NO SCATTERGUN APPROACH
KEN WILLIAMS didn’t do much market research until he was completing a business plan for his dream: opening Scooterz N’ Shooterz in May 2011. The store sells used motorcycles, PG&A, firearms, CCW (concealed weapons certification) training, and cigars. The store offers basic maintenance like tire and oil changes and installs some cosmetic parts.
“Nothing can be recession-proof, but it can be recession-resistant,” Williams said, and the store’s diversity helps ensure that.
Parts sales have increased 60 percent so far this year versus 2011, he said. Other items tend to be more seasonal. Firearms are more popular in the winter hunting months.
The store spans about 3,000 square feet, with the product mix roughly 30 percent firearms, 65 percent powersports, not counting the humidor case. “We’re pretty diversified. We have CCW classes, parts, apparel, used motorcycles and cigars. It’s every man’s dream store,” said Paula Burkhardt, Williams’ sister-in-law.
Williams said the hardest part of getting the combined business going was the loan process. “The underwriters were horrific. Instead of having a list of things they wanted. They just kept asking for more,” Williams said. Then there were permits, which came with unexpected fees and inspections, he added.
The whole venture was a departure for Williams, a longtime gun and motorcycle enthusiast who retired from the U.S. Postal Service last February. “We have people of all different styles come in. We have people who don’t own a motorcycle but they have guns. We have men and women who come in for both. We have guys who come in who don’t care about guns or bikes, but they want a particular cigar,” he said. “We’ve had people come in for one and get interested in the other.” (Continued)