The music retail industry is diverse, with many different types of music tailored to many different demographic groups. CD store owners can help their prospects by carving out a special niche. For example, if your city is home to several CD stores that cater to mainstream tastes, you might consider specializing in vintage classic rock CDs to set yourself apart. Locate it near a college arena, concert hall or sports stadiums, since classic rock artists often hold concerts at these venues.
Research the music retail industry. Read magazines such as "The Music Trades" and "Billboard" to find the latest data on sales and learn about the challenges music retailers face. Meet with local radio station managers to discuss ways new music retailers can reach customers. Mine them for ideas on finding suppliers. Attend local music industry trade shows to network with other music retailers.
Develop your business plan. Include what kind of CD store you plan to open, what your customer base will be, and how much funding you will need to get started. Include a budget detailing your monthly expenses and how much revenue you will need to cover those expenses and turn a profit.
Devote a section to research you have done on the music retail industry and how you plan to use that data to your advantage. Include a marketing plan. Provide a detailed outline of your experience in the field. Before presenting your business plan to potential investors, hire a professional editor to review it for inaccuracies and grammatical errors.
Search for a building. Choose a high-traffic location, preferably one near high schools, colleges, restaurants, churches, parks and community centers. Consult your budget to see how much you can spend on a mortgage payment or lease. Find a building with enough space so your customers can shop without feeling cramped. It should also include space for a stock room and small office.
Visit local government and small business association websites to learn what kind of permits, licenses and fees are required to open your CD store.
Find suppliers for your business. Look for those that carry the type of music you want to specialize in. If you are opening a store that specializes in 1970s and 1980s country music, search the Internet and find suppliers that have large CD inventories of this type of music. When you find suppliers, arrange to meet with their respective owners to discuss their selection, prices and experience in the field.
Market your CD store. Hire a professional Web designer to help you create a colorful and detailed website that describes your products, prices, business hours and promotional specials. Include background information on yourself. The website should let customers purchase products online. It also should include separate pages for customer comments and supplier contracts. Include some music samples on your website to enhance the experience.
Set up a retail booth at local trade shows where you can offer flyers and discounts on some of your products. If you have the budget for it, advertise your CD store in local periodicals and on local websites. Focus on periodicals and websites that provide comprehensive coverage of the local entertainment scene.
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