Gun Shop Growth Lessons, with Austin Fick of Gun Garage Firearms

About This Episode

In today’s episode of Tactical Business, host Wade Skalsky sits down with Austin Fick of Gun Garage Firearms. Gain insights into the tactical decisions and meticulous due diligence involved in transforming a hobby into a thriving enterprise. Explore the synergies between military leadership and entrepreneurial success, and uncover the secrets to building a robust business in a niche market.

Insights In This Episode

  • Building a network and understanding where to look for opportunities can lead to unexpected ventures.
  • Buying an existing business can be a less risky option compared to starting from scratch, allowing you to focus on growth rather than building from the ground up.
  • Thoroughly researching potential business acquisitions and seeking expert advice can mitigate risks and ensure informed decision-making.
  • Aligning business goals with community values can create a positive impact and build trust with customers.

About Tactical Business

Tactical Business is the weekly business show for the firearms industry. The podcast features in-depth interviews with the entrepreneurs, professionals and technologists who are enabling the next generation of firearms businesses to innovate and grow.

Episode Transcript

Wade: Welcome to the Tactical Business Show. I’m your host, Virginia Beach based firearms entrepreneur and copywriter Wade Skalsky. Each episode will be exploring what it takes to thrive as a business owner in the firearms industry. We’ll speak with successful firearms industry entrepreneurs about their experiences building their companies, leaders and legislators who are shaping the industry, and tech executives whose innovations will reshape the future of the firearms industry. Let’s get after it. Welcome to the Tactical Business Podcast. I am your host, Wade Skalsky, and today I am with Austin Fick. How are you doing today, sir?

Austin: I’m great. Thanks for having me. Appreciate being here.

Wade: What I’d like to do is just chat a little bit about how you got into the firearms industry, a little bit of backstory, an idea of how you got to where you are right now.

Austin: Yeah, be happy to. So it’s probably a little bit of a non-conventional route to get here. I don’t know, I guess I wouldn’t really know what conventional looks like, but we started out pursuing small businesses, been in the military for 14 years, active duty Navy, and that was going great. Started figuring out that maybe that wasn’t something that I wanted to go all the way to 20 with, at least not active duty wise, and so had met a couple of small business guys that I was very inspired by, entrepreneurs that were just doing great things. So for me, I was looking for a small business and entrepreneurship, and I think a lot of guys go through this and they’re like, all right, cool. The first thing you the first thing you start looking for is a frozen yogurt shop or like a laundromat or and I’m not really sure to recommend that friend of mine was like, hey, like, you’ve got to do something that you care about that you’re passionate about. And so I was like, all right, cool. A lot of different avenues. You could go with that. One of those is firearms outdoors.

Austin: And then as you build a network and you learn where to look for opportunities, this one came open. That was the Gun Garage and Shooting Range here to go purchase this company. And when we got into the details of it, it was a deal that made sense. That doesn’t mean there’s really no small business deals out there that are that are perfect, but it was one that made sense for where we were at the time. So I went from being in the firearms industry. I mean, I went from having it as a hobby, something that I wasn’t super active in. I had several guns. I would go shoot, I would say monthly probably, but I went from that now to rocket shipping into where I’m at now, where it’s very immersive and it’s just like any industry that you get into is you realize how deep the rabbit hole goes once you’re in it and it’s been an amazing experience. Met a bunch of amazing people with very talented people, very passionate people. And here we are. We’re four months into ownership of the company, and that’s what got us here.

Wade: That’s an amazing story in a lot of different levels and a lot of places we can start to unpack, because I like what you’re talking about, how people look, think about the franchise route, right? And for me, thinking about a franchise is I always go in. There was a toll House cookie place that was about my house that I used to go into every once in a while when I lived in LA, and the family owned it, but they were always there. It was either the dad or it was the son, or it was the mom and you really, I think he struck a really good point that you have to really love it, because it’s not just going to run itself.

Austin: Yeah, it’s you can make money at all these things, but they’re really, as an example, the laundromat thing. A lot of those it’s you may make good money at it, but man, it’s going to burden your mind. It’s going to burden your time. And, and when it’s just something that you just don’t care about, everything gets to be a job after a while. But like, if it’s just something you didn’t start, you didn’t care about the from the beginning, you’re probably gonna it’s gonna not be a set up for success in the long term.

Wade: So I yeah. And I and I love sort of the path that you one of the aspects of your path that I like is the buy versus build. Right. Because I’ve talked to a lot of people that are come from the armed forces background. I’ve talked to people who are from a civilian background, and most of them, what they’ll do is they’ll start the business and then they’ll grow it in a mature market. Right. So they’ll have they’ve either been in there for a long time or they’re competing with a business that has been there a long time. So what was it about that strategy of buying an existing business versus building your own appeal to you? Why did you go that route?

Austin: Yeah, man, we can do a whole podcast just on that one. Started down this entrepreneurship journey, got bit by this thing that just wouldn’t leave me alone. And building is very like gratifying and something that that sounds very interesting as a worker that I want to do maybe in the firearms industry, aerospace is my other side of things and it all sounds interesting and fun and challenging, but building is an amazing time investment. It’s time. It’s money, it’s risk. And there are guys out there. In fact, probably the most successful entrepreneurs are the ones that start in the garage because you have very little risk and you can grow at exactly the rate that your customer base does and that your community does. But in my case, I decided that I wasn’t at a point in my life I wanted to have that amount of time and risk involved in entrepreneurship. So just come off a lot of time away with the military. My oldest kid is nine years old, my daughter’s nine, and I figure, you know what? I think there is a lot of goodness in pursuing small business, in entrepreneurship. I think there’s benefit for the community, for the family. I think you can make decent money at it, but I also don’t want to spend the next ten years where she’s really in the most formative period of her life.

Austin: And my younger kids too. I don’t want to spend that time married to this job that you’re building. So I was like, okay, cool. What are the other options to do that? And I started looking up, how do you buy a company? How much money do you have? Not a rich guy. How much money does it take to to buy a company of certain sizes? What can I afford? What can I get financing for? And I decided that there was a size of company that I could get some flavor of down payment on and get financing for that. It’s not self-sustaining. Like it’s not like running. Running this company is not a side hustle, which is exactly what I was looking for. But I can also I have enough faith in the way that it was running that I’m not at 8:00 at night. Uh, I’m not sitting there angrily typing emails and sending stuff out like there’s there is. The duties and responsibilities are already built enough in a structure, uh, that I can I can take care of it. I can nurture it and really pursue the the foundational aspect of it and the growth, which is really what I like, what I wanted to be able to focus on. Does that make sense?

Wade: It makes perfect sense. I actually ghostwrite for a business acquisition business where they teach people how to acquire businesses. And so and I don’t think there’s a wrong way to do it. I think the build strategy is fine. It just has different pros and cons. Right. But for the buy strategy, what people don’t understand is that 95% of all businesses fail within the first five years, or something ridiculous like that, like it’s nine out of ten. But if you have a business that has gotten a profit for years, then that flips on your head when you buy it, right? So the key then is the problem for then is the financing is like, can you get an SBA loan? Can you find private investors? Can you come up with the money yourself? But if you can purchase a business that’s been profitable for five years, your success rate goes to it’s 90% chance that you will be in business in five years if you do your due diligence and if you do your research. So that must have been a scary coming from the Navy and then saying, okay, I’m going to buy this business. And it’s a substantial risk in terms of the money that’s involved. How did you do your due diligence? Like how did you because I basically there’s someone that’s listening right now that doesn’t want to go because everyone that we I’ve talked to on the podcast in recent history has been a build person. Right. You’re the first buy person that we’ve really dealt with. A couple episodes ago we had another person that bought the business. But how did you do your due diligence? Like how did you figure that out? Like, okay, I feel comfortable enough to buy this business. Like what? What involved in that process? Because someone’s listening right now that may want to try to do that.

Austin: Yeah. So there is I mean it was an amazing journey and I’m still on it now. So what’s made the decision like? I think buying is going to be the route to go. Everything is on the internet. And I just was like, okay, cool. Like can you go buy businesses somewhere? And I found biz by Cellcom. Now there’s a lot of stuff. There’s a huge variety of stuff on it, eBay or Facebook Marketplace where all the details are there for you to see. Because when you’re trying to sell a company, there’s usually some aspect or there’s a significant aspect of privacy involved the owner might not want the employees to know, might not want the customers to know. They usually don’t want their financial information all over the internet. And so there’s some tactics involved with that and understanding what you’re looking at. But what I did is I looked at a couple other companies and as you start clicking around, you meet a broker, and the broker knows the banker and the banker knows the accountant knows the lawyer knows maybe another broker. And so you build you talk to listen to any of these things. You hear people talk about the network that you build. And it really is true. And you’ve got to realize, like when you’re talking to, okay, cool. Like this guy is a good contact. I want to nurture this relationship both personally and professionally. So that was really where it got started. And I met these people and they all had some level of personal and professional interest in helping me along the way.

Austin: So one thing I had to wrap my head around, and I think whether it’s whether you’re buying companies or cars or houses, I think this is one thing that you learn in time is that there there’s no perfect deal out there. A lot of us, we sit there. I think the term is analysis paralysis, right. Because you’ll see there whether you’re looking at, again, a house, a car or buying a company, you’re like, hey, cool. There’s this aspect that’s imperfect and I really wish it was perfect. Okay, that’s great, but that’s not reality. So you’ve got to really figure out what level of imperfection you can tolerate, whether that is a timing problem, whether that is a financial problem, maybe it’s really expensive, maybe it doesn’t make as much money as you’d like, but it’s got other good things. In one aspect, when you’re looking at companies to buy a company, maybe it’s is the location something you want for us? I was looking forward to moving back to Kansas, and so our location wise, we were just looking for Kansas east of highway 135. That was pretty much our our sandbox, which is a pretty big geographic area. If you want to stay in the town you’re in, then, okay, maybe I need to give a little bit on the industry side of things that I’m going to be in, maybe. I really wanted to do food service, but there’s not a bunch of variety there, so understanding what things you can and can’t be picky on, or that you’re willing to be picky on was a process.

Austin: I looked at two companies very seriously before this, and they were both manufacturing companies. So my I started off on this journey wanting to pursue engineering and manufacturing. I joked about the laundromat and the frozen yogurt place because that was very early on, like, how would this look? But really, what I had set my sights on after a while was engineering manufacturing. That was I wanted something that the community that people need, not a nice to have. So along that route was when Gungrog came along and we looked at a couple other places and they just weren’t quite right, and I had spent some money looking at them. I do miss those dollars I wish I had back, but that’s just the way it goes. And they just weren’t quite right. And it wasn’t actually in the industry. I was looking. I’d never really thought about investing this much into the firearms industry, but the way that the deal shook out, it made sense. Now, as far as actual like nuts and bolts due diligence, you need to either. If you are not highly financially savvy, you should bring somebody along with you. In my case, there was a gentleman who I met and got to know pretty well, and he did business valuations as like a side hustle. And so he was able to look at a lot of financials for me. And he could tell, okay, there’s certain terms and phrases and lingo that just like in any industry that you need to learn.

Austin: And he introduced me to those. And in listening to him evaluate a couple different companies, I was like, okay, cool. But here’s the aspects that I’m looking for in like a profits and losses statement, right. And a balance sheet and then dived a little bit more. Maybe you aren’t confident at looking tax documents, but then you can really start understanding what the financials of that look like. I would not recommend going it alone if you’re not confident, highly confident, like doing your own taxes, then I would definitely not look into dissecting the finances of $1 million plus business going that alone, that would be challenging. And but I’ll bet you most people could find that there is somebody 1 or 2 degrees of separation from them that would be confident at that. And you’re not paying an accountant $100, 100, $150 an hour. Don’t feel that you have to pay somebody for every service you’re going towards. People love to help you when you’re starting something like this out, I certainly didn’t. I had a lot of it and and I couldn’t have done it without it. There’s several names I could go through of guys that were helpful to me. That gave me a lot of their time and expertise that they otherwise sometimes charge people for, and I could not have done it without those guys. And so you need to know when you meet them.

Wade: Yeah. I think it’s you started to talk to about your network. Right. And so don’t I think the biggest mistake that people make is keeping things a secret. Right. And so I think if you tell your immediate group of friends and contacts, hey, look, I’m looking to buy a business. This is what I think it is. You’d be surprised how many people could help you with that, or maybe even maybe interested in investing in it or just giving you free advice, like what you got. And I think that’s a great technique of doing that. It’s almost a requirement for sure, because you can’t do it by yourself. So you’re saying going back to Kansas, does this mean that when you bought the business, then you then relocated as well, so you decided to increase your level of complexity and do a move and buy the business at the same time? You just wanted that challenge.

Austin: The levels of complexity were pretty. There were several of those. I was actually still active duty Navy. We bought it. One of the things that I was had to figure, aspects that were imperfect was the timing of the whole thing. And I was looking at I was like, okay, cool. Like it’d be great if we could do this 4 or 5 months from now. But that wasn’t the deal I had. The deal I had was four months ago, and so that’s what we took. So for us, I had known that we were that I was going to leave the Navy for about a year and a half. So we had actually already moved to Kansas because I had a deployment I was going to go on. We had a house in Kansas and that my family spent a lot of time at, so we were already set up in the state, didn’t know exactly where in Kansas. I looked at the airlines or going to other aerospace companies if the entrepreneurship thing hadn’t didn’t pan out. I always have a plan B, so we already had roots in Kansas. My parents live here, my wife’s parents all live. We live about an hour apart. And so that part of it was care of, you know, we ended up the company, the the store and shooting ranges about two hours away from where my house is. So we are relocating subsequently again, which we’d always knew we were going to do. But it’s only two hours as opposed to across five states for sure.

Wade: That’s amazing. I mean, the fact and that’s another advantage of buying something is like the area that you want to be in, you want to go home, and if there’s something there that’s a good fit, we’re the first two. And then we’ll actually get into what you guys do here in a second. But. Because I could talk about this all day. Were the first two businesses in manufacturing also in Kansas, or were they somewhere else that you were looking at?

Austin: Yeah, yeah, they were both also in Kansas. They were a little bit closer to where our house is at. And so we were just trying to be 135 or East. Right. But this ended up being a little bit further east than what we had planned on. But again, it’s the deal that we had and we’re pretty excited about it.

Wade: Well, before we move on, I want to make one last point, which I think is really important for people to understand before we move on to what the actual business does. And sort of your philosophy there is that I think the fact that you were willing to walk away from two deals that were geographically closer to your house, but weren’t quite right, I think is a really important lesson for people to understand, because it’s very easy to get caught up in the momentum of a deal. And I think it’s important to know that, like you’re marrying your business almost like you marry somebody like a spouse. It’s a big time commitment, especially if you’re not just buying it. So I think that was a huge probably is going to be a huge factor for your success that you were willing to walk away from those for whatever reason.

Austin: One in particular was very tough, and I told the guys at the time, I it’s still a really cool company and I’d love to to be involved in it. I really enjoyed this company. I enjoyed the work. If it’s and if there’s another deal that comes my way that makes sense and whether it’s one of those previous ones or not. I told him I was like, let’s talk about it if you want to, because there’s an amazing amount of demand right now for buying small businesses. That’s another thing that I found is and it’s across all industries, but there’s there’s a bunch of guys that are looking to slow down and retire. And owning a company is just not really something that we all got encouraged to do a bunch in school. And so it’s not it’s just not the at the front of people’s minds when they’re like, oh, hey, I’m looking for a change. I want to do something different. They usually go look for a different job, which is still fine. I mean, I still, you know, have W-2 income, by the way. But once you can shift that mindset and you start looking, okay, maybe I can trust myself enough to pursue something like this. Then you find that there’s an amazing amount of people that are looking to sell companies of all sizes, and if you’re ambitious, I think you can find the right deal.

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Austin: Somebody else has one walking down the street. You’re like, I like that one.

Wade: Yeah, exactly. Now and you being in the military. And that’s why I think it’s a great thing for people in the military to think about, is because when you buy a business, it’s the leadership aspect of it. That’s what you need. It’s the strategy and the leadership side. Right. And that is a skill set that really transfers across verticals. It doesn’t matter if it’s in firearms or you’re buying manufacturing or you’re buying a laundromat. The skill is the owner is the ability to do strategy and the ability to lead people. And I think that’s something. What was your job in the military, if you don’t mind me asking? Pilot I live in Virginia Beach, so we have a lot of friends that are pilots, special forces people and pilots. It’s like you can’t spit and not hit one of those two people around here. Yeah, if this.

Austin: Was a couple of weeks ago, I could have come out and we could have done this in person. Oh, no.

Wade: Yeah. So that type of skill set, the ability to plan out a mission or just all the things that they teach you whatever to do, I would think that has helped you a lot in terms of not only the process of buying that business, but also running it. Now, have you found that to be true?

Austin: Oh, certainly. So there’s any journey that you take through leadership through coming up through maybe start mopping the floors and then you end up being the CEO. And wherever you start and stop in that process, you’re going to see examples of leadership and guidance that you like and that you want to emulate. You’re going to see that you don’t like. And I think if you’re whether you work at Amazon or in the US military, those aspects are true either way. So I learned a bunch in the military about whether it is dealing with people, whether it is understanding how to build and nurture an org chart. There is a lot of difference in the air mentality. At the end of the day, when you are in the military, especially when you’re gone on deployment, it’s very easy to foster a teamwork environment and like, hey, I need you to do this hard and unpleasant thing because the team needs it, the mission needs it. And in the civilian world, I find that still exists. It is just a different form of motivation and making sure that you can be what the employees need you to be, and that you can give them what they need in order to be effective and to be motivated at their job. We’ve got a great staff at the Gun Garage. I mean, we’ve got and several of them are former military, but I’ve learned a lot about just the differences in personnel management. And it’s not a huge surprise. You know, I knew there was going to be things you don’t know. That’s another aspect of entrepreneurship is there’s a bunch of people that are like, well, you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. And it’s like, well, yeah, nailed it. Right. Who has ever done anything bold and big and known what they were getting into? You never do.

Wade: Know.

Austin: Yeah. You willing to learn and deal with the challenges that you find along the way?

Wade: Well, and that’s what leadership is, is constantly going into. I saw a really good quote, church yesterday and or Sunday and it was leadership is doling out disappointment to your followers at a rate they can absorb. And I was like, yeah, I was like, that’s awesome.

Austin: And that’s I like that one.

Wade: Yeah. It’s not that’s not the exact quote I’ll email to you if I find it. Who is from. But just because you’re taking everybody into the unknown together. And this is a great transition, I think, to talk about what the Gun Garage actually does. Right? So in terms of a culture, what is the Gun Garage do? It’s I know it’s a shooting range. So like, what is it about the culture that draws you to buy it? What is it that you’re trying to now bring to the business? Walk us through that. And because that kind of goes into leadership thing and tell me, you know, about the business. Plus it’s in Kansas, which is awesome.

Austin: So yeah, Kansas is pretty underrated state. It’s a great place to be. Of course I’ve got family here, but we were happy to get back close to our family, closer to a place with maybe some space, and we were very excited about that. The garage is a little bit special because in the city of Topeka and the surrounding areas, it’s the only shooting range in the immediate vicinity, and we were really happy about that. And that, again, you’re talking about due diligence earlier. That was an important part of that. And it’s like, okay, cool. It’s there. The barriers to entry to build a new shooting range. And so I was probably real excited. We’ve got the only show in town for a sizable geographic area, and it’s hard to build another one that’s a positive. Now the other thing, too, is that Topeka had gone through a couple of other gun stores in the past about ten, 15 years that they all had their goods and their others to them. I haven’t lived in Topeka for a while. I grew up here, but I seem to always be doing something with firearms as I came through town. And so I’d been to all of them, and they all had their different advantages and disadvantages. And the cool thing was, is that when I shopped at gun range as a customer, having no idea that I would go buy it someday. It felt like it had the best marriage of all those goods that we had in town. And then I think a lot of the other stores had shut down. I think just gentlemen that had gotten older and wanted to slow down.

Austin: And so gungrog what was left. And I was like, what a cool opportunity to promote everything that the firearms industry has to offer. We’re not the lone voice in town, but I would humbly say that I think we are the most prominent voice in town. And so what I tell everybody is we’re here to promote safety, sport and self-reliance in the community. And that’s really what people come to us for. We get a bunch of people that walk in the door because they are wanting to feel safe in their house, right? I mean, you know, you can talk all about crime and in the country, and there’s not a whole lot of exceptions to that. And certainly the town that that Gun Garage in struggles with crime, that is that has been on the rise. And people are like, hey, this is making me this is making me nervous. I want to take this into my own hands. I want to get a concealed carry. I want to go through a concealed carry class. I want to take lessons. Right? I want to understand what the legal aspects are of self-defense, use of force, use of lethal force. Right. We get a lot of that. We get farmers and ranchers, we get a lot of professionals. We get law enforcement. We get security companies that come through. They want to use their range. They want to purchase firearms. So that’s the safety aspect to it. That is, you can see a lot of direct feedback from that. The sport aspect to it is one that was very, very near and dear to me.

Austin: Uh, I was a competitive bike racer in high school, loved it and was very formative to me. And I think and, and I think a lot of guys, they get to college or they get out of college and start your real life and they get out of competing. So the sport aspect of it being able to bring in competitive shooting again and all the variety that we have with the three ranges that we have, I think is a way to help the community find adults, not just youth, although we want to have youth leagues as well. Find that that drive and the fulfillment and the vibrance that you get from competing. Again, I hadn’t really done anything super competitive in probably ten years or more. And actually it was a couple buddies of mine that we went out to an 18 and over go go kart track, right? I mean, the ones I mean, you got to sign a waiver, wear a helmet, age restrictions. And we were just thrashing each other and it was awesome. I mean, we bet $10 a year or something like that. And it was great to get. I realized I was I was so happy to be back in something competitive again. I wanted to be able to give that to the community as well. And so we just finished our first, uh, run and gun course that we’re going to be able to traverse through the ranges and we’re going to have this summer. And it’s exciting. I mean, you’ve got the pressure of the time, you’ve got the pressure of people watching, and that really can bring out the best in yourself and find a lot in you that maybe a lot of adults let go by the wayside in the realities of real life.

Austin: And so we enjoy that. And then self-reliance. I’m just a lot of us in the firearms industry are just inherently value self-reliance, whether that is being able to, you know, certainly entrepreneurship is an aspect of that, trying to create your own resources there, but making sure that you’re prepared for your car breaking down in the middle of the desert, in the middle of Kansas in the winter, you go off the road in Kansas. In the winter, that happens all the time, right? And trying to help the community, like think about what are these things that I need to be prepared for so that not only can I not be caught in these scenarios, but then I can be somebody that’s going out and that’s helping somebody else get out of the ditch when they’re stuck. You know, that’s one of my favorite things to do in the winter. We would take the truck and you find somebody on a busy day. Emergency services in Kansas are completely overwhelmed. They can’t go pull everybody out of the ditches. And who knows who’s in those vehicles. And so you can go help out with stuff like that. And of course, you can take that theme of self-reliance and apply it to whatever scenario you want. And however deep down into that rabbit hole you want to go.

Wade: One thing that I love about brick and mortar stores like your store, and especially the ones that have a range, is that they’re like the gateway drug to self-reliance, right? Because you may come in to buy a gun, but then you’re going to want to shoot it. So then you’re going to want to take classes. And then once you start to become proficient with the gun, there’s so much depth to firearms. Then you start to think, well, are you in shape enough to run if you need to run? Do you know how to do medical? If there’s a gunfight, someone you care about might be bleeding. So and I think that’s what people they think about, like a gun store is only a place where it’s just like, oh, there’s just commerce and transaction. But it’s a huge benefit to the community because it creates safer and more competent people over time.

Austin: Certainly our customers are just a great group of people. There’s such a dichotomy between the pop culture view of a gun store and the reality of it, and you’ve just got a group of people that come through that are salt of the earth. They’re looking to make themselves better, typically, and self-improvement, and whether that’s in sport, in their preparedness, in their skills, that’s what a lot of them are seeking, maybe at a more foundational level.

Wade: Yeah. No, that’s I mean, like I said, is that because I think the Second Amendment is under attack, right? Now, I think, and it always has been to some, in fact. But it goes in waves, right. But I do find more normal because I’m on the normal person side of things. Yeah. I grew up in North Dakota. I was hunting when I was young, but I was never in the military. And so my gun depth is pretty, not super deep, but I’m proficient. And so you want to bring the more people, normal people you bring in, the more advocates will have for Second Amendment right. And the more I think it makes it accessible on a political level as well. And so that’s why I think it’s so cool that whenever a gun store or a gun range has classes or does competitions or whatever outreach that they do, it really does make the community stronger. So so I love that you’re doing that. What are the next five years look like for you guys like so you just bought the store. You’ve had it for four months. You’re working out the kinks. Where are you going to take the store in the next few years that it hasn’t been before? Is it going to be just expanding the outreach like that, or do you not have that figured out yet? Kind of. What are you thinking in that area?

Austin: Yeah, every entrepreneur kind of sits there and like, okay, cool, how can I grow? What makes sense? What is the need? What does the community need and want? Outreach and advocacy, I think, is a near-term, large thing that we’re doing. We’ve got a couple groups that we’re working with. It’s interesting actually. We’ve had a group approach us that their whole shtick is reducing violence in the community, and they walked in our door. They’re like, hey, we want you guys to talk about firearm safety, about firearms handling. And that kind of took us by a little bit by surprise. We were like, hey, this maybe I agree with you, by the way, that this is an important piece of your message. It’s just not what we were expecting. And so we’re really excited that they’ve asked us to go talk at a lot of their different conferences and be involved in the more foundational aspect of trying to make cities and everyday life safer. So that’s a near-term thing. And part of that, again, is this self-reliance thing. We want to we are really looking forward to expanding our marksmanship leagues. And our classes are going great. So that’s a near-term berm focus of ours to start talking about five years from now. And certainly I would like to, by that point have some kind of a second store or more than that.

Austin: But again, it goes back to, okay, where is the need in the community? And maybe a store that’s that is just the premier location to come for those three things for safety, sport and self-reliance in eastern Kansas. I’d be perfectly happy with that too. And then from that entrepreneurship side, okay, cool. Like what else is there a need for? Is there a need for? We’ve talked a lot about how fun would be to get into outfitting and stuff like that. There’s a decent cadre of that of guys doing that around. So there’s that service exists and they’re doing a good job of it, but we looked into that personally. I’m interested in other back to aerospace engineering, manufacturing opportunities that come along and things like that. But for the Gun Garage, we want to make sure that we get our three our pillars, that we make sure that everyone in Topeka has access to those pillars we want to work out from there, wherever there’s a need. Most small towns have a gun store, and right now I’ve got no desire. Even if I could go crush a local gun store, I’ve got no desire to do that. I’m much more motivated at providing what this community needs, and then if there’s another community that needs it somewhere else, I’ll go in and taking care of that, too. I think.

Wade: That’s awesome. I mean, like I said, there is a place online for gun purchases for sure, right? Like PSA and stuff like that. And but I don’t think that you can replace the camaraderie and the knowledge base of the local gun store. And so there definitely is a need for that. I’m so glad to see that you’re bringing fresh energy to Topeka and our Co. I have a co-host who joins me every like 3 or 4 episodes. He’s from Kansas. He lives in the sticks out in Kansas. He’s in some like survivalist bunker somewhere where he’s unknown. I don’t know where he is even so, but he’s in Kansas somewhere. Well, great. Well, I know we’re running out of time right now. I had an awesome time talking to you today. I’d love to have you back on the show. How do people find you? I know that your guys’s website is, and there’s a contact form there, because if someone wants a question, like if there’s someone who is an entrepreneur and they want to pick your brain, is that the best place to reach you is on the contact form on the website?

Austin: The website’s actually getting overhauled right now. Um, so am.

Wade: I looking at the wrong website?

Austin: No, it’s the top of that. Probably has a big picture of the outside of the building on it. Yeah, yeah. So that’s right. But we’ve got a lot of just accounts and things like that. We’re switching over. If someone wants to talk about entrepreneurship, just is the best place to go for that. That’s my name. But that’s where I would send him for that is the website. And again we’ve got an online store there that’s also getting reworked. Real excited about that. We’re on Facebook, we’re on Instagram, we’re on X. And again, I think just I mean, everybody knows those platforms have different challenges to each one of them. But that is something that you have to be active on and that we’re excited to be a part of. What is your.

Wade: Handle on X because you have a link there.

Austin: It’s the Gun Garage CS, the Gun Garage Kansas.

Wade: I’m very pro Twitter because I think it is the. Best place with the biggest wiggle for firearms. They still don’t let you really sell anything on there, but it’s still for Twitter. I think is the best place where you’re not going to get just canceled out. Unknowingly.

Austin: We run into a lot of issues with other platforms. Yes they are. They are certainly the best. We’d love for them to be better, but they’re the best right now. That style of forum is the future.

Wade: Yeah, 100%. And also the cool thing about X2 is that there’s going to have a lot into the finance side. They’re going to go more like a kind of out of Venmo on there. And I think there’s a lot of growth potential on X for the future for entrepreneurs. And so I always encourage all my firearms clients to get a position on X now, because I think they’re going to be very happy they did five years from now. So it’s cool. Yeah. I’ll try to drive some people to your X account for sure. So all right man. Well, listen, I really like it is called the Tactical Business Podcast. So the business part of it is why we get a lot of people tuning in. And I think you’re going to help a lot of people who want to buy a business really encourage them to do that. So I think it was an extremely useful conversation today. So I really am thankful that you came on today. Austin, thank you so much.

Austin: Thanks for the opportunity. Glad to be here. And I will do it. Do it again sometime. All right.

Wade: Yeah, we’ll definitely have you on again. You’ve been listening to the Tactical Business Show by Join us again next episode as we explore what it takes to be a business success in the firearms industry.