Have you thought about turning your passion into a career?
They say that if you do something you love, you never work a day in your life – and it’s probably true! If you’re truly passionate about what you do, getting up to go to work should never be difficult.
If you love retro video games, opening up a store could be your answer to getting rid of Monday morning blues. Nothing would be better than selling awesome video games to people who love them too, right?
If you want to open a retro video game store, here’s everything you need to get started.
Find a Space for Your Retro Video Game Store
The first thing you need to do is find a suitable space. The amount of money you have will play a big part in what’s available to you, but there are things you should always consider.
To help your video game store get off to a good start, you need to find a space that’s busy and gets enough footfall. A town center is usually the ideal spot but can be expensive. If you can find a place to rent away from the center but near a popular spot like a train station or cinema, this could work too.
When you first open your store, it needs to be big enough to hold a variety of stock and be welcoming to customers. You don’t want a dark, cluttered shop! But, don’t spend too much money on a massive store when you don’t have tons of stock and you’re just starting out.
You can either rent or purchase the space. If you don’t have a huge startup loan or don’t want to make such a big commitment, renting is usually the best option. On the other hand, if you purchase the space you do have a chance to make money selling it if the store doesn’t work out.
Make sure you know what you’re looking for and ask a real estate agent for help if you’re a little unsure. View plenty of different options and when you find the one for you, you’ll know!
Obtain Your Business License
Before you open a game store, you need to get the necessary licenses and permits. Pretty much every store in the US needs a license to open, so this is a vital step!
The license you’ll need varies from state to state. Be sure to read up on the requirements to make sure you comply with local law. Once you have your license, you’ll be legally allowed to open up your shop!
Source Your Store Stock
A key part of your retro game store business plan is, of course, sourcing your stock. This might take a bit of time as the market is so niche, so make sure you’re prepared to be patient!
Here are some ways you could source retro video games and consoles:
- Flea markets
- Thrift stores
- Second-hand auction sites
- Garage sales
You should basically be searching anywhere that has second-hand goods! You should be able to pick up a lot of stock for cheap prices. If you can, be sure to check the condition the goods are in beforehand or try and get a return policy for those you can’t try before purchase.
You might want to always stock some related items, like vintage video game posters and figures. These should interest your target market and can give you a more varied range of stock.
What About Pricing?
The survival of your vintage game store comes down to how much money you make. Pricing your stock to keep you afloat is crucial.
Work out your expenses and how much you need to make to stay afloat. You need to make sure you’re pricing the stock you have high enough to cover these whilst not putting your customers off.
It’s a good idea to look at online prices and similar stores to get a better idea of what you can sell your stock for. Try and find second-hand bargains that you can sell for more to make the biggest profit. The right business marketing can also help you raise your prices, with customers paying more for the stock they can trust.
Hiring Your Employees
If you’re only opening a small retail business, you don’t always need to of through the process of hiring employees straight away. If you can run the store on your own, definitely do so! It’ll save you a lot of money and add that ‘local business’ feel that customers love.
If you are hiring employees, make sure you have the right insurance in place and all of your systems set up. For example, this pay stub template is a great way to pay your customers professionally.
Hire an Accountant
Even small businesses should have accountants. You can hire a freelance accountant when you start to avoid costly fees of a whole team whilst still getting the benefits.
An accountant can help you organize your finances, save money on business taxes, and make sure you’re not wasting your funds. When money is the one thing keeping your business afloat, it makes sense to hire someone who can look after it.
Open Your Store!
The final step is opening up your retro video game store! This is the moment when all the hard work pays off and you can start living your career dream.
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