No way a round it, there is a massive influx of new gun buyers. Every gun shop that I go to is woefully inadequate at dealing with the number of customers in their shop. It just takes forever to do anything. If you just need some ammo, or some other supplies, you could starve to death in most shops.
God forbid that you actually want to look at and maybe purchase a handgun. I see tons of people just walk out and leave stuff on a table because they won't wait.
The biggest problem? The new customers. Many of them have no idea what they even need to ask. I'm not hating on newbies by any means. I was one. I remember my first trip. I was intimidated. But the guys running the show let people pile around the counters so that you can't even SEE what they have. Then if somebody decides to purchase, they stay at the counter to fill out the paperwork!
If you own a shop take a look at what you are doing. I'd bet a week of value meals that you could be earning 20% on top of what you are just by working on flow.
1. Have paperwork and subsequent administrative stuff done in a location AWAY from your inventory. People need to see it to purchase it.
2. Organize your ammo so it's painfully simple to locate. Most do, but I've seriously seen people "organize" it by brand instead of caliber (and other random ways). I've seen people stand and look for ammo for 5 minutes. What a waste of time and space.
3. Have one person, the patient guy, to greet people and find the newbs. I saw one store where a fat guy just asked the question coming In the door, "would you like help understanding anything?" Then he sent them to a guy named Willie that had a small table, away from the inventory, with "lesson" guns and ammo. It really helped people.
4. Flip side to that is that the fat guy asked if they knew specifically what they were looking for. He could tell them quick if they did or didn't have something. Saves more time. So a non newb may not pack the counter.
5. When someone is trying to sell a used gun establish value away from the counter.
6. If you post a sign, for ammo limits, or anything important, hang it in a location that people can see it and make it BIG BOLD LETTERS. Visible from 15 feet. Also, make what you are saying crystal clear. Saying "2 box limit on ammo" is going to have people asking questions. Likely, the same questions all day.
7. Hanging signs ON your door is dumb. The door opens and closes and people are trying to get in and out. If I'm standing there in the middle of traffic trying to read a moving sign it's a problem.
Basically, keep counters clear of people that don't need to be there. Communicate effectively. This is your moment. May not be another event like this for 20 years.
I'm not impatient. I know it will be crazy when I go. What drives me crazy is how much money these guys are leaving on the table. Just standing there watching it happen is painful.