The skateboarding industry is always action-packed and is now experiencing significant growth as children, teenagers, and even adults ride the sidewalks, curbs, streets and skate parks for exercise and fun. Check out the skateboards closely, and there are some incredible deck graphics and a variety of brands with different features and construction styles. Some skateboarders decide to become competitors, adding yet another dimension to the industry because they need custom-designed and built boards that can tackle the ramps with ease.
Rolling Towards Success
All of this adds up to business opportunity. People are opening skateboard shops across the country, usually to cater to local clientele. Though some skateboard shops turn into major enterprises, the vast majority are small to medium sized businesses offering high quality customer service to a niche market. The skateboard store business plan is usually a brick-and-mortar business that fills a gap in services or products currently offered by competitors. The typical business is also involved in a host of activities that promote the business while also keeping the entrepreneur involved in current industry happenings. They include sponsoring local skateboard clubs, events, and competition skaters.
A skateboard shop can start small but still needs reliable inventory suppliers like a large business. Some entrepreneurs start a business that sells custom designed skateboards in addition to branded ones. Whether or not the entrepreneur decides to pursue an angel investor or small business loan to get the business up and running, a professional business plan is needed to map out a plan for ongoing success.
Following are some of the typical points addressed in the skateboard business plan:
• Location – Experienced skateboard ship owners recommend setting up in a location where there is plenty of parking for customers who drive to the business. It is also suggested that the business be located near a skatepark or have a front on a street so that walk-in business can easily access the shop. In other words, choosing the right location is critical because this is a very social business that delivers mostly one-on-one personal service. The skateboard business plan will describe why a particular location was selected.
• Shop displays – The interior shop setup has a lot to do with sales. Skateboard decks can be hung on walls, accessories displayed in glass cases, and a TV-with-DVD continuously played that shows skateboarders in action. A work area with good equipment for assembling or building skateboards should be set up also. The shop owner will need to fund the purchase of items out-of-pocket or include the amount in the request submitted to investors.
• Inventory – The type of inventory the shop will carry varies. It can include quality skateboards, pro boards, custom boards, skateboard gear and clothing, and accessories. The business plan can describe the inventory that will be offered to customers, the product pricing, and services pricing. Typically, skateboard shops offer customers the option of buying already-built boards or of choosing their own setup.
• Marketing – How will the shop be promoted – online and offline? The shop needs a website and a presence on social media, in addition to being advertised and marketed through promotional events, radio and/or television, and newspaper ads.
• Staffing – It is likely the shop will need additional staff beyond the owner. The business plan will describe the type of staff needed, which may include floor sales people, skateboard assembler, and cashier. Anyone selling and assembling skateboards needs to be knowledgeable.
As is true for business, financial planning is critical to the success of the skateboard business. Financing or investor funding may be needed for startup costs, initial inventory purchases, and a portion of operating expenses until profitability is reached. Startup costs usually include space remodeling, website development, and technology and equipment expenses. Skateboarding may be an entertaining pastime, but a skateboarding business is a serious enterprise.
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