After nearly 7 1/2 years of working out of an established music store, I am going to open my own repair and boutique retail store. I've got a great location and enough clients to make it work. I'm looking for a little advice, general thoughts and experiences.


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Hey Ryan,
I'm getting near the same position for myself here in the UK, but I'm keeping the workshop in the established store because the footfall of customers is excellent.

Is there a way for you to keep the store workshop open at the same time? I'm asking as it would be a worry for me that it might get taken over by someone new and detract business from the new off site workshop.

Dan Erlewine responded to my thread asking a similar thing, hopefully we'll swap numbers at some time soon - and I'll let you know what he has to say.
I'll be following your progress!!
Live the dream, Ryan!
You tell US how it works.
I worked in the local shop for eight years. I did repair, sales, and instruction. I became the manger. They closed. I hung my sign and have run my guitar repair and sales shop for five years now. Time and space are the constant reminders that I am alone in my journey. Never seems to be enough of either. I can not afford employees except a few trusted friends for few hours here and there. Read everything can about business now! You may not have much time for study when you open. I made a small room for guitar lessons three days a week. I have three teachers - they pay most of my rent. Students buy stuff! They also needs repair! The fastest selling items are the basic accessories strings, straps, cables, capos, tuner, stands, etc. I deal in vintage instruments as a main stay. Those instruments attract good customers! I sell beginners guitars, cool funky used stuff, and high-end vintage. Everything Asian in middle ground is too much work. I have no guitar dealerships. I let the big box stores handle all the pointy guitars, pedals and electronic stuff. These are big drain investments. Money and sales pitch/demonstration time are just sucked into a black hole.. To me they represent big competition, and little return on your money. I have 800sf' shop in Los Angeles. I do mostly bread and butter repairs because that makes money. And I love the work! I have a fast turn-around time and keep the customer well informed. Great communication is my golden rule. Guitars waiting to be fixed are money in the bank. Why wait? My scope and speed of various repairs has increased steadily. I leave most 'in-depth' restoration, or known problem repairs, to other guys in town - unless its my instrument, or something that I can take time and learn something new. Learning to simply say 'no' was my most valuable lesson. I work hard at learning as much as possible from every possible source.

You might be staring the wall thinking about a repair one minute - then conducting sixty-four piece orchestra of humans the next. You will need time alone to get some repairs completed. I have a second shop at home.

It will be all of you. Good Luck!
Read the book "The E-Myth" before you hang out your shingle. It will give you some insight.
Hey Guys,
Thanks for all of the feedback.



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