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I've been thinking for some time now about going self-employed as I'd be much happier being my own boss, working the way I want, and most important, having job satisfaction. I value being able to do something that makes me happy over something that makes me rich; to that end I'm weighing the idea of opening a comic book store by myself or with two friends depending on their finances and commitments. I'll admit I'm actually fairly new to comic book reading but I'm really getting into it and have always been a geek, so being in the environment of what many would dub "a geek's home away from home" (i.e., a comic book store) would give me great job satisfaction. Plus of course I would try to be diverse with my stock selling table top games, game and movie memorabilia, t-shirts, and Magic The Gathering cards, which are a keen hobby of mine. Also, I'd host game nights for a different tabletop game each week and Magic nights to keep customers involved and, well, for fun! :) The two friends I may go into business with have been around comics since their teen years and both are keen table top gamers frequenting a store in Cardiff dedicated to it, so they would make great partners -- especially as they've both remarked many times about how they'd love to start their own store.

But before having that discussion with them, I'd like to make sure I know the facts about how difficult it is to open one in the UK. The city I have in mind has just the one comic book store for a city of over 80,000 people. I believe I could get a suitable space leased for £8,000 a year with rates at roughly £3,500, however, not until March of 2014 as many rates lower that £12,000 can be waived dependent on the circumstances of the business such as projected takings. I would guess that most -- if not all -- of the rates would be waived in this case. This would also include being in a space above a high street store, which is a far better location that the comic store currently in business.

Based off of this information, can anyone give me some advice such as how much start up capital I should put aside, etc.?

asked Jan 13 '13 at 01:04

mutley2209's gravatar image


edited Jan 14 '13 at 18:49

Fogarty's gravatar image

Fogarty ♦♦

also thinking about it perhaps being a coffee/comic book store if i had the funds available, this would diversify my revenue stream further brining in geek and 'normal' people alike. But ultimately it would be a chill out space for geeks who can hang out with their friends where there's coffee, confectionary, sandwiches, soft drinks etc and of course plenty of reading material on hand ;) This i think would really encourage repeat business and keep regulars coming back for something a bit different, also it could really help support the comic book side of the business

(Jan 15 '13 at 05:43) mutley2209 mutley2209's gravatar image

well lets look at some of the costs

Start up costs: Inventory, racks, tables, register/safe, office area, decorations, advertising and there may also be some remodel involved.

Ongoing costs: employees, inventory, utilities, license, maintenance, accountant, lease, advertising

Things to conciser:

What location is best? are you looking for walk-in traffic from a down town area? or do you need parking?

You said there already was a comic book store... how are they doing for business? can your city support two comic book stores? Is the other story busy, if not what will you do differently to attract patrons? If they are busy, why should they become your patrons and not the other?

Be cautious about picking friends for partners! If the business is making money, your friendship will remain... if sales start to slip, you may loose a good friend.

answered Jan 15 '13 at 23:04

trueb's gravatar image


it's a very affluent city with a busy high street which is where i would aim to be located where as the current store is right at the edge of the town centre tucked away but it does good business having been open for many years. The store is has a limited space and limited selection and so i do believe the city can support another store with a more diverse product range that's not being catered to, especially if it's in a better locale. As for my friends we go back many years where the conversation tend to pick up where we left off each time i see them both also being very knowledgeable when it comes to comics, table top games and magic the gathering all of which i would aim to cater to.

The aim would be to run the store between the three of us during the week while holding down a part time job elsewhere then being able to work together at the store on the weekends or again taking turns. Off the top of my head as a guess-timate having the funds to cover the lease in full for at least a year as well as stock, advertising and accountant so perhaps £20k between the three of us or something along those lines. But i can't find anywhere that gives a general figure as to start up costs for such a store or business model for me to read, including perhaps a summation of the do's and don'ts so i was hoping someone here could help.

(Jan 16 '13 at 04:43) mutley2209 mutley2209's gravatar image
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Asked: Jan 13 '13 at 01:04

Seen: 741 times

Last updated: Jan 16 '13 at 04:43