Planning Magic Shop Operations
Like every small business, a magic shop is conceived initially in the form of a business plan. A business plan for a magic shop should focus on the initial budget, the type of inventory in the store as well as plans in the next five years to open additional outlets. Shop owners should gather as much of their own money as possible before bolstering budgets through loans and infusions from business partners. Magic shop owners must state in their plans if they want to offer novelties, large tricks like cabinet escapes and guillotines and magic accessories. Store owners looking to expand over time should determine how much profit is needed in the early years to finance new shops.
Preparing a Magic Shop for Operation
Magic shop owners do not conjure trick cards, kits and books on magic from thin air. Supply wholesalers sell inventory to shop owners at cost, giving owners the opportunity to make profits via retail markups. Murphy's Magic Supplies is only one of several dozen wholesalers on the Internet available to magic shop owners. Once a wholesaler is found, owners have to think about an ideal storefront for his magic shop. Since shop owners are strapped for cash in the early days of their businesses, renting small retail spaces is the best idea until revenue outweighs expenses. Magic shops located near universities, downtown districts and communities of creative professionals will benefit from foot traffic as well as consumer curiosity.
Attracting Consumers Through Advertising and Magic Displays
From the first day of business, magic shop owners should seek to create an intriguing atmosphere for first-time and repeat customers. The store's front window can be labeled with the shop name in a funky font above a display of magic supplies. The interior of the magic shop should put consumers in the mood for tricks and illusions with spooky music, faint lighting and posters of famed magicians like Harry Houdini and David Blaine. Owners familiar with sleight of hand, the floating pencil and the magnetic hand can teach store clerks these tricks to dazzle consumers. In addition to educating another generation on the wonders of magic, owners can convert customer interest into sales with simple but clever magic tricks.
Maintaining Interest in a Magic Shop
The problem for a new magic shop is maintaining early interest from consumers after the opening day buzz is gone. Owners who are experienced magicians can get advice from the Society of American Magicians (SAM), which offers memberships ranging from $65 to $85 per year. SAM holds an annual convention, publishes newsletters and allows networking between members to give shop owners ideas on how to keep their businesses fresh. A good magic shop will have a small space for amateur illusions and tricks, allowing kids and adults to show their skills to customers. These displays will encourage customers to learn magic and return to show how much they have learned, bringing along friends and family who may not have known about the shop. Magic shop owners can also host experts on the occult, magicians and historians interested in past conjurers to bring in curious customers throughout the year.
- Photo by Prisoner 5413 (Flickr)