Dreams . . .

Discussion in 'NFA/Class 3 & FFL Discussion' started by JW357, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    Alright, so I have these big dreams to one day open a gun store. I have been thinking a lot about this lately. Firearms are my third biggest passion in my life (behind my family and country) and I believe I couldn't be happier in a job unless I get to work with and be around them all day. I have served my country honorably, and am still contracted until 2017 (maybe a year before that, depending on things). So I believe it might soon be time to move on.

    Now, I will be stationed in San Diego soon, and I will likely ride out the rest of my term there. While there, I plan on getting my 01 FFL. I have done some preliminary research, not near enough yet, and have learned a lot of good things, especially from this very forum.

    One thing I plan on doing until we are settled down in Texas (or wherever) after life in the Corps is building up my lines of credit with various distributors, essentially out of my house.

    I have been thinking about it, and what I will try to do while in San Diego is set aside about $2000 for the sole purpose of building lines of credit. I will buy a couple easy to sell guns, such as Glock 19, on credit from some distributors who don't mind my not having a brick and mortar store. Within a week of receiving the firearms, I will use the $2k cash to pay off the credit. Then I can sell the guns at my leisure. When I have sold them all, I will use the money received (I plan on selling them for the same price I buy them for, plus the cost of shipping if applicable) from them to fund the next batch. I will keep doing this until we live wherever we plan on living after the Corps. Hopefully at such time I will have built up enough rapport and lines of credit with distributors that I won't have to worry too much about stocking inventory (when I have the brick and mortar store) using the business loan that I'll start out with.

    I don't exactly have any specific questions, and I know there's a lot of good information and advice buried in this forum. I haven't had time to comb through it all yet. but I plan on it. Basically I'm posting to give you guys something to sit on the edge of your seat about over the next several years. I know you're all on pins and needles, just dying to know if it works out for me.

    By the way, for what its worth, I have a tremendous amount of drive to make this happen. I won't allow myself to fail, and I believe that's the most important thing about running a small business. My brother has owned a car customization shop for 12 years, and I was just talking to him about this the other day. He believes the only reason his business has stayed open for the last 12 years, through two recessions, is because of his passion and drive.

    Thanks for reading. Does anyone have any specific or general advice, related to being an FFL or to running a business?

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013
  2. AirCavBob

    AirCavBob New Member

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    Good luck JW357. I hope you do well and thank you for your service! Looking forward to the responses you receive. I’m kind in a similar boat but I do have a Brick and Mortar location already. I’m really interested in how a new FFL gets in with distributors and how the lines of credit with them gets established.
     

  3. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    Thanks, Bob. Best of luck to you too.

    So your store isn't a firearms store? Is that accurate?
     
  4. MisterMcCool

    MisterMcCool Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Are banks lending money to start a firearms store?
     
  5. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    Right now, at this point in time? I have no idea.

    I don't know why they wouldn't, though, on principle. Its a business just like any other. Are you referring to the shutdown?
     
  6. MisterMcCool

    MisterMcCool Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No. Right after the Sandy Hook shooting, several financing companies committed to no further funding of firearms businesses.
     
  7. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    Plan for dry times.

    Pay attention to what is going on for seasons. Snowshoes are a hard sell in Florida.

    If you deal in guns alone, that small pile of money will get smaller.

    Polar bear firearms are rarely purchased in Florida, .270 ammo was found on the shelves at Walmart, but nothing else (except shotgun ammo).
     
  8. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    I see. I'm sure there are some out there that haven't fallen to the liberal trap.

    That's pretty sickening to me, honestly. Cutting funding for an industry which had as much to do with Sandy Hook as the moon did, IMO.

    Thank you, good advice. It won't be strictly firearms. I will sell ammo, holsters, CCW classes, lights, lasers, and other such related items.

    My idea for the store is for it to be strictly for defensive firearms and things related. For example, no hunting or competition guns. I know this will limit my market slightly but honestly that's what I know the best. And I feel like I would be able to sell it better.

    Maybe in the future, when/if I expand, I'll venture into other areas of the firearms world.
     
  9. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    Check what the local police wear on their belts.
    Also, keep an eye on EMT and firefighter equipment.

    Depending on location, hunting or competition could be your best customer.

    Check out the local chain sports stores. Customers will ask for things the chain stores do not carry (Tripp magazines, handcuffs, etc...)
    Instant market.
     
  10. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    Thanks. Once again, good advice.
     
  11. AR_rdm

    AR_rdm New Member

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    Firstly thank you JW for serving our country! I hope you succeed in your indevors! One thing I noticed in my state is that almost none of the shops in my area offer gunsmithing anymore I think thats a bad idea! One shop I like offers gunsmithing and sometimes classes that show you how to break your rifle down clean it and rebuild it there was a AK class just recently thought this was a good idea to get people into your shop! Lots of newbies bought AR's and didnt know the first thing about them even I'm still learning building mine from scratch! If more people understand their firearms the country would be a safer place!
     
  12. seancslaughter

    seancslaughter New Member

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    If in your shoes I would definitely expand into carrying kit for first responders too from uniforms and duty equipment and everything in between and get some contracts to supply stuff to local departments. Save up some money and get an 09 FFL and a FEL so you can sell flashbangs and other special equipment because there is some real $$ in those(IIRC a case of 12 bangers goes for over a grand) as far as I know in Texas only one other store sells that stuff and they are GT distributers 10 years ago when I got out of the military they were a nice size shop now they are huge and making tons of money selling exclusively to first responders. Also start writing your business plan now it is a huge undertaking, but necessary for securing a business loan.
     
  13. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    If you limit your selection to tactical and your moving to texas which has one of the longest deer seasons and one of the best run hunting programs with hogs going wild you may have some difficulties.

    Like it or not hunting products outsell tactical and ccw stuff everyday all day.
     
  14. seancslaughter

    seancslaughter New Member

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    I agree with Jon on that I would not limit myself to a certain type of firearm you never want to limit your market (Wish my mom would have listened to me about this when she named her lil restaurant/tea shop The Ladies Corner she might still be in business). I would definitely carry hunting firearms and would even grab a few C & R items to draw collectors in. I mean you could grab a few Mosins and Mausers and turn them for an easy profit. Stock a few savages, remingtons etc.... bolt actions maybe some deer feeders and trail cams and you just expanded your market. There is plenty of room for expansion down here
     
  15. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    Thank you all for the continued advice everyone. I had assumed this thread to be dead and gone. I was pleasantly surprised to see an update for it.

    I still want to open a gun store eventually, although it will probably be several years after I get out. And it will more than likely be in NC.

    I have been continuously thinking about it and you're all right. Limiting my business to defensive firearms and equipment wouldn't be the best move. I'll just have to keep learning about everything.

    Thanks again everyone!

    Thanks. Its been my pleasure.
     
  16. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    Update to this for those interested: I have new orders to NC. I am currently in Texas but will be back in N. Carolina within the next few months.
     
  17. Eagle1803

    Eagle1803 New Member

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    use your VA small business load if it is still availible, Obama probably cut that to.

    And I would consider moving out of you state for any chance at all in a gun store.
     
  18. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    I'm not in Kalifornia anymore. NC will be my "forever" (whatever that entails) home. Or were you talking about NC?
     
  19. AR_rdm

    AR_rdm New Member

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    Well NC will offer more choices the cali thats for sure sight see aroubd the town visit different shops won't help you if 100 stores cater to hunting! Got a friend (currently serving or not) that shares the same passion for firearms might help with the capital needed to get a "store front" inventory, licensing etc...
     
  20. 1911love

    1911love New Member

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    I would certainly market heavily to women. My main LGS does this to great success. It's also nice to see eye candy in there shopping for weapons and ammo. They do a $50 CC class at the shop and then help them select hardware from the showroom. Also, a few of us regulars do marketing for them for free and receive better prices. Service determines where I buy, in addition to price of course.