How to Start a Football Bowling Business

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Our guide on starting a football bowling business covers all the essential information to help you decide if this business is a good match for you. Learn about the day-to-day activities of a football bowling business owner, the typical target market, growth potential, startup costs, legal considerations, and more!

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Start a football bowling business by following these 9 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 step guide to starting your football bowling business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.

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 initial costs?
  • Who is your target market?
  • How long it will take you to break even?
  • What will you name your business?

Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you. Skip on ahead to the Business Overview for more detailed answers to all your questions.

Choosing the right name is very important. We recommend checking if the business name you choose is available as a web domain and securing it early so no one else can take it.

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STEP 2: Form a legal entity

Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC prevents you from being personally liable if your football bowling business is sued. Consider using a registered agent service to help protect your privacy and stay compliant.

STEP 3: Register for taxes

You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.

STEP 4: Open a business bank account

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.

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.

STEP 7: Get Business Insurance

Insurance is highly recommended for all business owners. If you hire employees, workers compensation insurance may be a legal requirement in your state.

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.

STEP 9: Establish your Web Presence

A business website allows customers to learn more about your company and the products or services you offer. You can also use social media to attract new clients or customers.

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Select your state below for an in-depth guide on completing each of these steps in your home state.

Business Overview

A football bowling business provides space and equipment for football bowling. Football bowling, also known as bombowling, is a game that combines aspects of football and bowling. Football bowling businesses are similar to bowling alleys, except they provide equipment and space for football bowling rather than ordinary bowling. In football bowling, opponents try to knock over each other’s pins by throwing a football.

Who is this business right for?

Anyone who likes to have a good time and connect with people might enjoy running a football bowling business. The game brings together groups and is highly social, and it helps to have a business owner who’s also social.

What happens during a typical day at a football bowling business?

Running a footballl bowling business involves many day-to-day activities, including:

  • welcoming customers and explaining the rule of the game
  • ensuring all equipment is in good working order
  • cleaning the business’ facility
  • serving customers food and drinks
  • taking care of any customer needs

(Many businesses have a restaurant and/or bar.)

When not directly interacting with customers or cleaning their facility, business owners spend time managing employees, paying bills and marketing their business.

What is the target market?

A football bowling business’ ideal customer is a group of people who are looking to enjoy a social activity together. Company groups, wedding parties, and sports teams who are going out not only have multiple people to pay for, but they’re more likely to splurge on food and drinks than individuals are.

How does a football bowling business make money?

A football bowling business makes money by charging customers to play the game, which is done on lanes (just like a bowling alley, although the lanes look slightly different). Customers may rent lanes by the hour, or they might pay on a per-game basis.

What is the growth potential for a football bowling business?

Most football bowling businesses have just one location. For instance, The Hub Stadium has one location in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

There’s nothing stopping a football bowling business from expanding by opening additional locations, however. These would likely be opened in other cities, as the game is not yet popular enough to warrant multiple locations in a single area.

What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful football bowling business?

Football bowling business owners should first be familiar with the rules of the game. They don’t need to be able to throw a bonk (knocking only the middle pin over) every time, but they need to know how the game is played

Business owners should also be well-versed in many aspects of business. Running a football bowling business is a multi-faceted undertaking that usually involves all of the following:

  • providing excellent customer service
  • preparing and serving food and beverages
  • managing employees
  • maintaining a facility

Business owners who need help in any of these areas may want to take a course in the specific area they need to grow. Community colleges, four-year universities and online educational programs offer courses in all aspects of business. 

What are the costs involved in opening a football bowling business?

The startup costs associated with opening a football bowling business are substantial. The largest expense is the cost of acquiring a facility.

Business owners can save money on a location by purchasing or leasing space in a warehouse. Warehouses are large enough to put in football bowling lanes, and they’re usually in lower-rent districts.

Other startup expenses include the cost of wood for lanes, bowling pins, and footballs. Insurance premiums and employees’ wages will also need to be paid.

Where can I 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.

What are some insider tips for jump starting a football bowling business?

Football bowling is a relatively new game in many areas. This means there’s great opportunity, but it also can make getting customers in the door challenging. Football bowling businesses can entice customers to come by offering free games. Once customers play a couple of games, they’ll likely purchase food or drinks -- which will make up for the cost of the free games. They’ll also likely come back to play more in the future.

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Growing Your Business

How to promote & market a football bowling business

One of the most effective ways to promote a new football bowling business is by getting customers to share their experiences on social media. Offering discounts on games, food or drinks if people post updates on social media platforms can generate a lot of online visibility.

Recommended: Get started with local advertising for your business with a $300 credit from Yelp.

How to keep customers coming back

A football bowling business can keep people coming back by offering a great experience. The game itself is unique, but it’s also important to provide a fun atmosphere so that customers continue to have a great time between games. Playing sports games on televisions or having live music are two ways to improve a facility's atmosphere.

How and when to build a team

Football bowling businesses are typically open for long hours. For example, the Hub Stadium is open from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. during the week, and later on the weekend. In order to be open as much as possible, it’s necessary to have a staff from the outset. Businesses should have at least several employees before opening. (Employees are often paid minimum wage or just above, so hiring a staff isn’t too expensive.

Legal Considerations

State & Local Business Licensing Requirements

Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a football bowling 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 more information about local licenses and permits:

Maintain Personal Asset Protection

Don’t think that just forming an LLC, or any other type of business, will save your personal assets in case of a lawsuit or other matter by itself.

When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your LLC is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.

Two of the simplest steps that will protect your business, and yourself, are to:

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.

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.
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To learn more about maintaining your LLC's corporate veil, read our guide and protect your personal assets.

Food Regulations

When selling food, you will need licensing from a local health department; all establishments serving food are required to pass a health inspection. Tips for faring well on a health inspections

There are federal regulations regarding what can and cannot be added to, sold as, and processed with food. Attached is a resource from the Food and Drug Administration detailing the process of starting a food business: How to Start a Food Business.

Liquor Licensing

Businesses involved in the sale of alcoholic beverages are required to obtain a liquor license from the appropriate state or local agency. A comprehensive list of laws by state (including necessary licenses, zoning laws, etc), curated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, is included here.

Music Licensing

In order to play music in a business setting, permission must be acquired from the composer or license holder. Typically, it is possible to obtain a “blanket” license allowing a businesses to play music owned by a large catalog of artists and recording studios. Such licenses can be obtained from Performance Rights Organizations, such as ASCAP or BMI.

Certificate of Occupancy

A football bowling 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 a football bowling 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 football bowling business will be in compliance and able to obtain a CO.

Earning Potential

How much can you charge customers?

The Hub Stadium charges $60 per hour to reserve a football bowling lane. Several people will typically compete against each other on teams, so this works out to an affordable per-person rate. It also brings in a decent revenue for a business.

What are the ongoing expenses for a football bowling business?

The ongoing expenses for a football bowling business include rent, utilities, insurance premiums and employees’ wages. Equipment only occasionally needs to be replaced, and it’s inexpensive to get a new football or bowling pin.

How much profit can a football bowling business make?

How much a football bowling business can make depends directly on how many hours it can book its lanes. At $60 per hour, however, businesses don’t need to book a lot of lanes to bring in thousands of dollars each week.

How can you make your business more profitable?

As mentioned, many football bowling businesses have a restaurant and/or bar in order to increase revenue.

Offering food and drinks boosts profitability in two ways. First, a business will make money from any food and drinks that are sold. Second, offering good food and drinks ensures people don’t leave because they’re hungry or thirsty. At $60 per hour, having a group leave earlier than planned because they want some food is extremely costly.

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