A martial arts pro-shop can do a lot for the success of your martial arts business. You already pay for your space; why not utilize some of it to improve revenue, while supplying students with things they can use?
A pro-shop can add a great visual element to your school, on top of the increased financial gain. Additionally, if you sell things with your branding on it, your martial arts supply store will help with brand awareness in your community, ultimately leading to more referrals and student sign-ups. Here are a few recommendations for stocking your pro-shop
What Are the Benefits of a Martial Arts Pro Shop?
The greatest gain you can get from your martial arts pro-shop is most likely going to be the revenue. If you set it up right, students should feel comfortable purchasing all of their martial arts related needs from your shop, which will allow your martial arts school to be more economically sustainable.
Secondly, by focusing on creating an attractive pro-shop, you can amp up the visual aesthetic of your school. Lastly, by selling branded goods in your martial arts supply store, you can increase brand awareness in your community. The only risk? Having stock sit for too long. The next few tips will help you with that.
Deciding What To Stock In Your Store
First, make a few lists of types of gear and equipment to carry: bare essentials, advanced training, bonuses and consumables. Bare essentials are things that every student needs. This depends on the specific martial arts your school is involved in but usually this would be a student’s uniform and belts. These are things you’ll want to stock up on the most, as your students need this gear to participate and, conveniently, you’re a one-stop shop.
Advanced training gear includes items like kicking pads, sparring gear, etc. They are the items that your students might need at some point or another, once they advance in their training. Bonuses are items that don’t fit into those two categories. Items like t-shirts, hats, and posters are things that can be nice to have but are not really essential. However, these are great when it comes to increasing your school's brand awareness.
Merchandising and Store Display
Getting some help with the general layout of the shop from someone with a great eye for decor or someone with retail experience will be beneficial. You want your martial arts supply store to be eye-catching and attractive. That being said, it can be easy to get carried away with the amount of stock you want to have on hand, making the shop look cluttered and messy. Make sure everything has its place, and that there is sufficient amount of space between items to make it look presentable.
How Much Gear To Stock
After you find suppliers for martial arts gear, you’ll also need to find out which of them have a minimum order that you can easily fill. One of the biggest mistakes in starting a new pro shop is ordering too much gear in your first shipment. You do not want your goods taking up too much space or worse, adding too much of a strain on your wallet. Remember that you can always add more inventory down the road. When you first open, aim for smaller minimum orders to ease your way into it.
Retail and Financing
Running a martial arts supply store can be overwhelming at the beginning, especially if you don’t have any retail experience. Get some help, whether that's getting some staff with retail experience or the right software. For instance, PerfectMind's martial arts management software has a POS & online store function that will help you create and maintain a pro shop. The POS application can be used to sell memberships, track inventory, manage purchase history and help you with reordering. In other words, it does all of the hard work for you so that you can focus your valuable time on your students.