How To Open A Record Store

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How To Open A Record Store

Opening a record store in today’s era of music streaming may appear difficult, but record businesses are doing well owing to a comeback in vinyl’s appeal. While this form of company is not without its difficulties, determined and inventive store owners find success. If you adore music, vinyl, and interacting with other music fans, opening your own record store might be financially lucrative while also allowing you to work in the music industry every day. We’ve put up this easy-to-follow guide to open a record store.

So, Here Is How To Open A Record Store :

Step 1. Gathering Information About the Music Industry

Work for a record company for a brief time before starting your own. You might potentially work for someone in the music business. Learning from someone who is already successful in the music industry will undoubtedly provide invaluable experience.

Visit possible rival stores. Go inside, have a look around, chat with several personnel, and assess the risk they pose. Collect as much information as you can about their inventory, tastes, current trends, or any other relevant data that may assist you to stand out or above them.

  • Take note of the songs they sell. If they are really into one genre, ask someone behind their back why they have so much of it, or why there isn’t more of a different sort. Get a good sense of the music they’re selling.
  • Take note of the total stock. Seeing how many goods they have on the shelf might reveal information about their financial status or preferences.
  • Examine where they sell certain songs. Are end-caps used for top hits or collector items? Is there rap towards the front of the store and classic rock tucked away in the back? Determine the sort of store they are and the types of customers who frequent their place.

Analyze industry trends. Knowing what’s popular and what isn’t might rescue you from failure or other disastrous blunders. You may like modern bluegrass and believe it will be the foundation of your business, but your investigation may reveal that it is currently unpopular. Try to get as much information as possible.

  • Read publications such as Billboard, Music Week, and Musical America Worldwide. Supplement music periodicals with entertainment publications such as Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, and Variety. 
  • Look up music information on the internet. Focus on streaming radio platforms such as Pandora, TuneIn Radio, Vevo, iHeartRadio, Spotify, and Jango. Look through these sites to find the most popular songs, the music that is climbing the charts, and the best-rated playlists.

Step 2. Create a niche for yourself. 

Opening a record store where there is an opening or a gap in the industry is an excellent approach to grow a business. Your offering must be distinctive.

  • Look for competition flaws. If everyone else is concentrating on the classics, providing obscure and underground recordings might be a terrific approach to build a following that your rivals are lacking.
  • Pick your favorites. Focus your emphasis on a certain genre or era of music if you have a special passion or interest in it. Be the go-to person for “Malt Shop Oldies” and “Honky-Tonk Country.”
  • Provide in-store opportunities that are linked to the music you sell. Customers may hear samples of the albums being offered, or you could deliver little pieces of knowledge linked to the music being provided.
  • Consider your intended audience. If you wish to attract a certain population, you should look into the demographics of your location. This will assist you in determining not just the market, but also the things that may pique their interest.

Step 3. Launching the Store

Compile a record collection. 

You’ll need a lot of inventory to run a record store. Even if you have a large collection, to begin with, you will need to restock certain products once you begin generating sales. For the greatest results, do your search in a number of places.

  • Do an internet search. Try auction sites such as eBay and seller sites such as Amazon. People may sell their complete collection or a single item at a time. When you’ve found a record seller, look through their other postings to see whether they’re selling numerous things. If you’re willing to buy more than one item, you may typically contact the vendor and receive a delivery discount.
  • For a great variety, go to a vintage store. Vintage stores usually know whether or not they have anything nice, but they don’t necessarily know the whole worth. If you’re seeking for something fashionable or unusual, vintage stores may offer what you’re looking for.
  • Flea markets are an excellent location to stock up on vinyl. While some may be a little pricey due to the increase in vinyl popularity, there are frequently amazing offers to be discovered.
  • Visit a yard or garage sale. On the weekend, get up early and hunt for the greatest and largest bargains. Large record collections are frequently sold for pennies on the dollar. Look through the bin or purchase everything.

Make your surroundings appealing.

When customers enter the store, you want it to seem like a music lover’s paradise. The atmosphere must be filled with music. Choose decorations for the walls, music for the sound system, employee attire, and even paint colours that reflect what your shop represents. For example, if you want to focus on grunge, flannel shirts and Nirvana on repeat are a fantastic place to start.

Step 4. Use advertising to attract customers. 

Once you’ve got the store and the products, you’ll need to attract customers. To reach the greatest number of potential clients, try to canvass the market using a range of advertisements.

  • Flyers are an excellent form of advertisement. Include important information about your company and place it in mailboxes, on doors, on vehicle windshields, and on bulletin boards across the city.
  • Newspaper advertisements reach a large number of people. Include enough information to make it easy to find and remember, but select your words wisely. Once you’ve written your ad, contact the local newspapers.
  • Make a radio or television commercial for your area. To make it memorable, create an eye-catching offer or a catchy jingle. When you start getting clients, ask them to provide testimonials for your store.
  • Make a social media presence for yourself. Aside from having advertisements on Facebook and other sites, be sure to post on a frequent basis and answer swiftly whenever your shop’s name or services are mentioned.

Step 5. Recruit new staff. 

Make your store an enjoyable place to work. Music enthusiasts wish to spend their days somewhere. Hire the right individuals by using the following suggestions:

  • Allow workers to choose the music they listen to while working. Allowing kids to listen to their favorite music, as long as they aren’t listening to music with which you disagree, will create a pleasant environment for them.
  • Employees should be given records as incentives. When an employee goes above and above, give them some nice gifts.
  • Allow ambitious musicians who work for you to play on their days off. Having live music at a venue is an excellent method to lure a crowd.

Step 6. Select the best place for your shop. 

It is impossible to predict if the shop will be successful, but locating it in a convenient location would undoubtedly assist. There are several variables to consider.

Consider the surroundings. Do you want to open a new company in a run-down neighborhood? Will a record store be welcomed in a tiny, rural community? Make certain that your business reflects the general image of your place.

Consider your competitors’ closeness. Setting up shop next door to your competitor might not be the best idea. Look for complementary businesses, places that identify with and complement the offers of your firm. For example, if you’re looking for recordings from the 1950s, a malt or ice cream shop might be ideal.

Determine whether or not labor will be accessible. Depending on the record store, highly knowledgeable musician personnel or entry-level employees may be required. Determine whatever type you want and check that the staff is available in the region.

Include your long-term goals. If you expect to grow in the near future, don’t confine yourself to a smaller space. Find a place with enough space for surplus inventory, rooms for supplemental offers (maybe a private studio), and whatever else you desire away from potential development.

There are both nice and poor portions of town. Avoid areas where there is a lot of crime, especially break-ins. Not only is this a possible risk for a business, but consumers and staff will avoid visiting a store if they believe they are in danger.

To find out what type of zoning laws exist in your area, contact the local planning office. You’ll need to know if it’s commercial or residential and if any building is authorized.

Make contact with the local music scene. Seek out local bands, singers, and musicians to be a part of your shop. Introduce yourself, solicit their assistance, and invite them to be a part of your big opening.

Step 7. Concentrating on Business Details

Create a thorough business strategy. A business strategy is an excellent tool for double-checking every element. It is not only about raising funds. Future goals, financials, market data, staffing, and industry strength are all significant factors in running a successful organization.

Make a business description. The description should clarify the nature of the business, why it will succeed, and what will be sold. Make it obvious that you want to concentrate on records. It should also detail the market deficiencies (for example, increasing online purchases), the clients who will be reached, and the reasons why it will succeed (e.g. prime real estate, your expertise, knowledgeable employees).

Decide what type of business it will be. Your financial condition may dictate this, but you must really evaluate if you want to open a record store on your own. If you don’t want to take on all the danger, you have many choices.

Compose an executive summary. The executive summary is the final part of the business plan that must be completed. New firms lack the information, history, and financial backing of established enterprises. As a result, an executive summary for a company should emphasize market research, your own experience, industry understanding, and why you feel you can thrive. Your knowledge and passion will most likely be useful here.

Step 8. Finance your company. 

Most people do not have enough money to start a business. You’ll need to figure out not only how to manage the business, but also how to pay for all of the necessary items. There are several financial loopholes to plan for when it comes to recording inventory, seats, tables, computers, cash registers, decorating, lighting, taxes, rent, and so on. Consider augmenting your startup expenditures with some of the choices listed below:

  • Apply for a government loan or grant. Loans of several forms are available, including the 7(a) General Small Business Loan, Microloans, and Real Estate & Equipment Loans. Investigate whether your company qualifies for one or more categories
  • Venture capitalists are an excellent source of financial assistance. With the right sales pitch and business idea, you could pique the interest of someone willing to either lend you money or invest in your company.
  • Inquire with local artists about their willingness to contribute. Many tiny bands and vocalists struggle to gain attention. They may be willing to participate if you present your shop as a possible source of cash, new admirers, or a location for performances.
  • Contact local artist management. They usually have their finger on the pulse of the music business and have access to prominent individuals in it. They may contribute to your company concept if you impress them with your ambition since they have expertise in everything from where to buy massive record supplies to booking shows.
  • Music professors may be a valuable source of knowledge and financing. They may not only be able to direct programs, students, and tutors to your region, but they may also be aware of financing in the area. Perhaps some form of school/university sponsorship might be employed to enhance value.
  • Consider crowdsourcing. Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe, Fundable, Micro-ventures, Tilt, and the list goes on and on.

Step 9. Secure a business name. 

Whatever it is, your record store’s name should say volumes about it. Choose a short name that reflects the core of the shop while also being something that the biggest amount of intended clients will identify with and appreciate. [15] At the absolute least, you’ll need to register your “Doing Business As” (DBA) with your state. It’s an issue of making a public record so that others can identify the person behind the firm. When you incorporate an LLC, the registration with the state is automatic. You might also apply for a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Step 10. Obtain all necessary business licenses and permissions and get started 

In general, a record store will not require a federal business license, but if you want to undertake any live broadcasting in the future, you must first consult with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Licenses differ by place and depending on your state, you may need many permissions. After obtaining all necessary permits and licenses its the time to start your record store.

Because of the expansion and success of digital and streaming music services like Spotify and iTunes, record shops no longer appeal to the majority of mainstream music consumers. Today’s successful record shop operations offer a resource for people who have a strong interest in a specific musical style or genre. You’ve discovered the ideal company concept and are now ready to take the next step. Starting a business entails more than simply registering it with the state. As we mentioned before it’s a tough job but if you are ambitioned then follow our guide take the steps and open a record store.