1911Forum banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,261 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
When you visit your local shooting range what services would you like to have available? I am thinking about opening a range and would like the members input to see if it is feasible.
Clean range,good ventilation,reloading supplies, factory ammo, guns for sale, gunsmith services, training classes, etc. What would keep you interested in coming back?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
504 Posts
Air Conditioning.

A great selection of military surplus goods, firearms and ammo.

A lounge tv/area to kick back and relax during breaks.

Discount for transfers.

Website with forum.

Events or shooting contests.

I'll add more when I think of more.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
504 Posts
Parker Dean said:
Above all else a staff that is helpful, pleasant to deal with and most of all niether judgemental nor arrogant.
AND KNOWLEDGABLE ABOUT ALL THE PRODUCTS IN THE INVENTORY!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Cleaning tables. Good coffeepot. Free or deeply discounted spousal instruction, i.e. bring your wife and we'll teach her to shoot while you do your own thing on the range. Kind of like Home Depot does. Airgun range for kids. Toilets with shelf for carry gun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,108 Posts
Have discount days (like half off wednesdays, or kids shot free thurs)

Also, very important is to have a big variety of guns to shoot. Keep them clean and well lubed so they rarely malfunction (those are the most annoying to rent and have it jam up all the time).

Sometimes people wan to look for a new gun to buy, they usually stop by the range to see what guns they have to rent so they can try it out. It'll work.

A good selection of firearms to sell. After all, who knows, after joe shmoe rents your gun and really likes it, he might buy one also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
Two very successful ranges where I live have :

1) A Wide selection of fireams that could be "rented" -- The firearms that are rented are used and kept in good condition. This is also an incentive for the range when the shooter would like to purchase a gun but can decide which one! My Range features the following Arms in Revolvers & Semi Autos : KAHR - Colt - GLOCK - S&W - Beretta - Sig Sauer - Kimber - Browning - Ruger - Desert Research - etc., and an Assortment Of Long Arms.
Satisfied shooters usually purchase from the Range where they are a Member. Offer discounts to member that purchase firearms & Accessories from you. Everyone likes a deal!

2) Onsite Certified Range Master/Instructor & Gun Smith - Improves profits and draws new shooters.

3) An Assortment of Holsters Leather - Kydex - Gun Cases - Hearing Proctection - Eyewear - Gun Tools - Ammo.

4) Offer Family Rates - L.E.O. Rates - This will also draw members.

5) Offer classes in Armed Self Defense & Unarmed Self Defense

6) Toilet Facilities where members have access to washing up after shooting

7) A area to "Socialize" with other members with a few soft chairs - TV - Coffe Pot

8) A small Snack Bar -- can increase profits.

9) Shooting Competitions

10) A "Shoot -- Don't Shoot" Hogans Alley for training

11) A Sand Box For Loading & Unloading when entering & leaving the Range

12) Stand Up Lockers to secure Jackets & Non Shooting Items -- especially during the Fall & Winter.

13) Offer an Eddie Eagle N.R.A. Program for Children

14) Build a Video/CD Library with : Instructional Shooting Videos - Gun Smithing - Armed Defense For Home - Competition Shooting - Combat Shooting - Etc.

You can have a Video/CD Viewing Night or you can rent these Videos/CDs' and offer previously viewed Tapes/CDs' at a discount as well as sell new ones.

15) Have a "Ladies Night" during the week were ladies don't pay a range fee or offer an introductory firearms course for ladies.

16) Have an area to clean you gun after shooting. Members must bring their own cleaning supplies or purchase them from you.


Above all have personnel familiar with the Type of Firearms you Stock & Loan. Good customer service and patient friendly
staff insure repeat business.

**Never hire a "wannabe" Law Enforcement Officer. You're familiar with the type : Would've - Could've - Should've been a Cop but wasn't. Knows everything but doen't know Jack and is Cocky and Arrogant to boot! This will ruin your business quicker than you can say, I.R.S. or A.T.F.B.!**


The lounge equipment (chairs - tables) - lockers (many schools get rid of older lockers - spray paint can't do a lot!) can be picked up at liquidations - auctions - yard sales.

Encourage members to bring into their older copies of shooting & hunting magazines to recirculate them among the members or Lleave them to be read in the "lounge area."

Make sure your "points" are wide enough to accomodate shooters. Stock the range area with a "squeegee type broom" and buckets or 5 gallon cans and ask that member "police" their brass before leaving.

Above all KEEP ACCURATE RECORDS! This can make or break your business.



P.S. One Range had a Pool Table for members to amuse themselves while waiting for a point or a team member.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
If it's an indoor range, air quality is IME of increasing concern among regular shooters. Elevated lead levels in the blood are a real result of shooting indoors regularly and show up clearly in the blood if you ask for the test. While I know old-time shooters who probably have really high lead levels without any apparent ill effects, it is clearly not a good thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
aside from a safe, clean range.. the number one thing is a staff that is courteous and helpful to ALL customers.. not just 'friends of the employees'

a range that will allow you to shoot at any distance between 10 and 50 yards.. some places I've been to require a minimum 50 foot distance.. sorry, but that won't work for a lot of people
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
257 Posts
One of the complaints that I have is smoking. We have a range down the street but we can't ever go there because it's filled with cigarette smoke. make the place non-smoking only.

I'd suggest offering a number of free passes with membership so members can bring friends along a few times. It might even end up creating more business for you.

One thing that bothers me, but it may be a sound business practice, is that most ranges charge "per person" rather than "per lane". Two people who go to the range together and may want to "share" the lane still have to pay full price. Maybe you can charger by the lane or offer a discount if you are sharing a lane with a friend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Shooting Range Amenities

First & foremost: make a profit, so I can shoot there 5 years from now!

The folks above have listed a whole bunch of things that might attract & keep customers. Implement what you can afford to, as you can afford it, as it makes (business) sense.
--
Some of the suggestions require very little expenditure, but have a great impact on the "customer friendliness" of the range. Some, like having a space/place/table to clean weapons, are likely to make you $$$ when shooters run outta supplies or forget to bring some. Your inventory will be the easiest & closest to access.
--
For YOUR benefit: a solvent/parts cleaning tank. Keep those renatl guns (acceptably) clean & running with a minimum of fuss. The solvent tanks use, I believe, mineral spirits. Other options are straight kerosene, Ed's Red (minus the acetone--it'll evaporate real quick from an open solvent tank). Also, an air compressor to blow off the guns after cleaning. The solvent tank/air compressor combo has to be used to be appreciated.
--
Good luck with your venture.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
315 Posts
The thing I miss most is an afordable publically accessable range to shoot at.. Most of the Ranges around me are going Members only, and prices keep going up.. There is only one local indoor range, and its unfrendly staff and cramped shooting area make it a non shooting winter for me.. Tables behind the shooter for range bag etc.. would be a huge pluss.. I like the locker idea too.. Also a live ammo disposal container would be nice.. Also offering free cardboard is noce, You will find if oyu have an area for cardboard and supplies, people will fill them as well as use them. It be really nice to see more pin shoots too..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
152 Posts
A clean well lit, sanitary and comfortable bathroom for the ladies. Attract the women and you will be successful.

Everything else is just BS.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
294 Posts
Everything mentioned above plus- Competetive prices on range time, guns, ammo & accessories. We all check catalog & internet prices, and know the fair market value of various items. If you can manage to compete with the on line dealers, you'll move more stuff. Maybe toss in temporary memberships/ range time with gun purchases.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
877 Posts
Sounds like it's going to be indoor . . .

I second the need for modern plumbing and a bathroom, preferably with handicapped access. Having two (one for each sex) will help a lot with female shooters!

I would prefer that the range NOT be limited to narrow lanes. If you can, a setup where you can run indoor USPSA/IPSC and IDPA matches would be very good for business. It's possible to arrange things so that you have the option of having everyone in lanes, but then you can move stuff out of the way and have a big open space (or two or three). It would also allow you much more freedom for onsite training activities. For the people who can safely draw from the holster and move, there needs to be a place where they can do it.

Reactive steel targets would be good.

Moving targets (like "chargers") would be good.

Having at least one area where you can fire centerfire rifles would be good.

Competitions are always good, both informal as well as the more organized sports like USPSA/IPSC and IDPA. Leagues seem to work well with indoor ranges as well.

Offer as many training opportunities as possible, from basic gun safety to CCW training to advanced tactics and shooting stuff. In that regard, a small classroom would be very helpful too. It could double as a place where you could put snack machines, drinks, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,261 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Well I really have to thank all the responders to this thread. I bought the range today and will go to settlement by the end of the year. I will use alot of your suggestions and if your ever in the Bristol,Pa. area stop in and pop some caps. We will be a full service shopand welcome visitors. Joe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
547 Posts
I think a good Gun shop/range should foster loyalty from regulars that are good for the store. Many regulars however are not good for the store and that is the rub.

Once a customer becomes very educated about guns they have to be handled carefully. They will want deals and items not commonly stocked. It is hard to maintain profit percentages if your customer base has to many of these guys. I used to call then into the office and level with them.

Something like this.......
Look Joe here is the deal, You buy an number of guns every year and we have become friends and our relationship has changed. I don't like to haggel prices with you because it just does not feel right any more. So here is the deal. I will tell all my sales guys about you and you get 10 percent off any regularly priced gun and 15% off any other items. Labor you pay full price but I will move you to the front of the line. I do this because we are friends and I want to sell you all your guns. This price is for you not your friends, not even your wife. Just you. Could I sell you stuff cheaper? Yes, but I have a number of friends that are also customers and if I sell any cheaper I can not stay in business.

I dont want to do transfers for you. I will order any gun you want at a fair price as we have disscussed. But Joe if I do a transefer on a gun I can order and sell you it takes away from my business and that is why I am here. My family and my employees depend on this.

I will order guns for you with out deposit, but you don't control my inventory choices. You order it and its yours. Stick me with a gun I don't stock and we have a problem. I will be truthful to you and stand behind my promises. I expect the same from you. make your payments on time, don't bounce checks and buy what you order.

When I did this every once in a while that would not be good enough. But thoses guys will kill you any way.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top