Author: Cassie Gasaway
Hunting Retailer recently posted an article encouraging pro shops to consider offering gun-cleaning classes. Although bows don’t require as much care and cleaning as firearms, pro shops should consider hosting archery equipment care workshops, too. Why? Because they can generate revenue, introduce customers to new products, give customers the confidence and skills they need to use their equipment, and reduce the number of simple equipment fixes that may overwork bow technicians.
These classes are great for business because they draw people to your shop to learn and can introduce them to products that can help them maintain and repair their equipment. Potential products to feature include field repair kits, fletching supplies, and common maintenance items like bowstring wax and Allen wrenches.
Plus, hosting a workshop gives you the opportunity to establish yourself as an expert. It’s easy to find information about bow repairs and equipment adjustments online, but most archers, especially newcomers, wouldn’t know if the information is accurate or not. By teaching the workshop yourself, you can rest easy knowing customers are getting credible, reliable information that won’t jeopardize their equipment.
Teaching customers how to maintain their equipment and identify damage will help them feel more confident using the equipment. Photo Credit: ATA
At the same time, an in-person workshop allows users to transition from a passive observer in an online video to using their hands and performing the task themselves, which studies show increases retention. They’ll gain confidence and the skills they need to keep their gear in working order, and they’ll be able to speak more intelligently about their gear with others. Classes also allow participants to ask questions and get one-on-one help if they get stuck or make a mistake. The experience builds trust, increases brand loyalty and strengthens the customer-employer relationship.
Offer educational workshops to both your customers and the public for a moderate price. Allowing anyone to participate increases the potential to expand your customer base. You can also consider offering a discount to customers who recently purchased a bow and want to become more familiar with it. Before setting your fees, think about your ideal customer, the cost of workshop materials and your hourly rate to teach the workshop. Post the opportunity on your website, social media accounts and any community event calendars you’re familiar with.
In a 30-minute workshop, you can teach participants how to:
- Inspect bow limbs for damage or aging.
- Maintain the bowstrings and cables.
- Check arrows for cracks, loose fletching and broken nocks.
- Fletch arrows (you can have them practice on arrows from your range).
- Determine when it’s time for new broadheads, field points or a release aid.
It’s also important to teach students how to differentiate between what equipment care they can do on their own versus what they should hire an expert (you) to do so it’s done correctly. For example, you can encourage them to check and service their gear by waxing their bowstring, fletching their arrows, and adjusting their sights and draw weight. But you should talk to them about leaving certain tasks to the professionals, like replacing a cable or bowstring, tuning the setup, adding accessories, sizing and cutting arrows, and troubleshooting performance issues.
If you need assistance planning a workshop, contact Nicole Nash, ATA’s senior manager of outreach, at (507) 233-8146 or email@example.com.