Step by Step Process to Develop and Build Your Shooting Range
Don’t miss this unique opportunity to receive the best tools and information you will need to successfully complete your shooting range project. Attendance at the Range Development and Design Seminar allows you to meet with range consultants and other subject matter experts, visit local shooting ranges, and get answers to your questions about running a successful shooting range.
One of the most essential elements for a profitable
shooting range business is recruiting, on-boarding, and training your shooting
range staff. American customer service expert Shep Hyken observed, “A brand is
defined by the customer’s experience. The experience is delivered by the
employees.” Your employees can make or break your long-term success. Even if
you have 19 all-star employees and only 1 employee who underperforms, your shooting
range business is likely to suffer as a result. A single negative customer
service experience can hurt your reputation. Conversely, having a reputation as
the shooting range with the most engaging and supportive customer service will
ensure shooting enthusiasts choose your business time and time again.
OF YOUR SHOOTING RANGE
Bruce Nordstrom, the former chairman of one of
the most successful department store chains in America, perpetuated the
philosophy that you can teach people to sell, but you can’t teach them to be
nice. While it is important that employees have a sound understanding of
firearms and shooting experience, this should not take precedence over hiring
individuals with the right attitude. When building a team, your primary
priority should be finding employees who are eager to learn, connect well with
others, listen carefully, and ask questions. Supplementary training can ensue
How to Find
the Right People
Where do you find the perfect team member? The
answer is more obvious than you might think: Anywhere and everywhere. Pay
attention to other service-oriented businesses. Have you recently encountered
an impressive server at a local restaurant? Has a sales clerk at a sporting
goods store brightened your day with their helpful and positive attitude? Consider
appealing to former military or law enforcement personnel. Provided their
personality is a match, they will bring experience and credibility to your
shooting range business.
Avoid the common pitfall of hiring relatives or
friends. Hiring those from your family or social circles may be disadvantageous
both professionally and personally. It can be challenging to hold them to your
business standards. It is also very difficult to terminate their employment,
should the need arise.
In addition to hiring gun range staff who expertly represent your
brand, don’t forget these following crucial checks and tests:
and Criminal Record Checks
It is your responsibility to check that members of your gun
range staff do not have a record of behavior that could jeopardize your business
and the safety of your patrons and other employees. Most shooting range owners
require employees to participate in a CCW permit course as part of their
training. During the interview, inform candidates that through the process of
obtaining a CCW permit, a background check will be performed to verify their
eligibility to handle, carry, and own firearms.
During the interview, make sure you inform candidates that a
drug test will be performed prior the employee’s first day on the job.
Additionally, let them know that random drug tests will be performed throughout
Safety and Blood Lead Testing
Exposure to lead is one of the risks that accompanies
working in a shooting range. It is imperative that you inform new hires about this
risk and that you educate them on proper use of personal protective equipment
(PPE) to protect themselves. Furthermore, make sure you teach your employees
how to avoid spreading lead to other parts of the range, their vehicles, and
While you should take all appropriate precautions to
minimize lead exposure, it is still important that you monitor your employees
closely and regularly test their blood lead levels. Test all new hires to
obtain a baseline blood lead level. From there, require bi-annual tests for
employees who perform range maintenance and annual tests for other employees.
Work expectations During the interview, make sure you
explain any work expectations such as unusual schedules. For example, do you expect
employees to work during nights, weekends, or any holidays? Do you require employees
to lift and unload pallets of ammunition or perform any other physically
demanding tasks? If so, make sure you discuss these expectations and minimum lifting
When it comes to training your shooting range
staff, make sure you are adaptable in your approach. For example:
opportunities for hands-on learners to shadow a supervisor or cross-train with
websites, videos, and literature to employees who learn better by studying
Act out potential
customer scenarios for employees who can benefit from practicing interpersonal
No matter which training techniques you employ, create
opportunities for trainees to teach what they learn. This is a tried and true
method for helping individuals retain information.
Ongoing Safety and Emergency Training
Not only should safety and emergency
training be at the top of your training agenda, but it is also imperative that
this training is ongoing. It is your responsibility to provide regular
instruction on handling firearms and how to respond in the event of injuries,
theft, and other emergency situations. Role
play with range staff how to manage emergency situations in the range.
Scenarios can include contacting emergency personnel, calling a cease fire, securing
firearms, and administering life-saving first aid.
standard operating procedure (SOP) documents for all areas of your shooting
range business, such as retail, range check-in, and range operations. Make sure
all employees receive these SOP documents and test them routinely to ensure they
properly understand and retain the information.
ATF Form 4473
All Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) businesses are required to properly
complete an ATF Form 4473 for each firearm transaction. Given the detailed requirements
as well as the potential penalties for errors, it’s important that your
employees are trained to fill out the form accurately and are prepared to
answer customers’ questions about the form. Employees should also verify that
forms are fully completed, legible, and accurate while the customer is present.
According to the NSSF website: “Uncorrected errors on Form 4473s account for six of the top 10 most
common violations cited by ATF every year, and three other top 10 violations
are related to information found on Form 4473s.” To help combat errors,
the NSSF has developed the form 4437
overlay. This is a clear template that may be laid on top of the form 4473
to help your staff check that all form questions have been answered and
You want to provide your patrons with the best possible experience with
purchasing a firearm. It is imperative that your staff members are well-trained
and confident with this process.
Holding weekly meetings is important in the busy
shooting range business. You need an hour each week where you can reiterate
important information, motivate your employees, answer questions, and discuss any
changes. Agenda items may include:
concerns, near misses, and other items the entire staff should be made aware of
If it is necessary to hold your meeting outside
of business hours, we suggest you disclose this to potential employees during
the interview process.
Try to make these meetings enjoyable and consider
providing breakfast or dinner for meetings held before or after shooting range
Incentives are an effective method for
keeping your staff motivated. From gift cards
and baskets to discounts and product giveaways, incentives can help encourage
your employees to meet their goals as well as create friendly competition
between co-workers. Furthermore, take advantage of training and product advocacy
platforms that reward members for being brand ambassadors. An example is
ExpertVoice.com, which provides brand education and offers product discounts
upon course completion.
Provide team-building exercises once a
month to help build loyalty and positive rapport between employees. As a shooting range owner, you have the opportunity to
combine activities with opportunities to educate your staff on your range
operations and products. Why not host an interdepartmental shooting contest in
your range? Make sure you create hype in the run-up by designating team names, making
T-shirts for the competitors, and disclosing the prizes in advance.
Consider activities outside your facility. For
example, invite and pay for staff to attend upcoming firearms shows and
shooting contests. Furthermore, take the time to learn about your employees’ hobbies
and look for opportunities to incorporate their interests into your group
A soft launch is essential for your shooting range business. Opening your
doors quietly or serving a limited audience before your grand opening will
allow you and your team to iron out the kinks, such as identifying which processes
need improvement and where more training is required. By ensuring your employees,
shooting range operation, and retail are performing at optimum capacity, you
will make an exceptional and long-lasting impression on your customers when you
officially open for business.
Diana joined Action Target in 2012 as an associate shooting range
consultant. She is currently the sales manager for range retail programs. From
selling and designing shooting facilities to helping range owners find the most
efficient and profitable approaches for operating their business, Diana has an
invaluable understanding of the shooting range industry from the customer’s
point of view.
As a technical and marketing
writer, Mikaela collaborates with multiple Action Target personnel to develop
installation manuals, user guides, bid specifications, press releases, and newsletters.
Communicating to a variety of audiences about Action Target’s products and
services has given Mikaela the opportunity to examine multiple dimensions of
the shooting range industry.
RANGE SERVICES BUSINESS UNIT ANNOUNCES SIGNIFICANT GROWTH, NEW HIRES AND ENHANCED
PROVO, Utah – April 16, 2019 – Action Target Inc., the leading manufacturer of modern shooting ranges, steel targets and shooting supplies, is excited to report significant developments within the recently restructured Range Services Business Unit.
Target’s Range Services Business Unit encompasses Action
Target’s aftermarket sales and services (such as recycling metals and filters), the online
store, AutoTargets™ and range maintenance.
Target takes pride in providing the most comprehensive aftermarket services in
the industry. By combining customer support, range retail programs and the
Action Target Store under the same umbrella, we have enhanced our relationships
with our customers and are better able to anticipate and respond to their
needs,” said Mike Birch, CEO at Action Target.
to Range Services include a new Rubber Berm Trap Cleaning Program.
Subsequently, Action Target has hired a dedicated program manager and
established a team of Rubber Berm Trap cleaning specialists. These specialists have been provided with custom-designed
vehicles to perform professional on-site trap cleaning services that are
compliant with state and federal standards. Additionally, the metals retrieved through the cleaning
process may be recycled through Action Target’s Metals Recycling Program.
Through this program, range owners opt to receive either the cash value of
their recycled metals or Action Target Store credit to purchase range products
Range Services has employed another account manager to maintain a superior
level of customer service for Action Target’s expanded customer base. The territory assignments for
all account managers have been modified to integrate this addition to the team,
streamline support efforts and maximize customer success.
continue to focus on our turn-key solution strategy and examine how to meet and
exceed the expectations of range owners, we have welcomed the opportunity to
create new positions and redefine the responsibilities of various members of
our Range Services teams. With these developments we are well-positioned to
further optimize our services and grow the success of our customers,” said
Tyler Webster, Vice President and General Manager at Action Target.
About Action Target Inc.
in Provo, Utah, Action Target is a world leader in modern shooting range
technology. Action Target has designed and manufactured over 4,000 products and
has installed thousands of shooting ranges throughout the United States and in
many countries around the world. Action Target also designs systems and
conducts firearms training for law enforcement and various military divisions.
For more information about Action Target, visit www.ActionTarget.com. To learn more about
Action Target products or to purchase items online, visit www.ActionTarget.com/Store.
PROVO, Utah– February 28, 2019 – Action Target Inc., the leading manufacturer of modern shooting ranges, steel targets, range services and supplies, announces a new organizational structure to optimize business operations and provide increased focus on customer support and aftermarket services.
January 2019, Action Target’s leadership announced a new organizational
structure to optimize its expanded product offering, aftermarket services, and
customer support. Action Target is now organized into three strategic business
units: Shared Services, Core Products, and Range Services.
Shared Services is led by Scott Wright, CFO at
Action Target. This business unit comprises Finance, Business Intelligence,
Information & Technology, Warehouse & Logistics, and Sourcing.
Core Products is led by Kevin Tomaszewksi,
Senior Vice President and General Manager at Action Target. This business unit
encompasses Marketing, Range Sales, Engineering, Operations, Project
Management, and Installation.
Range Services is led by Tyler Webster, Vice
President and General Manager at Action Target. This business unit includes the
Action Target Store, Aftermarket Services & Sales, Range Maintenance &
Warranty, Metals Recycling Program, and Rubber Berm Trap Cleaning.
organizing company departments and teams within these units, we have effectively
aligned business operations, maximized talent, and consolidated strategic
planning,” said Michael Birch, CEO at Action Target. “These enhancements will
increase focus on customer needs, industry trends, and the shooter’s experience,
allowing us to continue driving innovation.”
new structure has also streamlined Action Target’s customer communication
channel, ensuring world-class support and valuable market feedback. Action Target
prioritizes synergistic customer relationships and utilizes customer collaboration
as a key element to its product development, decision-making process, and
influential market position.
customers are fundamental to our efforts in establishing and maintaining the
next generation of shooting ranges,” said Birch. “These changes in our
organizational structure will place a renewed emphasis on the customer, ensuring
better service, better input, and ultimately better products.”
About Action Target Inc.
Headquartered in Provo, Utah, Action Target is a world leader in modern
shooting range technology. Action Target has designed and manufactured over 4,000
products and has installed thousands of shooting ranges throughout the United
States and in many countries around the world. Action Target also designs
systems and conducts firearms training for law enforcement and various military
divisions. For more information about Action Target, visit www.ActionTarget.com. To learn more about
Action Target products or to purchase items online, visit www.ActionTarget.com/Store.
We will be exhibiting once again at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Nevada January 22-25. Stop by our booth and check out the innovation that is happening at Action Target to enhance the shooter’s experience at gun ranges.
One of the many innovations we will be introducing at SHOT Show is GENESIS, the most advanced target retriever on the market today.