My neighbor used to own and operate 3 1-hour photo stores. When digital came along, more and more customers would walk in the door asking to get their digital pictures printed. Her stores "didn't do that". Costco came along and were the first around here to offer digital printing.
Originally Posted by BradS
My neighbor got nervous.
She didn't want to invest in new digital systems, so she shut down the 1-hour photos and converted them to Subway Sandwich shops. She made lots of money in photo and lots of money in sandwiches.
There are film processors that are intended to develop as few as 5 rolls a day.
If one had 3 stores, like my neighbor, they could easily consolidate the film into one place. Not everyone needs 1 hour service. Many people would be happy with overnight or even 3-day service if it meant having a local, dependable, place to go. - with reasonable prices. No one wants to pay $20 for develop, scan and prints.
The remaining film customers are very dedicated and can be loyal customers.
One could sublease a small corner and back room of a Hallmark or Stationery store and run their lab out of that. One could even have the lab offsite in a cheap industrial area.
An imaginative person could figure out there is a lot of money to be made. I think a 20-30 year old person could make a great 1-person business.
Offer scanning and restoration services. Offer video slideshows. All are cheap and easy to do and fill the time between film rolls.
People are not ever going to buy enough coffee mugs to keep anyone alive.