I have my own snow boarding business and I have had this for around 1 year now. I used to be a management consultant before I decided to take the plunge and went for a business of my own. Before I done this I was very nervous and really had no idea about the level of results that I was going to attain. The fact of the matter is that around 20% of businesses fail in their first year, and I did not want to be one of those business owners that were left having no results, and a heap of debt to handle.
Luckily enough my business has been successful so far, and this has largely been down to operating in an area of high demand, where I am the only supplier in my area. You see, there are two local ski slopes and both of them have a lot of visitors each week, so I was aware that their was a demand in my local area for snow boarding equipment and skiing equipment. At first, I started off selling snow boarding equipment but I realised that I should start selling skiing equipment as well and this is a decision that I am glad to have made. Since I have started selling skiing equipment my sales have increased by 60%.
I now have four members of staff that I pay a good wage, and that are very loyal to my company. You see, the great thing is that all of them have an interest in snow boarding and skiing and this really comes through in the way they are able to help my customers make informed purchases.
I have a deal with the local ski slopes that when someone is a member of their slope they get a 10% discount on all purchases. This is something that I considered for a number of reasons. The first thing is that I didn’t want either of them starting their own shop on their premise, and I felt that through offering them something free they would be less likely to try and eat into my profits. I also felt that through doing this they would feel that the potential to enter into my market was less lucrative. I also have deals with them where I give them very cheap rates on their stocks, and in actual fact I make zero profit from the sales that I make to them. This gives them the impression that I have substantially better profit margins than they could attain, and puts them off competing.
Another way that I have had a certain level of success is through my online store. I had a website designed through which I sell all my lines to a global marketplace. Online I am competing with a lot of other websites that sell similar stuff to myself, but I am aiming to increase my websites position in the search engines, and by doing so I am hoping that I will be able to decrease my operating costs and increase my market reach. Already I am showing up at number 14 in google for snowboarding equipment and I am hoping to be on the first page for certain terms at some point this year. The thing is that when you have a high position in the search engines you can be sure to close a certain number of sales with no marketing outlay. There is also the issue that once you close a single sale with a customer they are more likely to return in future when they require further products that you sell within your range. I have also started to sell wholesale through a separate website and this has helped me in two ways. I am starting to increase my sales volume however at the same time I am decreasing my cost per unit to purchase through buying on a bigger scale. This is something that is offering my business growth potential, however my primary aim is to increase sales through my website at the moment.