There are a lot of factors to consider when opening a sports and recreation store. However, before you even start to think about a budget and initial investment, you need to clarify for yourself what you want. For example, what sports are most prevalent in your area? Will your store include camping, fishing, hunting, or primary sports like basketball, baseball, and football? Will you cater primarily to adults or children? Answering these questions will help you determine the direction you need to go.
Sports and recreation stores often include equipment for hunting, fishing, and sport shooting. Even in non-rural areas, these are popular recreational activities. It is essential to cater to the needs of your customer base when it comes to the type of products you will sell. For example, if there is a large community of sport shooters, you want to make sure you have AR tools, cleaning supplies, and plenty of ammo in all different calipers. Resources such as Wheeler Tools offer a variety of these specialty products for a price that makes sense. Not providing customers with a wide selection will cause them to look elsewhere for the things they need.
Once you have a vision for your store, you need to look at what real estate is available. You will need a reasonably large location to house all of the equipment and supplies you plan to sell. The site should also be easily accessible, hopefully near a highway or other major roadway. Being easily accessible will encourage customers from outside the area to travel to your location to see what you have available.
Finding the perfect location will dramatically help you create your budget and determine how much money you are going to need. Talk to the previous owners of the building to get an idea of what the utility costs will be. Also, talk to your realtor to find out what the property taxes are going to be, and other expenses related to opening a commercial business in your town.
You want to get a quote for an eCommerce website to compliment your physical location. You will also need some programs and equipment to help your business run smoothly. For example, you should look at virtual call center software, point of sale software, and an accounting system like QuickBooks. Virtual call center software will complement and support your eCommerce business, which will be monumental to the success of your retail location. The point of sale software will allow you to track your inventory and sales effortlessly. Finally, the QuickBooks will streamline your bookkeeping, so you can closely monitor your financial situation.
The amount of money it will take to open a sports and recreation store will vary too much to provide a precise estimate. Start with projected rent, utilities, and fees. Add the equipment and software programs you will need to operate, and then project the amount of inventory you will need.
Knowing the type of products you want to sell will allow you to reach out to vendors and start getting estimates for wholesale orders. Do some market research to determine what products will move best, given your location and price point. Talk to your distributors, so they know what you are looking for and what you can afford. Work with local vendors when possible. Local venders are often easier to work with, and you can promote the fact you support local companies to attract additional customers.
In addition to doing the research needed to create a budget and initial investment needs, you also need to create a business plan. The business plan is an outline of how you will run your business, including goals and objectives. A business plan is also an essential part of your presentation for possible investors or lending sources.