Category: Commercial Shooting Ranges

Memberships and Marketing – Building a Foundation for Success


THE POWER OF BRANDING

Once you’ve built your range, you have the task of attracting and forging relationships with customers. To achieve this, your business requires a distinctive and memorable persona. The marketing world refers to this persona as a “brand.” Having a strongly-defined and reliable brand builds recognition and familiarity, which breeds credibility and trust. Your brand goes hand in hand with your reputation, so it’s imperative you pay ample attention to this aspect of your business.

 


CUSTOMIZE YOUR EQUIPMENT

A consistent look and feel throughout your facility creates an impression of polished professionalism and reinforces your range’s brand. Action Target offers extensive customization options to make it easy to achieve this consistency. For example, we can manufacture shooting stalls decked with your company colors, apply your logo to your equipment, and design paper targets uniquely for your range.

There are additional ways you can brand your building, such as etching your range name and logo into doors, interior viewing windows, walls, floors, and tables. You can also draw attention to your building by making it highly visible with attractive lighting and signs. Consider placing company mascots or branded vehicles in strategic locations to catch the attention of passersby.

Furthermore, invest in merchandise customized with your name and logo. It’s more valuable than you might realize. Not only will your customers enjoy the swag, but they will also serve as ambassadors of your business when wearing and using your branded gear. The sky is the limit when it comes to what you can customize, be it apparel, patches, coasters, mugs, pens, flashlights, bumper stickers, and keychains. Remember, the experience your customer has with your brand impacts your reputation, so we recommend you purchase good quality items.

 


ALL-INCLUSIVE EXPERIENCE

While your facility may be a gun range primarily, it’s no secret that the success of your range is hinged on the quality of your customer’s experience. So why not make a name for yourself by offering more than a shooting space? For starters, ensure information about your products, services, and membership is readily accessible. Install markers to let customers know exactly where to go and with whom to speak if they have questions. Be aware that demonstrating expertise is critical when it comes to developing customer trust and loyalty, so take adequate time to educate yourself and your staff on range equipment, operation, and retail products.

It is also recommended that you invest in additional services, thereby creating a “destination location” for visitors. Such amenities may include:

  • Coffee shops/dining establishments/grab-and-go snacks
  • Locker rooms
  • Gun safe room
  • Firearm build services
  • Corporate event space
  • Member-only lounge

Remember, you don’t have to break the bank to make your space more inviting. If funds are limited, consider a comfortable conversation area and luxury coffee station.

 

MEMBERSHIP PROGRAMS AND PERKS

Gun range membership programs are one of the best revenue builders a business can employ. They provide a reliable income, grow your customer base, and motivate shooters to return again and again. It benefits both you and your customers to build a solid and rewarding membership program. There are many ways to enhance these programs, such as multi-member discounts, family packages and corporate bundles. You can also advertise gift memberships for special occasions such as holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries.

When it comes to making your gun range membership program enticing and accessible, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Consider combining memberships with discounted training classes. In addition to growing membership, this will also strengthen participation in your education platform. Furthermore, don’t hesitate to be creative in your approach to incentivizing membership and encouraging member participation. For example, nominate a “Member of the Month” and assign a prime parking space for this special member.

 


PROMOTIONS AND EVENTS

Product promotions and gun range events are a tried and true method for growing your business. While the options are countless, here are some suggestions to kickstart your creative ideas:

  • A special discounted item of the month. Educate range employees about the item and encourage them to discuss it with customers.
  • Member-only discounts on non-sale items. This shows loyalty to your members and promotes the perks of membership.
  • Offer discounted lane time during off-peak hours or during extremes in temperature when shooting outside is undesirable.
  • Host events such as special product release nights, date nights, zombie shoots, carnival night, costume parties, birthday parties, and bachelor/bachelorette functions.
  • Capitalize on local events such as rodeos, fairs, and elections. For example, recognize customers who participate in an election by offering them a free patch or T-shirt (adorned with your range logo, of course!).
  • Participate in charity fundraisers. Being active in your community has reciprocal benefits and raises awareness of your business.

Whatever your promotion or event may be, it is essential that you keep your members and followers in the loop via social media. Post well-timed, useful, and appealing information about product discounts, special rates, and upcoming events. Additionally, engage your followers by posting exciting images and stories during exciting and special occasions.

Beyond capitalizing on social media, invite a local news station to get the word out. It usually doesn’t require much effort to coordinate a media visit. Simply call the desired local radio or television station and provide event details. It’s a win-win situation: it provides content for the media and brings visibility to your business. Additionally, the presence of cameramen and broadcasting vans are an effective way to create hype and interest among those in the vicinity.

Remember to keep careful track of the performance of your promotions, gun range events, and advertising strategies so that you learn which efforts are most profitable. This will allow you to determine which activities you should repeat and evolve.

 

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Networking with other local businesses may not seem practical for the niche shooting range business. However, crossing industry borders and working with other businesses in the community provides you with the opportunity to appeal to patrons from other industries who may not have otherwise been aware of your business.

Exactly how do you work with your community and appeal to different demographics, thereby expanding your customer base? Consider sharing your facility, for starters. Make your classroom available to other groups that need a place to convene, such as self-defense clubs, scouting programs, charity organizations, and your local chamber of commerce. Furthermore, become acquainted with catering companies and event organizers. Let them know referrals are welcome and provide them with details regarding group discounts and other package deals.

We also recommend building a strong relationship with your local law enforcement agency. Consider offering special “closed-range” training sessions for officers. In addition, show your support of military members through exclusive product promotions, special membership rates, and discounted shooting range time. Having a reputation as a select training facility for law enforcement and military will have a significant influence on your brand and credibility. Moreover, your customers will be attracted to the prestige and bragging rights of training in a select range of police officers and military personnel.

You’ve Just Built A Shooting Range: Now What?


You’ve undertaken the multifaceted process of planning, designing, and building an indoor shooting range. You’ve discovered that creating a viable, ballistically-safe facility is no small feat. In fact, the process can challenge even the most stout-hearted, second-amendment-supporting, gun-crazed patriot. However, you persevered because the satisfaction and rewards of owning and operating a shooting range can be substantial.

It’s just important that you remember a “build it and they will come” philosophy does not apply to your gun range business. Persistent effort, strategic marketing, and awareness of industry trends is required to attract, engage, and maintain your customers.

ACTION TARGET’S BEST PRACTICES
Action Target has been the world leader in shooting range design, technology, supplies, and aftermarket services since 1986. With our time and standing in the industry, we have become experts in how to develop and manage a successful shooting range. Over the next few months, we will be collaborating with key individuals across our organization to share our best practices with you. Our expertise will help you excel in the business of running your range, while making you aware of potential pitfalls along the way.

So that you know what to expect, we have divided these best practices into the following 8 categories. Each category will be fully explored in a dedicated future post.


1. Memberships and Marketing
In this post, we will discuss the importance of branding your range and products. Other topics we will cover include growing your customer base and enhancing customer relationships through product promotions, giveaways, loyalty points, multi-member discounts, and corporate events. We will also delve into lesser used marketing strategies, such as cross-promotion with the assistance of other local business.


2. Training your Staff
We will demonstrate how to amplify your success through great customer service. We will show why it is important to find employees who not only have broad gun knowledge but are also experienced in retail sales. Learn how to build a loyal and happy sales staff through incentive programs, specialized training, and strategic staff meetings. Discover the importance of leading your grand opening with a soft opening and how neglecting to do so may have significant repercussions for your reputation.


3. Retail Sales
This post will be dedicated to helping you understand how much inventory you will need based on the size of your retail space. We will examine the importance of stocking retail items according to demand and local needs, as well as maximizing your gross profit through tracking retail turns. We will also walk you through analyzing data from your point of sale system.


4. Website and Social Media
Successful businesses are familiar with free advertising through social media platforms. We will provide pointers on how to think outside the box for marketing your shooting range via other businesses in the community. You will also have access to our experience on branding and creating a “personality” for your shooting range as well as pointers for your website and other range events.


5. Engaging Your Customers
Learn how to implement and structure memberships. We will dive into concepts for developing classes that reach all ages, genders, and lifestyles and will also provide ideas for home and personal defense training. Additionally, we will discuss how adding gun build options and services to your retail offerings drives revenue.


6. Security
It’s vital that you protect your range adequately from criminal activity. We will highlight security, closed circuit cameras, various types of alarm systems, locking cases, as well as offer suggestions about how to safely store excess inventory. You will learn how to implement emergency protocols in the event of injury or fatalities and how to deter tragedies of this nature from occurring in your range.


7. Other Revenue Streams
We will teach you how to capitalize on other revenue streams for your shooting range business, such as recycling your lead and brass and saving money through dealer pricing programs with Action Target and other vendors. We will also examine how you can share your knowledge and experience of planning and building a shooting range with other interested parties.


8. Range Maintenance
One of the most important aspects of your business is keeping your range clean and safe. We will show you how to do this through scheduled maintenance protocols along with a maintenance log sheet. We will discuss how to train employees on required maintenance procedures and performing minor range repairs. All methods we disclose are compliant with OSHA and EPA standards to ensure the protection of your employees, patrons, and range equipment.


How-to install, replace and transport the BCS Deluxe 20

Action Target’s Deluxe 20 Bullet Collection System is the latest innovation in collecting bullets for recycling. The system attaches to the bottom of the Total Containment Trap™ deceleration chamber to collect bullets into 20-gallon drums. The drums can then simply unlatch from the chamber and roll out of place quickly and easily.

Below you will find a video 4 step process of installation, replacement and how to transport the barrels.

 

Step 1: Remove the Drum of the BCS Deluxe 20

Step 2: Use a Gantry Crane to Transport a Drum to a Recycling Pallet

Step 3: Use a Barrel Hawk Lift to Transport the 20 Gallon Drum to a Recycling Pallet

Step 4: Replace the Drum of the BCS Deluxe 20