How to Open Your Own Outdoor Store

A store filled with lots of food

An outdoor store is your home away from home, offering a haven for all your outdoor gear, equipment and everything you need to keep safe and enjoy your outdoor adventures such as ladders, helmets, sleeping bags, cookware, canoes, kayaks, stoves, hiking poles, flashlights, first aid kits, fire starters, camping stoves and more. You can also stock up on your favorite hobbies and leisure activities. No matter what type of outdoor activities you choose or what equipment you use, you will find all the items you need at your fingertips at an outdoor store.

Everything you need for an outdoor adventure

A sign on a pole

From walking boots to mountain climbing shoes, backpacking, fishing, fly fishing, wakeboarding, skydiving, snowboarding, surfing, kiteboarding, mountaineering, rock climbing, heli-skiing, dirt biking, ATVing, snowmobiling, and from fishing to white water rafting, there are all kinds of outdoor gear and accessories available for all kinds of adventure. If you’re new to outdoor sports or if you’ve been thinking about getting started, an outdoor store is a great place to start. It’s also the ideal place to purchase all your outdoor gear and other items. Your outdoor store will have everything you need for every type of outdoor adventure.

If you want to get into the game but you’re not sure where to begin, your first impulse might be to pick up some of the latest and best sporting goods and outdoor gear brands like Black Diamond, Volcom, Smith and Watches. Or perhaps you’d prefer some of the more popular brands that are rated highly for their durability or light weight. Your local outdoor store should have a complete line of quality equipment and brands that you can choose from. In fact, if you decide to shop popular, your local sports store should have a great selection of products made by many different manufacturers. This way, you can get a good range of products and have plenty to choose from.

Creating a business plan

A close up of a sign

If your goal is to start an outdoor store, your next step is to create a business plan and decide how you want your outdoor store to operate. Your business plan will cover everything from where you want to sell your products to how you’ll market them. For example, if you’re selling top-of-the-line Black Diamond equipment, your business plan may outline how you’ll showcase the brand and its products in your store. You may decide to create weekly outdoor TV shows or videos to highlight your product line and introduce your company to your local community.

Keep track of your accounts

When you think about your next step, it’s time to go to your accountant and make a complete list of your expenses and profits for the current year. Next, you’ll need to determine your estimated target sales for the following year. This includes everything from how many people you think will be shopping at your outdoor store to the kind of activities you plan to host at your facility. The more precise your estimated sales, the less money you’ll need in financing your business venture.

As part of financing your new business, it’s important to obtain a working capital line of credit from either a bank or a private lender. (If you have a brick-and-mortar shop, you can get a separate loan.) Once you secure a working capital line from a bank or private lender, you’ll be able to deduct your costs, including your start up costs, from your income taxes. On the other hand, if you have a brick-and-mortar store, you can use your net income to apply for a line of credit from your local utility company.

Register your business

To maintain your business name and to protect your intellectual property rights, you’ll want to file a fictitious business name application with the county in which you live. (It’s a good idea to seek legal counsel when considering this option.) Another way to protect your business name is to register your business name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. (You’ll need to file a legal paper application.) The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office holds a registry of names that have been registered under the patent laws.

You should now understand how to incorporate an outdoor store. Your first order of business should be to draw up a comprehensive marketing and advertising plan. Next you’ll need to find a lender that will provide the funds for your start up costs and monthly operating expenses. Finally, you’ll need to register your new business name with the state’s attorney general. Now you’re ready to open your Uncle Dan’s Kittery Trading Post!

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