4 TIPS FOR RUNNING A SHOOTING RANGE, WITHOUT DYING IN THE ATTEMPT!Corsivia
You finally have your own shooting range. What’s next?
This is a question that might have crossed your mind more than once if you’re feeling really overwhelmed from the day-to-day management of your shooting range.
Nobody said it was going to be easy.
But managing a shooting range and getting good results can be loads of fun if you know how to do it.
Going with the flow and expecting the results to simply follow, however, isn’t the best strategy.
Today, we’re here to share 4 tips for getting that success you’ve always wanted for your shooting range and never having to think about throwing in the towel again.
Let’s get to it!
TIP 1 – THE REGULATIONS
Since you’ve already had to deal with them when you decided to build your shooting range, you’re probably already well-versed in the rules and regulations!
That said, it never hurts to remember that building a shooting range is subject to two types of regulations:
● The RFDETO regulations, which cover the safety measures and general characteristics of the different shooting range facilities.
● The ISSF regulations, which not only regulate the safety measures and general characteristics of the different shooting range facilities, but also include rules for building shooting ranges, layout of flags and targets, shooting distances, shooting stand rules, etc.
We won’t get into more details here, but if you’re looking for more info on regulations, check out our “Steps and Regulations for Buildling a Clay Target Shooting Range” blog post.
TIP 2 – BUILDING AND FACILITY CONDITIONS
They must be impeccable!
Target throwers, targets, microphones, distributors, card readers, scoreboards, wiring… they all need to be in perfect condition.
Remember that the throwers and targets are the heart of your business. Slacking on checking, greasing and adjusting the machines could be a major source of problems. Offering your customers discoloured or beat-up targets isn’t the greatest idea, either.
Word of mouth matters, and not taking care of these details could keep people from recommending your shooting range.
But that’s not all. There are many other aspects of your business infrastructure that you always need to stay on top of.
TAKE CARE OF THE SURROUNDINGS OF THE CLUB AND COMPLY WITH THE MAIN REQUIREMENTS
And make sure that your club passes the regular audit carried out by the responsible authority to certify that your club complies with all security measures.
The main ones are:
● Signage. Includes professional signage at strategic points to display safety rules and good clay target shooting practices.
● Men’s and women’s toilets. Word of mouth comes into play here again: what do you think will happen if the toilets at your shooting range aren’t properly maintained and clean? Exactly!
● Social space. Having a space where shooters can be social means that they’ll spend more time, and generally more rounds, on your range.
● Club entrances. Are they well signposted, do they make it easy to get to your range, and do you need to inform your customers about their condition before they arrive? These are all very important points to consider.
MAKE SURE YOUR STAFF LISTEN TO AND MEET THE NEEDS OF THE SHOOTERS
Something that appears to be as basic as customer service can ruin all your hard work if poorly executed.
Do your staff know how to serve your customers?
One of the best investments you can make in your business is to train your employees in good customer service practices.
Although it may seem silly, we can assure you that it is worth it, and very worth it!
TIP 3 – YOUR SHOOTING RANGE IS A BUSINESS
Like any business, you need happy customers who come back over and over again, motivated by what you have to offer.
And that can only happen if you learn to understand their needs. You must adapt to your customers’ needs, not the other way around!
Focus on those things that attract and (most importantly) retain customers. Just because you like it doesn’t mean they will.
Listen to them, conduct surveys, ask questions…
In short, make sure you’re offering them exactly what they want, which is ultimately the only way to get repeat customers.
Any ideas? Of course.
● Create shooting areas for beginner shooters. Not only can this work very well for you, but it will help you attract new customers to your business.
● Build a community of shooters. Encourage your customers to connect with your shooting club by sharing general sporting information, advertising your offers, setting up rankings, or anything else you think might engage them.
● Include a gun shop at your shooting range. This isn’t always an option, of course, but if it is, this is an outstanding way to supplement your business.
● Open a shooting school. Especially if you’re aiming to attract new shooters to your range. You can also think about holiday camps that feature recreational, sporting and cultural activities.
● Encourage shooter exchanges with other clubs. Building a collaborative network between shooting clubs not only benefits members, but also the clubs themselves.
TIP 4 – PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR PATTERN OF INCOME AND EXPENSES
But have you ever thought that maybe you should offer additional services that your customers would be willing to pay for?
Cartridges, catering, gun repair… these are just a few examples. I’m sure you can think of many more.
Once you’re clear about the services you’re going to offer and the operating costs that the club will incur, ask yourself the following questions to make sure that your shooting range is profitable:
● How many rounds of targets do I need to sell?
● What level of range occupancy do I need?
● Is my business viable?
● How can I change the revenue or cost structure to improve profitability?
Perhaps you’ve already asked yourself all these questions at some point, perhaps not. Either way, they’re important to consider if you really want your shooting range to be a success.
Too much work?
Don’t know where to start?
Want to do it, but don’t feel you can do it on your own?
It’s much easier in a team!
And that is exactly what we at Corsivia offer you.
After visiting countless shooting ranges with the goal of working side by side with distributors and clubs, we created our coworking programmes.
These programmes are designed for implementing a series of initiatives aimed at improving both club infrastructure and business management, and we want to offer you the opportunity to create and manage your own shooting range so that it becomes the best experience of your life.
Contact us, tell us about your project, and let’s get to work!
In the meantime, you can download our Manual of Best Practices for Managing Shooting Clubs and learn a bit more about the topics we’ve covered here.