I have been teaching for a few years and currently have more people wanting lessons then even windy days to teach. Have close to if not 100% satisfaction rate from my clients and many repeats/referrals.
Thinking of selling gear from one or two brands. I often have people wanting full gear setups and used to refer them for 10% commision. What are typical margins if I sold gear myself? Any advice for starting a small kite gear dealership. Being it is kind of late in the season here, I may get it all ready over the winter, get a really nice site built and launch the business for early spring 2016.
Also in the mean time the company I was doing 10% commision for canceled that program so if any other shops want to do a 10% commision on kite packages and gear sales in the mean time private message me. I have lots of new kiters who end up buying full gear packages and like having myself show them exactly what size/models is best for them personally.
I believe the best way would be to go to a trade show and meet the companies and sales reps in person. It may cost a grand or more to fly and stay a night at the the surf expo , but if you are serious it will be well worth it..
To me I have to use kit that I would personally use myself.
Kit I really love and believe in and a brand that will offer me the best back up should (and when) things go wrong.
It's not just about margins...if it was I would be doing some other occupation.
Maybe start with the brands you already use assuming you do like this kit?
I'm not a dealer, but I'm close to some folks in the biz.
1. Whatever you do, don't step on the toes of other local shops.
- Such as attempting to sell the same brands they do (this won't go well for you)
2. Don't lie to people about anything
3. Don't bash others in the biz (like the other shops)
4. Don't profess that your teaching style is better than anyone else
- even if you want to believe it
5. Learn about cash flow and inventory management
6. Have a huge cash pile to invest in inventory.
Margins are thin after manufacturer and distributer so it's tough to make money. The dealers I know use it to help fund their own hobby or it's an extension of a retail establishment/school where wetsuits and related gear or lessons is where they make money.
If you have to actively sell a kite to an individual, then it's time away from the water.
Thanks for the responses. A trade show sounds like a great way to meet brands.
Yeah i know it is not huge margins. I have another business throwing concerts right now I run to make real money, kiteboarding is my fun hobby/side biz. I actually enjoy teaching meet lots of really cool people and still get to kite all the time as most people arent availible weekdays anyways. Starting a commercial real estate apprenticeship next month so will be doing that after I graduate hopefully as my day job. I did a somewhat useless major communications/minor econ from a state school so I pretty much have to stay self employed, which is what I enjoy the most and the ability to grow outside a set salary/hours doing things I am passionate about. If I could go back would of never gone to college and would of invested it in concerts, it honestly seems like an expensive waste of time but I am still going to finish the degree this year, excited to be finished and really start my life!
Yeah the tradeshow seems like the path to me too...
Just be pretty tight on what gear you take in. Having a lot of stock will be expensive so mind how much you order. How you market yourself will probably be pretty critical, but if you have a community getting the word out there is fairly easy. My advice to anyone creating a business: make sure you become the best at communicating with your customers. This includes creating newsletters and ways for you to do balanced drip campaigning your customers.
Its really nice to see people taking a stab at it.