Beaches are popular spots for small businesses. Beaches draw large groups of people, and when the product fits the consumers, they can be quite profitable. One great thing about selling products at the beach is low start-up costs and a constantly changing clientele. However, like any business, selling products at the beach should be well-planned to ensure that the items meet the needs and wants of the patrons purchasing them.
It is not always convenient for people traveling to the beach to bring food. Since food is not only a necessity, but also a desire for many consumers, selling food items at the beach can be profitable. In warm weather, people often prefer cold foods like sandwiches, salads and ice cream. However, keeping food cold involves refrigeration or coolers, which increases the cost and work involved for the seller. Consider investing in a mobile food unit such as an ice cream cart or food trailer for foods that are ruined by heat. Food trailers may also make the selling experience easier because you can stand indoors or under an awning to escape the heat.
It's important to remember that popular beaches will most likely offer competition for food sales, so choosing an innovative product is important. Scan the beach where you intend to sell and notice what is missing. Are there three burger stands, but no one selling ice cream? Pick the product that has the least competition or find a way to sell your product at a rate significantly lower than the competition.
The beach is hot and drinks are cool, which is why a drink stand should be taken under consideration. Selling beverages can be extremely simple (i.e. bottles of water out of a cooler) or very complex (i.e. a mobile smoothie unit). Like some foods, drinks must be kept cold and, in the case of smoothies, may require onsite equipment for their preparation.
It's easy to forget something when a family heads off to the beach, which can offer a lucrative opportunity for entrepreneurs. Consider items that are much needed like sunscreen, towels, sunglasses and umbrellas. These items could be sold from a stand-alone location on or near the beach, or you can travel the beach and sell as you go. The latter example involves a lot of walking, and this may be difficult while carrying products and trying to accept money and make change. An additional person may be helpful to deal with the money or to carry goods.
For most vacationers, the beach is about fun and experiences. Although sunbathing and swimming are enjoyable, many beachgoers want to participate in other activities. These activities can be incorporated into small businesses if you have the expertise or supplies to offer. A few service specific businesses for the beach might be kayak or boat rentals, surf board rentals, parasailing tours or lessons. A surf school business illuminated in the 2005 article "Firefighters' Surf School Based on Professionalism, Safety," published in the Pacific Business News, explains a successful surfing business that began when the owners handed out flyers for lessons costing a nominal fee. Other beach lessons to consider are snorkeling, swimming, sand castle building and scuba diving.