Music is a universal language. Regardless of age, race or religion, we all have a melody that makes us smile. For that reason, owning a music store is a good investment for anyone in just about any place in the world. Getting a music store off the ground takes a little know how and determination.
Get some inventory. This is an important move as it will decide the specific clientele that frequents the store. Megastores like Walmart and Target have all of the mainstream artists in every genre. Trying to compete with retail giants is not the best move. Seek underground artists in rock, R&B, country, jazz and hip hop. If this is not an appealing route, become the leader in classical music or Latin artists. The key is to build a niche with an inventory that is not readily available in the community. Look for wholesale record retailers online or in the community to build up the genre of inventory that is chosen.
Pick a prime location. The old adage about location is true. Location should be a function of the decisions made in step one. If, for example, underground hip hop artists make up the bulk of the inventory, find an area where the underground hip hop scene is prevalent. Customers who frequent a live music venue are more likely to visit the closest music store to pick up the latest release by their favorite artist.
Contact the Small Business Association. New business owners need consultants that will help with every aspect of starting a new business. The SBA provides helpful hints and detailed outlines for getting a business off the ground. The SBA is online (see Resources).
Develop relationships with local artists. This can serve a variety of purposes. Artists are also fans who buy music. They are walking billboards for the best place to get the best music. They can also provide in store concerts and signings whenever they have new releases. Artists will also provide access to a network of other artists for similar opportunities.
Network with radio stations. Stations will sell air time for advertising the record store, but they can also become partners in community events. Get to know event planners and programming directors at radio stations. This will allow the new music store to become the go to location for community events.