A brief Facebook discussion got me to thinking about a business plan for someone with a few bucks and some gumption. A combination used book store, coffee and pastry bar, and gaming room.
While I may be able to rustle up the bucks I’m seriously lacking in the gumption depart-ment. So, here’s my plan; rent a small-medium size storefront in downtown Greenfield, have Time-Warner hook you up to high-speed Internet and establish a wireless network (the kid next door can teach you how), throw up some book shelves made out of concrete blocks and used lumber, pick up some used sofas and chairs at auctions and yard sales along with some cheap kitchen tables and chairs, place a few retro floor lamps around, rent or buy a couple of decent coffee makers, brew something a little higher up the food chain than Maxwell House, and get a local Amish lady to make fresh donuts and pastries for you.
Now, hit the auctions and yard sales for used books and used board games, a couple of used X-Boxes or other video game machines, a couple of fairly recent used PCs, and invite people to come in, buy a cup of coffee and a donut while they browse the book shelves. Also, charge gamers an hourly fee to sit at a table and play one of your board games or connect to the Internet and wage Inter-Galactic War with others around the world. If they get thirsty sell them a soda or something from the mini-fridge under the counter.
Another thought is to sell Internet and gaming memberships on a monthly basis. That would ensure an income regardless if the purchaser took advantage of it. Also, there are several Amish families in the area that make homemade candies they would gladly wholesale as well as a fellow in Chillicothe, Tom Johnson, who has a coffee roasting business and wholesales. I’m thinking a trip to the Chillicothe Farmer’s Market could turn up some other area goodies from producers who whose creaties could be bought wholesale and resold. This bookstore, game room, coffee shop, could become a source of many things local and many things unique. The uniqueness could make it a destination business, one that people would go out of their way to visit.
I doubt you’ll get rich doing this but it could generate some income while being an enjoyable way to spend your time. Plus you’d be helping to breath some life back into the downtown business district.