I recently got the following email:
I get these kinds of emails about once a month, and - no offense to the original emailer - to be honest, I'm not entirely sure why I get these kinds of emails. I have never worked in a retail store, let alone owned one. I have watched other people go through the process of opening their own stores - that experience alone has taught me I'd never *want* to own one. Just not where my personal interests and goals lie. I assume people think my marketing background means I would know how to open a scrapbooking store, which is not at all true. I can offer ideas for how to PROMOTE a store once it's open, or how to market a store with a blog, but actual details for opening and running a store...not so much.
I will still respond to the questions - because I'm just that kind of gal.
ScrapBiz is the only 'system' I know of that offers step-by-step how to get started on opening your own scrapbooking business. For general entrepreneurship information, I'd suggest taking small business classes at a local community college, as well as checking out StartUpNation.com. (Kim Guymon, founder of ScrapBiz, is a SUNbassador Community Leader at StartUpNation.com.)
As far as pros and cons of opening a store, I'd probably try contacting store owners in other states - they can give you the real low-down on the current situation. You can find lists of local stores in the back of scrapbooking magazines, and often on manufacturers' websites. Ask them if they would still open a store today, what helped them prepare the most, and what they would do differently.
There are also store "collectives", such as Crafters Home, that offer start-up resources. To be honest, I don't know much about the actual resources they offer - what I do know is a local store here is a part of that particular group, and it's one of the last stores in the area with staying power. Whether or not that can be attributed to being a member, I couldn't tell you. Might make an interesting interview, though! :)
Hope this helps!