Did you know that the anime streaming service Crunchyroll has over 4 million subscribers on their platform? If you love anime yourself, odds are you’re also one of the 4 million subscribers using Crunchyroll on a regular basis.
But what if you love anime so much that your dream is to open up your own anime store? Sounds too good to be possible, right? Wrong!
In this article, we’ll give you an in-depth guide that you can use to make your dream of owning your own anime store a reality. We’ll tell you how to get started, how to run your business legally, and even what mistakes to avoid along the way.
That way you can turn your passion into something that can help you support yourself and your family.
Decide Between an Online or Physical Store
If you’re thinking about opening up an anime store, the first thing that you need to decide on is what kind of anime store you wish to open. More specifically, you need to decide if you what to have a physical store location or if you want to be an online-only store.
The initial expenses the come from opening up a physical location can be a bit much for people working with a tight startup budget. Because of this, opening up an online store, and then a physical location later is often the best route for those wishing to have a store people can visit in person.
With that in mind, if a physical store is something you aspire to own, consider launching an online store alongside it. That way you can sell products both in-person and on the web, making it easier for you to move items off your shelves faster. That can be quite helpful for niche businesses, especially those that are trying to get off the ground.
Pick a Business Name and Logo
Once you’ve decided what kind of anime store you want to open, it’s time to pick a business name and logo. To say that this is an important part of the process would be a massive understatement. After all, your name and your logo are the first things potential customers are going to see when they find your store.
Our advice? Pick something that is fun and easy to remember, but more importantly, clearly states what you are. Getting the words “anime” and the name of your town in your business name isn’t a bad idea, either.
Before you go forward with your name, do a quick trademark search, and even a basic Google search, to confirm that your name isn’t already being used. If it’s not taken, and you like how it sounds, you can then move onto getting a professional logo made up by a designer for your store.
Get Your Business Licensed and Insured
We get it. As a startup, you’re looking for tons of creative and clever ways to cut down on costs. But not getting licensed and insured, especially if you plan on having a physical location, isn’t a good idea.
Simply put, the fines that come with breaking local rules and regulations can often add up to six figures. That’s more than enough to put your anime store out of business for good, which of course isn’t what you want.
Our advice? Get an attorney involved so you can make sure that you’re checking all of the right boxes. They’ll help you with everything, from registering as an LLC to getting licenses and insurances, allowing you to run your business legally.
Aquire Licensing for Anime-Related Products
This next step in the process is super important, as again, skipping it can get you in all kinds of trouble, both legally and financially. If you’re looking to open an anime store, odds are you know that you can’t sell products without having the licenses to do so.
So, before you can ever open your doors, or launch your website, you first need to acquire licenses for some anime-related products. As you can see, this anime store sells tons of merch that is officially licensed by major anime brands.
You’ve got to get at least a few of these licenses yourself before you can launch your own anime store yourself. So, make sure you do this, and again, lean on the help of an attorney, before you start selling products to customers.
Brainstorm Some Creative Marketing Ideas
No matter what kind of business you want to open, you have to find creative and efficient ways to market it, especially at first. After all, you most likely don’t have the biggest budget to work with right out of the gate. With an anime store, online marketing is most likely going to be your biggest marketing asset.
Look at getting on social media, and even anime message boards, to promote your goods. Consider listing items on Amazon, too, so you can get your store, and your products, in front of more eyeballs.
Need More Help Opening an Anime Store?
As you can see, a lot goes into opening up an anime store. There’s a lot of paperwork that will need to be done, especially if you don’t want to break any rules and regulations along the way.
But if you keep these ideas in mind, and lean on the help of the professionals, you can launch an anime store after a few short months of planning.
Looking for more entrepreneurship tips and tricks? Check back with our blog often for tons of useful ideas and information on all things business.