« on: August 12, 2013, 12:03:55 PM »
My local LHBS is 30 seconds away, because it's in my workshop. I started running a web based LHBS about 9 months ago. I found I was buying more and more supplies in bulk, and decided I could sell off what I wasn't using. Inventory began to expand beyond what I used regularly, but I still keep stuff turning over. It wasn't really a dedicated business plan as much as I've got some spare time and space and I enjoy it. It's helps that I'm in a college town, and the nearest LHBS was over 1 hr away.
I have a few regular customers, some of whom haven't been brewing that long, but they'll come by the house / workshop, we'll hammer out a recipe, taste whatever I've been brewing and have on tap, then fill their order. It helps that I can order grains and bulk materials through a local nanobrew run by a friend so I get a few bags at pallet prices. It also helps that we do occasional co-brews for firkins to get my company name out there. It's not going to pay regular bills anytime soon, but it is starting to cover it's costs. My prices are more about being competitive / fair, than they are about making maximum cash. I have homebrewing friends who shop through me, and I can charge them store price with a clear conscience.
What I lose in time I'm gaining in experience and fun in the culture.
Just my 2 cents.