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.
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.