Starting anything is always hard and opening a soccer shop is not an exception. However, successfully setting up a soccer store is not only rewarding but will also connect you better to the soccer community—especially if you are a diehard fan of the game.
With over 200 million fans across the globe, starting up a soccer store is one of the most lucrative businesses around the globe. You will not only be selling gear to soccer players but also to enthusiastic fans who are always eager to look like their favorite players.
In other words, there is always a demand for soccer equipment within and off season. So, once you have built a good customer base, the chances of your business suddenly going bankrupt is really slim—except for poor management along the line.
If you are asking how to open a soccer store, our best guess is that you have been nursing and thinking about this idea for a long time. The reason why a lot of people never get started on brilliant ideas is that they are overthinking about it.
Once you have set up your mind to open a soccer store, the next thing you should do is to get right at it rather than sitting on the idea. However, that does not mean that you should rush blindly into any idea without clear thought.
Today, we are going to discuss in detail what it takes to open a soccer store. We will literally hold you by the hand so that you never have to ask for directions from anywhere else again.
- How to open a soccer store?
- How to open a physical soccer store?
- 1. Location
- 2. Improve on the flaws in your area
- 3. Draft a business plan
- 4. Register your business
- 5. Open a business bank account
- 6. Create a business accounting
- 7. Get the necessary licenses and permits
- 8. Secure a business insurance
- 9. Set up a phone system for your business
- 10. Source your inventory
- 11. Hire loyal employees
- 12. Create publicity
- 13. Create a website
- How to open an online soccer store?
- How to open a physical soccer store?
How to open a soccer store?
Must you be an ex-soccer player or a die-hard fan to be able to open a soccer store? Well, if you can be a soccer coach without playing soccer then you can open a soccer store without being overly crazy about the game.
Once you have decided to open a soccer store, the next big decision you should make is whether you want a physical store or an online store. While one may grow into the other, the steps for starting either of the two differ significantly.
Physical stores usually require a higher startup capital than online stores. We will discuss the two different types of stores to let you know the difference as well as how to go about the entire process regardless of which of them you choose.
How to open a physical soccer store?
There are lots of steps that you must follow to open your physical store. We have highlighted all of them below.
The first thing you need to know about a physical store is that location is everything. Even if you have the best-designed store with all the soccer inventories in the world, if the store is in a location where there are no soccer players or fans, you will hardly record any sales and your store would be as good as dead on arrival.
Look for a location close to a recreational facility or stadium. Once you find the right location, rent a store—or purchase one if you have the means. Make sure the store is large enough to accommodate the size of inventory you hope to have.
2. Improve on the flaws in your area
Once you have picked a location, the next thing you want to do is to survey the area to see if there are other soccer stores. Silently make a note of what you like and what you don’t like about the stores.
It may be the smell of the store or just the way they arranged their inventories on the shelf. Armed with this information, the next step will be to create a shop that incorporates what you like from the other shops as well as eliminates the things that you did not like.
The goal is to set your soccer store apart from the existing competitors.
3. Draft a business plan
There is a popular saying that when you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. Every entrepreneur diving into any new venture needs adequate planning to help map out business specifics as well as help you to identify potential troubles that you did not give critical thought to prior.
In your planning, you need to factor in the estimated expenditure including how much it will take you to rent a space and stock your shop. The plan should factor in your target market and your estimated profit margin.
4. Register your business
Once you have a plan, the next step should be deciding a name for your business and having it registered with the appropriate authority in your state. By forming legal entities such as corporations or LLC, you protect yourself from being personally liable if your soccer store is ever sued.
Furthermore, you need to register for a number of federal and state taxes before you will be allowed to open your soccer store. To register for taxes you have to apply for EIN.
Thankfully, EIN is free and can be gotten through the mail, fax, or by visiting the IRS website. Depending on your business structure, you may benefit from S corporation (S corp) tax.
5. Open a business bank account
Using a dedicated business credit card and bank account separates your personal asset from that of the business if your business ever gets sued. This also makes filing taxes and accounting easier.
Another perk that comes with building business includes access to higher lines of credit, better interest rates, and more. Consider opening the net-30 accounts which allow you to obtain inventory and pay within a space of 30 days.
6. Create a business accounting
Business accounting keeps you abreast of your income and expenditure which is critical for understanding the financial performance of your business. A detailed and accurate business account makes annual tax filing simpler.
7. Get the necessary licenses and permits
Operating a shop without the necessary licenses and permits can lead to hefty fines or being shut down if you are unlucky. Most businesses are mandated to collect sales tax on the goods and services they provide.
Some states may require special licenses and permits for sporting goods stores. You can find all the requirements for setting up a sports store in your state by visiting the SBA’s reference website.
If you are operating a storefront, you will need a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) to show that the business has met the zoning laws, building codes, and government regulations. If you are leasing the storefront, it is the duty of the landlord to get the CO.
On the contrary, if you will be purchasing a storefront, the responsibility will be on you to obtain a valid CO from the appropriate local government authority.
8. Secure a business insurance
For your business to operate lawfully and safely, you need business insurance. Different businesses will require different insurance policies but if you are unsure of which one applies to you, start with General Liability Insurance.
If you plan to hire employees, your state may require that you carry the Workers’ Compensation Insurance.
9. Set up a phone system for your business
Separating your business line from your personal life helps to keep your life organized. It also automates your business and gives it legitimacy making it easier for potential customers to find you.
10. Source your inventory
Do extensive research to find wholesale soccer goods suppliers offering the best deals. You can also approach soccer gear brands and ask for distribution rights. It may be a good idea to offer both new and used soccer gear to attract a wider range of buyers.
11. Hire loyal employees
If you need hands to run your soccer store, make sure that you are hiring the right people that want to help you grow. A lot of people that will apply for the job are simply looking for a paycheck and will not be loyal or even do things behind your back that will ruin the reputation of the company that you worked hard to build.
You need people that are willing to stick with you for at least a year as well as people that are willing to grow with you. What will help you to hire the right people is asking the right question during the interview.
If possible, look for employees with sales experience in the soccer gear industry. However, also keep your eyes peeled for creative employees that may bring useful ideas to drive your shop forward within a short time.
12. Create publicity
The goods you have in your store will not sell themselves. In the early stages of the business, you need to create as much publicity as possible to let people know about your soccer store and the services you offer.
Place ads on radios, televisions, newspapers, and online. You can even hire artists to wear costumes and stage funny performances in front of your store to attract attention to your store.
Organize a grand opening and ask local soccer favorites to endorse your store or say something about it. Plan giveaway and slash sales to get people talking about your store.
13. Create a website
Today, not having an online presence is equivalent to not being in existence. Create a website that will help people find you.
Use your website to offer useful advice to budding soccer players or to advise people on how to purchase their gear and so on. The more value you offer, the more traffic you will command.
Pros of opening a physical store
- Helps you to connect better with the soccer community
- Increased chance of collaboration with a bigger brand
- Most shoppers still trust physical stores more than online stores
Cons of opening a physical store
- The process is tedious
- The customer base is limited to people in close proximity
How to open an online soccer store?
Opening an online soccer store is less stressful compared to setting up a physical store. Also, it is cheaper than opening a physical store because you don’t have to spend so much on renting a space or buying supplies.
In fact, if you desire a physical store but don’t really have the financial muscle to bring it to reality, you can start an online store and raise money from there to bring your physical space to reality. Below are the steps for setting up your online store.
1. Choose the right platform
Your choice of the platform when setting up your online store will either make or break you. The two most popular eCommerce platforms are WooCommerce of WordPress and Shopify.
When choosing an eCommerce platform, you need to find the balance between pricing and catering for all your eCommerce needs.
2. Choose a domain name
You have to choose a domain name, the name people will type in their browser to find you. Choose a name that is easy to spell, short, and resonates with your business.
3. Compare your idea with other competing online stores
Obviously, there should be other online stores offering soccer gear. Do your research and find what they are not doing correctly or figure out what is missing in the existing stores and pitch your idea around filling that blank.
Another thing you need to do at this point is to determine your target market.
4. Optimize your website
Optimizing your website increases its visibility and makes it easier for people to find you. Use strategic keywords to increase your search engine ranking.
The goal of every website is to rank on the first page of search engine results for their target keyword because many people that use search engines rarely go beyond the first page.
5. Create publicity
Just like the physical store, you have to publicize your online store or it may never take off the ground. Professionals suggest social media marketing rather than pay-per-click.
The argument is that once you have a subscriber subscribed to your page you don’t have to spend any further to advertise new products to them. Once you post any product, they will always see it.
Pros of opening an online store
- Cheaper and faster to create than a physical store
- You don’t have to worry about purchasing inventories
- Unlimited and unrestricted customer base
Cons of opening an online store
- Lacks the community spirit that exists with a physical store
- Change in the policy of the hosting eCommerce platform can affect your business tremendously
Opening a soccer store can be hectic irrespective of whether you decide to go online or the brick-and-mortar store. The amount of knowledge you have before diving in will make all the difference.
It may not hurt to approach the owners of other successful soccer stores and ask them how they go to where they are. To get them talking, you may have to assure them that you will not be a competitor or operate in the same vicinity as them.
Opening a soccer store should never end with the launch of a physical shop or website. It requires aggressive advertising to keep afloat. Nevertheless, the fulfillment that comes with it will make all the stress worth it.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
The Pitch is Ours is a new beginning for me and a stepping stone to prepare before retiring from the professional soccer team. Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!