How to Start Your Own Skate Shop

Written by janece bass
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How to Start Your Own Skate Shop
Wall of skate board decks in a skate shop. (Brandi Sims;

Skating is not just an extreme sport but, for many, has become a lifestyle. Skate shops supply skaters with the equipment, clothes and accessories they need. Opening your own skate shop may be a great venture if you enjoy skating and don't mind putting hard work, money and time into your business. Skating generally refers to skateboard enthusiasts, although offering in-line skating products can diversify your business.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Business license
  • Start-up capital
  • Wholesale license
  • Shop location
  • Merchandise

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    Getting Started

  1. 1

    Research local business laws and find out which licenses you'll need. Contact the Small Business Administration for help with licenses, tax information and loans that may be available. Apply for all licenses needed, including a wholesale resale license.

  2. 2

    Create a realistic business budget including supplies such as computers, software, displays, pens, paper and even toilet paper. Factor in merchandise, advertising, insurance and employee salaries. It's a good idea to have six months of personal expenses set aside before opening a new business.

  3. 3

    Locate a shop to rent or buy. Ideally, this would be near a skate park, or along a well travelled pedestrian path for local skaters, and offer parking. Easier access to your skate shop will likely result in heavier traffic.

  4. 4

    Set up wholesale accounts with the companies and brands you wish to sell. Diversify your merchandise as much as possible including boards, wheels, helmets, pads, trucks (a piece of hardware that connects the wheels to the board), shirts, shorts, hats, shoes, sunglasses and any other accessories you can think of. Offer a range of items in various price ranges and expertise levels, from beginner to professional grade equipment.

  5. 5

    Advertise your shop through every source possible. Consider handing out flyers and stickers at the local skate parks. Announce your grand opening through media outlets such as newspapers, radio stations and news channels. To draw crowds, offer giveaways, work shops or performances (if there is enough room in your shop to set up a small ramp) by top local skaters.

Tips and warnings

  • Support your local skaters and build a solid relationship with them to build a loyal customer base.
  • Small retail shops may take time to turn a profit. Make sure you are passionate about skating and have the time and money to put into your shop to make it profitable.

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