The music industry goes well beyond the glitz and glamour of rock stardom, as most of those on the stage and screen were inspired at some point and bought (or were given) their first instruments. Being a retailer who sold these future stars their guitars and basses is one thing, but these instruments wouldn’t play correctly if it weren’t for a supply of good strings. If you set up shop and sell branded names of guitar and bass strings, you may help a gifted guitarist get started on the right musical track.
Decide if your business will sell only electric and acoustic guitar strings or electric and acoustic bass strings as well, as doing so may increase profits due to a varied product selection. Also, decide if you’ll have a website that accepts online orders.
Contact top string makers with an established name in the industry, such as Fender, Gibson, Elixir, D’Addario, GHS, Martin and Ernie Ball, to name a few. Inquires can be done through the company’s website. You’ll want brands with a proven sales record, as musicians tend to be brand loyal, especially when it comes to strings. Find out any specifics involved in selling their product, since many manufacturers discourage selling a competitor’s products alongside their own.
Obtain a business license. Every state and jurisdiction varies on the procedural steps involved in getting licensed. Your local chamber of commerce can guide you and offer advice. Be aware that there are fees involved.
Once you are licensed, order string sets in bulk directly from the manufacturers you contacted earlier. Consider selling single strings as well, since many guitarists do not need to buy a whole pack of strings, and the convenience of being able to buy only one may boost your business.
Allot funds for advertising. Print business cards and take out ads in popular musicians' magazines to gain maximum exposure. Check competitors' prices, and adjust your prices accordingly to stay competitive.
- “The Unofficial Guide to Starting a Small Business”; Marcia Layton Turner; 2004
- accoustic guitar image by Chris Edwards from Fotolia.com