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30 November 2022 • Resources

How to start a sporting goods brand: Complete guide with advice + tips

How to start a sporting goods brand: Complete guide with advice + tips

Do you want to start marketing sporting goods and create your own brand?

Thanks to online sales and digital marketing levers, you’ll have all the tools in your hands to offer the best products to the best audiences quickly.

Before you start building your own sporting goods brand, follow all our tips and key steps to help ensure that you’re on the right track!

How do you start your sporting goods brand? The first steps

Choose your legal structure

Whether you want to start your own business or work with others to sell sporting goods products, there are several ways to start your entrepreneurial adventure. Of course, the options available to you will depend on your specific location

For instance, in the US, one option is to run your business as a sole proprietorship, which means you’re self-employed, operating the business on your own, and not classifying it as a company. You could alternatively elect to create a partnership; a limited liability company, also known as an LLC; a corporation; or an S corporation. 

Determine the budget for your project

Once your structure is established, the next step involves determining your starting capital and the budget necessary to launch your brand by starting to account for everything that’ll be required for the proper functioning of your business. You’ll be able to anticipate the necessary financing for your development.

Do you want to open a physical store? Open an online retail business? What types of items do you want to sell in your collections? Do you need stylists to help you create your line? Are you more interested in creating a luxury brand or, in contrast, in creating a brand with quality products at more accessible prices? Do you want to sell ready-to-wear sports apparel or rather equipment and accessories for sports? Do you want to offer your brand in just your own country or go international?

One thing is sure: to start quickly and without spending thousands of dollars in a commercial structure, you can start marketing your products on the internet. The cost to start an online boutique is generally much lower than the cost to start a brick-and-mortar store.

With the WiziShop solution, you can create your own ecommerce website from $27 per month and benefit from 400 ecommerce functionalities, a personalized follow-up with expert business coaches listening to you, 50 optimizations for your SEO, and complete training in ecommerce included in each subscription. In addition, you can test the solution for 15 days free of charge and without commitment!

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Build a business plan

This document is not only a formality, like a passage in your career as an entrepreneur: it’s the most important document that will allow you to launch your business safely.

The business plan will include all the characteristics of your company as well as your future ambitions in order to give you direction in your commercial activity. It’ll also allow you to present your project to investors, patrons, or banks at the time of your initial fundraising.

A real compass, the business plan is a document on which you’ll have to spend time in order to optimize your first actions, to make the right choices from the start, and help bring your store as much sales and success as possible.

What are the steps to creating your first products for your sporting goods brand?

Know your target audience and their expectations

The key to any successful business is knowing the potential customer and therefore the target audience.

By understanding the expectations of the consumers targeted by the brand's products and services and by listening to their needs, entrepreneurs will be able to count on the best possible indicators in any business venture, namely the customers themselves.

So take the time to create your persona, the typical buyer profile for your brand, to get your business off to a good start.

Perform competitive intelligence and market research

Next, you'll need to know what is being done in your sector through competitive intelligence and thorough market research.

Who will be your store’s main competitors? Who are the big names in sportswear in your local area or specific country? What is the model of sportswear and the sporting goods that stand out the most on social networks? What are the trendy products of the moment that are likely to attract the greatest number of customers? Which websites are already successful? What are the products and services that are not yet on the market and that could interest potential customers?

All these questions can be answered as a result of this work concerning the sporting goods sector, whether in physical commerce or directly on the internet.

Clothing, equipment, or accessories: create a personalized moodboard

Once your market research is completed, you’ll finally have a clear idea of what type of clothing, accessories, and other products you can sell. Once you have chosen the product categories, you’ll have to find your style, your signature, and this will be done by choosing colors, samples, and materials for your inventory.

To do this, you can create a personalized moodboard, an inspiration board with photos of products that would be likely to appeal to your target audience, but also colors, landscapes, collections of other brands, patterns that would fit in your brand DNA. This creative yet rigorous document will be the starting point for your store’s first collection.

You can also call on a fashion, sports, or design professional to help you with this task.

Create a strong logo to add to your collection

When it comes to sporting goods brands, it’s very common to notice that logos are present on all products created by the brands. So, we advise you to think about it from the brand creation: a logo, a graphic charter, and a strong visual identity can help you to stand out from your competition.

The logo will be able to appear on all your sports items and will convey the image of your brand as well as the brand name as a recognizable style icon.

Find your suppliers and partner textile companies

Once the broad outlines of your first line have been established, you can start to shop for the best suppliers to help you build your first store’s line.

You’ll be able to pick their best proposals in order to create a coherent line while negotiating the best price with them to ensure an optimal profit margin.

Make your first products and create your line

Alternatively, if you want to start designing sportswear yourself, start drawing your designs to create the first patterns.

You can begin looking at the fabrics that inspire you the most from the best wholesalers before making the prototypes of your first designs and building your inventory.

Build your marketing strategy around your designs

Finally, to get your sporting goods brand, whether you plan on selling sports apparel, equipment, or other goods, out there, you'll need to build on an established marketing strategy.

Whether your brand is distributed in physical stores or on your website, you’ll need to use different visibility channels to recruit new customers and boost your brand image.

Social networks, SEO... Most of the solutions are free: enough to start your entrepreneurial adventure, sell your first sporting goods products, and make a place for yourself in this market at a lower cost.

Social media, influence marketing, a mobile-friendly website, email marketing campaigns, SMS marketing... Multiply your presence to recruit and retain your customers.

Put your own collections on sale and get started!

Maybe you’d like to become an online retailer and try to sell your first creations on an ecommerce website? Even if you have the idea to sell your new sporting goods brand in physical stores, an ecommerce site will be essential to the development of your business.

You’ll be able to test your models as well as your target market to make them evolve according to your initial results. Moreover, the exploitation of an ecommerce business is much less expensive than in physical retail!

With the WiziShop solution, you’ll be able to design your online store and launch your sporting goods brand in just a few clicks, start selling your sporting goods catalog in a few hours, and benefit from a 15-day free trial on your ecommerce solution to start selling without delay!

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