Start an archery range by following these 10 steps:
You have found the perfect business idea, and now you are ready to take the next step. There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple guide to starting your archery range. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
Check out our How to Start a Business page.
STEP 1: Plan your business
A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:
- What are the startup and ongoing costs?
- Who is your target market?
- How much can you charge customers?
- What will you name your business?
Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.
What are the costs involved in opening an archery range?
You must procure the land where the range will be located. Your business requires liability insurance along with equipment like bows, arrows, targets, barriers/nets, bow racks. You will also need a cash register and employees.
What are the ongoing expenses for an archery range?
An archery range requires staff, insurance, equipment, a facility, and advertising. Employees will likely earn between $8 and $12 per hour. However, if you have an on-site instructor who provides lessons, he will likely earn between $15 and $30 an hour. An accountant, advertising professional, and range manager will command salaries in the range of $30,000 to $50,000 per year. Budget in at least $100 to $200 per month for equipment and maintenance. If you purchase the property where the facility is located, you won't have to worry about monthly rent. If you rent, the site will cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 per month. Advertising costs vary by each unique business. However, the typical archery range spends about $100 to $500 per month for marketing.
Who is the target market?
The ideal client type is a beginning archer who is learning how to shoot. It is possible to secure the business of an entire family that is attempting to learn the nuances of archery as a group. Some schools lack the equipment or space necessary for archery practice and will rely on a local archery range for their practice sessions. Each of these customers is ideal as they are inclined to return for several visits to gradually master the art of archery. Such additional visits represent the opportunity to make a considerable profit.
How does an archery range make money?
Archery ranges charge customers to shoot arrows at targets. Some archery ranges charge by the arrow while others charge by the minute, hour, or session.
How much can you charge customers?
Some archery ranges charge per minute of shooting. Others charge by the number of arrows shot. Some charge a monthly fee for unlimited access. Guided instruction carries its own unique fees. If you charge by minute, aim to charge between twenty cents and forty cents per minute. Guided instruction should run about $25 per hour.
How much profit can an archery range make?
The amount of profit this business can make hinges on a wide array of factors. It is possible to make between $20,000 and $50,000 the first year. Continue to build the business, add new locations, and the profit level can rise toward six figures per year.
How can you make your business more profitable?
Consider providing customers with the opportunity to take archery lessons on-site. Employ an archery expert and charge customers an hourly rate for each archery lesson. You can also make money by selling bows, arrows, targets, gloves, vests, and other archery-related items. Consider adding vending machines on-site to make additional money.
What will you name your business?
Choosing the right name is important and challenging. If you don’t already have a name in mind, visit our How to Name a Business guide or get help brainstorming a name with our Archery Range Name Generator
When registering a business name, we recommend researching your business name by checking:
- Your state's business records
- Federal and state trademark records
- Social media platforms
- Web domain availability.
It's very important to secure your domain name before someone else does.
STEP 2: Form a legal entity
Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your archery range is sued.
Form Your LLC
Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC
Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services. You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.
STEP 3: Register for taxes
You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!
You can acquire your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our article, What is an EIN?.
Small Business Taxes
Depending on which business structure you choose, you might have different options for how your business will be taxed. For example, some LLCs could benefit from being taxed as an S corporation (S corp).
You can learn more about small business taxes in these guides:
There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.
STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
Additionally, learning how to build business credit can help you get credit cards and other financing in your business's name (instead of yours), better interest rates, higher lines of credit, and more.
Open a business bank account
- This separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- It also makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank, credit union, business-loan friendly banks, one with many brick-and-mortar locations, and more.
Open net-30 accounts
When it comes to establishing your business credit, net-30 vendors are considered the way to go. The term "net-30," which is popular among vendors, refers to a business credit arrangement where the company pays the vendor within 30 days of receiving goods or services.
Net-30 credit terms are often used for businesses that need to obtain inventory quickly but do not have the cash on hand.
Besides establishing business relationships with vendors, net-30 credit accounts get reported to the major business credit bureaus (Dun & Bradstreet, Experian Business, and Equifax Business Credit). This is how businesses build business credit so they can qualify for credit cards and other lines of credit.
Recommended: Read our guide on the best net-30 vendors so you can start building business credit now, so you never have to worry about cash flow in the future. Keep in mind that poor cash flow is the #1 reason businesses fail!
Get a business credit card
- This helps you separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- It also builds your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money and investment later on.
STEP 5: Set up business accounting
Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses
Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
State & Local Business Licensing Requirements
Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate an archery range business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.
Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.
For information about local licenses and permits:
- Check with your town, city or county clerk’s office
- Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources.
Release of Liability
To avoid liability and potential lawsuits, archery businesses should have their clients sign waivers. Here is an example of one such form.
Recommended: Rocket Lawyer makes it easy to create a professional release of liability form for your archery range when you sign up for their premium membership. For $39.95 per month, members receive access to hundreds of legal agreements and on call attorneys to get complimentary legal advice.
Certificate of Occupancy
An archery range business is generally run out of a warehouse. Businesses operating out of a physical location typically require a Certificate of Occupancy (CO). A CO confirms that all building codes, zoning laws and government regulations have been met.
- If you plan to lease a location:
- It is generally the landlord’s responsibility to obtain a CO.
- Before leasing, confirm that your landlord has or can obtain a valid CO that is applicable to an archery range business.
- After a major renovation, a new CO often needs to be issued. If your place of business will be renovated before opening, it is recommended to include language in your lease agreement stating that lease payments will not commence until a valid CO is issued.
- If you plan to purchase or build a location:
- You will be responsible for obtaining a valid CO from a local government authority.
- Review all building codes and zoning requirements for your business’ location to ensure your archery range business business will be in compliance and able to obtain a CO.
STEP 7: Get business insurance
Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.
There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.
Learn more about General Liability Insurance.
Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.
STEP 8: Define your brand
Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners, we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.
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How to promote & market an archery range
It is a good idea to gear a large portion of your marketing to youngsters. Plenty of adults are unwilling to try new things. However, kids are comparably curious. These youngsters have likely seen archery on TV and desire to give it a try. Advertise on Facebook, search engines, and in local papers/magazines. Frame your business as family-friendly to encourage entire families to come on out for a shooting session at the archery range. Emphasize the safety measures you have in place so parents do not worry about whether allowing their kids to shoot arrows is a safe activity. Make sure your website is easy to use, looks polished and lists all of your pricing options.
How to keep customers coming back
The average person is a bit hesitant to try archery. This is due to the fact that archery has not yet spilled into the mainstream. However, once someone tries archery, the odds are good that he will return for subsequent shooting sessions. Sell the fun factor of the experience. If your range is outdoors, use pictures of sunny days and happy, smiling customers in your ads. If people are convinced that archery is a way to have fun, they will be willing to give it a try.
In terms of retaining customers, key in on customer education. If customers fail to gradually improve their shooting skills, they probably won't return beyond half a dozen visits to the range. Have a staff member on-hand at all times to help customers master their shooting technique. Hitting archery targets on a consistent basis is much more rewarding than rarely hitting them or missing the altogether. Consider writing an archery newsletter with tips, tricks, and insights pertaining to the sport. Make it available for free at the local library and at your facility. Be sure to brand the newsletter with your range's name and logo.
STEP 9: Create your business website
After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.
While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.
Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:
- All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
- Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
- Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.
Using our website building guides, the process will be simple and painless and shouldn’t take you any longer than 2-3 hours to complete.
STEP 10: Set up your business phone system
Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.
There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use.
Recommended: Find the best phone system for your business; check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2021.
Start An Archery Range In Your State
Select your state below for an in-depth guide on completing each of these steps in your home state.
Is this Business Right For You?
This business is ideal for someone who has a true passion for archery and shooting in general. If you favor sports and activities that put an emphasis on accuracy and pinpoint precision, an archery range business is right up your alley.
Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?
Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!
What happens during a typical day at an archery range?
An archery range owner typically handles a wide range of activities in the averagebusiness day. He sets the staff's hours, checks the condition of the range, researches new archery equipment, makes equipment purchases, delegates work to staff and ensures customers are satisfied with their range experience. Some archery range business owners also act as the range manager. These individuals interview prospective employees, perform reviews of current employees, and deal with customer complaints and inquiries.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful archery range?
Establish relationships with equipment suppliers. Press the flesh with those who own such equipment businesses as well as their sales representatives. These relationships can lead to discounts on archery equipment as well as first dibs on new items. The friendships you form within the industry have the potential to carry your archery range business a long way.
Your marketing savvy also matters a great deal. If people do not know that there is an archery range business within a reasonable drive of their home, they won't even consider spending money at your range. The manner in which you market the business is of the utmost importance. Market in the right places with the proper target audience in mind and your archery range business will rake in the cash.
What is the growth potential for an archery range?
Interest is gradually building in archery. This business has the potential to grow quite quickly in the coming years. If your archery range is located in an area that has plenty of families, there is a good chance the youngsters in those families will express an interest in archery. Situate your archery range in such a location and there is a good chance it will grow at a fast pace in the ensuing months, years, and decades.
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Take the Next Step
Find a business mentor
One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.
Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.
Resources to Help Women in Business
There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:
If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.
What are some insider tips for jump starting an archery range?
Archery is not an extremely popular sport so it will require some patience to build momentum in your favor. Educate the public about how fun and rewarding archery is. Consider giving new customers a half-price discount on their first visit. Reducing this “barrier to entry” will motivate people to give archery a chance. Those who try archery at least once are much more inclined to return to the range for subsequent visits. Be sure to offer a wide array of target styles, terrains, and shooting distances. This way, customers will have plenty of shooting options.
How and when to build a team
Build your team right away. There is only so much an archery range business owner can do on his own in the early stages of the business. Hire employees to man the front counter, answer the phone, accept payment, teach customers how to shoot, and maintain the facility. You can handle the accounting and advertising duties in the first couple of months or even the first year. However, as the business grows, you will likely have to add an advertising guru along with a professional accountant and possibly a range manager.