In this article we try to answer this concern for aspiring stringers who want to start their private services. Is it profitable? How much can you make stringing tennis rackets? Can you live off it? Let’s delve into the profitability of a racket stringing business, examining its key aspects and potential returns.
The allure of turning a passion for racket sports into a profitable venture through stringing services is intriguing. Many work out the costs of the machines, the strings they should keep in stock, and then wonder if any of this could be worth the time and effort, and then end up here looking for answers.
If you are starting from absolute nothingness, you may be interested in this post on how to start a Racket Stringing Business. If you don’t know anything about stringing, read this overview of the process.
This may come as a surprise to you: If you have customers, you will generate revenue. If you don’t have customer’s you wont make any money at all. I may be stating the obvious here but then don’t complain when you open shop and have no one show up because there are no squash or tennis players nearby.
Location, Location, Location
We have heard this before for any business. The same is true for a racket stringing service. If you want to be profitable, you want to be located in an area where you are certain tennis players hang out. This could be:
- In a neighbourhood with a local tennis club or court
- A locality with other commercial activities going on, like a market.
- A neighbourhood on a transit line that leads to racket clubs
- Where rich people live
If you’re in the wrong area, you may get an occasional customer who somehow found you, but it certainly wont be enough to put food on the table. So, if you want to be profitable, you need customers, and you need to be in the right place.
String for people at your club or University
If you are not in the right location, then at least be associated with a club or university that have players. Thats one way to get customers.
The Harsh truth about demand
If you open shop and cater to only one type of racket sport (lets say squash), you are less likely to be profitable. You might as well be stringing ping pong paddles. The reality is that badminton and tennis are way more popular sports, and thats where the bulk of your demand will come from. Catering to that larger segment will be the main driving force of your profit. String for everybody and as many people as you can, which brings me to my next point.
How much can you make stringing tennis rackets is a game of volume
We are not selling designer furniture here with which we can extract a large profit margin per sale. We string rackets for labor and time + a few dollars for whatever string we are selling. How high can you really go per racket? You also want a continuous supply of customers and stay at par with the market rates. Given that a small portion of your revenue is your profit and most of it is covering your expenses, you cannot get by with just one racket in a day.
Before we talk about how many rackets per day it takes to be profitable we should talk about what kind of expenses you are dealing with.
Considering your costs
Assets and Product
Lets say you bought a brand new $3000 electronic racket stringing machine along with $500 worth of the most popular in-demand squash and tennis strings to get started. You’re first task is to recover the $500 you spent on string. The machine is your asset (You can try recovering that cost too to make it more fun).
Time is also money
Also please you must factor in your time and skill for stringing. That labor cost your charge for every racket should be your cost of time + profit on labor. Lets say your time is worth $10 per hour, and you charge $20 for a racket which takes you an hour. Consider that as a gain of $10 and not $20.
Do you intend to play rent with stringing money? What about transportation? Advertising too? Your cost per racket is going up with every bit of overhead here.
Ill just tell you now that if your only expenses are the assets and time, stringing will be decently profitable at a competitive price point. If you have all those overhead expenses (like a pro shop typically does) then stringing alone is never going to cover you. I am going to complete the rest of this article assuming you dont have overheads.
How many rackets per day should you string for decent income?
Given the volumes discussion we had earlier, I’d say if you’re doing at least 10 rackets in a day and steadily recovering your expenses you might actually do pretty well.
Pro-Tip: Buy string in reels so that the cost per string goes down significantly. This way you can recover the cost of the reel with 4-5 racket stringing jobs, and pocket the rest of the reel.
Stringing is not just about stringing
Stringing is about rackets. Rackets also have grips, crash tape, shock absorbers, and other little accessories to go with them. If you want the stringing venture to be profitable, it will certainly help to sell some of those other fast selling items too. The customer came for stringing, but its in your interest to make the best of that opportunity. Those little sales will substantially contribute to profit.
So is Racket stringing profitable?
Yes. Now watch some time-lapse videos.