A martial arts pro-shop can be an additional easy-to-manage revenue stream that can make martial arts studios more financially stable, while providing a convenient one-stop shop for your students’ needs. Different martial arts schools will have varying needs and wants from their students in regards to inventory. A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school may only need some gis, technical athletic wear, tape, refreshments, and healthy snacks, while a Taekwondo school may require full sets of protective gear, in a range sizes.
Because most schools will try to maximize the space usage for their martial arts training, many won’t have much space left over for a pro-shop. For these schools, taking advantage of online sales is crucial for success. Here’s how to make the most of your pro-shop, even if you don’t have room to hold a lot inventory.
The Beauty of an Online POS
Having an online point-of-sale can provide a boost to your pro-shop’s performance. Aside from consumables like energy bars and sports drinks, most purchases made at your school by students are items that will last a long time. Unless you have a large student base, some of these products may sit on the shelf for months. Having an online presence allows you to sell your goods to people outside of your community, while providing a convenient platform for your student base to use, when they’re not at the gym. This can be a great way for parents to browse equipment that their children might need, in the comfort of their own home.
Many schools don’t have the physical space to maintain an extensive pro-shop inside of their space. With an online POS, students and the general public can search through your catalog and purchase goods stored outside of the pro-shop, whether that’s in a paid storage space, at home, or at your school. Easy offsite storage access gives you a whole new way to build your business, while being able to use every square foot of your dojo effectively.
Owners with space in their house can utilize some of that space for storing their inventory that can help save money. Some owners will want to purchase or rent an affordable storage option or find space in their martial arts school where it won’t provide visual clutter. Stocking your pro-shop with only your best sellers can help make the space look cleaner and help you sell more goods. The storage option you choose also needs to be readily accessible to fulfill orders quickly, to keep your customer service score high.
If your school is in a commercial building with vacant units, approach your landlord about using some of the free space for temporary storage. This can be a cost effective way to launch your pro-shop, before committing to long-term storage options.
Managing your Inventory
Even if you own the storage option you’re using, there can be other costs to holding stock. Finding a balance is important, when your goal is to sell your students things they may need for class or training sessions. Many schools purchase inventory through a line of credit or another form of loan, depending on cash flow. You’ll need to account for the interest rates and, subsequently, the cost of holding onto inventory, in order to make sure it makes business sense.
Unless you’re finding that you sell certain items on a regular basis, we recommend having a smaller inventory count – while utilizing a special order program – whenever students need to purchase something they tend to keep for years. Finally, if the martial arts suppliers in your area impose large minimums, you might find it worthwhile to team up with other schools in the area or your network, to make a bulk purchase together.
Integration with Physical Inventory
When you’re selling items out of your physical pro-shop, as well as an online POS, you’ll need your martial arts management software to integrate both sale points, to prevent count issues and to avoid doubling up the work for your staff. Unless you’re selling a large number of goods on a regular basis, most schools will designate one of their staff members to handling shipping or item retrieval from storage. Keep your inventory organized and up-to-date with a reliable inventory management feature from your martial arts software provider, which will ensure accuracy and help you with loss prevention.
Want to learn more about how to start selling items online for your martial arts business? Check out our elegant and efficient POS & online store functionality aimed at getting you selling goods in no time.