« on: August 12, 2013, 10:00:21 AM »
A big one for me is a well stocked, knowledgeable staff. I shop at Siciliano's in Grand Rapids. Hope the plug helps them out (is that OK? I didn't read the FAQ on this). They have a great selection of homebrewing stuff and it's an awesome liquor store, so the hours are wide open. They're active in the beer scene, sponsor competitions, etc. A real pleasure to do business with them. I think that you're going to be OK on this side of the business simply because you cared to ask.
Something that's also tremendously important is competitive pricing. The LHBS doesn't ahve to be THE lowest price on EVERY item, but be in the game. There is another store that I'll not visit again. I picked up a bunch of stuff for a party and slid by there home brew stuff. I didn't pay attention and paid about double for some Iodophor. I'll still buy beer there when it's convenient, but maybe I'll never purchase another brew supply item.
Good luck if you go forward with the new business!