Are you looking to start a bowling business? here is a complete guide to starting a bowling business with no money or experience .
Ok, so we’ve provided you with an example of a detailed bowling business plan template. We also took it a step further by analyzing and writing a sample bowling marketing plan backed by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for bowling lanes. In this article, we will cover all the requirements for starting a bowling business. So put on your entrepreneur hat and let’s move on.
Why start a bowling business?
Bowling has always been viewed as a rewarding and rewarding business making it a very lucrative business as a profit made from this type of business year round. One of the reasons a bowling alley is launched is that it can be opened in a wide variety of places because an entrepreneur doesn’t need to start something traditional, especially if they intend to stand out. However, as with any other business you wish to undertake. you need to do market research first to make sure the demand exists before you start a business so that resources are not wasted.
One of the important aspects of starting your bowling business is finding the right space, as this can lead to the success or failure of your business. When looking for a suitable location, you can either build from scratch to design the location to the standards you prefer, or rent or purchase the space that was previously used as a bowling alley, thus only doing minor renovations. . For Your Business.
When building from scratch you have to be prepared to spend a lot of money, and if you are starting on a tight budget, it is best to rent or buy an old bowling alley that has been abandoned.
Start of work at the bowling center. The Complete Guide
- Industry overview
The bowling industry in the United States generates an average annual revenue of $ 4 billion and grew 2.5% from 2012 to 2021. The United States has more than 3,600 bowling centers employing more than 69,000 people .
However, the industry is in decline as the popularity of other forms of entertainment is on the rise. Therefore, this means that the revenues of this sector will only increase if the operators also expand their services and offerings to attract more customers.
An industry in long-term decline is starting to feel upbeat.Although the industry was in decline for a long time before the recession, the recession resulted in a reduction in disposable income, leading many customers to abandon entertainment such as the bowling out of their budget. ; an act that further damaged the industry. Revenue is only expected to increase slightly between 2021 and 2022, as operators are expected to offer a variety of services that will not only attract new customers, but also retain them.
According to an industry report, the market share concentration in the bowling industry is quite low, with only two companies accounting for around 15% of the total revenue generated by the industry in 2021; however, the level of concentration in the industry has increased as market share has increased through several mergers and acquisitions. The industry has also started to move towards larger bowling lanes as they tend to offer more services and activities to potential customers.
Regardless of the industry downturn, the industry is said to be experiencing positive changes and financial stability due to its growing and unprecedented popularity. Bowling continues to be one of the most popular sports in the country, as operators use new technologies not only to provide more entertainment options, but also to grab the attention of their customers.
Statistics show that over 67 million people play at least once a year and over 2 million are active league players. Additionally, according to a statistical report by Sandy Hansell Associates, bowling would perform well even in an economic downturn, and the reason is that it is one of the rewarding location-based recreational activities that are close by. from home for families. observed between 2010 and 2013, when many bowling alleys reported a stable or slight decline in operating profit or profit.
In 2021, there were around 4,700 bowling lanes and around 100,000 bowling lanes in the United States of America. Of this number, approximately 4,200 function as shopping malls and the rest as private clubs, colleges, military and fraternal organizations. A quarter of commercial bowling alleys have at least 32 lanes. The bowling industry also has around 210 duck and candle centers with nearly 2,870 lanes. In this industry, the old players leave and the new ones arrive.
The bowling industry is highly fragmented, with the largest bowling company having more than 300 centers and the next three having 48 centers. Bowling owners are very diverse as most of them are owned by individuals or families.
Many family bowling alleys have been passed down from previous generations. The military operates more than 215 bowling lanes nationally and internationally with some 3,500 lanes. Bowling is also very popular on the international scene, as the International Bowling Federation has around 100 million people from 150 countries who regularly participate in its bowling league.
Beginning of commercial real estate market and feasibility studies
- Demography and psychography
The demographic and psychographic makeup of those who go bowling are kids, teens, groups and families, birthdays, couples, schools, churches, seniors, and league bowlers. This shows that the bowling alley demographic profile covers all ages and people of all types.
If, therefore, you are going to determine the demographic profile of your bowling alley in the United States of America, you should try to do so.
List of niche bowling business ideas you can specialize in
Every entrepreneur hopes their business will stand out from others that already exist, so most start with certain areas of specialization. A niche helps identify a business, and also allows it to generate the profits necessary to grow and sustain the business.
Before offering a niche service, it is best to do a thorough business research. environment so that you can identify the niches that will allow you to stand out and generate income. So, the niche ideas available for this particular business are:
- Bowling is an open game
- Bowling is a championship game
- Shoe rental
- A restaurant
- Lounge bar
- Snack bar
- Laser label
The level of competition in the bowling industry
Bowling is the one that must be physically located in the area; Thus, the level of competition will depend on other bowling centers in the same area. Besides other bowling centers, other competitions will come from other entertainment centers as well as home entertainment for video games.
What customers are looking for when visiting the entertainment center is quality service and an affordable price. Games. Therefore, if you are looking to open a bowling alley, make sure that your service is top notch and that all of the games you have listed are aimed at customers. Once customers find you to be consistent, it will be easier for them to be loyal to your brand and thereby help you compete fairly with your target market.
If you want to start your bowling and are wondering about the level of competition you are likely to face in the United States, know that you will not only be competing with bowling centers, but all other forms as well. entertainment, and therefore it is very important. to prepare yourself.
List of famous brands in the bowling industry
The bowling business has been around for a long time and thanks to this many bowling centers have become popular over time. Many factors have contributed to the popularity of brands, especially bowling alleys; number of games offered, quality of service, seniority in the industry, marketing and advertising strategies.
Here are some of the famous bowling alleys in the United States of America;
- alleys of the White House
- Boulmore lanes
- Holler House
- Nordic bowl
- Stroke of luck
- Social punch bowl
- Brooklyn Bowl
- Rose bowl
- National Bowling Stadium
- Brunswick Bowling Center
- All star lanes
- Montrose bowl
- Mission Bowling Club
- Bowl and barrel
Fewer people from average families go to places of entertainment, mainly bowling. Social stratification means that only wealthy households, who can increase their spending, have higher entertainment participation rates than low-income households. This trend began long before the Great Recession and only accelerated after the recession.
On a macro level, the downward trend that prevails in this industry is not working well for the bowling industry, so creative entrepreneurs tend to differentiate themselves into niche services to stand out, and it works.
Bowling is considered both a sport and a form of recreation and has been one of the most popular forms of indoor recreation ever since. social entertainment. This is because most of the families and friends who want to go out and have a good time usually think bowling is here.
There are two types of bowlers, casual bowlers and serious bowlers. Bowlers considered serious are league bowlers, many of whom bowling at least 25 times a year.
Start a game of bowling from scratch or buy a franchise
A bowling alley is a business where an entrepreneur can buy a franchise or open an independent bowling alley from scratch. Neither option is easy for an entrepreneur, so it’s important that you think about the options properly, as both have their pros and cons. ; whichever option you choose last, it should be consistent with your business goals and objectives.
Starting your business from scratch can seem overwhelming to an entrepreneur, so having a business plan is essential as it will help you with your decisions and actions at the start until you gain the experience you need to take. you need. From the start, on the one hand, you control all aspects of your business – from marketing to day-to-day operations.
If, however, you are intending to purchase a franchise, you should make sure that you do a thorough research on existing franchises, their options, their cost, and how well their goals match yours. The advantage of buying a franchise is that you won’t be spending as much on marketing your business.
You should also not be responsible for the prices you charge, the hours of operation, and the promotions your bowling alley must honor. In general, buying a franchise is not a bad thing, especially if you are afraid of making big decisions when starting your business and don’t mind being run by an experienced company.
Threats and potential challenges you will face when starting a bowling business
Threats and challenges are part of the business world, and while some can be easily controlled it can be, for threats and challenges you cannot control, you better hope for the best when they do occur.
Some of the threats and challenges you are about to face when starting a bowling alley; marketing, as it can be overwhelming for a new entrepreneur, competition with alternative sources of entertainment and intense competition with existing bowling alleys in the same area.
Start a legal bowling business
- The best legal entity to use for this type of business
A very serious decision that you will need to make when starting a business in the United States. this is what the entity will suit you best. The legal entity you use for your business can have a positive or negative impact on your business. Different businesses require different legal entities, so you need to know which legal entity is the most suitable for your bowling business.
You will need to use multiple attributes as validation for any legal entity. You intend to opt for your business. Some of the main ones are personal liability, simplicity, taxation, flexibility and access to business loans.
In the United States, there are five types of legal entities; sole proprietorship, partnership, S Corporation, C Corporation and Limited Liability Company (LLC). Most entrepreneurs tend to stick with an LLC because it provides them with what they need for their business. However, if you are unsure of which legal entity is right for your business, it is best to contact a lawyer who can help you.
An LLC promotes most attributes, and not only is it easy to form an LLC, there are several restrictions on how the ownership and management of an LLC can be structured. Also, owners are not taxed twice in an LLC because only profits are taxed once and in an LLC, owners have access to business loans. In the event that a business incurs debts or faces legal action, the personal assets of the owners are safe.
The LLC faces a major downside that your business cannot be publicly traded making it difficult to obtain any type of financing from venture capital firms unless the LLC is transformed into a corporation.
Catchy Business Name Ideas Suitable For Bowling Businesses
Before you make your business legal, it’s important that your business has a personality – a name. Not only does your business name give you the identity you want, it also sets your business apart from the competition. It is important that you choose a memorable brand name for your business so that it is memorable and easy to pronounce.
Here are some catchy company names that are right for your bowling business;
- Fast lanes
- Smart bowling center
- Bowling center for slow drilling
- Bowling center with torrential rain
- Epic bowling
Bowling is considered healthy, clean entertainment for people of all ages, and most centers are generally open every day of the week and close late. Because of this, a number of things can go wrong and so it is always best to have comprehensive insurance policies that will cover whatever may happen to customers or to the employees themselves. If you are unsure of what insurance policies to purchase, it is best to hire an insurance agent or broker to help you.
Here are some of the basic insurance policies you will need for bowling;
- General liability insurance
- Equipment insurance
- Professional liability (errors and omissions)
- Umbrella liability
- Workers’ compensation insurance
- Home Insurance
- Car insurance
- Health insurance
- Liability for alcohol
Protection of intellectual property / registered trademark
Bowling is a playground where people of all ages go for fun through games; So when you start this business, you don’t have to worry about protecting your intellectual property.
This does not mean, however, that there are aspects of your business that should not be championed for your entrepreneur. Protect your company name, logo, domain name or any other material to be protected. Contact a lawyer to help you.
Do i need professional certification to run a bowling business?
Bowling Business Lane is a rewarding business focused on entertainment and as such there are certain expectations that those starting a business or considering doing business must meet, but having a professional certification is not one of them.
This does not mean that you cannot take professional courses in order to obtain certifications in certain aspects that will allow you to better run your business, such as management, marketing and finance; however, they are not considered mandatory for contractors in this industry.
List of legal documents required to run a bowling business
When you start a business in the United States of America, it is better that you have all the necessary documents to run your business, otherwise you will have trouble with the law. If you are not sure what documents you will need, it is best to ask other people who are in the same profession as you, or to use the services of a lawyer to get everything you need. so you can run your business smoothly.
Below are some of the legal documents you will need to operate your bowling alley in the United States of America;
- Registration certificate
- Operating Agreement for LLC
- Basic business license
- Insurance policy
- Business plan
- Self-certification of clean hands
- Tax Identification Number
- Music license
- Certificate of location
- Inspection of the fire marshal
- Alcohol license
- Food processing license
- Bowling license
Finance your bowling business
One of the decisions you will need to make once you have a business idea is where and how to get start-up capital. This is because while you can get start-up capital from many places or individuals, not all of them will be beneficial to your business, so you will need to know which financial source will best give your business the opportunity to grow at the same time. requiring little or no interest.
In addition, before you can take out a loan from a financial institution or private investor, you must have a business plan that allows the investor to see how committed and serious you are to the business. and how you plan to repay the loan once.
Here are some of the financing options available to your bowling alley;
- Use some of your personal savings or stock sale funds as seed money
- Source of concessional loans from wealthy family and friends
- Apply for a loan from a commercial bank
- Private investor partner for start-up capital
- Source of Small Business Administration (SBA) Business Loans
Choosing the right location for your bowling business
Any entrepreneur looking to start a business that will serve a large number of clients knows that the location of the business plays an important role in the success and growth of a business. For example, a bowling alley requires a lot of space, so if you are looking for space, make sure it is large enough for aisles, storage space for bowling gear, and all other extras. and features you expect, if available.
You will need to decide whether to build your bowling alley from scratch or to lease or buy a bowling alley that no longer exists and then do some renovations to start and grow the business. However, if you are building from scratch you will have to factor in the additional costs that you will struggle with, so finding an already existing aisle that has gone out of business or a structure and renovating it will be better for your business in terms of costs. .
When looking for a place to rent a building or build from scratch, it’s best to do a thorough research to find out how many tracks you’ll need. This will, of course, depend on the population density where you want to find your business. The more potential customers you expect, the more leads and other entertainment options will be available.
Make sure that the location you intend to choose for your bowling alley is clearly visible and not too far from the accessible area. No one wants to go too far before they can get pure entertainment, so make sure you are in the center of your target market.
Your best bet would be to partner with a real estate agent who has local knowledge of the area in which you are looking to find your business so that he or she can choose the best location that will be a perfect fit for your bowling business.
First steps with bowling. Technical and personal data
Whether you intend to build your bowling alley from scratch or purchase an existing one, a physical location is essential to be able to run your business. You will need a minimum of 8,000 feet to get an eight lane bowling alley, which can accommodate other additional features. The building should be long and in an easily accessible area with sufficient parking spaces for customers.
Which lanes you can use for your bowling alley depend on your preference as there are many styles of synthetic lanes or natural maple lanes for you to choose from. In addition to new lanes, bowling equipment, racks, balls, shoes, ball drillers, mills, lane conditioners, ball cleaners and pin installers, you will also need stationery and equipment, and other inventory supplies for the extra features you want to add for your business.
Having sufficient capital is very important, as you will need the money to buy equipment to use, as well as to manage it to the point where the business begins to generate income, so that you can manage independently. When looking for a capital raising, you must take into account your legal structure. because some of them will influence the sources you are going to borrow, which will make it impossible.
You will need to create a strong business structure to keep the business running.It is important that you hire someone who knows the industry and also understands your corporate values and goals in order for your goals to be achieved. not be that difficult.
Your employees must be able to work as a team and responsibilities are transferred. Therefore, the ones you will need to hire to help you manage your bowling alley are; Administrator and HR manager, accountant, customer service representative, business development and marketing specialist, track maintenance specialist, league manager, kitchen manager, karaoke DJ, cashier, waitress, bartender, housekeeper and security guard.
From the breakdown above, you will need at least 14 key people to help you run your bowling business effectively.
Bowling Business Service Process
Bowling alleys are excellent places of entertainment that offer bowling alleys and amenities to customers. While many bowling for fun, there are championship games where players can compete against each other both individually and in groups. In addition, the enclosed space allows people to go about their business regardless of the weather, as well as to organize events and parties.
However, nowadays bowling alleys are no longer for those who just want to play, as many successful bowling alleys have been extended to provide customers with a variety of leisure activities as well as catering services. Therefore, the processes involved in bowling are sometimes completely unrelated to bowling.
In addition to participating in surveys related to lane and hall rental, building relationships with bowling league organizers, organizing a bar and providing food; you will also have to struggle with administrative or managerial responsibilities.
Starting a business marketing plan for a bowling center
- Marketing ideas and strategies
Marketing is the primary means for businesses to generate income that will support and grow their business, enabling it to achieve its goals and objectives. Marketing involves anticipating and knowing the needs of your target market, and then striving to meet them.
Because of the power of marketing, entrepreneurs are always careful about the strategies they create and the extent to which it can be tailored to their needs. general goals and objectives. Marketing also ensures that you not only reach your target market, but you can also create the right brand awareness and get your fair share of your business.
Creating the right marketing strategies requires careful market research as it allows you to study your market in depth to find out who your target market is, what they are asking you and what you should expect from them as well. It will also let you know who your competition is. , their main strengths and weaknesses and how you can manipulate the former for the benefit of your business.
One thing that you should keep in mind when trying to create effective marketing strategies is the location of your business. A good location is a marketing strategy in and of itself, so unless you are in a location that can easily market your business, you may need to do some additional marketing, which is likely to cost you more.
If you feel that you will be overwhelmed by creating these marketing strategies on your own, you can seek the help of a marketing consultant who has the knowledge of your industry and the experience to create marketing strategies. winning for you. Alternatively, you can hire highly experienced marketers to help you create the right marketing strategies that match your business goals.
Here are some ideas and marketing strategies you can use for your bowling business;
- advertise in local newspapers and magazines, as well as radio and television stations at your bowling alley
- empower the business development and marketing manager: physical source of customers for your bowling alley
- Create a user-friendly website and promote your bowling alley.
- Advertise your bowling alley on your social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat
- Make sure your bowling alley is listed in the yellow pages as well as in online directories
- Distribution of flyers and flyers on your bowling alley in strategic locations
Possible Ways To Increase Your Customers Saving For Your Bowling Business
Every customer-centric business knows how important it is not only to attract the right customers, but also to ensure that a large number of those customers stay loyal to their business – and that’s because customers ensure the right customers. sustainability and business growth. When your business has a large number of customers, you are likely to continue to be in business, even if you spend less than companies that continue to attract customers but retain few or no customers.
The bowling world is the one that has saturated and that’s because customers have found other ways to be entertained at home without going out, especially with the advent of the internet. The few customers who go bowling may not return if they find the quality of service poor. Therefore, it is important that your employees know the importance of customers and treat them fairly.
While it’s important to replenish your seed capital and start making a profit, it shouldn’t lead you to overestimate your customers. If there are other bowling alleys near you, try them out and make sure you charge rates that are inherently competitive, but that won’t lead you to run your business at a loss.
Give incentives. Customers love rewards and you can cut rates once a month or run some promotional offers, making sure they get a discount if they bring a friend or colleague to your bowling alley. Be consistent in your incentives so that customers can look forward to what you have to offer and therefore stick with your business.
Bowling center brand awareness and corporate identity strategies
Any entrepreneur who starts a business knows how important it is to create strategies that will promote a company’s brand and spread the company’s identity to its target market. Any business that does not pay enough attention to advertising can lose revenue relative to its competitors, because in addition to awareness, another added benefit of advertising is the fact that through awareness, the business can generate revenue. income. Moreover, through advertising, an entrepreneur can effectively enter the market and not only receive a fair share, but also compete fairly with his competitors.
The bowling alley business is not a new or growing business and therefore there are several players in the industry and it can be very difficult to stand out as a newbie so you will need strategies to someone who knows the industry. Make sure the advertising consultants’ strategies are aligned with your business goals and objectives.
It is important that you set aside budget when creating your advertising strategies to avoid overspending and straining your overall budget. It is important to note that while some strategies will cost you dearly, others will not particularly, because the Internet allows entrepreneurs to be creative in promoting their business.
Here are some strategies you can use to build awareness of your brand and create a corporate identity for your bowling alley;
- Make sure to create family events to positively promote your brand to one of your best customers
- Install attractive signage outside your bowling alley to attract potential customers
- Take part in local community events and even organize charity events for free at your bowling alley.
- Start a bowling challenge for different age groups to market your bowling alley
- Take advantage of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat to promote your bowling business
- Encourage loyal customers to attract others to your business by offering them group discounts