ank you Ryan for having me on your YouTube Channel to talk RC Racing! If you haven’t seen the video check it out! Below are some of the resources I mentioned in our discussion. Enjoy and let me know in the comments if there is anything I can do for you!
JConcepts Interview with Todd Anderson of RC Excitement in Fitchburg, Massachusetts
Another great shop/track operator who has expanded over the years has listened to the market, adapted and executed.
Must Listen Podcasts
- The Man The Myth The Legend OCRC’s Robert Black talks about how he built OCRC. Robert shares his vision, his tactics, policies and the culture he has built at OCRC!
(Interview starts @ 4:00 minute mark)
- CEO of A-Main Kendall Bennett shares the story of how he built the A-Main empire!
(Interview starts @ 19:25 minute mark)
- Mimi Wong from “The Track” in Gaithersburg, Maryland gives some great insight on being a track owner and talks about how she has adapted through the years.
(Interview starts @ 7:50 minute mark)
- Jimmy Babcock of Hot Rod Hobbies and the JBRL series shares how he tries to compete with online sales. Jason and Jimmy explore some of the struggles hobby shops are up against.
(Interview starts @ 18:20 minute mark)
Services Hobby Shops Can Offer That the Internet Can’t
Completed Roller Kits
- Have each of the popular kits (TLR/AE) built up on display so if a new racer walks in they can touch, feel, and look at what there thinking about buying.
- More than likely a new racer will be intimidated to build a kit. If ones built and ready to sell, I believe it makes an easier sell.
- If someone buys tires offer to glue them for free.
- If they buy a kit offer to build it for free.
- If they buy electronics offer to calibrate/solder etc.
- If a customer buys a complete car do everything you can to get them on the track as soon as possible. 1 free practice with someone who knows the track, and 1 free race with a veteran pitting next to them, explaining the formalities and holding their hand for the night.
- It has been my observation most new people struggle the most with the mechanics of a car, shocks aren’t right, diff isn’t set properly, ride height, camber, toe, etc. Things we take for granted.
- Service is where you can have an edge up on online retailers.
- Offer to paint bodies for a nominal fee or team up with someone who can.
- I can remember as a child walking into a hobby shop with my father and our intentions were to buy a kit but there was one ready to go with a really nice painted body I liked. It was a little more money but that is the one we left with!
- Knowledgeable staff is important at the end of the day people want to be served. People enjoy being taken care of. Can you remember the last time you went to a store and there was that one person that knew there stuff, wasn’t pushy and was truly there to help? How did that make you feel?
- I can remember when I first bought my house and I needed lawn equipment. I found a local mower shop, I already knew the Honda mower I wanted and I had done my research and could save about $75 online. I went to the shop to look at weed eaters. I wanted an Echo and had read online the ones at big box stores weren’t the same quality as what the pros use. Long story short the customer service at this small lawncare shop was top notch! With a teaching spirit they explained how the mower worked, how to string the weed eater and left no detail behind. Their policy was if you buy from them they unbox fill with gas and make sure its operating properly so your ready to go when you leave. I left with a the mower and weed eater that day, mowed my lawn that afternoon and felt great about my purchase!
Alternative Income Streams for Hobby Shops
- Birthday parties with rental Traxxas Slash’s
- Educational Classes – Setup, Driving, Gluing Tires, Soldering, Painting, etc.
- Summer Camps – Teach kids how to build a kit, setup, then race
- Demo Days – Setup booths at large scale racing events or local fairs that showcase RC. (alot of people just need to be exposed to what we do!)
Facebook / Instagram Accounts You Should Follow
These are accounts worthy of your feed. They are active and doing creative things that keep their customers informed. In addition their content often has tips and helpful information on products that allow them reach an audience beyond their local area. If you know of any others please let us know in the comments.
OCRC Raceway (Huntington Beach, California)
Robert Black’s World Famous RC track! Host of the Reedy Race of Champions. Open since 2007.
MHOR RC (Aurora, Colorado)
Chad Brock kills it on social media. I have never been to his facility but I know whats happening at that track every week!
Pacific Coast Hobbies (Lomita, California)
Theo Captanis has done a tremendous job serving his customers. Very creative things outside of traditional RC racing. Check out their Tamiya Mini Parties!
JConcepts, Inc (Groveland, FL)
Jason Ruona plays the long game and continues to leave his legacy on the hobby. Pumping out the content. The team at JConcepts keeps us up to date with live videos, race footage and interviews with industry pros.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
Estimated Monthly Web Page Views as of this article (Using SimilarWeb)
- A-Main Hobbies = 2 million
- Tower Hobbies = 1.4 Million
- Horizon = 1.5 million
- RCTECH Forums = 1.2 million
- LiveRC = 216,000
- JConcepts = 70,000
- Proline = 300,000
- TLR = 70,000
- Associated = 200,000
- OCRC Raceway’s Robert Black on running a place for pros versus joes
- OCRC Raceway owner Robert Black speaks out