Thinking about opening a sporting goods business? We tell you what you need to know to get started.
Sporting Goods Industry Profile
Sporting goods is a vibrant segment of U.S. retail. Currently, there are more than 20,000 sporting goods stores in the nation, delivering annual sales in excess of $35 billion. For startup entrepreneurs with a passion for athletics, an independent sporting goods store is a logical and potentially lucrative career path.
But today's sporting goods industry isn't the same as it was twenty years ago. Facing intense pressure from chain stores and online retailers, brick-and-mortar sporting goods stores often struggle to survive past the first year. As a prospective sporting goods store owner, you'll need to quickly hone your entrepreneurial skills to conquer in the competitive arena.
Leading sporting goods entrepreneurs are masters at inventory management. Since the sporting goods industry is seasonal, you can't afford to overstock your shelves with inventory that will be out of season in a few months. On the other hand, you also can't afford to send customers away empty-handed.
Effective inventory management requires the implementation of systems and processes that give you up-to-the-minute monitoring capabilities. These days, there are a number of inventory management software solutions available to assist you, some of which can be integrated with POS technologies to create a fully integrated and automated inventory ordering process.
Sporting goods retailing is a highly localized industry. In the current sporting goods environment, the 50 largest companies in the industry account for approximately 55% of annual sales. Furthermore, only 170 companies have more than 5 locations.
This means sporting goods store owners need to intentionally and proactively nurture connections to the local community. Sponsorships of youth leagues and local sporting events are perfect opportunities for startup sporting goods stores to create community connections and forge a local brand identity.
Creating a First-Rate Sporting Goods Company Business Plan
A business plan isn't just another startup formality. It's a core business document that will guide your sporting goods business's decisions and activities on a go-forward basis.
Accuracy and an eye for detail count when writing a business plan. Fudging the numbers is the equivalent of sabotaging your sporting goods business's strategic interests.
The bottom line is that a first-rate business plan is probably more attainable than you realize. As a further guide, consider what the experts say about business plan writing.
Don't Ignore the Competition
Before you open a sporting goods business within your community, it's essential to find out how strong the competition is. We've provided the link below to help you find competitors near you. Simply enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of sporting goods businesses in your town.
It's important to be aware of what the competition is doing. Take the time to visit the competition to properly assess their strengths and weaknesses.
A Good Source of Advice
If you want to open a sporting goods business you really ought to speak with somebody who is already in the business. Local competitors are not going to give you the time of day, mind you. It'd be crazy for them to teach you the business.
However, a fellow entrepreneur who has started a sporting goods business outside of your community can be a great learning resource for you, as long as they don't view you as a competitive threat. Many business owners are happy to give advice to new entrepreneurs It can take a while to find an entrepreneur who is willing to talk, but it's well worth the effort.
What's the best way to find an entrepreneur who is running a sporting goods business that lives outside of your area?
It's not that hard. Just use the handy link below and enter in a random city/state or zipcode.
Guidelines for a Sporting Goods Business Acquisition
There are a lot of reasons why it may be preferable to acquire a sporting goods business instead of starting a new business venture.
To avoid common mistakes, it's important understand the critical factors to consider when 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 sporting goods business.
As an entrepreneur, your chances avoiding failure in business are much greater if you opt for franchising and leverage their successful brand and track record.
Before you get too far along in your plan to open a sporting goods business, you ought to check out whether franchising might make your life much easier.
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 currently own a sporting goods business, these resources will come in handy:
If you came here to learn about selling to sporting goods 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.