Thinking about opening a lawn and garden equipment and supplies retail business? We tell you what you need to know to get started.
Getting Started in Lawn & Garden Retail
The lawn and garden business is big business in the U.S. Each year Americans spend roughly $6.9 billion – and that's strictly on consumable supplies. The actual size of the industry is considerably higher when you take into account the sales of lawn equipment and other products.
The good news for would-be lawn & garden retailers is that Americans' thirst for lawn equipment and supplies shows no sign of slowing up anytime soon. The bad news is that consumer demand has driven scores of entrepreneurs into the marketplace. In other words, your startup must be built to compete if it has any hope of achieving long-term success.
Since competing on price isn't a realistic option for most startup garden retailers, you will need to find other ways to differentiate your business in the marketplace. Before you draft a business plan, analyze the marketplace and look for gaps that can be exploited to give your startup traction with consumers.
Inventory Tips & Tools for Lawn & Garden Retail Startups
If your lawn and garden store is successful, inventory will be coming and going at a fast clip. To avoid being overwhelmed, it's important to consider the specific product lines your store will carry and how you will go about maintaining inventory at adequate levels.
- Dealer relationships. Strong dealer and vendor relationships are essential in a lawn and garden retail operation. Although you expect big names like Cub Cadet and John Deere to provide support to their retail customers, smaller brand dealers of snow blowers, chainsaws, weed trimmers and other equipment should also be expected to provide reliable delivery and a level of service to your business.
- Inventory management. Once merchandise arrives in your store, you will need an effective inventory management system to keep track of it. The idea is to achieve the right level of inventory to accommodate store traffic and keep products moving off the shelves – but not so much inventory that it ties up all of your liquid resources.
- Integrated POS. Many of today's retailers leverage sophisticated POS (Point Of Sale) technologies that feature integrated cash register, accounting and inventory functions. Selecting the right POS system isn't as complicated as it sounds. With a little effort, you can identify an affordable solution that is a perfect fit for your lawn and garden retail startup.
Creating a Business Plan for a Lawn & Garden Equipment & Supplies Retail Business
One of the worst mistakes you can make as a small business owner is to not create business plan for your startup lawn and garden equipment and supplies retail business.
The key benefit of writing a business plan is that it defines the game plan. If you don't have a business plan, your leadership will be handicapped, making decisions that could be detrimental to your lawn and garden equipment and supplies retail business's values and long-term goals.
Before you make another business decision and before you start writing a business plan, you need to create a mission statement. With a carefully crafted mission statement in place, it's time to initiate the hard work involved with writing the rest of your lawn and garden equipment and supplies retail company's business plan.
Assess the Competition
Prior to opening a lawn and garden equipment and supplies retail business in your area, it's worthwhile to find out how many competitors you have. We've provided the link below to help you generate a list of competitors in your city. Simply enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of lawn and garden equipment and supplies retail businesses in your town.
If there's too much competition, it may be wise to consider starting the business in a less competitive marketplace.
Finding a Non-Competitive Business Mentor
As part of your due diligence on opening a lawn and garden equipment and supplies retail business, you really ought 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.
However, an entrepreneur who owns a lawn and garden equipment and supplies retail business in a location that is not competitive to you may be willing to share their entrepreneurial wisdom with you, provided that you won't be directly competing with them. In fact, they are often very willing to share startup advice with you. Our estimate is that you may have to contact many business owners to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
What's the best way to find a lawn and garden equipment and supplies retail business owner 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.
Advantages of a Lawn & Garden Equipment & Supplies Retail Business Purchase
Every entrepreneur dreams about building a highly successful company from the ground up. However, many new entrepreneurs aren't experienced for the rigors of a startup operation.
There are a lot of factors that need to be considered in buying vs. starting a business. While other startups are just getting on their feet, a business purchase dramatically improves the odds that your lawn and garden equipment and supplies retail business will be realizing net income from the outset of your ownership engagement.
Explore Franchising Options
Your chances of achieving the entrepreneurial goal of avoiding failure in business are much greater when you join the ranks of franchisees in lieu of doing everything yourself.
Prior to making the decision to open a lawn and garden equipment and supplies retail business, you ought to check out whether franchising might increase your chances of success.
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 getting started as an entrepreneur may be of interest to you.
If you already are in business and came here to learn about growing an existing lawn and garden equipment and supplies retail business, these resources will come in handy:
If you came here to learn about selling to lawn and garden equipment and supplies retail businesses, you're in the wrong place. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are still exploring all of your options, please browse our directory of guides below.