Not mine, but the author hit the most important aspects.
I think it is important to know what demographic the store is targeting. A small niche store will be different that a big community store. In my biz, getting to know my community and what they wanted had a dramatic effect on what we offered. I am not an avid shooter or collector, but I carry daily and practice 2-4 times per month. Here is what I look for:
1.) Prices not more than 15% over what I can find on the net. I will pay more to buy brick and mortar, but not much more. The better the staff is and the more the store stands behind their products the more I will be willing to pay over that price. Better yet, I would love to see a store with a solid web presence, with online inventory (with prices!), and easy custom ordering services.
2.) Have ammo for the F’n $800 pistol I just bought. I good store will anticipate shortages and runs on ammo, have a solid buffer supply in storage, and limit sales when the gun nutters want to buy out the damn store and reasonable folk are left with empty guns.
3.) Staff that values my patronage and my time. I’ll take a number at the DMV…no where else. Managers need to learn to staff for the ebb and flow of the workday and holidays…and elections. If you have 20 people waiting to buy guns, you can afford to pay some more help. Everyone at the gun counter doesn’t need to be an expert (though you need a few), just like everyone at my clinic doesn’t need to be a doctor. Triage, delegate, get ‘er done.
4.) Selection: have one or two premium items, and a TON of the popular stuff, in every option, with all available accessories. I would have been an easy upsell for a holster, laser, light, etc on my last gun purchase, the problem was they didn’t HAVE ANY OF IT! Selling accessories and such is a huge profit margin booster and a convenience for the buyer.
5.) Range! I’ll buy it if I can shoot it. My gun place has a range and they rent most the pistols they carry for cheap ($10) to try out at the range. I buy where I practice, makes it easy.
6.) Education: I don’t need to learn urban combat, LE tactics, or other Dynamic Pie concepts. I want to see a ton of safety classes FREE for the community. Some premium marksmanship classes, and maybe a few selections for the pros out there. Everything super low key and NO tacticool garbage like that Krav Maga stuff you were mocking earlier…those look like accidents waiting to happen. I see a group of guys in matching t-shirts enter the range and I freakin leave ASAP. Classes for kids need to be for kids…no Uzi’s…how about a single shot .22 bolt savage.
Now make it happen.
I can’t disagree with the author.