Ideal husband and wife/ partnership opportunity
High level of regular and repeat trade
Advised annual turnover of £210,000
Business has to be re-located
Ideal lifestyle opportunity
Genuine reason for sale
Fine Shooting Accessories (FSA) has been online since its inception in 2001; this is a unique business as it mainly sells products which are designed and manufactured by themselves.
Out of 1200 products on the website 95% are designed and manufactured by FSA , some are made in their own workshops and the rest by craftsmen who are specialists in their own field. This gives the business a different feel and direction to other shooting related businesses.
Situated firmly at the top end of the market, the development of many new products has been a constant theme in the progress of the business and being the originator and source of most of their products has allowed the maintenance of high margins and a steady increase in income stream.
FSA sell a wide range of practical products for use in shooting and stalking, but also a large variety of items which are associated with that way of life. It is estimated that the Shooting Industry is currently worth around £2.5 Billion per year and this surprising figure helps understand the demand for high quality products in this market.
The range of products sold by FSA is from a simple bridle hide bullet pouch through cartridge bags made from exotic leathers, silver and gold cufflinks to sets of solid silver champagne cups; a wide variety of both practical products and expensive gift items.
FSA is known internationally as the “go to place” for high quality gifts and it is estimated that 50% of
turnover comes from ladies buying gifts but there is also a developing market in ladies buying different high ticket items as they join the shooting field.
Driven Game shooting has a high profile within the leisure industry and gift purchases relating to these chosen sports are increasing. FSA is high on the list of many high profile shooting families who purchase presents for christenings, birthdays, Christmas and Retirement.This market forms an increasing and significant part of the business.
Although FSA has a small shop, the business has always been mainly online, with Game Fairs (currently 3 per year) giving wider advertising. It has a valuable customer database on the website, with around 1500 names and a further paper database of another 3300 names. It is estimated that about 10% of these names are from abroad, mainly America, which has proved to be an excellent market with great feedback.
The website is well designed and user friendly with products being accessed via the home page which offers either a search bar or a row of categories clicking through to individual products.
The website categories give an indication as to to breadth of the products offered; so they are noted below:
Sets of drinking cups
Straps and tags
The site currently has 233 pages and most products have variations or related products; this accounts for the 1200 products on offer.
The site has on average about 2000 hits per week and this increases greatly once the shooting season starts and in the run up to Christmas and beyond. The Google Analytic Statistics for the period 1st Jan – 31st Dec 2015 are:
Users - 26,580
Sessions - 33,540
Page views - 104,795
% of new visitors - 78.5%
The site has been professionally upgraded 4 times, the latest being in January 2016 making the site fully mobile and tablet friendly. The site is designed using Wordpress for content and WooCommerce Professional for payments, it is fully compliant to accept payments by PayPal and Credit Card.
Orders are easily processed using the site dashboard which also gives access to enter new products, uploading photos, prices and descriptions as well as many other useful functions for website management.
All changes and updates are straight forward and performed in house.
Apart from best cartridge bags and lined gunslips, FSA make most of their leather goods in their own workshop. They choose to do this as it gives excellent margins, facilities for new designs and the opportunity to personalise most items.
FSA make their own design of panniers, Spanish bags, placefinder wallets, belts, rifle slings, cup cases, luggage tags, many straps, bullet pouches, travelling gun and rifle slips, cleaning kit cases and many more. Making these small leather goods is not difficult for anyone with moderate joinery skills and the owners would be happy to pass on these skills to a new owner or their employee.
The important consideration in the manufacture of leather goods is the provision of cutters or knives.
These knives are used in conjunction with a substantial clicker press (24 tonne) which cuts out each piece of leather prior to stitching. FSA has designed and had made some 120 small and 50 larger knives that are used in the construction of the range of leather goods.
Without the cost of the design, a small knife costs around £60 and a larger one £100+ so the total investment in these knives is considerable, but of course they last forever.
However, the possession of these knives allows individual products to be outsourced and made exactly to that pattern; FSA have now sent some knives abroad and a few products are now being made abroad with obvious savings.
Included in the sale is a hot foil blocking machine; a great advantage of making leather shooting and stalking goods in house is the facility to emboss initials or names. Most leather items will have initials added to them at the right time during manufacture and provides additional income.
A hotfoil embossing machine uses brass type and FSA own 7 sizes of brass type 3 with upper and lower case letters; this type has been expensive to acquire but its use is important and profitable to the business. Customers love to customise their purchases and there are few days when the ‘blocker’ is not in use. The proprietor would be pleased to pass on these embossing skills to the new owner.
Whilst many leather goods are made in house others are made by out working craftsmen, indeed items such as cartridge bags, lined gun slips, placefinder pegs, game counters, loadmasters, casein items, silver cups, gun case equipment, cufflinks, jewellery, game books, caps etc etc are all made by other workshops and FSA maintains a good relationship with these important people.
FSA has always sought to have the best possible margins on its goods and that is why many are made in house. However they have developed an excellent relationship with one manufacturer abroad and this will be exploited.
FSA have recently sent some of their cutting knives to this manufacturer and several items have made using FSA's original designs. When quality is preserved then clearly there are savings to be made and this opens up new possibilities with the wholesale trade, which is an exciting new prospect.
The manufacturing equipment for sale with the business includes a 24 tonne clicker press, 4 heavy duty sewing machines, press stud machine, creasing machine, skiving machine and a wide range of best quality hand tools purchased over the last 15 years, all are in first class condition.
There are about 170 press knives already referred to and 30 different acrylic patterns that are essential for cutting out the bigger items, gunslips, rifleslips, etc.
Most products have a work sheet which lists the materials required for each item and a simple, numbered step by step guide to construction.
This product has sold well both online and to Gunshops with over 1000 units sold during the last 18 months. With a retail margin of 400% on cost FSA supply Purdey, William & Son, William Powell, Beretta London, Beretta Paris, Fur Feather and Fin and many others.
Selling to five different countries, orders are increasing as the driven game shooting world takes notice of this very relevant product.
Cufflinks and Jewellery:
FSA has its own range of sporting cufflinks and jewellery which are completely original. Right from the start FSA was fortunate in securing the services of arguably the best wax modeller working today and this Lady has made around 100 wax models for them. Fine silver and gold jewellery is made by the lost wax process but first you have to start with a carved wax model.
Each new design starts life as an image, then painstakingly sculptured from a piece of wax. Then the final piece of jewellery is only as good as the detail of the original carving. FSA has a wonderful collection of master patterns made from these waxes and practically every British game bird and animal is represented. Patterns costs around £60 for a small one up to £400 for a medium sized and much more
for large silver table pieces etc.
Jewellery manufacture has high margins and this has allowed FSA to develop associations with several County Jewellers who sell their cufflinks and jewellery with good margins for themselves.
The brightly coloured cartridge bag strap was not invented by FSA but they have certainly taken up the idea and developed it. FSA make webbing straps for cartridge bags, gunslips, double guns, binoculars, cameras and luggage tags in a range of 70 different coloured webbings and they have really caught on.
Selling at 5 times manufacturing cost they are profitable and about 200 are made annually, they know of no one else who is able to make such a variety. It is interesting that 20 different cutting knives are needed for these straps.
Sets of Drinking Cups:
15 years ago FSA only sold silver plated sloe gin cups in cased sets of 8. Now they sell many other different shapes and sizes of cups made in solid silver, silver plate and stainless steel. The solid silver and silver plated cups are made in Birmingham and the stainless ones in India.
An understanding of the driven game shooting world has meant FSA has developed a unique range of cups which suit different customers and their requirements. There is no doubt that they are now the market leaders in this field.
Margins vary from 100% to 300%; a cased set of 12 heavy solid silver champagne cups sells for £4,800, a set of 10 silver plated sloe gin cups for £420 and a set of 20 stainless cups £130.
FSA currently have 16 different cups sold in cased sets; these are a great favourite in the gift market and of course they are contained in a handmade pigskin lined case, embossed in gold with the initials of the lucky recipient, a great present for the shooting man or Lady.
FSA carries high levels of stock. Handmade quality items are not to be had off the shelf and lead times can be extended. In the high disposable income end of the market customers lead busy lives and vital orders for birthdays etc in perhaps two or three days time are quite usual. It is quite simple; if the item is not on the shelf then the order will be lost. So ordering stock well in advance and maintaining stock levels is crutial for success.
So with a wide range of products, many with high value, then a high value of stock can be expected.
Over the lifetime of this business the owners have concentrated on the development of the wide range of interesting and useful products now in place.
Quality with efficiency has been the watchwords and this has meant that FSA has established a well respected and profitable business with many repeat orders. Turnover continues to increase and the wonderful selection of goods on offer means the future looks bright, however more effort should be made in the marketing of the website.
Google ad words, SEO implementation, more videos, regular email shots, newsletters and innovative marketing all are necessary to take the business forward.
However the owners are now past retirement age and they wish to hand on the business to the next generation.
They would be delighted to help and advise the new owners in any area that was thought to be helpful.
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