Business Overview

Americans across the country are realizing the benefits of spending time outdoors. It’s a time to escape from everyday life, clear the mind, and get a little exercise in the process. Like many hobbies, most outdoor activities require special clothing and/or gear. As part of a new consciousness, many consumers are choosing to spend their money at small, locally owned businesses, as opposed to the larger retail chains.

Who is this business right for?

Consumers who have taken the time to visit your store are enthusiastic about their newfound hobby. They want to share this excitement and learn as much as they can. Therefore, entrepreneurs who share their passion for the outdoors are best suited for this business endeavor. While not expected to be an expert on every outdoor activity, outdoor store owners should have a basic understanding of them, as well as the gear associated with each.

What happens during a typical day at an outdoor store?

In the retail business, there are a number of tasks that will keep you busy from one day to the next. Some of your duties include:

  • Keeping up with inventory and place orders for items you’re running low on
  • Rotating/rearranging in-store and window displays
  • Interacting with customers and assist them in identifying which items best suit their needs
  • Spending time with customers, offering advice and allowing them to share what they’ve learned and experienced thus far
  • Researching the latest trends, try out new products, and share your knowledge with customers
  • Attending local outdoor activities
  • Marketing

As with every business, there are a number of administrative duties you’ll be tasked with. As the store grows and you’re able to build a trusted team, many of these responsibilities can shift to the store manager.

What is the target market?

Your customer base will individuals ranging from the novice outdoorsmen, eager to learn everything about their new hobby, to experienced individuals. You have a unique opportunity to build a relationship with each of these classes of people. It is also important to converse with and listen to your customers, as you will be able to gain a better understand of activities that you are not as knowledgeable about, and you will also be able to survey the needs and wants of your customers.

How does an outdoor store make money?

A retail business generates money from the sale of each item. Many outdoor stores offer additional services, such as equipment rentals, which serve as an additional source of revenue and an effective marketing tool.

What is the growth potential for an outdoor store?

A recent study revealed that over 140 million U.S. citizens incorporate outdoor activities into their daily schedule, spending almost $646 billion annually. As consumers recognize the health and social benefits to outdoor recreation, it’s shifted from being a luxury to a “must have.” This offers entrepreneurs significant growth opportunity, particularly in regions with an abundance of outdoor activities to choose from.