Close-knit father-son team William and Nathan Reider opened Xtreme Archery’s doors in summer 2009 and have never looked back. Upon completion of Nathan’s MBA degree in 2008, the two entrepreneurs immediately looked for a facility to fulfill their lifelong dream: opening an archery pro shop. William has been actively involved in the sport of archery since he was a young boy and passed his love of the sport to Nathan, who began shooting when he was only 4 years old. Both continue their involvement by teaching others how to improve skill levels through various organized archery programs.
In addition to the father and son owners, this York, PA, shop has become successful thanks to three key staff members. Part-time staffers Ray Reever and Mitch Howell are responsible for much of the arrow building. Jimmy Hofer, Xtreme Archery’s full-time bow technician, has become a staple in Xtreme Archery’s continuous success. All staff members are highly trained and knowledgeable in the industry.
The 5,000-square-foot facility houses a 4,000-square-foot dual-level indoor 3-D course with lounge area. The other 1,000 square feet is dedicated to retail and service areas. Every aspect in the facilities design was created with customer comfort and satisfaction in mind, enhancing the shop’s reputation throughout central Pennsylvania.
AB: How do you provide “stand-out” service that brings customers back?
Nate Reider: In our service area, separate from the retail side, customers are allowed to sit at our 20-foot observation counter and watch all technicians work. Giving customers the freedom to watch a technician work creates a foundation of trust and confidence toward our shop. This openness concept also gives the technician time to build a friendship with the customer through simple conversation.
When producing arrows or setting up a bow, we use the highest-quality materials and tools to insure our service standards exceed all others. We try to minimize any product flaws or malfunctions by making sure the service is done correctly the first time. Our staff members are exceptional at standing behind all work performed on a customer’s equipment.
AB: If you could change some things about dealing with distributors or manufacturers directly, what would they be?
NR: It’s certain that there will always be delays when dealing in any form of manufacturing. Many customers contact dealers on a daily basis requesting updates on orders placed. In order to get a status update on orders, our staff must make a phone call or write an e-mail in between customers. Neither method can insure a timely response given varying schedules of sales representatives. This creates a dilemma for pro shops aiming for high customer satisfaction rates.
As a solution, an online order tracking system designed for dealers, much like the ones used by sales representatives, would prove highly helpful and efficient. This would provide dealers with direct answers when the customer’s questions are asked. Being able to monitor unfilled orders and tracking the progress would prove highly beneficial in every shop.
Sales representatives would benefit from a reduction in dealer phone calls/e-mails regarding order status updates. More time could then be budgeted towards managing direct dealer accounts. Less time would be spent checking on delays in production and returning phone calls/e-mails.
AB: Service advantages aside, how can pro shops continue to thrive in an era of ever-increasing Web sales?
NR: Without the advantage of excellent customer service, it is very difficult to survive as a brick and mortar archery dealer given the increase in consumer purchasing online. To combat the loss in retail sales, a pro shop must think outside the box and offer programs to stimulate foot traffic through the doors. Any archery shop that has a target range can generate additional income by offering lessons and programs directed toward any organized group. For example, birthday parties are a great way to generate additional income. The cost to host birthday gatherings is very low and can be done during non hours of operation if needed. Also as a result, there is a good chance one or more participants are going to turn into purchasing customers.
Another way to compete is by relocating to an area of minimal competition. Opening in an untapped area that shows potential market growth could prove highly beneficial. With a solid advertising program every customer within miles will want to stop in to see the new pro shop in town. A reduction in competitors opens the doors for obtaining manufacturer contracts. The contracts grant specific dealers permission to sell certain products that are protected by dealer distance regulations. Many of these contracts also restrict the sale of current model year products online. Customers then lose the option of purchasing the newest products online and have to visit the closest pro shop.
AB: What do you find most rewarding from being an archery retailer? Has that affected other areas of your life and, if so, how?
NR: It’s always rewarding as an archery retailer to help novice archers advance their skills. A large number of our new customers are young individuals between the ages of 7 and 13. Much of the youth in this age bracket have never experienced the thrill of shooting a bow until entering our shop. By offering lessons to new shooters, it gives our staff a chance to help others experience the wonderful world of archery.
Another rewarding feature about working as an archery retailer is having the opportunity to do something enjoyable every day. Each day is filled with new challenges and experiences. You never know what kind of new customers are going to walk through the door next. Being able to interact and build a solid friendship with many new people each day makes owning an archery pro shop fully worth the effort.
Nathan & William Reider, owners
1369 Fairlane Dr.
York, PA 17404