October 29, 2014  
 
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How to Start a Trophy Shop

Opening a trophy shop is a rewarding experience as long as you separate yourself from the competition. We provide a few secrets that may be key to your ultimate success.

Wondering how to start a trophy shop? We take you step-by-step from start to success.

Trophy Shop

Are Trophy Shops Still Viable Startups Opportunities?

For decades, trophy shops have been staples of local small business communities. But given the dramatic changes in business and technology that have occurred in recent years, are trophy shops still potentially profitable small business ventures?

Absolutely -- but if your plan is to try and replicate the trophy shops that existed when you were a kid, you're bound to be disappointed. Like many businesses, today's trophy shops have adapted to the times and incorporated technological innovations into their core business activities.

Navigating Trophy Industry Developments

In the past, trophy shop products were limited to plaques, medals and personalized figurine trophies. Today, laser engraving has transformed the industry, making it possible to efficiently customize materials like crystal, marble, glass, wood and composites.

As an emerging awards industry entrepreneur, it's essential to learn how to produce a wide variety of trophies and awards. Since the industry is constantly evolving, we advise new trophy shop owners to participate in the Awards & Recognition Association and other trade organizations.

Web-Based Marketing Tips for New Trophy Shops

Another technological development that has taken the awards industry by storm is online marketing. Aggressive and profitable trophy shops now have the ability to take customer orders online, allowing them to expand their reach and serve awards customers outside of their immediate vicinity.

In our experience, many startup trophy shops minimize the importance of launching with a functional e-commerce website already in place. But we think that's a big mistake -- an image-rich business website with an easy-to-use online ordering system is a strategic advantage you can use to differentiate your startup and capture market share right out of the gate.

Best Practices for Writing a Trophy Shop Business Plan

As a startup entrepreneur, you're learning that small business ownership can be a lonely career path. That's especially true when it comes to writing a business plan the seminal document that will shape the direction of your new trophy shop.

Fortunately, you don't have to tackle your trophy shop's business plan by yourself. There are plenty of useful solution designed to assist trophy shop entrepreneurs in business plan writing.

If you're feeling overwhelmed, take a look at Gaebler's Business Plan Help section for a list of business plan writing resources.

Is Your Community Business-Friendly?

This is a local business, for the most part. As such, you should get to know local officials before locking in on doing business in any given community. Are officials truly interested in retaining and assisting existing business, attracting new businesses, providing a pro-business climate for success, and offering support to small companies? If not, maybe you should consider other locations for your trophy shop.

Consider Competitors

Before you open a trophy shop within your community, it's worthwhile to see what the competition looks like. We've provided the link below to help you find competitors near you. Complete the form by entering your city, state and zip code to get a list of trophy shops that are close by.

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

As part of your due diligence on opening a trophy shop, you really ought to have a conversation with someone who is in the business. If you think owners of nearby trophy shops will give you advice, think again. Why would they want to educate a future competitor?

However, an entrepreneur who owns a trophy shop on the other side of the country may be willing to share their entrepreneurial wisdom with you, after they realize you reside far away from them and won't be stealing their local customers. In that case, the business owner may be more than happy to discuss the industry with you. It can take a while to find an entrepreneur who is willing to talk, but it's well worth the effort.

How does one quickly and easily locate a trophy shop entrepreneur on the other side of the country to talk to?

We can help. Follow the link below, try a few city/state combos or zipcodes, and then start calling!

Benefits & Drawbacks of a Trophy Shop Acquisition

An acquisition can be a great way to enter trophy shop ownership. But it's important to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of buying a business before you decide on either an acquisition or startup approach.

PROs: A good trophy shop will deliver revenue and ROI from day one. Even more, the right trophy shop acquisition can place you in a market leadership position from your first days as a business owner.

DRAWBACKS: On the downside, trophy shop acquisitions can be difficult to adapt to your unique business philosophy so it's important to make sure the business is capable of achieving your ownership goals before you initiate the buying process.

Consider Franchising

The odds of thriving in your new business immediately improve if you decide to franchise and benefit from the prior work of others and their lessons learned.

Before you consider starting a trophy shop, it's worthwhile 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.

Other Useful Articles for Startup Entrepreneurs

These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.

How to Find Angel Investors

Coming Up With Good Business Ideas


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Already Own a Trophy Shop?

If you currently own a trophy shop, these resources will come in handy:

Marketing a Trophy Shop

Selling a Trophy Shop

Do You Sell to Trophy Shops?

If you sell to trophy shops, you're in the wrong place. Try these resources instead:

Selling to Trophy Shops

Mailing Lists for Trophy Shops

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