i would do this. offer both. maybe even do comparisons for customers. thats my plan when i open a shop in the future. after i win the lotto
Some people are saying drop Sony, dont neccesarly do that. Sure i would never run a Sony single din in my car, but that dosnt mean my dad/mom/friends on a budget wouldn't. Just find out the prices for the radios. What you can get them at based off your demand. What dosnt work for you might work for someone else. You should be set as long as you don't just order cheap stuff. You are looking into some good brands, you have the underground scene covered, if people know what they are looking for you are set, but you don't want a n00b coming in and thinking you have garbage just because he has never heard of them. To fix that you will need to carry some mainstream crap. Money is money, and the stupid kids money is just as valuable as anyone else's.
I'm taking notes on this and really appreciate it from all of you.
Honestly its all gonna be down to what you decide to sell, just remember you have to give people a reason to go to you. Best way to do this is be nice, if someone comes in with some crazy stories about what thier buddy said, dont just tell them no, educate them. If you can explain the basics to them it makes it easier to sell bigger products. You will be able to tell who will budge and who won't, just be respectful of thier decision. If they come in wanting to "beat the block down" but only have $500 lower thier expectations. But on that same coin, you might put a single 12 on 400w and they think its the coolest **** ever. So always find out what they want and work with them. If you upsellthem one time to make $30 more, you might have lost a customer who would come back and spend $500 more.
Mutant, that makes since too. I'll need a budget for everyone and would like to educate people that has no clue what type of system or whatever they're getting. Most local dealers push products on their customers and talk a load of crap just to make a sale. A lot of people don't know anything about there system when showing it off to their friends. They get pretty mad when you do a complete install and the labor and what not is $4-700 bucks.
From what I've seen the small stuff is your bread and butter. Head units, door speakers, alarms/remote starts. If you have a guy that's really good at tinting you'll get a lot of business. Up my way the one shop that I like, the owner/installer knows jack about audio, but he is very skilled at installing (if that makes sense?) and tinting. Really I guess I'm saying being a good installer is mostly just being a good mechanic, being able to take things apart and put them together quickly without breaking stuff, and knowing where to find the right wires under the dash and in the kicks.
I just met with an old friend that owns a shop now in Florida. He has 9 employees and is really really busy. Even he only does a couple really crazy builds a year, and I'm willing to bet he didn't get 40,000$ job his first month in business.
Do some market research in your area and make sure you have a plan. Add 20-25% to whatever you think your expenses will be because there's invariably stuff you didn't consider that will sneak up on you.
What brand you will carry is the last of your worries. If people like you, they will buy from you, if you do good work as well, even better.
Oh, don't forget about the crimps, primary wire, spades,loom, grommets etc.
You have a chance to make it if you do SOLID work at reasonable prices and are good at selling yourself. In today's world with all of the internet based stores you will constantly be compared to them. The key is to be a straight forward solid installer and stand behind everything you do 150%. There will be some customers that will buy on the net regardless of your reputation and there are some that will buy from you always if you treat them right. Some people will pay a little more for items if they are getting great service and if they feel like you will handle any issue that comes up. The custom box thing is hit or miss. I would stock a few pre-fabs and offer customs if they want them. There are some people that are just NOT going to spend the money on a NICE custom enclosure. I chose personally to stay with the custom box industry and NOT get too deep into the product side of it. Good luck if you decide to go for it...
i had a part time shop but i only did comp worthy systems,starters and alarms. jobs went in my area and i closed. i refused to do those small systems and no prefabs, didnt care.
if you want to stay open the cheaper stuff is where you make ur $. you want kids to be able to walk in and out with subs in a box for cheap.
find a good window tint guy first!!!
reason i say this he can make you money inshop and also doing houses and business, lotttta cash there bro.
2nd find urself a guy for remote starts there is ur other big $.
you will have very few people dropping 2k plus for audio...
Make sure you cover all your bases. If you start worrying too much about the lines you carry and not enough about your financial end, you'll end up bankrupt before you're a year in.
Wish ya were in richmond! I say good luck and keep us updated if you decide to go through with the plans!
To some degree you must put your passion for car audio aside, and focus on the dollar bills. That probably means pushing a bunch of cheap merchandise(along with the good stuff) to keep money coming in the door. Also have you looked at the specific dealership costs? (RF,JL,Sony, ect...) I'm not talking about dealer pricing, but the cost you have to pay the manufacturer up front to market their product? At my work (Hardware & tools) we just changed are lawn and garden tool brands, just to carry a different brand of chainsaws the initial dealership costs were (STIHL=$75,000/Husqvarna=$57,000) and that didn't include the "stock" just the rights to sell and all the dealer marketing material/Training (signs and displays). I'm sure the car audio cost won't be that high, but the more brands you carry the more fee's. Also certain manufactures will not allow you to carry some brands. For example Stihl will not let you be a dealer if you sell Husqvarna and vice-versa, you may run into some of that. You should also consider having a real good strong website to generate sales as well, not just an online billboard
I'm curious what the diff. brands want for dealerships
sounds like a good idea, and as stated before, i wish you were closer, how else am i going to step up to those sa-8v2s? tho i prefer the look of the v1's, that's why i went with the ma-8's. anyways...good luck, you would be a great guy to by from, those four 8's on 3000wrms could do a lot of talking for you...lol. keep me posted on your progress.
I've called some of the main line dealers within the past few days. Some of them are looking really promising and has sent me some more info on their products. I've talked to a few guys I know who are getting out of this type business (retiring). They've given me some other resources to also check into. I'm thinking three off brands people hasn't heard of and bringing in a couple of mainstream stuff to get people into the door. Macsdad, you could always take a little road trip and get another demo of my truck, haha. As of right now I'm looking at two months out at most.
I would budget $100K to get started if you want to start up with reputable lines. If not, you may want to look into smaller lines, less appealing lines until you can afford to bring in the big guns. A realistic goal for starting a business in this economy, is $50k to $75K. You will also need money for advertizing.