Thinking about opening a police equipment and supplies business? We tell you what you need to know to get started.
Scoping Out the Police Equipment and Supplies Market
Police equipment and supply businesses sell products designed for use by law enforcement professionals. But established police equipment and supply dealers know that their products appeal to a much broader range of buyers. In fact, your startup will likely struggle unless you intentionally target buyers beyond the law enforcement community.
Other professional buyers include private security departments, bounty hunters, military personnel and personal bodyguards. Additionally, there are scores of nonprofessionals who are interested in purchasing police quality supplies and equipment for personal enjoyment and self-defense.
With relatively little effort, it's possible to expand your product line to include merchandise that appeals to other types of public servants including EMS personnel, fire & rescue team, and medical personnel.
How to Extend the Range of a Police Equipment & Supply Business
Depending on your location, it may be possible to sustain a police equipment and supplies business with a single brick-and-mortar store. But a brick-and-mortar only approach limits your reach to buyers within driving distance of your location. To extend your reach, you'll need to implement a catalog sales strategy and make fast friends with today's technology.
Print catalogs can be useful tools for direct marketing efforts aimed at police departments, individual consumers and other buyers. But printing costs can be exorbitant and no matter how often you print, your catalog will never be totally up-to-date.
So in addition to (or in place of) a traditional catalog, it's worthwhile to invest in the creation of a top quality ecommerce website that features an image-rich virtual catalog and easy ordering mechanisms. With the proper search engine optimization (SEO), you can transform catalog sales into a low-cost marketing machine that targets multiple customer categories.
Special Considerations for Police Equipment & Supply Dealers
Police equipment and supply entrepreneurs need to be knowledgeable about the legalities of selling certain products to the general public. Although a large percentage of your merchandise (e.g. clothes, accessories, etc.) can be legally purchased by anyone, other products are restricted.
Pay close attention to products like pepper spray and stun guns since these fall into regulated categories in some states. Likewise, you'll need to be careful to avoid selling badges and official uniforms to non-professional buyers since these could be used to impersonate law enforcement -- a criminal offense.
Successful Business Plans for Police Equipment & Supplies Businesses
As a startup small business owner, you need to have a business plan you can rely on for both external and internal purposes.
Although there are a lot of tasks screaming for your attention, cutting corners on your business plan can be a precursor to disaster. Why? Because there are a multitude of reasons why your company can't succeed without a sound business plan.
As a rule, don't exit the business planning process until you are completely satisfied with the scope and content of your business plan.
Don't Ignore Competitors
Before you open a police equipment and supplies business in your area, it's a smart move to find out how strong the competition is. Try our link below to get a list of local competitors in your area. After following the link, enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of police equipment and supplies businesses in your area.
How tough is the competition in the market you are considering? If the competition is too tough, you may need to think about starting the business in a different area or even start a completely different business instead.
Studying the Market
If you are interested in starting a police equipment and supplies business, be sure to speak with somebody who is already in the business. If you think your local competitors will give you advice, you're being overoptimistic. Why would they want to educate a future competitor?
However, a fellow entrepreneur who has started a police equipment and supplies business in a location that is not competitive to you can be a great learning resource for you, once they realize that you are not going to directly compete with them in their community. Many business owners are happy to give advice to new entrepreneurs If you are persistent, you can find a business mentor who is willing to help you out.
How would you find an entrepreneur who is running a police equipment and supplies business outside of your area who is willing to talk?
No problem! Just use the link below and try a random city/state or zipcode. Then start dialing for advice until you are successful.
Business Brokerage for Police Equipment & Supplies Business Entrepreneurs
Business owners are decision makers. And the first decision you'll need to make is between a police equipment and supplies business startup and an acquisition. For police equipment and supplies business entrepreneurs, there are many reasons why a purchase is more logical than a startup.
A qualified business brokers can provide a range of services designed to ease your transition into business ownership.
The best business brokers will ensure that you get the right business for the right price, and will help you avoid common police equipment and supplies business acquisition mistakes.
Don't Rule Out Franchising
Your chances for becoming a successful entrepreneur are substantially improved if you purchase a franchise in lieu of doing everything yourself.
Before opening a police equipment and supplies business, you would be wise to determine whether buying a franchise could make it easy to get started.
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 already are in business and came here to learn about growing an existing police equipment and supplies business, these resources will come in handy:
If you came here to learn about selling to police equipment and supplies businesses, we've got better information for you elsewhere on our site. Try these resources instead:
If you are still exploring all of your options, please browse our directory of guides below.