Wondering how to start an ice skate sharpening and repairing business? We take you step-by-step from start to success.
Phasing Into Full-Time Skate Sharpening & Repair
For ice skating enthusiasts, skate sharpening and repair simply comes with the territory. Generally speaking, dull blades jeopardize the skater's grip on the ice. Some skaters prefer to have their blades sharpened each week; others may go an entire season. Either way, skate sharpening and repair entrepreneurs need to be positioned to receive sharpening requests when they arise.
But gaining visibility in the marketplace takes time, even in cold climates where skating is a major recreational activity. Rather than jumping in with both feet, many first-time skate sharpeners and repair techs phase into a full-time business model. By launching as a part-time operation, you gain the ability to gradually create market awareness, laying a solid foundation for your eventual transition to full-time business ownership.
Setting Up a Skate Sharpening & Repair Operation
The shape and scope of your set-up will depend on the kinds of services you intend to offer to skaters in your community. A part-time sharpening and repair operation function effectively with a simple, home-based shop that leverages grinders and basic tools specifically designed for use on skates.
More extensive operations naturally have more complex setup requirements and possibly migration to a high traffic, commercial space. Sharpening and repair businesses that feature a retail component are the most sophisticated startups. In addition to shelf space, you will need to consider point of sale equipment and other requirements.
Marketing Strategy Tips for Skate Repair Startups
The majority of your skate sharpening and repair shop's business will come from recreational and youth league skaters. From a promotional perspective, it can be helpful to acquire the business of one or two professional hockey players or figure skaters, but those kinds of opportunities are rare, even for skilled skate sharpeners and repair specialists.
Consequently, you will want to focus your marketing efforts on reaching the children and youth market. Consider leveraging team discounts, event sponsorships and other activities to incentivize parents to adopt your startup as their go-to source for skate repair, sharpening and possibly new product purchases.
Tips for Writing an Ice Skate Sharpening & Repairing Company 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 ice skate sharpening and repairing business.
Fortunately, you don't have to tackle your ice skate sharpening and repairing company's business plan by yourself. There are plenty of useful solution designed to assist ice skate sharpening and repairing business entrepreneurs in business plan writing.
For more information, take a look at our Business Plan Help section.
Long before you open an ice skate sharpening and repairing business within your community, it's worthwhile to find out what the competition looks like. Use the link below to generate a list of competitors in your city. After following the link, enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of ice skate sharpening and repairing businesses in your area.
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
As part of your due diligence on opening an ice skate sharpening and repairing business, it's a smart move to talk to somebody who is already in the business. If you think owners of nearby ice skate sharpening and repairing businesses will give you advice, think again. Why would they want to educate a future competitor?
Fortunately, somebody who runs an ice skate sharpening and repairing business in a different city may be willing to share their entrepreneurial wisdom with you, provided that you won't be directly competing with them. Many business owners are happy to give advice to new entrepreneurs. Our estimate is that you may have to contact many business owners to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
Where would you find somebody who runs an ice skate sharpening and repairing business in another city who you can speak with?
Here's one way to do it. Just use our link below, find somebody and call them.
Benefits & Drawbacks of an Ice Skate Sharpening & Repairing Business Acquisition
Although there are significant benefits to buying an ice skate sharpening and repairing business (rather than launching a startup), it's important to weigh the pros and cons before you commit to a purchase scenario.
PROs: Acquired ice skate sharpening and repairing businesses should be profitable right out of the gate; they should also be capable of demonstrating a loyal customer base, brand identity and operational efficiencies.
DRAWBACKS: On the downside, ice skate sharpening and repairing business 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.
Is Franchising the Right Option?
Going with a franchise opportunity won't ensure that with certainty that you will be successful but it can mitigate many risks that increase your chance of failure.
Prior to making the decision to open an ice skate sharpening and repairing business, you may want to investigate whether franchise opportunities in your space might alleviate your startup process.
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 currently own an ice skate sharpening and repairing business, these resources will come in handy:
If you came here to learn about selling to ice skate sharpening and repairing businesses, 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.