Guitar Business Consultation Services

Ed Roman Music Business Consultation

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Have You Always Wanted Your Own Music Store Or Guitar Shop?

Have you always wondered why your local music store never has what you want?

I offer a complete consultation service for anyone interested in opening up their own music store. You can engage me to assist you in any one or all of the topics listed below. I can assist you in many levels.

2010 is a really good time to start a business. The next few years will be an excellent time to buy inventory. The economy is down and that's when the opportunities are there for the taking. Dealerships will be less expensive and you won't have to wait 5 years to get signed up with a major line.

I have been at every level of the music business for 36 years; I have been a retailer, a wholesaler, a manufacturer, an importer exporter, factory rep, & guitar designer. I have worked as a director of marketing for a large guitar company. I have designed and built prototype guitars for several large guitar companies. I have Ghostbuilt custom guitars for several major companies for major Rock n' Roll Acts. I have purchased 50 or more failing music businesses large and small. I have worked with many companies in the music industry and several other industries assisting them in setting up their business.

I have sold businesses, bought businesses and I have experience in Audits, Mail-order, Security, Lawsuits, Litigation, Web Pages, and I am one of the first people in the music industry to computerize a retail business. I have done 600 hours of research on economically priced music store software systems.

I have manufacturing experience, I have been to over 63 NAMM Shows, I have attended countless sales seminars and I have hired numerous specialized consultants.

I have been national sales manager for at least 5 companies and a purchasing agent, advertising broker, etc... I have been involved in all mediums of advertising, I can advise the absolute best places and times to advertise, I have used TV, Radio, Cable, Magazines, Newspapers, Internet, Periodicals, Tee Shirts, Billboards, I have done Direct Mail, Piggyback mailers, Bulk E-mail; There are literally hundreds of ways to advertise.

All advertising works. However if you have a small budget it is extremely important that you put your dollars in the right place.

Buying the wrong advertising will cost you dearly. Buying the wrong merchandise has put more potentially successful people out of business than any other single thing. You need to buy the right merchandise from the start or you will go down in flames !!!!!!!!

I can advise you on what products are profitable and which ones aren't. I am plugged into a large network of music dealers. These dealers have the capabilities of acquiring any and all brands of merchandise that are currently available on the market. I can assist you in choosing the right merchandise and I can put you in touch with the right people to buy it from at the best prices.

References Are Available !!!!

  • I provide dealer pricelists for many major brand name products!
  • I provide products & supplies to initially stock your store!  I also will allow tradeback or buyback on items that are not selling!  (No one else in the industry offers that service)
  • I provide direct financing, interest free to assist you in getting certain product lines or franchises!
  • I provide many major brand name products that are not available in any other stores unless you are in this network!


Below is a partial list of subjects that may be of interest to the novice businessman. I am available for consultation on any one of these subjects.

  1. Choosing a location and negotiating your lease (IMPORTANT)
  2. Choosing a company name (VERY IMPORTANT) There is a lot to discuss on this subject.
  3. Ascertaining initial business plan (direction of store) (VERY IMPORTANT) Many people have hired me after they have already made these first 3 classic mistakes, I strongly recommend that you use me BEFORE choosing a location, BEFORE choosing a name, and BEFORE ascertaining the direction and or mission statement of your business.   (My fees are the same either way)
  4. Designing an effective  letterhead; Logo's, Trademarks etc...
  5. Getting your tax and business permits. Initial wording is critical, avoid future tax problems and audits.
  6. Opening up and setting up your bank accounts. Doing this correctly will save you lot's of accountants fees and potentially save you lot's of money in  taxes.
  7. Designing your Web page. 
  8. Choosing a computer system and the right program. It is not absolutely imperative that you have a computer on opening day.   However It is extremely important that you make the necessary plans and install the necessary paper system so that the transition to a computer will be as painless as possible.   I have spent over a million dollars on computer systems and programs since 1979. Much of that was wasted. The advice I can impart you on this subject
  9. Sales training.
  10. Credit cards: rules and regulations, do's and don'ts, and getting the best rates.
  11. Lawyers, Accountants, Landlords, Insurance Reps, Sales Reps and other necessary evils.
  12. Store Security.
  13. Taxes, (VERY VERY VERY IMPORTANT) One big advantage a new business has is they will be paying very little in the way of taxes, this of course keeps you more competitive. BUT things have to be carefully planned from day one so that later the tax burden will not put you under.
  14. Insurance's.
  15. Teaching studios: scheduling, teachers, advertising.
  16. Repair department:  parts inventory, suppliers, technicians etc.
  17. Rental department: setting up fail safe procedures.
  18. Telephone aggregators:  Keeping your phone bill down.
  19. Partnership agreements (if applicable).
  20. Corporate structuring (if applicable).
  21. Advertising (Where When and Why) How to get the best results (VERY IMPORTANT).
  22. Merchandising.
  23. Dealing with manufacturers.
  24. Dealing with jobbers.
  25. Networking with dealer buying groups.
  26. Trade associations (benefits to you).
  27. Dealing with factory reps (VERY IMPORTANT) Make sure you know what you are dealing with BEFORE you contact any of these people. Generally these people hold the Keys to the Kingdom in any given area in the country. It is best to tread very lightly here if you are a novice.
  28. Promotional items and best times to run sales.
  29. Free advertising and free publicity (where when and how to qualify).
  30. Displays (most effective ways).
  31. Signs (Your silent salesmen).
  32. Lighting (displays etc.).
  33. Closeouts.
  34. Things your attorney can't and won't tell you. 
  35. Things your accountant usually won't tell you. Accountants are famous for saying "I'm not an attorney, you have to ask your attorney that question" Attorneys also love to say, "I'm not an accountant, you have to ask your accountant that question"  Consequently the questions usually don't ever get answered.  There are several simple remedies for this syndrome and setting up a business is the time to deal with those potential future problems.
  36. Mailing lists. How to generate them, where to buy them, how to know if they are working.
  37. Catalogs and mail-order.  Either getting into that end of the business or effectively competing with the people who are already in it.
  38. Underselling the competition (Larger stores). No matter how small you are,  no matter how big your competitor is, no matter how close his store is to you there are lots of ways to beat the pants off of him.
  39. Outselling the competition.
  40. Gift certificates, Creative ways to sell.
  41. Price guarantees, How they work.
  42. Extended service warranty's.
  43. Customer relations.
  44. Should I buy an existing store or should I start my own? There is no clear answer to that question. This is a topic that needs some research. Due to my long experience and the fact that I personally know most of the Industry sales managers and credit managers, I can acquire sensitive information about the business in question. Information that certainly would not be reflected in a prepared financial statement. Information that could be invaluable in your decision making process.
  45. Demographics, If you don't know what this is you need my help!!!
  46. Handling returned merchandise.
  47. Trade shows, guitar shows.
  48. Travel & entertainment expenses.
  49. Setting up effective departments. Guitars, Basses, Amps, Accessories, Vintage, Effects, Keyboards, PA, Recording, DJ, Karaoke, Records, CD's, Software, Sheet Music, Books, Stage Lighting, Club Lighting, Clothing, Drums, Acoustic Guitars, Woodwind, Brass, Teaching, Service, Outside Sales, Mail-order, Credit, Military Sales, Church Sales, Schools, Sound Reinforcement, Backline rentals,
  50. State Bid Lists (There are ways to never be underbid).
  51. Employees: Their care, benefits, training and relations.  (An employee manual provided)
  52. Trade Secrets Knowledge is power, power is money, money is success.
  53. Dealing with bank loans and general principles of making your business "Bankable".
  54. Vintage speculation advice (The why's, and how's of the Vintage Guitar Market)
  55. How to spot an up and coming trend and how to ride it profitably.
  56. Where to buy extremely profitable products that are still priced low enough for the average consumer.
  57. MAP Pricing (can be your friend) especially if you are a small shop.

This list may seem intimidating to a beginner, be assured that although it may sound complicated, I can give you a real grip on most of it and more in a few days of intensive power cramming.

The cost for this service is negotiable. I can give you an hourly rate & cover certain aspects focused of the business.

Most people who see this have already opened their business, most of them have already made some of the serious blunders that inexperienced people usually make when they start a new business.

     Ed Roman  

See The Abstract Rockingbird Guitar