I'm someone who's saving up money to throw my life away. I want to open a comic book/gaming store. Pretty much toss my social life away in pursuit of my passion. The thing is, I don't know how much I'm gonna need to start this beotch up. I've done some research online and everyone says you need 60-100k to start a comicbook store, but to me this seems high. Anyone in a similar boat?
There's a lot that goes into this. From getting and managing staff, to legal issues, to setting up payment processing, etc.
First and foremost is studying your market. Is there a demand/need for your store? Are there any competitors? How are they doing? What can you do different.
Also, location, location, location. You can have a great store, product, and service, but if you set up shop in a shitty side street because the rent is cheap, you can be fucked. Also, it's all about the cash flow. It will take months maybe even a year to stabilize operations. You better have extra cash or access to credit around to operate at a deficit for some time.
My friends (husband and wife) left their jobs to open a gaming bar. He was an engineering at NASA and she was a teacher. It's been like 2 years now and it's very successful.
Friends of a friend bought out store from a chain that went under. They ran it for maybe 2 years until they had to give up.
Rent is killer. There's a market for almost any kind of store but not enough to flush $5K+ per month down the toilet supporting some layabout landlord's coke habit. I wanted to open a shop too and still feel tempted every time I drive by another vacant storefront. Nobody in spending; nobody has been since 2009.
Running a business isn't as hard as some people make it out to be. It's getting traffic that's tough. If you can't see doing at least $25K sales per month, think twice about doing it this way.
You'd also better have a backup plan if it doesn't work out.
Oh, store that closed was a game store. I also know a guy who's been successful in comics for 30 years but has downsized to only one store at this point. The market just isn't spending and costs are going up up up.
Well, I'm in an area where the closes two stores are over 40 minutes away, and i'm pretty close to a high traffic tourist area. I have loads of comic knowledge, and I also plan to branch out to TCGs/CCGs like Magic the Gathering and all that jazz.
Rent and insurance for a storefront are your big expenses.
Rent on a 2000sqft store in a high traffic area (where, you know, you want a store) can be upward of 20,000 a month in certain areas of the country.
Then your insurance is next which depending on a few factors will be between 1k and 5k per month.
Then dont forget you lose roughly 30% of everything you bring in to taxes right off the top. Workmans comp can get pricey as well, and dear god unemployment taxes.
In today world for a retail store to succeed you need to be certain you are going to bring in a minimum of 100-150k a year gross to even hope to pay yourself anything, and that is taking into account fairly cheap rent and having no employees (so basically your typical independent 7-11 clone)
General rule of thumb is to have 2 years operating cash saved. If you are at 18 months and you arent turning at least 10k a month gross you know you have 6 months to get an organized departure planned
About a half hour from the state capital. Two toy stores within 40 minutes where a decade ago there were at least a dozen. Lots of shuttered comic shops too. Rent kills these businesses.
Not trying to be rude but how much you know about comics isn't worth a hill of beans. Seriously look into what your margins will be and calculate how much you have to sell to make rent. Don't count on making up poor book margins with toy sales. Diamond is slooooow to deliver and will short you sometimes.
Look, I want you to succeed at this but you have got to consider all that can go wrong and be prepared for it so you don't crash at the first surprise that comes your way.
Disclaimer: I'm bailing out. Tried a lot of stuff but could never make it work. Hate to see anyone bang their head against the wall learning the hard way like I had to.
I worked in a comic/game store.
Do not open a comic/game store. It's a bad business in a bad industry. Do not do it. Right now most game stores are staying afloat basically because of the Magic boom. That goes away and you're all completely fucked. Even without that it's not very lucrative and basically no money there. It's also an enormous pain in the asshole all day long.