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Old    Ben Kessler (bskennn)      Join Date: Jun 2009       03-02-2010, 2:29 PM Reply   
Im opening up a wakeboard shop in New Hampshire, hopefully by April. Im just trying to get a feel of what people think about the idea. I decided to do this just simply because im passionate about riding and have a business background. Im just hoping the short season and the market up here can survive. I want to do it right and have been working all winter on renovations and getting the shop super clean and super sick. im strictly looking for opinions and am not advertising sooo pleasssse dont shut down this thread. but the store is in a nice downtown area right next one of the biggest lakes in NH. reply negatively or positively i just wanna here it straight up.

Ben
Old    David Bell (dabell)      Join Date: Apr 2007       03-02-2010, 3:58 PM Reply   
I would hope that you will offer other equipment than just wake/water stuff. That area is known for snow so snowboards/ski's/... would definitely be needed to offset the downtimes that you wouldn't be selling water sports equipment. $.02
Old     (seanmcd)      Join Date: Jul 2006       03-02-2010, 5:01 PM Reply   
Where are you planning to open the shop, in the Lakes Region? I would honestly check around first, this area has a very limited Wakeboarding scene, in my opinion. The largest wake-oriented business in the state closed one of it's two shops a few years ago due to limited business.

The remaining shop carries decent equipment, but they are very well established and suck money from the tourists with money on Winnipesaukee. They close during the off season as well, so be prepared to starve in the lean season. You will need a very detailed business model with significant capital to survive.

I wish you luck dude.
Old    Ben Kessler (bskennn)      Join Date: Jun 2009       03-02-2010, 5:47 PM Reply   
Its just wakeboards, clothing and accessories. I do snowboard but dont know enough to open a shop, and the market in this area is flooded with snowboard and ski shops.

And Sean it will be in the lakes region and iv try to checked the area. It seems they have half way decent boards, but mostly older stuff and not a real dedicated store, just random stores that happen to sell some wakeboards. I mean at least thats all i could really find, but im not really familiar with the area nor scene. Im originally from Rhode Island and spent alot of time in FL. but its time to get back to the roots in New England. im not really trying to make a killing or anything just survive and try to promote the sport and have a place where people can really get involved with riding.

thanks for the luck..
Old    Mike K (mike2001)      Join Date: Feb 2008       03-02-2010, 6:02 PM Reply   
I think its a great idea to pursue something you love. However, maybe it'd be a better idea to get involved at first by trying to create the scene, like putting on a wake event? See what kind of response you get from that. No offense, and maybe you've done a lot more research than you're letting on in your post, but it doesnt seem like you've developed much of a business plan. I'm in NE Ohio and there is only one board shop and it pretty much closes for most of winter. Good luck.
Old    Anthony Ciardelli (liquidforcefan)      Join Date: Aug 2007       03-03-2010, 12:36 PM Reply   
I sent you a pm, check it out.
Old    Jason Buffalow (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-03-2010, 12:52 PM Reply   
I would agree with Mike above. Have a great business plan, plenty of money, spread the sports out and most importantly be flexible to your market. You may be better off selling skate or bathing suits even though your passion is wakeboarding. I have run businesses for a long time and looked at opening a wake shop many years ago and the market has to be perfect or it will be a loser. Northern Cal went from like 30+ shops to 8 in this recent economic decline.

This is not to be negative. As a business owner I encourage others to do the same. Just need to research a TON and be prepared for the ups and downs of owning a business.
Old    Ben Kessler (bskennn)      Join Date: Jun 2009       03-04-2010, 1:38 PM Reply   
you guys are absolutely right. i am hoping the economy is on the come up and im catching it at the right time. The place i got is small and didnt order way too much product the first year just so i have a little room to fail and jump back in the swing of things. I do have a good business plan but it wont really translate to forum talk. I will be carrying bathing suits actually billabong and fox. two companys really into the wake scene. i know there is a market it might be small but the competition is small as well. Like Florida or even Califonia was jut flooded with shops, so i know i wouldnt be able to survive there and that why i think many of those shops went out. and your are right that is my main mission this first year is to spread the sport. get people involved and just get the itch that i have. I will try to be as flexible as possible with out losing my main view and mission for the shop. thank you guys so much for your info. you guys are great
Old    Dave W (njskier)      Join Date: Jul 2005       03-04-2010, 3:19 PM Reply   
Ben, I applaud your drive and enthusiasm!

I've had my own businesses for over 19 years, and like most things in life what you put into it is what you get out of it. Others have given you great advise so let me just add to that.

Capital: Make sure you are not under-capitalized. Too many businesses these days are barely making their bills each week, or worse yet borrowing money from their own personal account to keep the business afloat.

Get involved: Approach ski clubs as well as wakeboard clubs. Make sure they are all aware of your business. (Lots of skiers ride wakeboards once in a while too)

Boat dealers: You might want to approach a boat dealer that does not sell wake products. Alot of boat buyers will want to buy equipment right after buying a boat.

Internet: Most of the time brick & mortar retail is not enough. Start your own website and keep it fresh often. You are not far from Canada so make sure you can ship items there too.

Overhead: The big killer of retail, keep your overhead as low as possible.

A wise business friend once told me the ABC's of owning your own business:

-Ambition
-Balls
-Cash

If you have all 3, you should succeed. Good luck with your new venture!

-Dave

Last edited by njskier; 03-04-2010 at 3:21 PM.
Old    Nicholas Poulin (lfrider06)      Join Date: Aug 2007       03-13-2010, 1:09 PM Reply   
Ben,
If you need any help with getting product into your store let me know.
Old    derek durkin (derek23)      Join Date: Oct 2006       03-15-2010, 9:27 AM Reply   
There are no places to Demo boards in new England...or at least that i am aware of. If you linked up with a boat dealer or have your own boar to Demo boards that could be huge. Every board I have ever bought has just been from reading about it and ordering it online. I would love to be able to Demo different boards.

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