So you have decided to open shop and run a gunsmithing business on your own. And most of the time, for many gunsmithing shops and businesses, the concept behind “on your own” is just that: You are your own man and you are literally running the business on your own terms. You will do gun repairs, you will handle firearm customizations, and you will cater to the needs of gun owners and customers while you take care of business responsibilities and details on the side. You can have your family help you on your job or you might have the resources to hire some outside help, but for the most part you will do all the work yourself because that is what you set out to do. You have the skills and the experience necessary to handle guns and the accessories that are supplied with them. Oftentimes yours is the only business that can be found in your local area that specializes in firearms and you are well aware of this fact; however, you are also acutely aware that running a gunsmithing shop can be hard work and that it can be quite a challenge for you at first to turn up a profit with it. But if you have prepared well beforehand, if you know how to advertise your business, and if you know that you are capable of turning out good work, then you will eventually see your gunsmithing enterprise prosper.
First of all, it is important that you locate your gunsmithing business in an area that is separate from your home. Many gunsmiths have unfortunately decided to set up shop right next to their residences or nearby them, which results in them getting easily distracted by any family or domestic issues that might crop up. Home-based gunsmiths are also prone to missing out on appointments; such behavior disappoints customers who are eager to do business with these gunsmiths or are anxious to see how their serviced firearms turned out. These factors, in turn, will inevitably drive off would-be loyal customers, thus affecting future earnings. By placing your gunsmith shop in another area, you will not only be able to seriously attend to your business affairs but you can also respond to your customers when they come around to see you.
You should also realize that most of the work that you will be doing in your gunsmithing business would be repairs on guns and gun accessories, so by now you must have a relatively good grasp of the work that is involved in these kinds of tasks. Most firearm owners and enthusiasts would rather choose to have their broken guns or gun parts fixed than buy new pieces from the market; in doing this they don’t only save on their much-needed finances but they can also have their guns converted so that they can perform better than regular products. To be an accomplished gun repair specialist, a gunsmith should know how to tackle different firearm brands (such as Winchester, Remington, Savage, Marlin, and others) and he should also know how to disassemble and put together various gun parts and accessories. He should preferably also have a good working knowledge of woodworking and wood crafting; both crafts employ skills that would be of great help to most gun servicing and repair chores.
Another important aspect that you will need to look into when you run your own gunsmithing business is for you to have all the necessary tools and equipment that you will need for your job. A gunsmith requires specialized tools to help him ground down or file gun parts to the appropriate size and shape, for example, or to help him grip a wood stock firmly so that he can engrave or etch patterns on it. Pin punches, hollow-ground screwdrivers, rasps, files, pliers, and vises are just some of the tools that are commonly found in a gunsmith’s shop. Having the right power tools and machinery is also important because they can save you time and effort in doing arduous tasks such as cutting, bending, and shaping gun parts.
At the same time, you must have a considerable inventory of replacement gun accessories and parts that you can use to restore broken firearms and perform custom jobs. It would be great if your customer can supply the parts himself, but experience dictates that you will know the exact component or piece that is needed for your work, and that you will have them in ready supply. You should also work on maintaining and supplying your stock so that you will never run out of the essentials.
A good gunsmithing business should be run just like any serious business enterprise. If you are running a one-man operation, you must also become the businessman because you don’t have anyone to assume the responsibility of running your establishment. You should know how to do your bookkeeping and accounting chores, file taxes, apply for the necessary certifications and licenses, stock up on your inventory and parts, answer to any customer issues and problems that might come up, cover your monthly utility bills, and do other functions that are vital to the life of your gunsmithing enterprise. If you neglect or fail to do these things, you will certainly expect your establishment to fail no matter how well you perform at your job.
Lastly, you should create a good reputation that your customers can rely upon so that they can confidently do business with you at all times. Having a good network of loyal and proven clientele is crucial in a gunsmithing business because they, for the most part, are the only customers that you can expect most of the time. However, your loyal customers can help you grow your business through word-of-mouth advertising and through testimonials that can attest to the high quality of service that they get from you; in turn, you can save up on marketing costs and you can reach out to potential clients in other areas. Attending guns shows and other similar events is another good way to advertise your business. Through them, you can get to know your customers and exhibit your skills to them if you need to; you can encounter fellow gunsmiths and you can learn from their experiences in running their own businesses.
A gunsmithing business should be run just like any serious business operation, especially if you are managing it on your own. It might be difficult at first, but through careful and diligent management, you can work towards the eventual success of your venture.