But....if you want to make money you have to about live there. A shooting screen and full service sales and repairs and even a indoor/outdoor shooting facility helps greatly! (but your time to hunt will be minimal at best).
You can contact "ARCHERY TRADE ASSOCIATION" (ATA) and they can guide you to other outlets for Archery related items and manufacturers and wholesalers and guidelines for a archery business. ATA puts on a 'show' every January.....this next one is in Colombus, Ohio (I think). You have to be a Manufacturer or Dealer or associated with those things to get in and it's NOT open to the General Public. You need 'documentation' to get into the show.....or go with another archery shop owner that is REGISTERED and will be attending.
Good Luck on your quest! -}}}}}}}}}---------->
Second, unless you have been shooting all your life, and still even then, go to the PSE mechanics school, and any other school you can get into. If word gets out that you don't know way more about mechanicking than they do forget it. Guys can go to Dick's or BassPro or any other big box store for amatuers.
You have to know more and be able to explain it. There are some guys that will steal your knowlegde and expertise but there are way more guys who just want to "turn the key and go" who will realize the value of your experience and prefer you do it. Which is why you will have to say no to hunting and other fun. Your season will be through half of July, all of August, most of September and October thern slow until a small Christmas rush, then slow until the following July.
You can use the bowling alley to your advantage. People will come to shoot in the winter indoors but you have to make target equipment part of your inventory not just hunters. Target guys tend to shoot all year, including 3D, but hunters sometimes only care about hunting season.
Do not underestimate the enormity of this undertaking. Part timer thinking MAY pay for your own equipment, which you will buy from yourself at cost, but not more. Full timer thinking will launch you on a fun career that, of itself, will likely not set you up for a good retirement. Good luck!
If you're doing this as a hobby, fine. Do it from your garage.
If you plan to earn a living, you better be the first, biggest, and smartest archery shop within a 100 mile radius, and you better carry ALL the major bow brands, and you better have EVERYTHING in stock. And forget about hunting yourself for the first few years.
You will make 70% of your income from July 5th through November 1st, 5% in December, and 25% during winter league season. Be prepared to be open until well past 10pm during August and September.
"If you have done a market study on the businees (that you like) prospect and have indeed identified that the tendency for profit is viable, proceed. Othewise, stop. Now identify the business prospect that IS most profitable, devote youself to THAT, and allow it to FUND the thing that you love."
Gross exaggeration of the situation: Joe HATES being a ____, but he makes a million dollars each day, and has 1/2 the year off to do whatever he wants. He'll retire at 35 years old, and do whatever he wants.
For those of you still on bowsite since this 2009 post, do you have any fresh comments. A bow shop seems like a very tough business, but I am seeing some big ones that must be doing well.
Would be great to hear if Animal Killer pursued it.
That said, I am constantly amazed by thinking that the market is saturated with, for example
a) Hunting Clothes
c) Game cams
Yet every year there is a new kid on the block fighting an uphill battle to crack into the market, and surprisingly some of them make it.
A new archery shop started in my city and so far they seem to be making it.
Items I see that appear to be leading to their success:
a) Had a financial backer (manager didn't have to foot the entire startup bill himself
b) Existing archery shop had burned a lot of folks who were looking for a new place to go, only other options were chain stores that didn't really have the expertise for tuning, etc.
c) New shop incorporates a HUGE indoor range with paper and 3D targets to 40-yards, probably 20 lanes
d) New shop hired on the best of the shop mechanics from existing archery shop
One other problem with trying to start a shop is getting rights to "brand name" bows - often the big names have clauses for certain distance from current shops that carry their lines, etc.
My shop was never intended to be a full time shop, but it became one. I had two 40 hour a week jobs. Too much! I don't think I ever had a net gain of more than $10,000 a year. If you do the math, 40 hours a week making 10K a year isn't much of a wage. It doesn't help that I gave away free tuning and coaching labor to everyone under 18 years of age, and to everyone who bought a bow from me.
But then... I was never in it for the money.
I had to close a couple years ago. The time commitment was just too great, Especially when I don't possess the ability to say no to people who ask for help.
So now I've been closed for almost three years, and I still have several guys a week come to me for help during August and September.
So now i deal with a doz large and small dealers. One being a very large box store and a couple large shops and a lot of small and mom and pop shops. I deal with over 300 string sets a year and growing filling in my dealer network, retail customers, online and local plus i still do the archery shop side of it. so it never ends. I have been doing it for 7 years now and havent stopped or slowed down. Then i was single now im married with a daughter being born about 4 months ago. I am shooting semi professionally through the NFAA and USA Archery scenes along with bowhunting. My shop is still located in my house, just a much bigger shop now.
Here is our website: http://glaciallakesarchery.com/
Our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TallTineBowstrings
Stop on over and give me a like or order up a set of strings if you want. I have fully enjoyed this crazy ride but finally have turned some nice profits, made great friends, and doing what i love. I still work a full time job during the day but i set my own hours and schedule so 32 hours a week isnt bad for being on call most times.
It was nice to look down memory lane with this post. Thanks Phillip Johnson Animal Killer
Reality #1-PEOPLE ARE CHEAP!!! Todays America wants everything for next to nothing but what's worse is people today expect and often demand expert services and workmanship for what THEY think it's worth. Most peoples single most important factor they use to govern where they shop and what they buy on price more than any single other factor.
Things to keep in mind when starting a business that is presently dominated by major chain stores and price driven by highly competitive internet archery stores.
If it does, begin writing your full business plan and proceed from there. A business plan is your single most important thing in starting a business as it will be a road map or guide along the way for those first few crucial months. It is expected to change along the way. The other most important thing is to pay yourself. The business plan will help you allow this. Otherwise, you can go into burnout and quit.
Good luck to anyone who is willing to take the leap to being your own boss!
Bishop Archery's Link
You will face encroachment from big-box stores and Amazon sellers. You will fletch thousands of arrows, until you go into convolutions. You will invest $100,000 just in merchandise, not to mention operational cost and if your margins are good you will receive 30-50 percent profit margins if you sell everything, every-year. So on $100,000 of products, if you go dealer direct and buy everything as cheap as you can, which is hard to do without buying some things from distributors, you will make $50,000 a year. However, you still need to pay for operational costs out of that so after paying staff, electricity, government fees, taxes, advertising and other expenses you might have $10,000 per year for your own family for example. $10,000 a year sounds like a lot of money, but who would work 40 or 80 hour workweeks to earn $10,000 per year???????
You would do better working a minimum wage job after work and without the risk, because it is like a dog chasing it's tail. You get to take the $100,000 and invest it again annually just to stay open. To make money you need to achieve millions in sales and have nerves of steel to put it right back into purchasing more merchandise. Some pro-shop owners that do this are rich, but they are not millionaires and most pro-shop owners fit into the above scenario. Some people cannot afford a $2,000 Mathews Safari but will expect you to sell them one for $1,400 stating that you are greedy, even though you pay more than that for one. Other customers will be there with you through thick and thin and you will invest hours into the development of their archery with no monetary benefit to you, but the greatest feeling of satisfaction and sense of worth as a pro-shop owner that any human could ever feel. You will neglect your family all of the time. You will never hunt again. Some of the people you will neglect your family for are not good people and will not appreciate you. Some of your customers will become your family and you will find it hard to charge them for anything, but as demonstrated above, you have to if you want to stay open. To break even you will consider becoming a convenience store/gun shop/fishing/sporting goods store, even though you named your shop Al's Archery Center and you just want to live and breath archery 24/7 and you know nothing about fly fishing rods and really don't care about them. Christmas seasons do not line up with profitable archery sales seasons. You will have to be disciplined to invest money in products to keep the store going, rather than buying your kids more than one Christmas present...even though everyone in town will see the manufacturers stickers and the name of your business plastered all over your truck and think that you are rich. People will ask you for free stuff all of the time. If they find out you sold them a bow for $800 and you only paid $600 they will think you are greedy and that $200 went right into you pocket when in reality that sale will not even pay staff for that day, let alone operational costs. An annoying competitor will come in and sell everything out of their garage for a dollar more than they paid Pape's, Jake's and Kinsey's and you will loose some of your customers. In a short time that weekend warrior will close for obvious reasons, but then another one will come in just to leave numerous customers without support for you to have to fix all of the messes that were made with a whole town full of people's bow set ups. Some of the carnage will be beyond repair and even though the customer did not purchase it from you they will want you to fix it...sometimes for free. Your hands will hurt from being permanently affixed to a serving jig, tying thousands of D-loops, and fletching arrows. You will never want to fletch another arrow again in your lifetime and you will live in latex gloves, or peel glue off your hands daily.
Shooting lanes, leagues, tournaments is the only way archery shops can make a go of it anymore and that is why our heads are only allowed to be sold in person at pro-shops period. That is why we are offering unprecedented protection rivaling pro line bows. That is why pro-shops only need to purchase five packs to go dealer direct and protect their area, rather than fifty packs. That is why we are giving pro-shops 100% of our profit margin and that is why our heads are forbidden to be sold online. The perceptions of the archery pro-shop and the devaluation of it could cost archery for future generations. In many cases, if you own a pro-shop and sell a $1,000 bow many customers will think you are receiving all of the $1,000, but you will actually be earning around $300 on that sale and after you minus out your operational expenses you may break even.
The best/only reason to do it is that without archery pro-shops, archery as we know it would not exist. Archery only pro-shops are the lifeblood of the archery industry and represent the last hope for the proliferation of archery. It is more than setting up new people with the correct draw lengths so they don't quit archery. It is so much more important than that. Archery only pro-shops are in trouble and something big needs to happen, or archery as we know it will no longer exist. It is a thankless job, but an essential one as we move into the future. To make money at it you need to open shooting lanes and get closer to a $500,000 investment. Most people would buy mutual funds rather than do that but for those that beat the odds to open an archery only pro-shop and keep it going we salute you and words could never express our appreciation for you no matter what broadheads you sell, or what brands of bows you carry.
Success in business depends on opportunity, not a person's passion. Whether you agree or disagree, that's what Dirty Jobs star Mike Rowe believes.
Before you fly off the handle, calling bullshit, let's allow him to explain. What Rowe means is that when you put your passion first, ahead of opportunity, you often times create obstacles to achieving real success.
"When you follow your passion, when you follow your dream, when you grow up being told that you're a precious little snowflake and all you have to do is look inward and identify that thing in you that you want more than anything else, that's a trap," he says.
Related: Mike Rowe From 'Dirty Jobs': Don't Follow Your Passion, Live It
Rowe, of course, spent eight seasons as the host of Dirty Jobs, working alongside countless entrepreneurs -- getting his hands dirty in all sorts of grimy jobs like shoveling garbage, milking camels and even personally testing shark repellent.
The second season of Rowe's new show, Somebody's Gotta Do It, premeired on CNN last night.
You "take your passion with you," Rowe says, but true success is when you pursue a great idea or opportunity.
"The people I've met on my journeys, by and large, didn't set out to realize their dream," he says. "They looked around for an opportunity. They identified the opportunity. They exploited the opportunity. They worked at the opportunity. Then they got good at the opportunity. Then they figured out how to love it."
Bishop Archery's Link
We know how it has worked for the last couple decades, but how did it work back then, did you have archery distributors as an option on smaller quantities of items, or would you always have to go right through the manufacturer?
If there is anyone else out there that actually owns, or owned a pro-shop (not out of your garage) could you please elaborate why you did it, or do it? We suspect nobody did it for money and everybody did it because they love archery and exposing archery to as many people as they could, while trying to earn a living wage for their family.
While the person that started the thread no longer owns a pro-shop, they are now making high-end custom strings, they are shooting semi-professionally as much as they can...they obviously found opportunity and also love advancing archery. The flight of the arrow does something to people. It takes people to a whole other place, unobtainable through any other means. That is the only reason to do it and the pride that goes into those string sets being put out is highly appreciated and apparent.
Bishop Archery's Link
What Mathews started was actually a grass roots pro-shop movement and money was never the driving factor. One could look back and say the solo cam was a scam, but string stretch and string materials were very very different back then and what he achieved was actually a genius way to improve compound bow eccentrics related to 1990s string stretch and not a scam at all. Many longstanding archery only pro-shops would not exist today, if Mathews Archery never existed. This specific site and the participants of it would not benefit from Mathews Archery's enormous and essential sponsorship money to help keep it going. Nobody ever forced anybody to buy into the novel bow designs, and distribution pro-shop only structures of Mathews Archery back in the early 1990s. But, back then, nobody did anything like that and it was not embraced by all. Some saw the solo cam as the same thing as the original Allen Compound Bow and the original solo cams certainly were not that much faster than the Allen. They were masterpieces though in the early 1990s when nobody would dare to do anything like that he had faith and saw an opportunity to make a difference.
Now the Mathews pro-shop only compound bow distribution model and intellectual property is emulated by almost all pro-line bow manufacturers in the nation. At the time though it was not at first accepted, or even appreciated by the negative or small minded that do not add value to archery's proliferation.
Regardless, Mathews transformed distribution structures, research and development, intellectual property and retailing areas that were as important as anything else to give archery only pro-shops a new kind of opportunity to be able to remain in business..........without turning into sporting goods stores that also happen to have high end bows. For the end user this is essential and required for archery to continue as we know it for future generations.
It really doesn't matter who does it and certainly doesn't matter if we do it. But, it is essential that somebody, somewhere finds unique ways like Mathews Archery did related to distribution structures, research and development, intellectual property and protected pro-shop retailing areas to add value to archery only pro-shops, so that future generations can be exposed to archery instruction, education and qualitative experiences that big box stores could never offer.
If you are thinking about opening a pro-shop, or already own a pro-shop call us and we will do whatever we can to support you. If you want to open a pro-shop, don't listen to people, go to an actual pro-shop three or four counties away from where you want to open up so you are not seen as a threat. Ask them if you can buy them a cup of coffee. While they are all super busy, they are the people that put their money where their mouth is to cultivate archery and almost all will take you up on it. Go to a retailer that has shooting lanes and maybe even a 3D course. Ask them how it works to generate revenue and leave with one of their free archery industry trade magazines. They are filled with information specific to the archery industry and pro-shop owners.
If you are thinking about opening a pro-shop and especially an archery only pro-shop then what all of the people above, including what we posted is true, but you can make a difference in the face of all of those industry challenges. If that is what you want to do then go for it, because archery's only hope for future generations and lifeblood are the pro-shops. If you want to open one or already own a pro-shop, then you don't make money - you make a difference.
The way consolidation is taking place to drive scale, convenience, and the ability to compete on the street, let alone the transformational change in how people shop - compare - and purchase via the internet, will leave the small locals in the dust. Sure the small shop here or there may continue to exist if the proprietor has not other options in terms of an occupation, but those shops will not be the foundation upon which the continuation of archery as a viable sport is concerned.
Archery better figure this out, if it has not already, as they will not make it if the plan is to rely on Bob's Bows, Larry's Lanes, or Al's Arrows to keep things competitive and thriving in the marketplace.
It may not be for the best, but it is reality and a fast changing reality at that.
I would add one thing.
Look at a clock and look at the first 6 minutes. Devote those 6 minutes of income to your retirement! That's 10% do this everyday you work regardless of a 401k or an IRA or similar retirement plan.
I started working for Miller Brewing Company 25 years ago. Those 25 years have flown by and they will for you. I have more money in my 401k than any of my friends or family.
There are 3 stages of life 1. Growing up. 2. Working life. 3. Retired life. The first stage was on your parents dime, the second on your employer even if self employed. The last is all on you and that is what you put into it.
Remember the first 6 minutes of each hour you work! Remember the goal is to make the 3rd stage last as long as the second stage!!!
If you are a shop, you're trying to sell locally, but in competition with those who sell nationally.
If you become a manufacturer, like the OP has done, then you can compete nationally, but only if you distinguish yourself & your product by not becoming a Commodity. If it's available everywhere, you can't compete anywhere.
The one advantage you have as a local shop is that you're where the customer is. So you have to sell what (and on the strength of what) your national competitors cannot, which is service. Or, if you happen to own a bowling alley, yeah, the indoor range thing is a huge advantage. Awful hard to test-drive a bow over the Internet.
You can also compete by selling niche products that cannot be sold on-line... Though it's pretty tough for the manufacturers of those products to build a following...
Of course, the one thing the big stores don't do is trad gear.
Gotta be tough, though- there's a big shop not far from where I work where the owners have developed such an attitude that they wanted $75 to tell me my freakin' draw length. Afraid they'd help me and then lose the sale to the Internet, I guess... And they did lose.... not just the one sale - they lost 100% of all future business that I might have been able to bring to them or steer their way...
Your competition is now the manufacturers. Your competition will often be your customers (Side Hustle is what we call it). Purchases for everything in any style, color, size and price are just a few clicks away or a bar code scan.
If you open a Pro Shop you better have a set of skills that people need as retail sales are no longer solvent for most brick and mortar stores. It does not matter the price or quality of service. Social patterns have changed with first internet and now Smart phones. 24 hour ever item shopping is now a common thing.
If anyone is not familiar with the concept of Amazon Dash, where you stick a button on the wall next to your washing machine, or toilet, of fido's bowl or whatever and push it when you run out of detergent or toilet paper, or pet food and the product is automatically ordered, paid for, and shipped to your door (at times with 24 hour arrival) check it out.
you don't even search for the product, just push the button
Heck 2 days ago Michele had a very tight schedule and knew she had to run to Kenwood to get Morgan reeds for Sax for band camp that started yesterday. She ordered a few other items aka groceries and other stuff. Cost 7.00 to have delivered to the door in 2 hours.she had this all done via Amazon prime and a cellphone.
Her Wrangler gets about 16 mpg. After doing the math it was a break even on gas @2.98 gallon. Not even considering the time it's saved her. She estimated the 3 different stores, Saturday shopping traffic it was a no brainer.