The Archery Shop
Here's a quote by a man that knows, bfisher; "It takes big money (at least 1/4 mill) to open a decent shop and working 16-18 hour days and a large enough customer base to work with to make a go of a full time shop."
Along with the above people have to understand having bows and archery accessories that sell is paramount. You might like Martin, but if in a Hoyt or Bowtech oriented community you best have Hoyt or Bowtech or both. Same with accessories, target, or hunting items, you have what sells, not what you like.
Turn over is a must. No item can remain in the shop for any lengthy time. A brand new bow one year old is a old bow, period. To move a item you sell it at a loss to recover at least some money to put towards something that will make you money. Right now, I know of a high dollar arrow rest at another shop that is priced half of list just to get it out the door and still no one is buying it. So be prepared to "eat" a total loss on anything.
Strings. Your shop has to be big, really big to have a assortment of strings on-hand. Just figure the cost of having just one set of strings for every Martin bow of 2013 and mulitply it with 2012, 2011, and 2010. So you need a string maker that will give fast turn around. In most cases 3 days is fast enough and in other cases 3 days is too slow.
Might be nice to cater to friends, but friends can bleed you dry and possibly even lose a friend. You have to learn to live with heart aches of all kinds.
Labor cost is based on what you have to have and what the archery community will pay - the real rock and hard spot. You have to establish what you're worth and stand fast.....
A shop that is on the verge of opening has found out just fletching arrows is far beyond what he thought. Jigs, offset, helical, multitude of vanes, different glues, and time. Where I fletch arrows for $2 per he is looking at $3 per. In all reality I should be charging $3, but the shop I work at is all but closed.
Paper tuning can be simple and it can wear your patience to a frazzle. I don't do it for customers, but if the customer wants to; $7 per hour plus $3 per 6 feet of rolled paper. If I have to it's $20 plus what has to be done to correct a problem - rest, center serving or whatever.
Warmed over dead beat bows or ancient bows. If it takes 2 or 3 hours is that person willing to pay $40 or $50 in just labor to revive his bow? I once searched the archery world over to find out how to time a ancient PSE that man dearly loved. People at PSE didn't even know. Finally, a retired PSE employee stepped forward.
With afore mentioned, I require a cash down payment on some bows just to start. Cash, no check or credit card. Or learn to say, No.
Special order items. One, dealing with suppliers a minimum order is sometimes required and if not you pay more. Minimum order met I then require 50% down or I don't order the item. 50% down may insure the customer coming back to pay the remaining. If not you've only to recover the 50% remaining and the possibility of selling that item at a good profit.
Hours.... Bows and accessories break at the wrong time and need repaired. We cater to a Outfitter group. Their clients come in at dark when I'm closing the door or already home. We also ran indoor events that sometimes ran to 11:00 at night.
I hear you Sonny. One other important thing. You had better be equally as good, or better than your competition. I'm in the swimming pool business in a small town of 20,000. 20 miles away is Joplin Mo. 100,000 population (metro area) Between the two towns, there's over a dozen pool places. Within the roughly 80 mile radius that I work, there's at least 25. Some come and go every year, but the numbers are always pretty steady. We've been in this game since 1970, and the hours haven't changed much. If anything, the hours have gotten longer, as our customer base has expanded. Owning your own business isn't all that it's cracked up to be. The best perk of all is being able to tell some jackass to take his business elsewhere. lol