Everyone knows that when starting a new business, you need a good business plan. This should entail where you are going to find your future prospects. When starting an athletic goods business, whether a brick and mortar location or an E-commerce business online, focusing on athletic goods sets your niche market. In fact, you are going to be of great help to budding athletes as well as a lot of sports enthusiasts, and your business will, therefore, have a propensity to fetch prospective clients. However, you will need to map out smarter strategies that would distinguish you from local competitors and hit the target audience at the same time.
Research the existing athletic goods market
Although you know that a sporting goods business will probably never land you in a sea of losses, you still need to understand the importance of opening another store. Knowing who your competition is and what you are up against is vital to being successful. Visit other stores to find out what goods they are selling, and which sports those goods catering to. Accordingly, you can choose to deal with goods that cater to some other type of sports, or find a smaller niche to market to.
Prepare a business plan
Now that you have done thorough research, write out a business plan that would include everything, including how you are going to handle your roles and responsibilities. There are many examples of good business plans available online to read through, and even download a template to fill out.
For someone who has never done a business plan before, they can be rather intimidating. A good plan includes a financial plan as to how much money you will invest and start with, and how much you will need in a loan. Also, mention what sort of profit margins you are expecting from this business. Any loan department will require these numbers.
Talk to friends in business
Believe it or not, good friends who are intelligent businessmen will always give you the best tips and suggestions on how to kick start a business. They will usually be glad to share their success stories, and give advice on how to avoid pitfalls. This can give you clear hints of strengthening your clients’ base with time.
What are people interested in
When it comes to starting a sporting goods or athletic goods business, the locality matters a lot. So if you have plans to open a brick and mortar store, you need to check what the local residents are interested in doing. You may even find that people there are more interested in kayaking and hiking. Cycling is also a popular activity in most areas. Accordingly, you can think of selling cycles, cycling gears, and accessories as well as goods required for kayaking and hiking.
An online store is entirely different. It requires doing keyword research to see what people are looking for and buying, and possibly looking at successful stores in this niche to see what they are selling. That will help you plan what types of merchandise to offer. Also check social media to see what is trending there.
Often, manufacturers will sell their products in their own online store because the overhead is much cheaper than running a local outlet. RP Sports, for example, a leading maker of products for athletes, went this route when they started their company in 2011. They have become very successful marketing to recreational as well as hard-core athletes who are looking for a way to make their recovery time faster. They have a responsive audience on their Facebook page, as well as their Twitter and Pinterest accounts.
Get a good store location
It’s very important to know that your business or store location will play a key role in how successful it will ultimately be. Being in a location with a lot of traffic, whether foot traffic or vehicular, especially by the types of people that are your target audience, is ideal. For online stores, the choice of the domain name is also critical.
So when going into business with sporting goods, keep these points in mind and you have the best chance of being successful.