Wondering how to start a garage equipment and accessories business? We take you step-by-step from start to success.
Dynamics of the Garage Equipment & Accessories Industry
Americans have a love affair with their garages. For some, a garage is little more than a storage unit or spare craft room. But for many homeowners, the garage is a miniature castle, a space that can be outfitted with a broad of range of consumer or even commercial products.
Although there is healthy demand for garage equipment and accessories, few if any retail stores are dedicated exclusively to garage-based merchandise. Instead, garage equipment and accessories are sold as part of a broader retail approach that encompasses hardware and other products.
Subsequently, specialists in garage equipment and accessories are typically wholesalers or distributors -- suppliers of products that have been manufactured by a range of companies. Unless your research shows that the market is primed for a garage equipment retail store, the safer approach is to orient your business plan and entrepreneurial mindset toward a wholesale approach to the marketplace.
Key Relationship for Garage Equipment Startups
Successful garage equipment and accessories wholesalers grow their companies through relationships. Inexperienced entrepreneurs tend to focus one or two of these relationships, but in the real world, neglecting any one of these relationships can spell disaster for your business.
Manufacturer relationships are the starting point for a successful garage equipment and accessories startup. These relationships lay the framework for your business because they create pipelines for the inventory you sell to retailers. Stabile supply, reliable shipping and other issues need to be addressed with each manufacturer.
In a garage equipment wholesale operation, retailers are customers. As with any business, it's important to nurture relationships with your existing customer base as well as prospective customers, i.e. retailers who may be interested is stocking your merchandise on their shelves. The payoffs for the time and effort you invest in your relationships with retailers are loyalty and a willingness to feature your merchandise in prime store locations.
No successful small business can prosper in isolation. So it's important to develop relationships with other business owners in the garage equipment industry and in the small business community. Membership in organizations like the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) can be a big first step toward forging industry relationships that will be important for your startup's growth and long-term success.
Characteristics of a Good Garage Equipment & Accessories Company Business Plan
Your garage equipment and accessories company's business plan should be tailored to your business's unique traits and goals. However, the most effective business plans do address specific sound business plan elements:
- Mission Statement – A foundational statement of your company's direction and strategy.
- Goals & Objectives – The end results of your company's business activities.
- Financial, Marketing & Action Plans – Specific plans that describe your business environment, demographic targets and quantitative estimates.
Before you open a garage equipment and accessories business in your town, it's essential to find out how strong the competition is. We've provided the link below to help you get a list of local competitors near you. After following the link, enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of garage equipment and accessories businesses in your area.
Prior to opening your doors for business, be sure you fully understand the competitive landscape and where your new business will fit in.
Turning Competitors Into Collaborators
As part of your due diligence on opening a garage equipment and accessories business, it's a smart move to talk to somebody who is already in the business. It's very unlikely that the local competition will talk to you. The last thing they want to do is help you to be a better competitor.
But, a person who owns a garage equipment and accessories business outside of your community may be willing to share their entrepreneurial wisdom with you, as long as they don't view you as a competitive threat. Many business owners are happy to give advice to new entrepreneurs. Our estimate is that you may have to contact many business owners to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
How do you go about finding a garage equipment and accessories business entrepreneur who is willing to advise you because you live in different cities?
Simply, try our helpful link below, type in a random city/state or zipcode, and start calling.
Three Arguments for Buying a Garage Equipment & Accessories Business
It's almost always preferable to buy a garage equipment and accessories business than to pursue a garage equipment and accessories business startup.
You'll want to conduct a comprehensive due diligence process, but here are three arguments why you should think about buying instead of a startup.
- Initial Revenue. Startups struggle to bring in revenue right out of the gate while existing businesses usually have a steady stream of income.
- Operational Efficiency. When you're shopping for a garage equipment and accessories business, be sure to look for ones that have all of the necessary processes and systems to ensure seamless operations from your first day of ownership.
- Capital Acquisition. Lenders, investors and other funding sources almost always prefer business purchases to startups.
Going with a franchise opportunity won't ensure that with certainty that you will be successful but does make everything a lot easier.
Before you get too far along in your plan to open a garage equipment and accessories business, it's worthwhile to check out whether there are good franchise opportunities available that might be worth investigating.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you currently own a garage equipment and accessories business, these resources will come in handy:
If you sell to garage equipment and accessories businesses, you're in the wrong place. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.