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Will Wilson 12-12-2012 07:04 PM

Starting a Small Stringing business
 
I intend on starting a small stringing business - more of a hobby than anything as I enjoy stringing and won't mind paying off the cost of my stringer.

My question is this: how many different choices of string do you think I need to offer, and what specific choices would you recommend. Remember that I will be doing a few dozen rackets not hundreds so purchasing reels may or may not make sense. Also, I live in an area that doesn't have many top level players looking for top of the line poly or hybrid setups.

Thanks in advance for your input.

Andyroo10567 12-12-2012 07:42 PM

For my string choices, I offer maybe 5+ different Synthetic Guts, 7+ Polys, 3+ Multi's, and for Natural Gut, I dont much with me so i order separate ones for them and cut off shipping charges when ordering. I only have $13 labor charge so i don't think its such a hefty price compared to tennis shops. Just to mention, these are all reels, not single packs. The single packs i have are either gifts from people, or junk strings i dont use and give out for free ( if they need me to restring there racquet ). I would just suggest getting a couple Syn. Guts, more Polys, and Multi's are optional i guess. I didnt really come around selling too much Multi's. Babolat Revenge would be a good poly string to buy, 5.95 for 1 pack!
Good luck

COPEY 12-12-2012 08:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Will Wilson (Post 7060362)
I intend on starting a small stringing business - more of a hobby than anything as I enjoy stringing and won't mind paying off the cost of my stringer.

My question is this: how many different choices of string do you think I need to offer, and what specific choices would you recommend. Remember that I will be doing a few dozen rackets not hundreds so purchasing reels may or may not make sense. Also, I live in an area that doesn't have many top level players looking for top of the line poly or hybrid setups.

Thanks in advance for your input.

Actually, depending on what strings you choose to stock reels may indeed make very good sense. When you say "a few dozen" is that per week or per month?

Keeping it simple, canvas your prospective customers and see what they use, then pick up a few sets of that. Once you've established yourself, then if it's cheaper to buy whatever it is your customers are using in reels, do so. It's up to you if you want to pass that savings (if applicable) on to them; I don't, but then I'm only charging $10 labor.

There are several approaches you can take, but in my opinion if you purchase what they're using to start with, gain their trust, you can then have them try strings that are known to be good performers, but aren't sold in pro shops, such as Gosen OG-Sheep Micro, Isospeed Baseline Spin, Iontec, any of the Tourna strings, etc.

bluegrass_stringer 12-12-2012 08:32 PM

First and foremost, you need prince syn gut. Actually, the patent on Prince syn gut expired, so Wilson makes a string called Extreme Octane which is the same thing (and its cheaper). A textured synthetic, and perhaps a few packs of synthetic in 15L and 17 gauge. Polyester strings are a must, as well as a good multifilament. Natural gut, and perhaps some aramid for those big string breakers. If you don't have accounts with any big name manufacturers (Wilson, Babolat, Prince etc) then you need to figure out what brand your customers like, or try to convert them to a good quality string at a good price to increase your profit margin.

COPEY 12-12-2012 08:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bluegrass_stringer (Post 7060454)
First and foremost, you need prince syn gut. Actually, the patent on Prince syn gut expired, so Wilson makes a string called Extreme Octane which is the same thing (and its cheaper). A textured synthetic, and perhaps a few packs of synthetic in 15L and 17 gauge. Polyester strings are a must, as well as a good multifilament. Natural gut, and perhaps some aramid for those big string breakers. If you don't have accounts with any big name manufacturers (Wilson, Babolat, Prince etc) then you need to figure out what brand your customers like, or try to convert them to a good quality string at a good price to increase your profit margin.


Why would he? He's trying to "start" a stringing business, not expand an existing one lol.

Lakers4Life 12-13-2012 12:09 AM

Until you know what your potential clients want, have them buy the string and pay for labor. Buy string that you know you will use, unless you get a great price. I've had a couple of reels that that took a year to use up. No use in tying up cash in string stock, until you get regular clients.

lwto 12-14-2012 10:57 AM

YOu will find as I have about 90% of the general public will go on your recommendation.

Have a good house strings, syn, Multi, and poly and then carrry a few popular strings.
For syn.. you can't go wrong with Prince syngut with duraflex.
Multi Livewire is inexpensive and easy to sell..
poly. what ever, you like.

then carry some others like X1biphase, ProHurricane, maybe a couple of textured poly's.

That will suit probably 95 to 99 percent of your walk ins. and by walk ins.. I'm not including your friends who have a particular likes or dislikes.

Peppershaker 12-14-2012 01:59 PM

Have not established myself as a business, stringing developed into a hobbie and rural PA isn't necessarily conducive to much stringing volume. However did still string just over my goal of 200 racquets this year.

Stocking strings probably my biggest challenge. Learned early on that suggesting strings rarely works for long-term players who were looking for something specific, or were chasing a string they heard or read about. Have found it's best to provide a wide selection, too explain the various strings and then let them decide.

This is my fourth year of stringing for others, just checked and I have 33 different string packages, and have about 8 different spools. Some cases, individuals who initally used a lot of a style switched, went on to college, moved or have given up the sport. Overall have found that the variety helps with new clients, and that stringing different strings adds to the enjoyment of this process.

lwto 12-15-2012 08:28 AM

Well peppershaker..
If your client knows what they want.. just stock those strings for them.
how easy is that?

What you say is fine, if you have enough clients to make things work.. but 200 Racquets this years is not very much. Most of your client.. well about 80percent is players that are league players, club players in the 40, 50 60 year ole's who don't follow TW forums or really give a damn about new strings, or even new racquets. On the plus side, they all want a string that will make them better.

drummerdan 12-15-2012 08:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lwto (Post 7063290)
YOu will find as I have about 90% of the general public will go on your recommendation.

I've had my own stringing business for 3+ years and this is exactly true. The vast majority of my customers ask me for my recommendations. You are the expert in their eyes. I ask them a series of questions about their style of play, level, what they want the ball to do (ie: more spin, power, etc) and make a recommendation. Even when they have been with me for awhile, they still ask me if they should switch or stay with the same string.

My advice, carry a few of each type of string but don't overdue it. Keep the strings diverse within each type. For example, carry smooth, textured and twisted poly strings.

Also, I keep no more than 2-3 sets of natural gut on hand to keep the overhead low but carry good quality. Don't skimp because you don't want to have to replace crappy natural gut when it breaks in a week. I carry Babolat only.

Good luck!!

Peppershaker 12-15-2012 10:46 AM

How easy is that....
 
Got to laugh...........real easy when they are an existing customer. Otherwise not even the Amazing Karnak would have been able to guess when a good 60-70% of the people I strung for this year were new.

cluckcluck 12-15-2012 11:43 AM

The next question would be, is it worth getting my MRT? Most people who play have no idea what that is.

Lakers4Life 12-15-2012 04:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cluckcluck (Post 7064771)
The next question would be, is it worth getting my MRT? Most people who play have no idea what that is.

IMHO it's not worth it. It's just a piece of paper that says you know how to string a tennis racket, and none other racket sports. Some think that getting a CRT or MRT, makes you better than the next guy, NOT. All it means is you paid USRSA $269 to give you a test, if you are not already a USRSA member. If you want to get on the Pro Stringer teams, they consider having a MRT/CRT cert, as to be part of qualifications. (though I could be wrong) You can probably ask Drakulie, but I don't think he ever mentioned being a certified, but his work experience surely qualifies him.

Don't get me wrong, the USRSA does provide a great resource of information, but it's really a business.

You are better off being a USRSA member just to get the RST and Stringers Digest, then cancel. I have both from 2005, and rarely reference them.

lwto 12-16-2012 10:27 PM

I'll be glad to certify you for the LWTOMRT.. for cheaper too..

:)
LEt me know huh?

struggle 12-17-2012 07:33 AM

just ask your buddies, the ones you'll initially be stringing for, what they use/want. Order $75 or more worth of that, throw in a reel of Gosen, few sets of PSGD and turn on the NEON LIGHT!!

jim e 12-17-2012 08:53 AM

I agree to ask around especially the ones that you feel will give you their racquets what they typically hit with, and get those strings.
I would also get PSGD as that is and has been the #1 string sold in speciality shops for many years running as it is a good basic syn. gut for those that have no idea of what they want.
I would also get name brands until your customers know your jobs, as brand recognition goes a long ways with many things.Once you get your clients base up there, and you have their confidence, you can then suggest other strings of lesser known manufacturers that you know they can benefit from.You can then find out what they like or dislike about their strings and make suggestions that may help their game, like hybrids, etc. Don't go overboard in the beginning as you don't want string around that does not move.Get some sets in the beginning, and when a type starts really moving then get reels.
Good luck.

jman32 12-20-2012 12:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Will Wilson (Post 7060362)
I intend on starting a small stringing business - more of a hobby than anything as I enjoy stringing and won't mind paying off the cost of my stringer.

My question is this: how many different choices of string do you think I need to offer, and what specific choices would you recommend. Remember that I will be doing a few dozen rackets not hundreds so purchasing reels may or may not make sense. Also, I live in an area that doesn't have many top level players looking for top of the line poly or hybrid setups.

Thanks in advance for your input.

i live where there are many indoor and outdoor courts in a high population outside of NY. local store do not do well, the online stores kill them.

there is a good stringer/customizer locally. he is a one man shop who is on the cheap side, with a small but loyal following. he tried to sell rackets but could not and is stuck with them.

in the end i bought a stringer and now string myself.

this does not seem like a good business.

if you do go into it, you have to have great service and or have something the online stores don't have. possibly some computer system with cameras that can analyze swings or some other outside the box service

fortun8son 12-20-2012 07:11 PM

I have been a member of USRSA for several years and I find their resources quite valuable, especially their archive of patterns for obsolete frames. I have not, however, determined a need for the extra expense of CRT/MRT certification, although it's a good idea to study and practice as if you had to take the test.

Keep your inventory simple at first. PSGD or Wilson Extreme are well known. Maybe a set or two of Red Alert for stringbreakers who are not ready for poly.
The mini reels of Sensation are a good buy right now. It is also well known although at reg price, I'd opt for Prince Premier Attack.
The well known polys (Big Banger and RPM) are not good values for you or your clients.
The Big Hitter strings are a good option here, as most players are aware of the Tourna brand, if not their strings

Steve Huff 12-21-2012 10:29 AM

Stock first what you would play with. If the business is slow, at least you have what you use (or would like to try). Go to the middle schools and high schools and speak with the coach and kids, leave some handouts etc. I began by stringing middle schooler's strings for $5 (including the string), 10 for high schoolers and my normal prices for adults. I had a few synthetics (you could have nylons) for middle schoolers, and a synthetics and polys that I could put in high schoolers' frames. As they requests for more popular strings began, slowly, I discontinued the really cheaper strings. I still give kids a huge discount, and I carry lots of strings (probably 40-50 reels + 150-200 sets of string. Maybe too much. Oh well.


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