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A Fowling business provides space and equipment for Fowling. Fowling is a game that combines aspects of football and bowling. Fowling businesses are similar to bowling alleys, except they provide equipment and space for Fowling rather than bowling. In Fowling, opponents try to knock over each other’s pins by throwing a football. The game very much combines components of football and bowling.
Following is a trademarked name of the game that was created by Chris Hutt, as Business Insider reports. Businesses that use the name must have the necessary permissions to do so. Some businesses offer the same or similar gameplay under the name bombowling.
Who is this business right for?
Anyone who likes to have a good time and connect with people might enjoy running a Fowling 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 fowling business?
Running a Fowling 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 Fowling 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 fowling business make money?
A Fowling 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 fowling business?
Most Fowling businesses have just one location. For instance, Fowling Warehouse has a single location in Hamtramck, Michigan, and The Hub Stadium has one location in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
There’s nothing stopping a Fowling business from expanding by opening additional locations, however. Additional locations would likely be opened in other cities.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful fowling business?
Fowling business owners should first be familiar with the rules of Fowling. 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. Fowling.org has the official rules of Fowling posted online.
Business owners should also be well-versed in many aspects of business. Running a Fowling 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 fowling business?
The startup costs associated with opening a Fowling business are substantial. The largest expenses are the cost of acquiring a facility and paying to use the name “Fowling.”
Business owners can save money on a location by purchasing or leasing space in a warehouse. Warehouses are large enough to put in Fowling lanes, and they’re usually in lower-rent districts.
Business owners can avoid paying name rights to Christ Hutt’s company by not using Fowling. bombowling isn’t a trademarked term and, therefore, doesn’t cost anything to use. In Michigan, the state where Hutt created Fowling, using bombowling may reduce a business’ marketing power. In other states where Fowling isn’t as popular yet, opting for bombowling likely won’t hurt a business as much.
Other startup expenses include the cost wood for lanes, bowling pins and footballs. Insurance premiums and employees’ wages will also need to be paid.
What are some insider tips for jump starting a fowling business?
Fowling 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. Fowling 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.
How to promote & market a fowling business
One of the most effective ways to promote a new Fowling 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.
How to keep customers coming back
A Fowling 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
Fowling 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.
State & Local Business Licensing Requirements
Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a fowling 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, check out our informative guide, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.
For more 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.
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.
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.
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 fowling 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 fowling 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 fowling business will be in compliance and able to obtain a CO.
How much can you charge customers?
The Hub Stadium charges $60 per hour to reserve a Fowling 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 fowling business?
The ongoing expenses for a Fowling 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 fowling business make?
How much a Fowling 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 Fowling businesses have a restaurant and/or bar in order to increase revenue. The Fowling Warehouse has even made its bar a central part of the business, offering over 180 different beers to customers.
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.