With the rapid growth of disc golf over the last decade it’s created a lot of different business opportunities. Local disc golf retailers are popping up all over the country.
So you love disc golf, you want to start your own business, you want to be a disc golf retailer, but where do you start?
Learning from the Success Stories
This past week the DGPT sponsored the first ever Disc Golf Industry Conference in Tucson Arizona. Disc golf is one of the fastest growing sports out there with an estimated 15% growth over the last two decades. There are lots of different disc golf businesses and opportunities out there.
The conference focused on “growing together” and had a variety of different sessions and speakers for the different businesses within the disc golf industry. Two of the different sessions I had the privilege of attending involved disc golf retail.
Here are some notes from some of the successful disc golf retailers who appeared at the panels.
Regional Retail Panel
The following companies presented at the panel.
Flight Factory – Flight Factory is a regional retailer in the disc golf hotbed of Pensacola Florida. They are relatively new to the disc golf world and started their disc golf shop at the end of 2019.
Another Round – Another Round is located in Charlotte North Carolina but also have a Franchise Store in Colorado and are looking to expand to other Franchise stores throught the country. – Their focus is national growth through regional Growth
Gotta Go Gotta Throw – Gotta Go Gotta Throgh is one of the original disc golf retailers. It was started by Charlie Hutchinson who has been in disc golf since 1993 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Charlies history as a disc golf business started when he borrowed a couple discs, then found some discs in the woods that he hadn’t bought and then immediately went and placed a wholesale order buying 50 Discs from Discraft. He’s been flipping discs ever since.
His big business plan in 1996 was to do disc golf mail order catalogs. They were all ready to mail out 20,000 catalogs, had them printed, and then all the disc golf companies had new discs and designs ready and the catalog was obsolete before they were ever released. They then decided to try the new technology of the world wide web and launched their website in 1996.
Creating a Brand
The question was asked the disc golf retailer panel, how do you Create a disc golf brand?
FF – Always growing and evolving. Tried creating and having products that nobody else had.
AR – Goal was to create trust and relationships, get the right disc for them at the time. Being the Soul of the Community.
GGGT – Had a contest with the local disc golfers to name the brand, and that’s what they adopted. Rebranded GT3 – The fun is having the right disc for you. Their branding was helping people go down the right path, to get the right disc for them to maximize the fun.
Gaining National Exposure
Next the question was asked, besides physical in store sells, how do you gain national exposure?
FF – Started as an online only business, so that’s what they had to do.
AR – Try to make their own customer, and find people that fit in your vibe. Focus on those with mental health issues, to help them, create them as customers.
GGGT – Those that last in the disc golf retail industry are not the businesses are trying to knock out their competition, but those looking to add value.
Advice for someone looking to start a disc golf company now
Be who you are, get involved in your local community. Don’t try to be where you’re not wanted. Life is too short to spend time somewhere where you are miserable. Be Happy.
Advice for someone planning ot open a Brick and Mortar Shop
Establish a multi channel sales approach, allow them to shop online and then do local pickup. Make sure there are multiple options for the customers, by giving an even better experience in person.
Treat everybody right, Employees and customers. Treat them with respect.
Charlie GGGT – When it comes to starting your own business, don’t. It will present all kinds of challenges. You have to have determine and drive because it WILL be extremely difficult.
Growth needs to be data driven to eliminate human error to be sustainable.
Don’t be afraid to pivot, you need to be able to adapt.
Find the right opportunity and the right people.
Be Nimble, you aren’t the driving force, be agile so that you can adjust to the shifts of the marketplace.
Starting a Disc Golf Business as a Retailer
When it comes to the different disc golf businesses out there, forming a disc golf shop or starting as a retailer is one of the easiest ways to get started. With the ease of building e-commerce websites and the ability to vend at tournaments and local courses, only a small amount of capital is required to get your own disc golf store started.
If you’re ready to take your disc golf business to full time status the key is having a good (low cost) retail location near a busy disc golf course.
A Few Other Tips
Best Business Credit Cards for Disc Golf Retailers
The disc golf industry is unique in that the major manufacturers Innova, Discraft, MVP and Infinite Discs all allow you to purchase inventory on credit cards. This advantage can be very valuable and can help you to be more profitable – if you use the right credit card and in the right way.
There are many advantages to buying with credit cards including giving yourself a short term line of credit and massive cashback bonus. 2% cashback bonus is pretty substantial when you’re spending $100,000 per month on credit cards.
Here are a few of the credit cards that I recommend for disc golf retailers.
- Chase Business Card – The Chase Business card offers 2% Cash back bonus on all purchases, which is great. But, when you spend at least $5,000 at a time that Cashback bonus is bumped to 2.5%. The catch with this business credit card is that it does have an annual fee of $195, but when you are spending enough money on your card the annual fee is well worth the benefits.
- Capital One – Capital One offers no strings attached 2% cashback bonus for business cards with no annual fee. They have several different 2% cashback card business options.
- Bank of America – Through their Preferred Members rewards program you can get 2.62% cash back on every purchase with the BOA Unlimited Cash Rewards card. The catch with this perk is to get this ultra high rewards rate you must have at least $100,000 in an accompanying BOA account at all times.
- American Express – The American Express Business Gold Cards are Ideal for shipping expenses. This card offers 4X rewards points for shipping expenses up to $150,000 each year. If you’re paying a lot for shipping, which you will be if the online side of your disc golf business takes off, it’s well worth it to have an American Express Business Gold card. The catch with this card is that it has a hefty $295 annual fee.
In conclusion, it is fun being in the disc golf industry, but in order to survive it does require work, sacrifice, and a solid business plan. The most important thing is having a good retail location near a high demand disc golf course.
Photo credit, DGPT