Starting a Archery Shop
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Hi there. Im a young energetic guy about ready to graduate from college this upcoming spring and I am studying business management. Id like to start a archery shop. I dont know everything there is to archery but I think I know enough to get a good start. My question is that if there is any pro shop guys on this site that own there own business i d like some ideas on how to get started, how to get a liscense to sell a certain kind of bow, and whatever else you think that would help. I am planning on starting small and still working my fulltime job that I have already. Its gonna be a "hobby job" in a sense. My family owns an old bowling alley building and I was hoping that in the future that I could get a big enough store going to move into that building. My other idea was that my dad has been doing taxidermy for the past 30+ years and was hoping to get him to move into the building with me. That way we would have a good customer base in a sense. Any advice would be greatly needed. Thank you for your time.
Hi, I recently opened a pro-shop that I run after my day job also, there are a few things to keep in mind: 1. excellent service is the most important thing you can have, a bad name gets around faster than a good one. 2. know what you are selling, there is only one thing worse than saying you don't know about a product, and that is pretending you know about it. As for products, if you contact manufacturers they will give you their distributors, and away you go. One other thing you should prepare for is being busy with your hobby job, you probably won't get much time to hunt. I hope this helps and good luck to you. Mark TECC Archery
If your going to school for business mangement then you should know the importance of a sound business case. Base your desicions on sound business practices and not what you want. Don't invest more than your willing to lose and that includes time. Good luck.
I owned a archery business for 3 years. Just like you I started it as a hobby. It did not end that way. Just prior to the season we were always real busy, so I wasn't able to hunt much. During 3-D season we set up shop and sold product there. We started small and when we closed we were selling over 100,000.00 a year. Our business was growing by about 10-15 percent a year. The problem, both me and my wife were putting in some long hours and niether one of us drew a paycheck. Everything went back into the business. Our accountant told us that after three years we have yet to turn a profit. The competition is fierce. Don't get me wrong you can make money at it but thinking that it is going to be a hobby is wrong. PSE use to offer a dealer school. Both my wife and I went and it was very helpful.
Thanks for the help. any more things to add?
It's tough! I did mine as a 'hobby' too for many years! My shop was open in 'pm' after hunting hours. I never sacrificed my hunting time for the 'hobby'! The money made went into my bow hunting fund to offset my costs of bow hunting.
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! -}}}}}}}}}---------->
im not saying this based on direct experience, but i have had a few friends that started their own businesses because they thought it would be great to turn their hobby into one. only one has not regretted it. two of them, like myself, loved riding horses and doing some local rodeoing(calf roping etc.)and trail riding on weekends we had all kinds of fun. both of them now have became blacksmiths and after dealing with horses 5-6 days a week for 10 hrs a day neither of them have been on a horse in over a year. not saying this to keep you from doing it if your heart is set on it but from what i have seen just be prepared because sometimes your hobby becomes a job and the appeal of it wears off.
Lots of great advice. I yurned as hobby of mine into a business and you should be prepared for two things: When all your buds come by and say "hey were hunting Bear Swamp tomorrow, we'll meet you at 4 am" be prepared to say sorry, I gotta work....everytime.
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!
I am six years into doing what you plan to do.
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.
a lot of good points here, makes me glad I don't own a shop... just take advantage of those who do
It is a quite simple prosess. You can become a millionaire. All you have to do is start with three million.
I owned/operated a part time shop from my home for 2 years & then went into a rented building large enough for 15 indoor lanes. I carried several BUT NOT ALL major brand Bows & LOTs of accessories, arrows PLUS serviced everything-Bows, refletching ect.. This lasted nearly 6 years & I had 1 part time employee & then I expanded, adding ANOTHER shop/lanes in a town 75 miles away with a full time manager & 1 part time employee & made my part timer a full time employee in the 1st shop. I HAD a FULL TIME job all during the 1st 8 years. I was full time Archery Business for nearly 18 years. You will NEVER carry everything everyone wants so you must make choices that serve your business best. You will never have the best price a customer wants. You will have little time for your own archery/Hunting UNLESS you schedule TIME AWAY. I used summer Sundays for outdoor tournament shooting & sometimes would make 2 in a day so potential customers KNEW me & where my shop was. They ALSO know what caliber shooter you are so shoot well. i had special newspaper type flyers made with "specials" & the things offered by my shop I would leave "with permission" from the tournament officials. Be able to service "even" tackle you did not sell-you just have a posted FEE for all services (saves debating what your going to charge). NEVER bad mouth a product you did or do NOT SELL. Organize leagues for your lanes starting right after the early DEER SEASON is over. They will be small to start as some are still hunting but will soon FILL UP. This can & IS a good income during the cold months. I had 3 different leagues 3 nights per week-3 man teams. That was 45 shooters at one shop & 60 at the other (3 lines)Basically like bowling. I also carried ONE line of MUZZELLOADER & accessories & a decent selection of medium priced fishing supplies/terminal tackle & live bait through the summer. It was VERY tough but I enjoyed it. Can't say my X-wife did. You give up alot as far as personal time for your own Archery/Bowhunting to start but IF things are going to work, they will fall in place. YOU must make SMART business decisions-competition IS tough & customers want the BEST for the LEAST. Good Luck. Oh, I did it back when there were MANY LESS Archers/Bowhunters than today. 1964 to 1982. Pic is front of my 1st full time shop-1964-65. I had just gotten back from Ws. weekend Bowhunt-late season. 6 pointer with a recurve. GOOD LUCK.
Best advice I've ever heard about doing what you love for a living:
"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.
There is some wisdom in what bow shot says. I've turned fun into work before and it ruined the fun for me. Like you, I went to college, got a good job that pays somewhat well and that I could tolerate. Doing so allows me the flexibilty and income to hunt almost as much as I want. (Unfortunately the wife part gets in the way sometimes!) I don't think I could have been able to do near as much of what I love had I actually gone into business doing it.