Sport is a way of life for many people. The lucky few are naturally talented when they're young and go on to compete as professionals, while the majority of people play at amateur level and for the love of the game they follow.
However, some choose to take this passion for sport and fitness and turn it into a viable business proposition.
A large section of society fall into these categories, so it's no surprise to find out that there are thousands of sports shops in the country that sell everything there is to own for the budding sports person. This is where you could jump on the treadmill and start and run your own sports business from scratch, set your own targets and apply your own knowledge or idea on a market which has an endless array of opportunities and possibilities.
What is it?
According to Keynote research, around two-thirds of adults in the UK claim to take some form of exercise, indicating that the overall market for sports goods, equipment and fashion has risen over the last few years. We are also increasingly living more hectic lifestyles and due to this many of us are taking more time out for sport related activities and are striving for a healthier way of life.
In addition, there are more sports than ever before; more TV coverage on terrestrial, cable and satellite channels than in the past; new equipment is constantly being created and innovated (with safety and protection being a key theme) and with sports stars having become the modern equivalent of everyday heroes, this has narrowed the gap between fashion and sportswear. Sport has never looked so good.
However, if you think there isn't room for another small, independently run outlet, think again. There are various routes to consider: you can combine a general selection of sporting goods, such as footballs, hockey sticks and footwear, with more fashionable sportswear (something many high street chains also supply), or you can specialise in a certain sport, area of equipment, footwear or clothing.
You might even like to consider trading solely on the internet, or as a value-added service alongside your retail outlet. This could be in an arena where you have a particularly high level of expertise.
There are also various channels in which to sell your goods. You can sell purely to the public, the trade industry, target schools, clubs and associations and open up nation-wide and even international networks of distributors who can deliver your products across the globe or combine several of these elements - when you start from scratch the choice is yours.
** Photo courtesy of dontthink.feel on Flickr