reality is that, for each of us, sometimes we are "about to do it", and sometimes we need to "get out of the way." The secret is to know when to do each, so others don't notice!
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Old 03-10-2008, 09:18 PM
  #56  
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I hope I'm not contributing to this cycle, & I do feel that with the apparent passion you have for this LL, you probably should go for it. I agree, nothing ventured, nothing gained. I've owned a recording studio, basically a one man show, for over twenty years, & it's been basically my sole income for all but the first four years. Been thru ups & downs, but I'm still here. I;ve turned down opportunities for relocation & expansion from my rural area to larger facilities, etc, & wondered if I did the right thing.

Did see a Hobbytown USA in a large town fold up, probably put out by a combination of a number of things, one of which being Hodges, approximately an hour away. Mac doesn't charge anyone to fly there. It even almost sounds humorous to think of that. What I'm saying is, that it's apparent that we just can't describe this Hodges thing in words. I don't know, but I really don't think Mac is loaded, or at least he doesn't live like it. He does have the good fortune of the family farm, been there all his life, so he didn't have to go out & buy the land to set all of this up. The large steel shelter Monkey mentioned was a former farm equipment shelter.

I do know of a few hobby shops around larger cities within 3 hours or so of here that appear to be doing well. There is also plenty of places around here to fly. Much open farmland, turf farms, state park, etc. Even a few clubs. I live on a farm & have my own flying field here. But again, there's something almost magical about Hodges, & one would probably just have to spend some time there to understand.
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:06 PM
  #57  
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Thanks for posting LB.

I know a guy who owns a Hobby Town USA. He started it a few years ago, and he worked very hard -- he was there every day, all day long.

Then, something magical happened. The business started doing VERY well. Now, he has 4 employees (in that one store), and seeing him in the store is "hit and miss". (There is no need for him to spend all the hours at the store any more.)

Now, if he can afford to pay four employees minimum wage -- well, that's roughly $50,000 per year that he's paying for his help (and that doesn't include FICA that his business must match).

...and he wouldn't be doing that, if he wasn't making a salary off his own business as well. :o

I can certainly see how Mac's could put a Hobby Town USA out of business. But that's not a fair comparison -- there's nothing like Mac's around here (or anywhere else, for that matter).

No, I think Mac has money, and he's just having a good time with it. Perhaps I will do the same, if I ever hit the lottery, or inherit a bunch of money from some rich uncle I didn't know I had.
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:16 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by FlyingMonkey View Post
As far as a google search, look up 300 Neil Hodges Rd Andersonville...

http://maps.google.com/maps?client=s...=1&sa=N&tab=wl
Well, I looked at Google, but I don't see ANYTHING that resembles a landing strip, club, or hobby store. Just a bunch of farmland and trees, that is a 1 hour drive from I-75...

LOL -- I actually drove up I-75 when driving back from Disney World a few years ago. I stopped in Cordele and Ashburn as a "Griswold" family vacation moment (worlds largest peanut, and a Titan 1 missile). Had I known about Hodges, I may have diverted the family for a quick (2 hour) detour...
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:19 PM
  #59  
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*** Accepting donations to open my "brick and mortar" hobby shop. ***
Im broke, but my back still works fine. Need some labor or the HVAC drawn, give me a call, lol.

LL, you've got guts man and they've gotten you this far. I say, if you've got the chance take it and make what you can out of it.

Good luck bud
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:41 PM
  #60  
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Wow, this is exciting. I've never seen anyone start their own hobby shop before.

Don't forget Guy, you will have to offer discounts to your local AMA club members. That's what our LHS does. Oh the irony. :p

Frank
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:10 PM
  #61  
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ZING!

Don't forget model trains and scale static models if you're going to do it!

Another big portion of the hobby shop trade.
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:19 PM
  #62  
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Guy,

Just a thought as I was reading about contacting other LHS owners....if you are going to go the franchise route, ask them to provide you with names/telephone numbers of franchisees that you can speak to and get a feel for it. Or if you can locate the names/tele numbers without the main company, even better. Then you can get an idea if one or the other is a better "fit" for you and your style.

Just a thought.
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:19 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Murocflyer View Post
Don't forget Guy, you will have to offer discounts to your local AMA club members. That's what our LHS does. Oh the irony. :p
LOL -- maybe I could call my store "Outlaw RC"... My logo could be a dark silhouette of a cowboy in a black hat.

No, seriously -- I've been greatly misunderstood, with respect to the AMA.

Originally Posted by firemanbill View Post
Don't forget model trains and scale static models if you're going to do it!

Another big portion of the hobby shop trade.
Errr -- that is NOT my intent. That sounds like something Hobby Town USA requires -- and I'm leaning towards RC Hobbies.

I will tell you that I have a plan to get people in the store, that otherwise would not be there. That's actually exactly how I discovered electric RC flight -- it worked so well for me, I figure I will try to MAKE it happen on a continuous basis.

I'm not going to spill the beans just yet -- but you guys will probably wonder why the heck I would carry (insert product line here) in a RC Hobby store. Here's the deal -- get the kids in the store for 4 or 5 hours. They have time to burn, so they browse, and find affordable, entry level RTF/RTR products. Then, they go home, and talk to their parents about it... Christmas/birthday is usually right around the corner...
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:26 PM
  #64  
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so be it, but you'll have a lot of folks come in looking foir that kind of stuff I bet. It would be a shame to turn away that kind of business.

But sounds like you know what YOU want so good luck.
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:32 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by firemanbill View Post
so be it, but you'll have a lot of folks come in looking foir that kind of stuff I bet. It would be a shame to turn away that kind of business.

But sounds like you know what YOU want so good luck.
Well, obviously, if five people per day walk in, looking for something, I will:
  • Special order it for them (two orders per week), and
  • Start carrying it on a regular basis.
I'm not TOTALLY clueless...

For what it's worth, there's only ONE hobby shop in town that carrys trains and models (along with RC) -- the others don't, and apparantly don't see the need to carry those things. :o
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:51 PM
  #66  
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did not mean to imply you are if I did... Not what I intended. I just think that especially in the midwest trains are a big deal. I used to do that when I had a basement, don't have the room for it now but certainly would if I could.

Back when I was into it all the big layouts featured in the magazines always seemed to be in the midwest. Seems real popular out that way.

either way I wish you the best of luck and really do hope you are hugely succesful.
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:59 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead View Post
Well, obviously, if five people per day walk in, looking for something, I will:
  • Special order it for them (two orders per week), and
  • Start carrying it on a regular basis.
I'm not TOTALLY clueless...

For what it's worth, there's only ONE hobby shop in town that carrys trains and models (along with RC) -- the others don't, and apparantly don't see the need to carry those things. :o

I think that's the key right there. When I walk into a LHS that doesn't have what I was looking for I ask. If the person says we don't have it, but I can order it and then they take the time to find out exactly what I was wanting and jot that down for his next order to carry in his store, that's the kind of LHS I'll go back to. The store owner may think he knows what people want, but only people know what people want. You have to listen to them. Did I make sense with that?

Frank
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Old 03-11-2008, 12:15 AM
  #68  
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Frank -- yes, you made sense. And I agree with you -- I think the way to make my business work is to treat my customers the way I would want to be treated. Many stores do not remember that these days.

Bill -- Yes, there are some people who like trains here in the southwest (I used to think we were the midwest, until I was corrected and looked it up on the internet). My neighbor has a train set up in his garage (they only have one car).

I don't know -- it seems to me there are plenty of places to buy trains and models (WalMart!), and I'm not going to compete with those guys. :o
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Old 03-11-2008, 12:20 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead View Post
Frank -- yes, you made sense. And I agree with you -- I think the way to make my business work is to treat my customers the way I would want to be treated. Many stores do not remember that these days.

Bill -- Yes, there are some people who like trains here in the southwest (I used to think we were the midwest, until I was corrected and looked it up on the internet). My neighbor has a train set up in his garage (they only have one car).

I don't know -- it seems to me there are plenty of places to buy trains and models (WalMart!), and I'm not going to compete with those guys. :o

You're Walmart must be really stocked then. The ones here have about 10 different car and plane models.. tops. and trains are just toy sets if that. The LHS carries the type of stuff your heighbor has, not walmart.
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Old 03-11-2008, 01:38 AM
  #70  
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Guy, if you have Google Earth loaded on your computer, enter Neil Hodges Road, Americus, GA and go south a little from the original spot. Or enter Hodges Hobbies, Americus, GA and go north a little.

My point on pricing was that the large, major wholesalers such as Horizon have price points that they require retailers to honor in advertising and in store pricing. I may not understand all I know about this, but you need to know for sure. They may have a lot to say about how much you can discount their products. The prices of all the major players seem to be pretty constant on the web and in the Local Hobby Shops.

They don't want stores discounting their products to compete "unfairly" against each other. Just something to check out.
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Old 03-11-2008, 02:05 AM
  #71  
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Old 03-11-2008, 02:09 AM
  #72  
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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
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Old 03-11-2008, 02:09 AM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by FlyingMonkey View Post
I am not saying don't go for it, but I am saying that this is something I have thought long and hard about for about a year now. I have read the complaints about the LHS model, and what most people want, cheap prices over almost all else. The one exception I have seen, is Hodge's Hobbies.

The unclub that LL mentioned sounds exactly what they have at Hodge's. It would do well relocated to the new unclub field at the hobby shop.

It's one thing for a man to take a chance, fighting and struggling to make his way. It's another for a father, and head of household to do it while putting his family's finances at risk. I am not trying to cause controversy here, I am just pointing out the facts as I see them.

I would love to see someone take what looks like a sure failure, the Brick and Mortar shop, and succeed at it. I think Mac's model or something like it, is the one to go with.
However, it seems Guy has made it clear that having a shop at a field is NOT what he is planning to do. He has a location in mind, and I remember that area; there is nowhere to put a flying field to accomdate what you propose.

Now, he has asked this to not keep repeating, yet it continues to come back to this; what he is asking for now are questions to ask. Perhaps to help him, instead of rehashing what we have gone over, we should go in the direction he asks.
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Old 03-11-2008, 02:09 AM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead View Post
Well, I looked at Google, but I don't see ANYTHING that resembles a landing strip, club, or hobby store. Just a bunch of farmland and trees, that is a 1 hour drive from I-75...

LOL -- I actually drove up I-75 when driving back from Disney World a few years ago. I stopped in Cordele and Ashburn as a "Griswold" family vacation moment (worlds largest peanut, and a Titan 1 missile). Had I known about Hodges, I may have diverted the family for a quick (2 hour) detour...
Sorry, I accidently gave you the link without the street address...

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=300+Ne...i=map&ct=title

and you're right, there is very much nothing around.
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Old 03-11-2008, 02:13 AM
  #75  
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