Opening your own inline and roller skating pro shop can be a lot of fun for a current or former skater. You may want to start with a low risk internet shop, or you can rent or lease space in a rink or near a skate park or sports center to sell and service skate equipment. You may get to see and even try new equipment as soon as it comes to market, everyday you will be visited either virtually or in person by people who share your sports interest and you will probably be located in or near inline skating or a roller sports activity site.
A Skate Shop is the Perfect Business
Although running an inline and roller skating pro shop seems like the perfect job, there are many important management and business aspects to keep in mind. Some skate shops are very successful, while others go out of business within a few months. Reasons for failure include bad locations, the wrong inventory for local tastes, too much money spent establishing the shop and not enough money set aside to cover those first six tough months of operating expenses. A little research into what local skaters want and can't find, plus some soul-searching and realistic planning, can make the difference that results in years of successful operations.
It Takes a Lot of Work to Make a Profit
A skating pro shop can be a very difficult business to run at a profit, since the customer base is small and limited. Your pro shop will need to include a variety of skates for the various discipline styles, unless the shop is located in or near a specific sport facility (like a hockey rink or an aggressive skate park) with a built-in customer base. Many inline skaters also use quad skates, and vice-versa. So, if your shop caters to recreational skaters or is located in a public skating facility, try to have access to a variety of both inline and quad roller sports equipment. On the other hand, if your shop is near a beach, you may want to combine skate and surf products to broaden your market a bit. Or if the location is near a skate park, the product mix would be inline and skateboard equipment. Any private skate shop that offers services like maintenance, upgrade installations and custom skates has an advantage over the big retail sports outlets that usually do not have the staff or the time to provide these services.
Each Customer is Your Sales Representative
You must remember that each customer is very valuable. And since you are not a mass marketing retail operation with a big advertising and PR budget and a broad customer base, every single customer who leaves your pro shop with good well-fitted skates, the right skating solutions and a good shopping experience will recommend the shop to others. This is the most effective promotional tool you will ever have for your business to get new and returning customers.Share Your Roller Sports Career Experience
Have you ever worked in an inline skating or roller sports related business? Share your skating employment story and tell us about the job you found, how you found it, what your job responsibilities were and whether you would recommend this type of employment to another skater.