A police supply business is one of those niche markets that can provide you with a great deal of success. However, understanding the needs of your clients when you open a police supply business is more important than anything else because, for the most part, this is not the type of business where you will see heavy traffic from the general public.
Schedule meetings with local law enforcement in your town or city and find out if they are happy with their current supply company. Take notes on what they like and don’t like and figure out how you can offer something better, either in terms of products, pricing, availability, and so on. Working with law enforcement agencies in your region will be key to your early survival, as you will likely count on their employees to spend money with you.
Find a place to set up shop. It should be within a close proximity to at least one major law enforcement facility, again with the goal in mind of getting officers to utilize your shop for supplies. Be sure your facility has plenty of parking, is easily accessible and has plenty of space for some of the larger items you may showcase.
Find a vendor. Most police supply businesses work with vendors that specialize in providing materials for the military and law enforcement units. You can find these vendors by searching online or asking around at your local military outpost, if you have one. You must have at least one or two contracts with supply vendors to stock your shelves before you even open for business.
If possible, try to sign a contract with one of the agencies you initially had meetings with. The goal is to get them to commit to purchasing all of their supplies and materials from you. If they have an existing contract, you may have to wait until that has run its course and since you are a new business, it will certainly take some extra convincing on your part to get them to take a chance on you. However, the point of the contract is to ensure that you will at least get some guaranteed business once you open your doors. In fact, most police supply businesses operate in this manner exclusively, since theirs is such a niche market.
Lynda Moultry Belcher is a writer, editor and public relations professional. She worked for a daily newspaper for 10 years and has been a freelance writer for more than 15 years. She has contributed to Divorce360 and Revolution Health Group, among other publications. She is also the author of "101 Plus-Size Women's Clothing Tips" and writes "Style At Any Size," a bi-weekly newspaper column.