On this page I will explain how you can start your own racket stringing business from scratch, and turn it into a successful venture. I went through this journey myself and my stringing service is now quite established. See for yourself. This guide may be specific to racket stringing, but to also contains lessons to start any kind of business really.
Starting a racket stringing business is a great idea for those who are passionate about sports such as tennis, squash, and badminton. If you play any of these, then you are already familiar with the struggles of getting your racket restrung. The big sporting stores unfortunately do ordinary work for the extraordinary money they charge, and take days to return your racket. They tell you that they are so busy and backed up with other customers, but more often than not, their part-time stringer hasn’t come to work in a while.
If you want to take matters into your own hands, you have the power to provide a service that is much needed and will help many players like yourself get back on court.
Why is racket stringing a great business to start?
You are your own client
The best businesses are those that truly understand the needs of their clients. Since this is a service that you yourself require, you already know exactly how you want it; reliable, consistent, and fast. This fact alone will make you do your best to provide the kind of service that you want as a customer. For example, if you want a shop to be available for you whenever you break a string, consider being open 24 hours 7 days a week yourself.
Its a business that requires low investment
To start this business, all you need to purchase is a racket stringing machine, tools, and some strings. You do not need to hire anyone, advertise, or even pay rent as this is something you can do from home. Because the investment is so low, there isn’t much risk. If you are totally broke, even a microloan could get you started.
Your costs can be further reduced by purchasing a used stringing machine which has all the tools included. This is how I started my racket stringing business.
Its easy to do
Once you string your first racket, you will realize that it isn’t rocket science. And it will further infuriate you that the big sports store took 7 days to complete a straightforward 45 minute task.
You yourself are going to the big sports store because you have nowhere else to go. That should sum up your competition.
Quick return on investment
Since your investment was so low to begin with, it wont be long till you recover all your money. Once you start getting customers and generating revenue, it will quickly add up. Cost management is important, but more on that later.
Always in demand
Strings break. Its a part of life. Even when they don’t break, people get their rackets restrung to improve their game all the time. As long as tennis, squash, badminton, and racket ball exist, you will be in business. I can’t imagine a world without all these sports disappearing at the same time.
You don’t necessarily have to service all the racket sports. You could just stick to your favorite and do really well with it. However, when you realize that there isn’t much difference between stringing a tennis racket and a squash racket, why not do both?
It might be a little early to discuss this, but as your revenue increases you will find yourself constantly trying to improve your service. You will always get calls about something you never thought of doing. “Do you sell rackets?” “Do you sell balls?”. Always keep note of such calls.
As your business grows you might upgrade your racket stringing machine, stock up on string varieties, and maybe even start selling rackets and balls.
How to Start a Racket Stringing Business
Here’s how its done.
Step 0: Decide to start a racket stringing business
This is the hardest step as it requires interest, courage, and determination. Once you successfully complete this step, proceed to Step 1.
Step 1: Buy a Racket Stringing Machine
First do your research about which machine to get, and take your time with this. This will be your main business investment and asset. Check out the feature below to explore the different types of racket stringing machines and decide which one is best for your purpose and budget.
Step 2: Buy at least two varieties of strings
Do your research about the most popular types of strings for the sport you intend to string for. For example, if you are into tennis, purchase some sets of monofilament strings and some of multifilament strings. To learn more about which tennis strings you should get to start with, click here. I have an article on this topic for squash as well.
Check out the beyond nothing online shop if you’re looking to buy some squash or tennis strings to get started with.
Start with two varieties, then add some more as you make sales to replenish your stock. Learn from your clients what they are looking for.
I also keep a “Bring your own string” option for my customers.
Step 3: Learn how to String a Racket
Watch tutorials on YouTube
There is an infinite amount of material on YouTube to teach you how to string any kind of racket. Watch as much as you can since everyone has something new to offer. While you are watching, take out your own racket, cut out its strings like this, and follow along a tutorial you like.
String at least 3 rackets to get comfortable
Your first racket will take the longest time. But remember, its not about speed as much as it is about doing it correctly. There will be mistakes and mis-weaves. Learn from the experience. The more rackets you do, the faster and more comfortable you will get. String for yourself and your friends till you are ready to take on rackets for total strangers in exchange for cash.
Learn Racket Stringing Patterns
Every racket has been manufactured with a different stringing pattern. Most tennis rackets are 16×19, but there will be many others you will have to deal with. Some rackets are meant to be strung with two pieces of string while others are meant to be strung with a single piece.
There is also the Around the World Stringing Pattern that you must learn how to do for Squash and Tennis rackets that require one piece stringing. Learn the different types of knots as well. The most important one is the Parnell Knot, but its good to know others such as the Wilson pro knot, and the starting knot.
This all may sound weird to you right now, but will begin to make sense as you watch more youtube and deal with more rackets.
Learn the different types of strings
There are so many strings out there designed for every type of player. As a racket stringing business, you should know the different brands, types, and Pros and Cons of each. Your customers will ask you these things, so do your research! Don’t mislead them like the big sporting shop does. You can refer to my articles on squash and tennis strings as well.
Step 4: Start making your racket stringing business known
Lets pretend you have no friends who are willing to help you with this. I’m sure you have friends though. I think. I hope. Doesn’t matter.
Create a listing on Google Maps and get yourself a Google My Business account. This is the most effective way to get people to find out about you. Make it nice, use good pictures of your setup, product, and the rackets you have strung, and make sure your contact information is correct. The last thing you want is for your customers to call some rando, argue about a wrong number, get frustrated, and go to the big sports shop.
Make your business on Google show as Open 24 hours. This way it will show up on the map at night time as well. The big sports shop is never open at night. Whether you are working as an astronaut during the day or playing squash at night, the most important thing is getting the phone call. From there you can schedule a time with your customer. DO NOT LOSE BUSINESS FOR SHOWING UP AS CLOSED.
All this you can do for free. If you want to take it to the next level, you can get business cards printed for cheap. Give two cards to every customer you get so that they can share it with their friends. Do not underestimate the power of word of mouth.
Step 5: Provide Excellent Customer Service
This is your most important selling point. Its all about the customers. Do an honest job, be helpful, be flexible, be available. You are already better than the big sports shop by becoming another option. So be the better option for your customers. Have them come back to you and refer their friends to you.
Be honest about your work. If you mess up, do it again without charging. If you think their strings are fine, advise them to come back later and not waste a perfectly good string bed. This is especially true for squash where strings should be used until they break. Your customers will appreciate your honesty and return to you with trust.
Customer service tips
Every one of your clients is special, so make them feel special by giving them some extras. Small things like a free over grip can go a long way. Offer to put it on for them as well. Learn how to properly install an over grip on a racket here. Don’t charge for such small things like the big sports shop does, but do give a receipt for everything. It shows that you mean business.
Take all forms of payment; Cash, Coins, Debit, e-transfer, whatever works for your customers. I even let them pay me later if they didn’t have change or made up some story about losing their wallet. This was always appreciated, and they always paid. The big sports shop could never do that.
Ask them to give you reviews on Google maps. This can only be good for your business. People are nice and happy to return the favor of good service. And good reviews attract more customers.
Step 6: Keep your Accounting tight
Create a workbook in MS Excel and keep a record of all your business transactions.
Keep track of every penny you spend on product and every penny you earn from sales. Format it the same way as a bank statement to show all the credits, debits, and net balances at each transaction. This will help you track all your expenses and revenues, and allow you to plan ahead for your next business strategy. It will also come handy for a future in which you get audited by some bored idle revenue agency.
Also keep a spreadsheet that contains everything you know about your customers. Their name, phone number, what racket they had, what tension they got, what string they use, how much did they pay. Its useful for seeing what product is popular and showing your customers that you care about them when you can answer their questions about what they got last time.
Step 7: Stock up on more Product
Once you start generating revenues, put it back into the business. Buy more string, more grips, or anything else you think would sell. Yes, this will delay your break-even point a bit but there is nothing worse than getting a customer and having nothing to sell them. Frankly, its embarrassing. So order more stock when you see it finishing and keep in mind the delivery times if you order from an online source. If you find yourself in a situation where you are out of stock, go to the big sports shop.
You will also learn that profit margins are better with reels of strings instead of sets. However, when you start your racket stringing business, stick to individual sets to really see what sells and what doesn’t. You don’t want to drop a lot of money on a 200 meter reel of string that doesn’t sell.
Step 8: Join a Racket Stringers Association
When you really start enjoying the racket stringing business and want it to grow, its a good idea to purchase a membership with a Racket Stringers association. The major ones I can think of are the USRSA and the UKRSA, but there are definitely a lot more out there that could be applicable to you. Membership with any of them is beneficial as it gives you a standing in the stringing community (who even thought this is a thing), and access to some very useful resources such as a stringing guide, discounts, and samples. People will also take you more seriously when you solicit your services at a local tournament.
If you want to go all the way, consider becoming a Certified Racket Stringer or a Master Racket Technician. You might even start stringing for Pros.
Have fun with it, and Good Luck!
There is nothing better in life than running your own enterprise, especially when its something you are passionate about. Stringing a racket is a therapeutic activity on its own, and the satisfaction of your clients is the ultimate motivator. This is the true meaning of taking pride in your work, which you can do on your own terms and actually be honest about.
Feel free to use your own ideas and make your service unique. Offer something the big sports shop never thought about, for example; Color Hybrids. Put your heart into it and have fun.
I’m pretty sure you will be successful when you start your own racket stringing business after reading the sincere advice I have given. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
See you on court.