By running a sporting goods store, you will be able to supply local sports teams with equipment, including socks, cleats, baseball gloves, hockey sticks, and other products, and become involved in the sports scene. Like any other business, you need to be familiar with your product and the area in which you operate. Building relationships with the community is important to creating a sustainable business. You should also consider running a website that will update your customers on upcoming sales and contact information.
1. Create a business plan that will stipulate how much you expect to earn and what your goals will be. The U.S. Small Business Administration, a government agency, offers online-accessible templates, strategies and other resources for small businesses. You should be as specific as possible about where your profits will come from and how much of a loss you can take in the first two years. Consider securing funds by finding a co-financier or a business loan.
2. Negotiate a deal with a wholesaler. Consult sites like Wholesale Central or Maurice’s Sporting Goods. You should stock jerseys for the nearby professional NFL, NBA and MLB teams, as well as sports goods for high school and junior high players. You will need basics like cleats, gloves and socks.
3. Acquire business licenses with your local and state governments. The application requires your personal information, as well as the business details. Consider forming your business as a limited-liability corporation (LLC), in order to protect your personal assets.
4. Lease a store for your sports business. You should work with a real estate agent, particularly an agent that has experience negotiating deals for commercial and business properties. The sports business should have sufficient space for storage, offices and product display. Purchase shelves and display furniture to exhibit your products. Spaces that have been used previously as stores are particularly good investments, since they require few alterations.
5. Install any lighting fixtures or electrical work that needs to be outfitted for a sports business. Contact a contractor, electrician, plumber, and heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) professional, each of whom must be licensed by the state, bonded by the city or state, and insured. As part of your license, the building needs to pass fire inspections and other building codes. Make any changes to conform to both. The lighting and air conditioning need to be optimal.
6. Hire employees for your sports business. Employees that have a particular interest and experience as athletes are particularly valuable, as are employees who can contribute to website creation and development. You will need cashiers, warehouse employees, managers and sales staff, though a single person could fill many of these positions.
7. Hold an opening-day ceremony. Not only will this help you promote your business, but it will provide an opportunity to celebrate with your partners in this business venture.
8. Acquire business insurance to cover damages to property and employees. Contact an insurance agency, which can discuss with you the specific insurance requirements for your city and state.