Happy HolidaySs Giveaway - Winners Re-Re-Re-Re-Drawn - 24 hours to Claim!

Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Dream LHBS
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-11-2012, 04:09 PM   #11
TwoJays
Junior Member
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
TwoJays's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Whitefield, Maine
Posts: 47
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 90

Default

Organization is a major concern. There should be a logical grouping of things in your showroom to make things easy to find. While I love to see a place with one of everything on display, this can be a financial challenge. A way around this, which I do not see at my LHBSs, is to have catalogs available for the customers (and employees) to browse. When I worked the parts counter at a motorcycle shop, this was a major help to us to always stay on top of new products, locate items that a customer may not know the name of, and let the customers pick out and purchase items that we never would have dreamed of stocking.

If you have an online store, apply the same organization as you would your physical store. Group the items in a logical fashion, keep them up to date, and delete any items that are discontinued or no longer available to you.

Your primary reason for existing - ingredients - is a major concern. Be certain that you are always on top of your inventory so you know when to reorder and hopefully avoid selling out of certain ingredients. If you find that you run out of hop A more often than hop B, take this into consideration and order accordingly. One of my local LHBSs is often substituting ingredients for the customer, sometimes without telling them until they've arrived to pick up their phoned-in order. I'm no expert brewer, so I do not know the extent of when it is or is not acceptable to substitute, but I would imagine that highly competitive homebrewers probably want the specific ingredients they've asked for.
Once again, if you run an online store - keep it up to date with your inventory. Once you're out of something, disable it until you replenish it.

Good luck!

__________________
TwoJays is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-11-2012, 04:44 PM   #12
Gameface
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Gameface's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 1,218
Liked 229 Times on 146 Posts
Likes Given: 309

Default

I go to my LHBS primarily to buy sacks of grain and yeast. While I'm there I look around and buy other things I need if they catch my eye.

If I could order bulk hops from my LHBS for a reasonable price I might do it, but I definitely don't spend $2.50/oz on hops there unless I really only need 1-2 oz of a certain hop and haven't planned far enough ahead to order it online (not often).

__________________
Gameface is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-11-2012, 05:10 PM   #13
HeavyKettleBrewing
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 582
Liked 18 Times on 16 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Theshorey
Hey All, looking for some help from all the brewers on HBT...

I am doing research into opening a LHBS, and I just wanted some input from the "uses" on what they want to see, what they usually buy locally, and in there are any LHBS owners/ operators what doesn't work.

I know the basics, hops, chems, beer kits etc., I'm just looking for info on the speciality stuff that people would buy local to save paying shipping etc.

Thanks in advance for all the help!
Tangibles have already been listed. My suggestion would be to provide the intangibles. Unless you live in an area void of a HBS, I would suggest finding a way to make your shop standout. Try organizing events to bring local brew clubs together at your shop. See if you can get local breweries to sponsor a "Meet the brewer" night. Advertise a free class/workshop once a week. This only helps if you or your employees are knowledgable. Besides the inventory, marketing will be your next major investment.

Of the shops in my area, each one has an alternate type business running out of the same building. One hydroponics/HBS, mini-mart/HBS, and several brewery/HBS. Don't know if an HBS could sustain itself and provide you with personal income. I hope the research is a precursor to writing a business plan.
__________________
HeavyKettleBrewing is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-11-2012, 05:17 PM   #14
ElyIrishBrew
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Ely, MN
Posts: 175
Liked 15 Times on 12 Posts
Likes Given: 19

Default

While there are many online sources for brew stuff, I like the business model adopted by one of the fishing/camping stores near here. They have a fully stocked and varied brick-and-mortar store, but also large enough space in the back that they can store a lot of overstock. Why the overstock? Partly to save by buying in volume, but partly because they've also added an online store, and it's not uncommon for them to ship 100-125 items per day. That's a big deal when foot traffic is down, and another way to vary the revenue stream.

It's definitely a bigger investment to set up a business with dual citizenship, so to speak. Added costs in inventory, shipping supplies and Web site. So many small business get started too undercapitalized to succeed. So there's that to consider. But no reason it couldn't work for a brew store.

__________________
"Ain't but one thing I don't do about your country music, and that is care."
ElyIrishBrew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-11-2012, 05:29 PM   #15
ktblunden
Senior Member
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
 
ktblunden's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Lancaster, CA
Posts: 1,828
Liked 289 Times on 175 Posts
Likes Given: 24

Default

Friendly, knowledgeable staff is the most important thing. Everyone who works there must be courteous to customers and able to offer advice or be able to troubleshoot a problem the customer is having with one of their beers. You will always be at a price disadvantage to the online retailers, your only advantage is face-to-face interaction with your customers, so you have to make that count. Maddad's suggestions of events is a good one, classes and demonstrations are something the online retailers can't do, so that is a good way to differentiate your shop.

__________________
ktblunden is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-11-2012, 06:12 PM   #16
Theshorey
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Oakland, ME
Posts: 41
Likes Given: 1

Default

Very good info! I'm working on the bulk ingredients side of things too, particularly trying to find local (to Maine at least) sources for things like hops, grain, honey, etc. Grapes are hard because the season is so short, but I like the thought of being able to mail order speciality items... I have thought some about the online option, but if we do it'll probably just be a simple web site with a way for customers to place e-mail orders and then either pickup at the store or have shipped in-state that way I'm not trying to go head-to-head with the larger online retailers.

The lessons would be fun, but there are already two locations about 45 minutes away that have recently opened and are doing lessons, my advantage is that I would be specializing in local and possibly bulk products as well as some of the harder to find speciality grains etc.

__________________
Bad Idea Brewing

CARPE DIEM CRAS EST IGNOTUM

PERIMUS LICITIS
Theshorey is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-11-2012, 06:46 PM   #17
roadymi
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Middle of the Mitten, Michigan
Posts: 814
Liked 31 Times on 29 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

I wouldn't poo poo offering local lessons. With the price of gas a 90 mile round trip is a fair investment in fuel expense for a class.

All grain brewing is sexy and all but introducing people to some of the less expensive fermented beverages would be a great way to get people into the hobby. I'm thinking ciders, meads, skeeter pees etc etc. These can be made with a minimal investment in equipment and ingredients yet it gets people into your store.

Learning that they can make tasty adult beverages for a buck or 2 per bottle (wine bottle) and have fun doing it is enlightening.

__________________
Reality is an illusion that occurs due to the lack of alcohol.
Give a man a beer, he'll drink for the day.Teach a man to brew, he'll be drunk the rest of his life.
I have 8 carboys, 8 cornies, 5-1 gal jugs, 200 wine bottles, 10 cases of beer bottles and a nice assortment of flip tops....My goal is to keep them at least 50% occupied
roadymi is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-15-2012, 09:37 PM   #18
Theshorey
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Oakland, ME
Posts: 41
Likes Given: 1

Default

The input has been very helpful, and now I'm starting to get a better handle on what home brewers are looking for... always dangerous, but I'm gonna ask for opinions on beer kits, are the Mid-west kits worth the cost, or is it just easier to find a good recipe and buy everything seperate? I only ask about the mid-west ones because they will sell wholesale to retailers, and they seam to have a better selection of kits that crosby & baker...

__________________
Bad Idea Brewing

CARPE DIEM CRAS EST IGNOTUM

PERIMUS LICITIS
Theshorey is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-17-2012, 01:29 PM   #19
Fizzycist
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
Posts: 450
Liked 44 Times on 29 Posts
Likes Given: 45

Default

I think providing kits (from your bulk ingredients) of your own recipes with your logo on them would cement your credibility as a brewer and add something that the customers can't get by buying online.

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by n240sxguy View Post
Blue moon is like liquid southpark. It offends everybody.
Fizzycist is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-20-2012, 09:56 PM   #20
Theshorey
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Oakland, ME
Posts: 41
Likes Given: 1

Default

So if a location had a large variety of hops, malts, grains, etc available to buy in measured amounts (1 oz incriments for hops, .25 lb incriments for grains & DME) approx how much would you guys be ordering in a month... or if you know about what you spend at the LHBS now that you work too...

BTW - I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for the input, makes writing a business plan and working up an estimated budget/ startup cost so much easier!
One of the line items on my budget is a lifetime membership to HBT!

__________________
Bad Idea Brewing

CARPE DIEM CRAS EST IGNOTUM

PERIMUS LICITIS
Theshorey is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
It came to me in a dream Monty420th General Beer Discussion 8 03-24-2010 05:44 PM
i have a dream....... Thor the Mighty Extract Brewing 11 07-15-2008 09:16 PM
Dream Job! CBO Bedlam General Chit Chat 9 02-24-2008 05:27 AM
This is my dream... Dude General Beer Discussion 121 04-04-2007 03:54 AM
Dream a little dream ... david_42 Recipes/Ingredients 4 04-13-2006 05:26 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS