After a long and grueling ordeal of finding a place to live in Arlington, TX, my family finally got settled into our new home. In September of 2014, we were able to move into our new home and I picked up where I left of with my education at DeVry university. My campus was up in Irving, TX, and we are living in Arlington, so that proved to be a bit of a challenge, but nothing that we couldn’t handle. After a few months of looking around and narrowing down a business plan, I decided to open up my own Gun Store.
I had begun my official training in gunsmithing with the American Gunsmithing institute while still attending DeVry. After earning my first few certifications, as well as getting approved for my Federal Firearms License, I was able to locate a great storefront and workshop in Mansfield, TX. This is where I opened my Gun Store and Gunsmithing shop. I got all of the paperwork finished with the state in November of 2014, and finally opened my doors February of 2015.
While managing my own business, I have learned a great deal.
- Sales management, maintaining inventories and merchandise in the store, and working directly with customers.
- Inventory management and building relationships with multiple vendors to find the lowest price for merchandise to carry with savings that I could pass on to the customer.
- Employee management, hiring two employees to help me out.
- Accounting, managing the books for the store, ensuring proper accountability of assets, transactions, inventory, and sales.
- Paying of federal, state, and local taxes.
- management of providing services to customers including Marksmanship Training, providing Gunsmithing services, and assisting customers with making good choices in the selection of a firearm.
- I earned my instructor certification with the state to teach Concealed Handgun License courses.
After the first two months, I came to realize that it was going to be extremely difficult to manage a new store. Competition is pretty stiff in the firearms world, especially with online sale being so much easier now. I ended up having to let my employees go due to not gaining enough sales to be able to pay the overhead as well as pay employees. This was a hard decision for me and gave me experience that I will never forget. There is nothing more difficult than having to let damn good employees go due to a rough startup of a company.
I have learned a great deal in managing a company. I have been able to keep my doors open, and sales are improving slowly but surely. The company has been opened in what has turned out to be the slowest year in the firearms industry in over 6 years. So this has been tremendously tough. I have been doing everything to keep the business going. However things have been very rough. I have not been able to pay myself at all, and it began to come clear to me that I would have to find full-time work elsewhere until the business begins to grow.
After putting my own money in from my disability benefits and education benefits, I began to realize that I could not keep this up. By December of 2015, I came to realize it was time to close the business. I was blessed to find a new job working for a Plumbing and Electric sub-contractor based out of Hurst, TX. Once I started my new job, I started the business Bankruptcy process, thus officially closing up WAC3ARMORY. I learned a great deal while managing this company, and though it ended in failure, I have gained a great deal of business management experience from it.