my buddy owns a board shop. Apparently, he gets 93% off of msrp, there are no minimum orders from the factory and they ship to him for free. When he started the shop he wasn't really concerned with how many boards he'd sell a year. He just went ahead and ordered a couple hundred because the factory said they'd take back whatever he couldn't sell and give him full credit (and pay for the shipping). Advertizing wasn't a problem, he just registered the shop name with google and the orders came piling in. Inventory control was also a piece of cake. He just kept on hand the most popular selling boards and whatever he didn't have he just one-orders from the factory, 'cause they always get him what he needs in one or two days. Start up money and credit was also a breeze. His suppliers just told him "pay us when you sell it, or when you get the chance and send back whatever you have left at the end of the year".
Oh, by the way, he did ALL his research on the internet, because that's where you'll always find the truth. Good luck!