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Chance_Taker4

Lockett Lures Start Your own Business?

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If this post is against the rules please delete. I was shopping around on Lockett Lures and noticed that they have an offer to help people start their own Online Business. Starting my own tackle store has been a dream of mine my entire life (Even went to college for small business ownership and management). To the people that have researched this before or anyone that has business knowledge, is this a good deal or just a ploy to get more money out of customers? My business plan originally was to start with an online business and work my way to storefront. 

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Lockett's deal is a quick way for them to sell a lot of product in one shot. 

 Have you noticed how many tackle stores have gone out of business in the last several years?  Lot's of competition and low profit margins means turning a big enough profit to keep the doors open is a challenge. Having your own business is great and your chance to make it big. Having a tackle business may not  be the key to that success. You would increase your chances to succeed if you can find something different to sell.

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Thank You! In my area there is one small private tackle shop, Bass Pro and Walmart. I did a market analysis about 3 years ago and found 80% of the 200 angler I interviewed order from Tackle warehouse. The reason given was they don't like bass pro and the local shop really on deals with walleye, pike and musky. There is no real bass tackle shop in the area. I find it strange because the fishing scene is booming and the biggest fishing community in Ohio. My research shown that a bass tackle shop could survive but like you stated there are low profit margins for small businesses.

12 minutes ago, Scott F said:

Lockett's deal is a quick way for them to sell a lot of product in one shot. 

 Have you noticed how many tackle stores have gone out of business in the last several years?  Lot's of competition and low profit margins means turning a big enough profit to keep the doors open is a challenge. Having your own business is great and your chance to make it big. Having a tackle business may not  be the key to that success. You would increase your chances to succeed if you can find something different to sell.

 

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For a while, I also considered starting a sporting goods shop of my own.  I think its everyone's dream at some point in their life.  My plan was to start with archery and get into tackle later on.  Deer hunting in my area is probably more popular than bass fishing.  Anyway, there are a couple things that made me shy away from the idea.  Don't take this as a "no, you shouldn't do it."  Its just a few things you should consider (if you haven't already) before jumping in.

1 - When you start out with online sales, you are immediately competing with everyone in the world.  When people shop online, its all about who's got the best price and best shipping deals.  Then, they act shocked when they find out customer service is terrible or non-existent.  You'll be in the running with companies that can negotiate bulk purchases of product and have thousands of square feet of warehouse space to store it.

2 - Brick and mortar stores are at a distinct disadvantage from the start.  You now have significant overhead costs associated with running a storefront, yet you're still competing with everyone on the internet - most of whom don't have those overhead costs.  The reason you're still competing with the internet (whether or not your store is online too) is that customers, these days, tend to whip out their smart phones to do their price checking as they shop.  I know, because I'm guilty of it, too.

In this day and age, it almost seems like you have to offer something special - something that will get people to go out of their way to visit your store - if you want to make a retail tackle shop work.  The problem is that I have no idea what that "something special" is.  If I did, I'd be in the sporting goods business already.  With online sales, it would seem like you'd have to work tirelessly to move as much volume as possible, in order to turn a decent profit.  Again, I'm not trying to be negative or convince you not to give it a try.  I just think those are a couple big items that need to be thought through before diving in head first.  If you do indeed go for it, I wish you the best of luck!

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From what I have seen the smaller tackle shops that survive are the ones with alternate sources of income. They were not the source of any income for many years as the company built a reputation and a customer base. 

I know one shop that has thrived and it was a husband wife thing. The husband works at a real job that had the benefits, and a regular pay check for the family to survive on. The wife and kids who had no income was free labor so to speak and kept the tackle shop running.

Another shop actually had a family thing going where everyone helped out that didn't have a job(retired) or was not at their regular job. Along with that they did boat maintenance and repair to supplement the income.

I know availability will be key. The one huge plus side to a brick and mortar store that a online store cant compete with is the now factor. So it is imperative that your location be where the fish are because that is where the anglers will be. All the small shops that have done well I know of are at the lakes or dang close. When you need or want that last minute item as your out fishing and your in Alabama. TW could give you the baits for free but you aren't getting them that day. Also once you get them in your store the tackle monkey will inevitable get you a few sales. Nothing like being able to hold the bait and actually see the one you are purchasing. 

One other note is baits. Getting people to believe in your baits would be a great help. Something that would make return customers and drive new customers to your door opening up potential sales of other items. Seems the industry is about copying a successful bait and attempting to make a new and improved version. Getting the info out with all the trendy social media might help although its so flooded with bs its like a broken record. So possibly that is a way in.

Dont be discouraged. Be smart do your research and thoroughly go over the numbers as it seems you have done some of. Making sure there is a big enough demand is crucial. Make sure to offer the proper baits for what the anglers are fishing for. Etc. etc. Its like fishing you cant catch fish if there are none and the same goes for selling bait. If there are no buyers you wont be selling.

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I know of one model in our local area that has been working for some time now.    They are a brick and mortar store with large internet sales as well.   They choose the products and wholesalers they carry and deal with carefully based on margin.  They have 1 very popular product that they carry and offer it at a price that is cheaper than anyone else.  In this case Do-It molds.    This creates a lot of internet business for that product as well as the other materials associated with it.    They have a lot of walk in business for live and frozen bait, they do not sell live bait fish, just worms, and frozen bait, people browse, and purchase other items as well.   

The average customer does not buy 200 dollar reel, 300 dollar rods and 40 dollar lures, they shop cheap, hooks, weights, line, plastic baits, cheaper rod and reels well under a 100 dollars.   They cater to this crowd so they rarely miss a sell.      They have a friendly, knowledgeable staff that take time to help customers with selection, knots, rigging, whatever the customers needs.

They have been successful with this model where others have failed, they compete daily with Gander Mountain, Dicks, Cabelas, and a couple of Academy Sports.   They continue to fine tune the products they carry based on their customer base, and have enjoyed increased sales over the last 5 years.   

You can make it work, if you put your customers needs and wants ahead of your own vision of what your store should look like.

 

 

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