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Start a musical instrument shop: a practical guide

2-minute read

Josh Hall

4 September 2012

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Reviewed for 2018

Musical instrument shops are multiplying at a startling rate.

Recent figures from Simply Business suggest that the outlets are amongst the fastest growing in the country, helping to reshape the country’s retail landscape.

Are you thinking of setting up a musical instrument shop? We’ve compiled some handy tips to help you get started.

1. Get planning

Your business plan should be one of the most important planks on which your venture rests. A well-written, comprehensive plan will help you to ensure that your business is run methodically, and that you can judge your performance properly. It will also be a necessity if you want to attract funding. Read our guide to writing your business plan.

2. Choose your specialism

Will your music shop have a specialism? It is likely that you have already considered this factor, but if not, give some thought to precisely what you will sell. Will you limit yourself to specific instruments? Will you, as is increasingly common, also offer tuition or repair services?

3. Think about premises

Finding the right premises is an important consideration. With a record number of High Street shops currently vacant, business owners on the hunt for property are in a good position – but you still need to approach the process methodically and with care. A commercial property agent should be able to advise you on potential options. Make sure that you take independent legal advice before signing a commercial lease.

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4. Find finance

Funding will be one of the top priorities for your new musical instrument shop. The financial pressures facing new businesses are well documented, and there is a growing distrust of the increasingly intransigent banks. But the Big Four are no longer the only options when it comes to funding your new venture.

5. Remember insurance

Business insurance is vital in every business. The exact type of cover you require will depend on the nature of your business, but it is likely that your musical instrument shop will at least require business premises insurance and stock cover. If you employ anyone, you are also legally required to take out employers’ liability insurance. You can combine these covers in a tailored shop insurance policy.

6. Don't forget assisted purchase

Assisted purchase schemes allow the parents of children taking music lessons at school to buy instruments at vastly discounted prices, with financial help from their local authority. They are one of the key ways in which many instrument shops drum up trade. You should contact your local authority directly to see if they operate an assisted purchase scheme. You might also want to investigate the similar Take It Away programme, operated by the Arts Council.

7. Reach your customers

Marketing is a vital but often neglected aspect of any new business’s activities. If you are to fulfill your potential, you need to ensure that you are reaching the right people. There is a number of quick ways in which you can get marketing your new business. Read the Marketing section of our Knowledge Centre for tips and tricks.

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We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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