Beyond Bowhunting: Expanding Your Business Focus

Bowhunters bring big bucks to your shop, but you might be missing other customers.
Photo Credit: ATA

Author: Jackie Holbrook

Colors are changing across the country, and the air is turning crisp. Fall has arrived, which means bowhunters and bow-shop owners are enjoying their best and busiest times of the year.

During this season’s peak, when sales are good and workbenches full, you might feel like bowhunters bring in enough business to sustain your shop. But if you rely solely on bowhunters for business, you can experience slow times later and miss out on potential customers.

Consider shifting your business focus to keep busy year-round. The ATA can help you find ways to expand your business’s foundation beyond bowhunting without losing bowhunters. Let’s review some possibilities.

Make sure your range is inviting to recreational archers. Host events, advertise the space. Photo Credit: ATA

Expand Range Time

If you’re not maximizing your range’s potential, you’re losing possible profits. Your range can attract archers who aren’t interested in bowhunting. Some people shoot archery for fitness, to compete in leagues, and to enjoy the sport’s social aspects. Your range might be the only place many people can safely – or legally – shoot their bows. Local ordinances in some cities and towns forbid outdoor archery practice. Indoor ranges also let people shoot during winter or other extreme conditions. By maximizing range time, you can attract a wide variety of customers and increase profits.

Besides expanding range time, you can also expand your target and league options to attract new customers. For example, ladies’ nights, family nights and youth-themed shoots often attract more than just bowhunters.


Targeting Youths

Promote the obvious: Youths are the future of the archery and bowhunting industry. Archery is a lifelong sport that’s easy and fun for children. Don’t rely on parents to bring in children to introduce them to archery. Target children in your community by offering summer camps. Partner with clubs and organizations to teach archery at their events and camps. Advertise and spread the word about youth lessons wherever they’re offered.

By introducing youths to archery, you’ll create customers who keep coming back for years.

Bowfishing is a fun sport that's gaining traction with bowhunters and archers alike. Photo Credit: ATA


Although similar to bowhunting, bowfishing is its own unique sport. Most bowfishing occurs during late spring and summer, which can be a slow period for bowhunters. Meanwhile, bowfishing tournaments are growing in popularity. Get involved in these events and you’ll attract new customers and grow your business.

ATA’s Explore Bowfishing is available free to ATA-member retailers. Modeled after the ATA’s successful Explore Bowhunting program, Explore Bowfishing helps instructors, educators and program leaders introduce youths and beginners to this exciting sport.


Member Services and Support

The ATA wants to help your shop succeed. If you have questions about how to expand your business’s focus, we can help. ATA staff can help retailers capitalize on their strengths, and identify and implement new methods for serving current and potential customers. They can also help you assemble the many pieces of the recreational archery market, including lessons, website designs, deals and coupons, and more. ATA membership gives you access to print resources, services providers and staff assistance.

Use our member services to help grow your business. Photo Credit: ATA

ATA Connect

If you have already shifted your business focus, or you’re seeking ideas or advice, you’ll find a community waiting to talk. ATA Connect is a new online community created exclusively for ATA-member retailers.

When you’re ready to move your business beyond bowhunting without losing bowhunters, contact us or visit us at the 2019 ATA Trade Show.

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