Success Story – The Boom Closet
The Boom Closet – Dickinson 2023
MOTT – The Boom Closet, a firearms store specializing in new and used guns, optics, accessories, and more, is rapidly becoming a cornerstone of western North Dakota. Owned and operated by Ben Boyll, this family and veteran-owned business not only serves the needs of its customers but also embodies the values of self-reliance and community support.
Ben’s dream of owning his own business began years ago. “I have been a firearms enthusiast my entire life and enjoy hunting, shooting, and competing with rifles and pistols,” says Ben. “I am a firm believer in the Second Amendment and believe that all law-abiding Americans should own and train with firearms to protect their families, communities, and our country.”
It was only in the past couple of years, after formulating a solid business plan, that this dream started to take shape. In September 2022, Ben purchased a location for The Boom Closet. By November 2022, the business was conducting initial sales, leading to a grand opening on January 28th, 2023. The journey from concept to reality was swift and purposeful.
The thrill of ownership, the freedom of being his own boss, and the responsibility for both successes and failures are what Ben appreciates most about being a business owner. He understands that success is the fruit of hard work and perseverance. Running a small business comes with a steep learning curve. Daily operations and juggling multiple tasks, often as a solo entrepreneur, can be challenging. Effective time management has proven essential in overcoming these hurdles.
Ben’s journey as an entrepreneur and business owner was made possible with the assistance of the North Dakota Small Business Development Centers (ND SBDC) and the guidance of his Dickinson business advisor, Matt Ellerkamp. Ben learned about the ND SBDC through his primary lender and after he discovered that he could get start-up assistance, including help with business plans, financing, and sales projections, he made an appointment.
Taking advantage of ND SBDC resources was an obvious choice for Ben. He expected valuable conversations, advice, and constructive criticism during advising sessions. The experience turned out to be exceptionally positive, and he highly recommends it to new business owners.
After assistance with his financial projections, Ben was able to get a loan package that included a traditional lender, the Bank of North Dakota, a regional loan program, and the local development corporation.
Over the past eight months, The Boom Closet has expanded its in-store inventory significantly. The business has also strengthened its online presence, aiming to become the premier firearms dealer in southwest North Dakota.
The ND SBDC brought expertise and advice to the table, particularly when it came to compiling essential sales projections for financing. This streamlined the process of obtaining business funding, making it relatively stress-free. Ben strongly encourages other small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to utilize ND SBDC services. He views it as a valuable, no-cost resource that can significantly contribute to a business’s success.
The local community has been instrumental in The Boom Closet’s success. From assisting with initial financing to spreading the word about the store’s opening, the community’s support has been invaluable. Ben also attributes his success to his passion for his business and his genuine care for his customers. He believes that North Dakotans understand and support small businesses, recognizing the importance of keeping money within the community.
Ben’s advice to other entrepreneurs thinking of starting their own business, “Expect to be at your business every day and to not make much money personally in the beginning! This is something that I anticipated when starting my business and it helped to have those expectations in place before taking the leap.”
The Boom Closet welcomes visitors not only as customers but as friends. Ben encourages everyone to stop by and chat over a cup of coffee and explore the extensive inventory. The Boom Closet’s journey from Ben Boyll’s dream to a thriving business is a testament to the power of passion, community support, and valuable resources like the ND SBDC.