Make the Most of Your Range

Here’s how to make your range as profitable as possible.
Photo Credit: Gotham Archery

Author: Michaelean Pike

To survive in today’s increasingly competitive retail environment, you must wring more from every aspect of your shop. That’s especially true for your range. Here’s how to make your range as profitable as possible.

Make sure people know they can use your range to test products, even ones not purchased through your store. Photo Credit: ATA

Advertise, advertise, advertise

Amazon might offer low prices and free shipping on many archery products, but you have an upper hand over online retailers: a range. Use that to your advantage. Emphasize your range’s offerings in your advertising, as well as other services you offer that Amazon cannot. Make sure archers know that, no matter where they buy equipment, they can practice at your range. Once they’re in your shop, you have guaranteed income from lane rentals, plus you increase the exposure for everything else you offer—which spurs purchases now or later.

Consider advertising the benefits of “try before you buy” programs on your range. Some customers might use your shop to figure out what to buy later on Amazon. Make them aware of the value and inclusion of any setup services you offer with purchases. You’ll likely convert an Amazon customer into your customer.


Optimize Your Prices

How much should you charge for range time? Charge too much and you’ll lose business from price-sensitive consumers. Charge too little and you leave money on the table.

To determine the right cost for you, the ATA recommends comparing prices for comparable nearby recreational activities. Those are the prices local consumers willingly pay for recreation. For more information, check out the Program Pricing Structure document, which reviews incentive ideas, comparable facilities, necessary investments, and other pricing examples. This document is free to ATA members on its Resource Website.

Place food and smaller items like rests and sights closer to the register to entice last minute purchases. Photo credit: ATA

Merchandise for Impulse Buys

Don’t stop advertising once shooters are on your range. Showcase items you carry that will improve their archery experience. Display armguards, hip quivers and other problem-solving products where range shooters can see them.

In addition, stock beverages and snacks like chips, jerky and candy bars to earn extra sales you now lose to gas stations and convenience stores.


Teach Your Customers

According to the ATA’s Program Pricing Structure (available at the new ATA Resource Website), the average archery range costs $1.50 per square foot to operate each month.

To make the most from your range, you must do more than rent lanes. Offer classes, which help you make money now from your range, and help you introduce beginners to archery and develop long-term customers.

For classes, design programs that meet the needs of various archers, from beginners to advanced students, and from casual shooters to competitors. The ATA’s Class Progression document stresses the importance of creating a progressive program that helps students advance quickly and go as far as they can comfortably go. That ensures you’ll capture business from as many archers as possible.

Consider inviting new students to introductory classes by using daily deal sites like Groupon. Although most shooters won’t become regular customers, special offers can attract people you wouldn’t otherwise reach, and fill lanes that would otherwise sit vacant.

Advertise your range as a place to hold events or to stop by on a night out. Photo Credit: Trashedinthedress WordPress

Celebrations and Events

Cash in on people seeking interesting archery parties, corporate events and date-night ideas. Make sure information about event packages is easily found on your website. If possible, let people book parties online. That saves you from having to answer infinite phone calls about booking parties, and makes your parties more competitive with other parties that offer online reservations. Information about what’s included, what’s not included, and cancellation policies must be defined.


Get More from Your Range

Want your range to earn more for you? Visit the ATA Resource Website for sample class outlines, course suggestions, a ready-to-use liability waiver, and other helpful information.

Need more help? Contact ATA for additional assistance optimizing your range.

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