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Retail Store

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by bovegas, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. bovegas

    bovegas Member

    Sep 6, 2008
    Des Plaines, IL
    Finally after 3 years working from home I decided to get retail space on busy street and run my business from there. Store is about 1000 square feet and has huge window. My rent is $840 plus gas and electric. Around me there are a lot of business and retail stores and daily traffic is 20000 cars. My competition is Sign-a-Rama chain sign store about 2 miles away. I have my clientele which are trucking companies and i can run business without new customers or walkins but I would definetelly like to get new customers of the street. Do you guys have experience how many customers I could expect to get a month? Also any tips what should I offer product wise. Right now I can do digital printing on vinyl and banners, vehicle graphics, magnetic signs, Installation of channel letters, pad printing, t-shirts. hats, sublimation and I am buying and selling printers after I repair them. Any tips what else I should offer to walkins. Thanks in advance
  2. ChicagoGraphics

    ChicagoGraphics Major Contributor

    Feb 27, 2007
    You can offer some of them HOT spanish chicks from next door.....:clapping:
  3. signswi

    signswi Very Active Member

    Oct 29, 2009
    You should probably take this to the Business Management forum. No one will be able to give you numbers on walk-ins as that's a hyper-local metric. You'll find out over time, depends on how good of a marketer you are. Keep metrics, do your ROI calcs!
  4. mark in tx

    mark in tx Very Active Member

    Oct 25, 2005
    Harker Heights, Texas
    Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but you want to open up a retail store, without knowing what you would sell?

    You have existing customers, which don't sound like retail customers. Why not capitalize on that? Look for an industrial space that would complement your installs for the fleet vehicles.

    As far as retail goes, are you prepared mentally for people that come in and say things like,
    "Do you make signs?"
    "How much is a sign?"
    "How big is a banner?"
    "I need that thingy that goes on my truck."
    "Can you give me a discount on my $20.00 purchase?"

    What I'm trying to say is, you will be spending less time with the fleet customer that generally knows what they want, usually has a realistic budget, and is ultimately more profitable for someone that walks in off the street that you will have to figure out exactly what they want, educate them to make that decision and then has unrealistic expectations on time, price, and design.

    The first time you realize that you have just spent 40 minutes talking to someone trying to figure out all they want is an 18x24 coroplast, single sided, 3 lines of text, 1 color, and they only want 1 of them, you will understand retail walk-in sign shop daily life.

    Best of luck to you.
  5. Sticky Signs

    Sticky Signs Very Active Member

    Nov 9, 2009
    Got a call from a girl yesterday. First thing she asked was "are all your signs sticky?"
  6. speedmedia

    speedmedia Very Active Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    I lock my doors so I don't get walk in customers anymore. Been the best thing I have ever done. By appt. only. Sick of people wasting my time for goofy stuff.

  7. tattoo.dan

    tattoo.dan Active Member

    Aug 3, 2009
    Southern Il
    Yeah, I am in retail location with nice window to display all of my t-shirts and sign samples.....this week I covered my windows and locked the doors with a note to call for service.....working out very nice. My big return customers call anyway...now I am focusing on getting my money making orders done without being interrupted. Today three people walked away. One was a salesman, and two called first call from her car "how much is a shirt and can you make it today?" no thanks, second "I wanted to sit down and talk with you about making a cool flame sticker for my three wheeler fender.... I love it! I am sure I will open doors back up, but this is my summer "vacation"! I hope you enjoy the walk-ins more than I do! Good Luck!
  8. tattoo.dan

    tattoo.dan Active Member

    Aug 3, 2009
    Southern Il

    Hah, I was typing that at the same time! I may be like you and never open my doors! I told my "receptionist" to take the week off too! Appointment only sounds like a way I may go!
  9. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

    Jan 2, 2010
    Mitten State
    +1 more for avoiding the walk-in tire-kicker.

    But to be fair, it wouldn't be a bad idea to hire a receptionist to screen all your clients and turn away the ones that appear to be a time & money drain. That way, you won't be turning away any potentially profitable jobs.

  10. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    Sep 27, 2010
    Maybe 5% of my business is the average joe that walks in off the street. Now typically it's a quick thing, but I would (and do) prefer to deal with a business and not one of those fly by night ones. So far it's worked out very well.
  11. petepaz

    petepaz Major Contributor

    Feb 14, 2007
    we are not in a retail area but even when we had a small spot on a main road way the few people that came in for printing or signs would have caused us to go out of business real fast. i don't know if this happens in all areas but we used to be a be by a sign-a-rama and it changed hands about 3 times in 3 years
    i guess if you have enough business that all the walk in stuff is extra the next thing to ask is do you have someone to help those people that spend an hour + talking about a 1 pc job so you can work on your money making fleet graphics?
  12. signswi

    signswi Very Active Member

    Oct 29, 2009
    Can I get some of those transparent magnets
  13. klemgraphics

    klemgraphics Active Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    It's bad enough for me and I'm in a town of maybe 100. Most walk in customers I get are a) tightwads, b) teenager wanting something for $5, c) salesmen. Most days anymore I leave the overhead doors down so nobody can tell I'm here.