How To Expand Your Equine Retail Business By Bringing In New Streams of Revenue
When you first begin an equine retail business, you know it’s going to be challenging. However, the idea itself is often quite simple, you purchase products from wholesalers, add your margin & then resell via a physical store, online shop or 3rd party platform such as Amazon. However many highs and unexpected lows you face in establishing your own equine retail business, the core model stays the same.
After you’ve been running your equine retail business for a while, you might find yourself looking to expand and grow. But where to start? Here are 3 suggestions to give you some inspiration.
Develop Your Own Branded Merchandise
Selling your own branded merchandise is a great place to start when looking to expand. This new source of revenue will typically carry higher margins than the products you buy from a wholesaler. Another benefit of merchandising with the name of your business is free advertising. As people go around wearing caps or t-shirts you’ve sold, the name of your business will be out in the open for anyone to see.
With the higher margins can come a higher risk though as you may have to meet higher minimum order quantities when having bespoke products manufactured, which means more cashflow tied up in stock compared to ordering from your existing wholesale suppliers.
Invest in warehouse space
If you are running your equine retail business from home, it might be time to invest in warehouse space to enable your expansion. Choosing the right warehouse will depend on the level and specificity of your needs. Regardless of the size & location of your new warehouse, making sure to have good business practices to streamline this area of your business can only help. For example, ensuring you organise your warehouse to prevent delivery delays will reduce unnecessary costs to you and improve the service you offer your customer.
If you’ve outgrown the kitchen table but aren’t ready to commit to your own warehouse yet, take a look at third party fulfillment services who will store, pick, pack & ship your goods direct to your customer for you.
Diversify into different areas of business
If you find great success in this area, a whole new stream of revenue could open up to you. Yes, you run a traditional equine retail business, but there are complementary products & services you can offer alongside the tack & equipment you currently stock. If you have a physical premises for your equine retail store then it is easy to offer services such as rug washing, clipper blade sharpening & saddlery repairs. If you don’t have the skill set or equipment in-house to offer these services, there are many companies who will be happy to partner with you so that your store can offer a drop-off & collection point for your customers.
If you have under-utilised space in your store, how about opening a cafe? Just as with the services outline above, you could find someone else to run the cafe & pay you a rental for the space. Not only does a cafe bring in extra revenue from food & drink sales, but it helps to encourage additional visitors to your store, who might suddenly decide they need a new saddle as well as a cup of tea they originally came for!
Finally, can you look at diversifying the products you offer beyond horsey items? You could consider carrying a range of products for dogs, cats & other small animals. Equine gifts and premium country clothing may be another avenue to explore. Even if you don’t increase the number of customers that use your retail business, carrying a broader offering of products can increase the amount each customer spends with you annually.
New streams of revenue don’t always succeed.
It is always exciting to consider how you can expand your equine business but it isn’t always easy. Ensuring you have a good grasp of your development’s effects on your core business in the worst-case scenario can help you prepare and decide if it is a good decision.