The skateboard manufacturing industry is indeed a big industry considering the revenue that is generated in the trade.
A research that was conducted in 2009 clearly revealed that the skateboard market is worth over $4.8 Billion in annual revenue. This study also revealed that there are well over 11.08 million active skateboarders in the world. Without a shadow of doubt, this goes to show how large the market for skateboard is.
What really is a skateboard used for, you might want to ask? Well, people use skateboard for sports (action sports), for recreational activities and as a means of transportation. Those who are into the manufacturing of skateboards have a ready available market for it and all they need to do is to explore the available market.
As a result, if you are interested in starting your own skateboard company, you should be willing to work hard to gain your own market share of the available market. The startup capital required to setup a skateboard company is largely dependent on how big you want to the company to be.
The startup capital required to start a wholesale skateboard distribution company is less than the startup capital required to start a skateboard assembly company.
Furthermore, the startup capital required to start a skateboard manufacturing company is far higher than the startup capital required to start a skateboard assembly company. The truth is that you can use your residential building if you have enough space as a base for your skateboard assembling company but you can’t use your residential facility for manufacturing skateboard.
Please note that if you intend to start this type of business, it is advisable to first look at the existing laws and zonal regulations in the country or state you reside in to know what is expected of you.
You can start your skateboard manufacturing business from a small town in the United States and if you are good at what you do when it comes to manufacturing fanciful and reliable skateboards, it won’t be too long before your brand becomes a nationally recognized brand.
Steps to Starting a Skateboard Manufacturing Business
Table of Content
- Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
- Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
- Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
- Discuss With an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
- Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
- Get the Necessary Professional Certification
- Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
- Raise the Needed Startup Capital
- Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
- Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
- Write a Marketing Plan Packed With ideas & Strategies
- Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
- Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
- Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers
- Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
Understand the Industry
Skateboard manufacturing business is part of the Athletic and Sporting Goods Manufacturing industry and players in this industry manufacture a range of sporting and athletic goods, including balls, bags, clubs, gloves, skates, protective equipment, boards, fishing gear and other supplies.
These finished products are then marketed to wholesalers and retailers. Please note that establishments that are engaged in the manufacturing of athletic apparel and footwear are excluded from this industry.
The Athletic and Sporting Goods Manufacturing industry is indeed a very large industry and pretty much thriving in some parts of the world especially United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and China et al. Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 1,297 licensed and registered athletic and sporting goods manufacturing companies scattered all across the United States.
The industry is responsible for directly employing about 27,347 employees and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $7 billion annually with an annual growth rate projected at -4.8 percent 2016 and 2022. It is important to state the establishments with the lion shares of the available market in this industry are Callaway Golf Company, Nike Inc., Escalade Inc., and Performance Sports Group Ltd.
A recent research published by IBISWORLD shows that over the five years to 2020, the Athletic and Sporting Goods Manufacturing industry’s performance has been volatile as operators struggled with intensifying competition from global manufacturers.
However, growth in the sports participation rate has curtailed major declines for most of the current period. Additionally, demand for sporting goods from the industry’s largest downstream markets, including sporting goods stores and department stores, remained strong through 2019.
In 2020, the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic resulted in a vast decline in downstream demand for industry products, harming the industry. Overall, amid high levels of import penetration of low-cost sporting goods from global manufacturers, industry.
The report further states that over the five years to 2022, operators in the Athletic and Sporting Goods Manufacturing industry are expected to increasingly team up with retailers to directly supply sporting goods to the retail sector.
This trend, coupled with greater integration in all aspects of the supply chain, is anticipated to prop up industry revenue growth. Additionally, a projected decline in the trade-weighted index (TWI) over the next five years is anticipated to lead the growth in industry trade volumes to stabilize, benefiting the domestic industry.
Lastly, demand from downstream markets, including sporting goods stores, will likely increase as more individuals adopt active, health-conscious lifestyles.
Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic composition of those who make use of skateboards cut across all genders and age groups. Male and female, adults and children all make use of skateboards, hence the demographic composition for the skateboard manufacturing business is all encompassing.
So, if you are thinking of starting your own skateboard manufacturing business, then you should look beyond manufacturing and marketing your products to just people in your city, but also people across the United States of America.
Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
There is no niche area of specialization in the skateboard manufacturing business since skateboard manufacturing is a niche area in the athletic & sporting goods manufacturing industry. Although some skateboard manufacturing companies may decide to specialize in the manufacturing of any or the following;
- Longboard Skateboards.
- Cruiser Skateboards.
- Mini Cruiser Skateboards.
- Carve Skateboards.
- Double Kick Skateboards.
The Level of Competition in the Industry
The competition that exists in the skateboard manufacturing business goes beyond competitions in your city; it is both nationally and internationally. This is so because, major skateboard manufacturers can be contracted from any part of the United States or abroad especially in China where it can be manufactured at a cheap rate. So, it will be right to say the competition in the skateboard manufacturing business is not laid-back.
The truth is that no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you have done your due diligence and you brand and promote your products or business properly, you will always make headway in the industry. Just ensure you have what it takes to manufacture safe and easy to use skateboards and you know how to reach out to your target market.
There are several skateboard manufacturing companies scattered all around the United States. So, if you choose to start your own skateboard manufacturing company in the United States, you will definitely meet stiff competitions. Besides, there are larger skateboard manufacturing companies/brands that determine the trends in the industry and you should be ready to compete with them for customers.
Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
Here are some of the most popular skateboards and athletic & sporting goods manufacturing companies in the United States of America;
- Callaway Golf Company
- Nike Inc.
- Escalade Inc.
- Performance Sports Group Ltd
- Almost Skateboards
- Baker Skateboards
- Birdhouse Skateboards
- Blind Skateboards
- Blueprint Skateboards
- Cliché Skateboards
- Chocolate Skateboards
- DGK Skateboards
- Element Skateboards
- Rayne Longboards
- Santa Cruz Skateboards
- Rubicon Skateboards
- Plan B Skateboards
- New Balance Numeric
- Palace Skateboards
- Zero Skateboards.
If you are looking towards successfully launching a business and maximizing profits, then you need to ensure that you get your economic analysis right and try as much as possible to adopt best practices in the industry you choose to build a business in.
Skateboard manufacturing business is no longer a green business, as a matter of fact, you will come across several brand names when you source for skateboard manufacturers in your state. So, if you are mapping out your economic analysis, you should carry out thorough market survey and costing of the required production materials, branding and other running cost needed to successfully run the business.
Over and above, if you are considering starting a skateboard manufacturing company, then your concern should not be limited to the cost of setting up the business, but also on branding and on how to build a robust distribution network. The truth is that if you are able to build a robust distribution network, you are sure going to maximize profits in the business.
Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
Unfortunately, you can hardly find a franchise of a skateboard manufacturing company to purchase meaning that if you want to own a skateboard manufacturing business, then you must be ready to start from the scratch. The truth is that it will pay you to start your skateboard manufacturing company from the scratch.
Starting from the scratch will afford you the opportunity to conduct thorough market survey and feasibility studies before choosing a location to launch the business. Please note that most of the big and successful skateboard manufacturing companies around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success.
Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
If you decide to start your own skateboard manufacturing business today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established skateboard manufacturers whose products can be found all across the United States.
For example, Major players Nike Inc. and Callaway Golf Company manufacture products in China, and both have experienced closures of overseas and domestic facilities, resulting in fluctuations in production levels and disrupting the companies’ supply chains. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market perhaps by producing customized skateboards.
So also, just like any other business, you are going to face the challenge of getting the required materials when you want them and also at the right price that will guarantee you good profit. Some of the major threats that you are likely going to face are economic downturn and unfavorable government policies. It is a fact that economic downturn affects purchasing power.
Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
When considering starting a skateboard manufacturing company, the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow; some skateboard manufacturing companies design their business for regional market, some for national market and international market.
Generally, you have the options of either choosing a general partnership, limited liability company which is commonly called an LLC, or a sole proprietorship for your skateboard manufacturing company. Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small – scale skateboard manufacturing business especially if you are just starting out with a moderate startup capital.
But if your intention is to grow the business and manufacture and install batting cages for clients all across the United States of America and other countries of the world, then choosing sole proprietor is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership will cut it for you.
Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. It is not so for sole proprietorships and general partnerships. Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholder meetings and other managerial formalities.
These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your skateboard manufacturing business; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners and investors’ expectation and of course taxes.
If you take your time to critically study the various legal entities to use for your skateboard manufacturing business, you will agree that limited liability company; an LLC is the most suitable. You can start this type of business as limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or a ‘S’ corporation especially when you have the plans of going public.
Upgrading to a ‘C’ corporation or ‘S’ corporation will give you the opportunity to grow your skateboard manufacturing business so as to compete with major players in the industry; you will be able to generate capital from venture capital firms, you will enjoy separate tax structure, and you can easily transfer ownership of the company; you will enjoy flexibility in ownership and in your management structures.
Choose a Catchy Business Name from the Ideas Below
Normally, when it comes to choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. Typically, it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend operating from when naming their business.
If you are considering starting your own skateboard manufacturing business, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- Speedy Gaze® Skateboard Manufacturing Co, Inc.
- Jules November® Skateboard Manufacturing, Inc.
- Blue Light® Skateboard Manufacturing, Inc.
- Tyler Pope™ Skateboard Manufacturing Company
- Sports Pro® Skateboard Manufacturing, Inc.
- Shannon Stev® Skateboard Manufacturing, Inc.
- Shawn Stallone & Sons® Skateboard Manufacturing Company
- Cherry Browne® Skateboard Manufacturing Co, LLC
- Shavonne Jones® Athletics and Sporting Goods Manufacturing Co, Inc.
- Tony James® Skateboard Manufacturing Co, Inc.
Discuss With an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policies that are required by the industry you want to operate from. Thus, it is imperative to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your business.
Here are some of the basic insurance policies that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own skateboard manufacturing company in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health insurance
- Liability insurance
- Risk Insurance
- Workers compensation
- Building/Property insurance
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance
You can contact the following leading insurance companies in the United States of America to purchase the needed insurance policies for your skateboard manufacturing company;
- Allstate Insurance Group
- Liberty Mutual
- Progressive Insurance Group (PGR)
- Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC)
- New York Life Insurance Company
- Lincoln National Life Insurance Company
- MassMutual (Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company)
- Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company
Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting your own skateboard manufacturing company, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is so because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run the business without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
On the other hand, if you want to leverage on this business opportunities within the industry and also to protect your unique design, company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even operation concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection.
If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO. The final approval of your trademark is subjected to the review of attorneys as required by USPTO.
Get the Necessary Professional Certification
When it comes to operating a skateboard manufacturing company, you do not need to have any formal training or special certification. All you need is informal training that will expose you to the in and out of managing skateboard manufacturing company and also effectively running the business.
On the other hand, if you come across any form of certification that can aid you to manage your skateboard manufacturing company pretty well, then by all means try and pursue such certification.
Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations. If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hands of the law catch up with you. These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own business in the United States of America;
- Business and liability insurance
- Federal Tax Payer’s ID
- State Permit
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Business Plan
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Starting a standard, secured and well-equipped skateboard manufacturing company is capital intensive even if you choose to launch the business on a small scale and you only have a handful of full – time employees on your payroll.
Leasing of a standard facility that can accommodate your production machine, warehouse and staff members and of course equipping the facility are part of what will consume a large chunk of your start-up capital, in essence, if you choose to start the business on a small scale, you will still have the need fund to finance the business.
When it comes to financing a business, one of the first things you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.
Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your skateboard manufacturing business;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell shares to interested investors
- Applying for loan from your bank
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from, government, donor organizations and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
When it comes to choosing a location for your skateboard manufacturing business, the rule of thumb is that you should be guided by the demand for such product and easy access to labor and raw materials in the location you so desire to start the business.
Of course, if you are able to secure a central location for your skateboard manufacturing business, it will enable you cut the cost of transporting your raw materials and finished products to and from your production facility and warehouse.
It cannot be overemphasized that the location you choose to open your skateboard manufacturing business is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where the demography consists of people with the required purchasing power and who skates on a regular basis for fun or for sports.
If you make the mistake of renting or leasing a facility for your skateboard manufacturing business in a not too visible or hidden location simply because it is cheap, then you must be prepared to spend more in promoting the business and perhaps giving direction to potential clients.
It is important to note that a business facility in good location does not come cheap hence you should be able to allocate enough fund for leasing/renting in your budget. If you are new to the dynamics of choosing a location for your skateboard manufacturing company, then you should feel free to talk to a business consultant or a realtor who has a full grasp of the city and perhaps country you intend starting your skateboard manufacturing company.
Most importantly, before choosing a location for your skateboard manufacturing company, ensure that you first conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey. The possibility of you coming across similar business that just closed shop in the location you want to open yours can’t be ruled out.
Having said that, these are some of the cities in the United States of America where you can locate your skateboard manufacturing company;
- Terre Haute, Indiana
- Tucson, Arizona
- Silver Spring, Maryland
- Rowland Heights, California
- Portland, Oregon
- Reno, Nevada
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Plano, Texas
Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
If you are considering setting up a skateboard manufacturing company, it means that you should be prepared to set up a standard production factory except you want to produce handmade skateboards. If you don’t have enough cash, you can start with fairly used production machines, but if you are financially buoyant, then you should go for brand new ones since they usually have a longer life span.
As regard leasing or outright purchase of a production facility or warehouse facility, the choice is dependent on your financial standings, but the truth is that to be on the safe side, it is advisable to start off with a short – term rent / lease while test running the business in the location.
If things work out as planned, then you go on a long – term lease or outright purchase of the property but if not, then move on and source for other ideal location / facility for such business.
When it comes to hiring employees for a standard skateboard manufacturing company, you should make plans to hire a competent Chief Executive Officer (you can occupy this role), Admin and Human Resources Manager, Sales and Marketing Manager, Skateboard Designers / and Making Experts, Quality Control Officer, Accountant, Distribution / Delivery Truck Drivers and Client Services Executive. On the average, you will need a minimum of 5 to 10 key staff members to run a small – scale but standard skateboard manufacturing business.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
When it comes to the manufacturing of skateboards, the first step to take is to come up with a design and then have the design approved by your team. After then, the next step is to determine the quantity of materials that are to be used and the number and types of skateboards that are to be produced per time.
Other steps involved in the process are cutting the materials to size, join all the parts and assembling of all the component parts. It is important to state that a skateboard manufacturing company may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them efficiency and flexibility; the above stated skateboard manufacturing business process is not cast on stone.
Write a Marketing Plan Packed With ideas & Strategies
In practical, running a business requires that you should be proactive when it comes to marketing your goods or services. If you choose to launch a skateboard manufacturing company, then you must go all out to employ strategies that will help you attract customers or else you will likely struggle with the business because there are well – known brands that determines the market direction for skateboard manufacturers.
Your marketing strategy will center on quality and pricing, and above all excellent customer service. The truth is that if you are able to put the above stated in place, you won’t struggle to retain your old customers and at the same time win over new customers.
So, when you are drafting your marketing plans, make sure that you create a compelling company profile. Aside from your qualifications and experience, it is important to clearly state what you have been able to achieve in time past. This will help boost your chances in the market place when marketing your skateboards. Here are some of the platforms you can utilize to market your skateboard manufacturing company;
- Introduce your skateboard manufacturing company by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to skaters, sport enthusiasts and key stake holders throughout the United States and Canada.
- Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across
- Creating a basic website for your business, so as to give your business an online presence
- Directly market your products.
- Join local skateboard manufacturer associations for industry trends and tips
- Provide discount days for your customers
- Advertise our business in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Encourage the use of word of mouth marketing (referrals)
Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
One key factor that will help you sell your skateboards at rock bottom prices is to purchase your raw materials and supplies directly from wholesalers in pretty large quantities. The truth is the higher the quantities of items that you purchase directly from wholesalers, the cheaper you tend to get them.
You can also try as much as possible to work with independent contractors and marketers; it will help you save cost for paying sales and marketing executives. So also, if you are able to secure business partnership as it relates to getting referrals, then you will be able to get the right pricing and of course maximize profits from your business.
Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
Skateboard manufacturing business is not a competitive industry, but you must come up with a unique and highly creative strategy to be able to outsmart your competitors in the industry. Part of what you need to do in order to stay competitive in the industry is to ensure that your skateboards are well designed to fit with the trends and safety must also be your guiding principle.
In other to stay competitive in this industry, you must ensure that your clients are always comfortable when making use of your skateboards and always ensure that you pay attention to details when carrying out your job. The truth is that if there are fluctuations in the quality of your products, customers can choose to shift allegiance and settle for other options available.
Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers
When it comes to business, no matter the industry that you choose to pitch your tent in, one of the easiest ways to increase customer retention and perhaps attract new customers is to produce results and satisfy your customers always. If your customers are satisfied with your facility and service delivery, they can hardly source for alternative service providers.
If your services and customer service fluctuate, you are likely going to struggle to get your customers coming back to purchase your products or services. Ensure that you offer your customers incentives if you want to retain them and of course continue to generate repeated sales from them and also to attract new customers.
Part of what you need to do to achieve this is to track progress, results or outputs with the aim of improving on them quickly as the case demands. When it comes to managing your customers and building a loyal clientele base, you should purchase a customized CRM software.
With a customized CRM system, you can easily stay in touch with your clients (you can carry out quick surveys, you can introduce new products and prices to them without any hitch, you can felicitate with them on their birthdays and other anniversaries, you can keep track of their progress, you can send bulk sms and customized e – mails and above all, you can easily receive compliant and feedback from them).
Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
If you are in business and you are not conscious about boosting you brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portrays your business to be. One of the secrets of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend fortunes year in and year out to boost their brand awareness and to continue to communicate their corporate identity the way they want people to perceive them to be.
No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and brand boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand and create a corporate identity for your skateboard manufacturing company;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community – based events
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your skateboard manufacturing company
- Install your billboards in strategic locations all around your city or state
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
- List your skateboard manufacturing company in local directories / yellow pages
- Advertise your skateboard manufacturing company in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site
- Position your Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where your skateboard manufacturing company is located.
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles are branded with your company logo.