It is estimated that there are approximately 17 to 23 million surfers around the world, according to a 2007 report by the Future of Freedom Foundation. To participate in surfing activities, these surfers need the right gear and equipment but most importantly the right surfboard. You can help meet the needs of these surfers while making a profit by starting a surfboard business.
Draft a business plan. Determine how much money you need to start your surfboard business based on the cost of a facility, products and staff. Crunch the numbers to determine how long you need to survive on your start-up funds before your business is able to make a profit. Ensure that you have a niche in the surfboard market based on your location and your competition, as this will help your business be a success. For assistance in drafting your business plan, consult the examples available from the Small Business Administration.
Secure a loan. Take a copy of your business plan with you to speak with a loan officer at a local credit union or bank in your community. Sell the bank representative on your business idea, and use your plan to back up your facts on how you will make the business a success. Expect to have to fill out an application as well as give the bank time to run a credit check prior to approving you for the loan. If you are unable to qualify based on your credit report, take on a partner for your surfboard business that has the capital and monetary resources you need.
Register your business. Obtain an employer identification number (EIN) through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by completing a registration form and sending it via mail, fax or the IRS website. Arrange to collect and pay sales tax on the surfboards and other products you sell in your business by registering with the department of revenue at your state and local level. This only applies if your business is located in a state or city that charges sales tax. Get a local business license from your city or county government to operate your surfboard business at a physical location in their jurisdiction by filling out an application and submitting a licensing fee.
Lease or buy a facility. Search for the right facility to accommodate the needs of your surfboard business. Enlist the assistance of a local real estate agent to help you, or browse properties available in your location by visiting the website loopnet.com. Ideally select a location near a popular surfing spot, since this increases the chance that surfers will stop by your business before or after they enjoy riding the waves. Make sure the space has enough room to display the surfboards and other products you sell as well as provide storage for additional products and an office to manage your business records.
Purchase products. Contact manufacturers of surfboards to learn whether they sell products directly to retail stores or use a wholesale distributor. Obtain other equipment needed by surfers to sell in your shop as well, such as a leash and traction pads. Know how to wax surfboards, and offer this service to surfers as a way to expand the products and services your business provides.
Hire staff. Find surfers or others knowledgeable about surfing to work in your business. Encourage them to become knowledgeable about the products and services your business provides, as this helps increase sales. Employ a bookkeeper or office assistant to manage the financial aspects of your business, including payroll, taxes and ordering supplies.
Promote your business. Advertise your surfing shop via newspapers, radio, television and the Internet. Consider providing surfing lessons as a way to get people new to surfing into your store, where they are likely to purchase the equipment they need to become a surfer.
- surfing image by bacalao from Fotolia.com