Author: Cassie Scott
Are you trying to pass the time before bowhunting season returns? Don’t wait for something to happen. Boost your profits by staying proactive and productive.
Let’s review five ways to attract customers during your offseason. Warning: These strategies might make your “slow season” fly by.
TechnoHunt simulators are a great way to add a fun element to your shop. Photo Credit: Mack's Camo Connection
Host Archery Leagues
Archers like to practice regularly to improve their skills. Leagues offer those opportunities and more. They’re great for making recreational archery fun and exciting. Leagues can also boost revenues. Try offering a few options, such as a men’s league, women’s league or couples’ league to cover your customers’ varying interests.
Dale Nelson Jr., owner of Mack’s Camo Connection in Atwood, Tennessee, hosts a least one league night and one “fun shoot” night weekly year-round. Nelson said leagues are great for competitive customers, while “fun shoots” provide a relaxing, no-pressure atmosphere. “Fun shoots” also help prepare newcomers for competitive leagues. Mack also runs a Vegas league, which uses Vegas 3-Spot Targets.
Not sure where to start? Read the ATA’s article “Retailers: Planning Fun Archery Shoots and Tourneys” to create fun, memorable experiences for your customers. Still stumped? The National Field Archery Association, an ATA partner, offers a league program to help retailers and archery clubs start indoor and outdoor leagues.
Teach a Turkey Hunting Class
Spring means turkey hunting. Give your customers and community an educational opportunity with a “Turkey Hunting Tips and Tricks” class. You can share basic turkey-calling strategies, teach them to field dress a turkey, and much more.
You can also partner with clubs, organizations or sportsmen’s groups to co-host a class. Sharing duties with a partner reduces stress and increases productivity as you feed off your partner’s knowledge. Invite a National Wild Turkey Federation biologist to your shop. Their expertise can attract larger crowds. Participants often buy gear while visiting your shop.
Get people interested in Explore Bowfishing, something you can enjoy in the warm weather. Photo credit: ATA
Offer an Explore Bowfishing Program
Bowfishing is often best in late spring and summer, which means now is a great time to run an Explore Bowfishing program. Explore Bowfishing is an ATA program that helps retailers, educators and program leaders teach basic bowfishing skills. The program helps recruit archers, reactivate lapsed anglers and bowhunters, and create gateways into bowhunting deer, turkeys and other game. The Explore Bowfishing curriculum is free to ATA members. Contact Nicole Nash, ATA’s manager of range and retail programs, for course outlines, the curriculum book and other materials.
Invest in a Digital Training System
Nelson bought an interactive archery system for his shop at the 2018 ATA Trade Show to broaden his range offerings. His customers love it, and use it often during the offseason. Nelson said it also attracts customers who never use his regular lanes.
“Its dueling score-keeping capabilities make it fun for all people and skill levels,” Nelson said. He also likes its wide range of videos, which prepare hunters for different game species by helping them learn effective kill zones and angles. “It’s much more than a simple game.”
Many digital training systems and simulators attract customers, but they’re expensive. With proper marketing, Nelson thinks it’s a great investment.
“It’s been worth the price,” Nelson said. “It isn’t hard to make this system pay for itself with planning and advertising. I highly recommend pumping as much advertising into it as possible. We use it for leagues, team shoots, summer tournaments and other things.”
Do some research to learn if an interactive archery system will work for your business. If it’s in demand for your area – and fits your buying and marketing budget – Nelson suggests pricing it slightly above your usual lane price to coax archers to try it. Chances are, they’ll be hooked!
Sales help you turnover old inventory and generate traffic at the same time. Photo Credit: Unsplash
Hold an “End-of-Winter Sale”
If you have extra inventory, price it for a sale. Good deals tempt people to buy because they’re saving money. If you hold an “End-of-Winter Sale,” you’ll attract customers near and far.
To make the sale more effective, organize inventory in $5, $10 and $20 segments to fit everyone’s budget. Then, refresh your memory on each product’s features, and prepare your sales pitch. Offer specials on your range time, too. A two-for-one special on bow rentals or range time encourages customers to bring friends and expand your customer base. Learn more about the art of selling here.
Still have downtime? Read these articles to learn more slow-season tactics for boosting business.
If you have questions about anything in this article, please contact Nicole Nash at (502) 640-0944 or firstname.lastname@example.org.