Wondering how to start a surf shop? We take you step-by-step from start to success.
Getting Serious About a Surf Shop Startup
Unfortunately, far too many surf shop enthusiasts get into a surf shop startup as a way to prolong the surfing lifestyle well into their adult lives. Passion is important -- but unless your obsession with surfing is backed up by a commitment to solid business strategy, your surf startup will quickly be headed for a wipeout.
Right away, you're going to need to learn how to pinch pennies. Cost management is entrepreneurism 101 and knowing where to decide where to spend your capital resources separates hobbyists from startup owners who are serious about their surf shop's success.
Job #1: Establishing Relationships with Surf Wholesalers
After you have explored available space for lease in your area, your first job is to establish supplier relationships with surf industry wholesalers. Surf shops stock an assortment of merchandise, ranging from surfboards to beach attire, and that means you'll need to be equally diverse in the relationships you establish with vendors and suppliers.
For some merchandise items, you may discover it's more feasible to manufacture your own products than it is to buy them from a wholesaler. Proprietary T-shirts and surfboards are common in surf shops, but it's very unlikely that you'll be able to sustain your startup by only selling your shop's proprietary merchandise.
Should I Find a Partner for My Surf Shop Startup?
In general, small business partnerships have a better survival rate than sole proprietorships. Choosing the right partner is essential, but if your goals and objectives are compatible, a partner can share the workload and offload a portion of the risk associated with starting a business from scratch.
In a startup surf shop, a business partner may be a necessity if you are an unknown figure in the local surfing community. By recruiting a well-known partner, your startup will immediately gain the trust of local surfing enthusiasts.
How to Write an Effective Surf Shop Business Plan
It's virtually impossible for your surf shop to succeed without an effective business plan.
Accuracy and an eye for detail count when writing a business plan. Fudging the numbers is the equivalent of sabotaging your surf shop's strategic interests.
The more effort you invest in the details of your plan, the greater the payoff you will receive from your efforts. For more information about surf shop business plans, take a look at what the experts say about business plan writing.
Location, Location, Location
For the most part, surf shops target local customers. Your startup plan should start with gathering intelligence about the local community What types of people live nearby? Does your ideal target customer live or work in the area? Great demographic data can be obtained from the Census Bureau, so that is a good place to start any site location research project.
Assess the Competition
Long before you open a surf shop within your community, it's a good idea to find out how you will fit in the competitive landscape. Use the link below to find competitors nearby. Simply enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of surf shops in your town.
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
If you are seriously contemplating launching a surf shop, you really ought to talk to somebody who is already in the business. If you think your local competitors will give you advice, you're being overoptimistic. The last thing they want to do is help you to be a better competitor.
However, an entrepreneur who owns a surf shop on the other side of the country will be much more likely to talk with you, provided that you won't be directly competing with them. 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 do you find a surf shop entrepreneur in a different locale who can assist you?
Easy. Find them using our link below and start calling until you are successful.
Guidelines for a Surf Shop Acquisition
It's fairly common for surf shop entrepreneurs to gain entry through a business acquisition.
An acquisition isn't necessarily a bed of roses. You'll need to thoroughly evaluate the factors involved with buying a business. Right away, you'll want to make sure the business is capable of meeting your ownership expectations.
If the business is right for you, the assistance of a business broker will help all of the rest of the pieces of the process fall in place and you will be well on your way to owning a proven surf shop.
Your chances for doing well with your venture are much greater when you choose to franchise instead of doing it all on your own.
Before you get too far along in your plan to open a surf shop, it's worthwhile to assess whether there are good franchise opportunities available that might help you avoid common entrepreneurial mistakes.
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 surf shop, try these useful resources:
If you sell to surf shops, you're in the wrong place. Try these resources instead:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.