Want to Reach – and Keep – More Customers? Consider Offering Archery Services

Customers may come for your products, but they'll stay for the exceptional service you offer.
Photo Credit: ATA

Author: Scott Einsmann

Archery retailers must be flexible to adapt to rapid changes in the industry’s brick-and-mortar market. That includes taking advantage of pro-shop services that retailers must offer their customers.

For instance, customers who buy bows and accessories online still need your friendly expertise to set up their equipment. They might also seek your help for coaching and high-level tuning services.

Retailing vs. Service Work

To keep your cash flow steady through the year and attract new retail customers you can increase the number of services your shop offers. Photo Credit: Shane Indrebo.

George Ryals IV owns the Archery Learning Center in Snellville, Georgia. His full-service pro shop also has an active shooting team for youths. He’s not surprised when new customers come into the store and leave without buying gear or scheduling lessons.

“They’ll ask what they need and what their draw length is,” Ryals said. “Then I’ll see them a week later with a bow they bought off the internet, and we’ll set it up for them. The tide is changing. The old standard archery shop system isn’t working for us anymore.”

Instead of letting those changes irritate him, Ryals leans on his coaching expertise and charges for services. “We sell ourselves more as a service shop than as a place to go and buy the equipment,” Ryals said. “We, of course, have all the equipment, but it doesn’t sell like it used to.”

To keep your cash flow steady year-round and attract new customers, Ryals suggests increasing the services your shop offers. Target your store’s serious archers and bowhunters. Experienced archers willingly pay for expertise that increases accuracy and forgiveness.

“We do all sorts of bow tuning and high-level coaching,” Ryals said. “When everyone goes outdoors, we’ll also custom-print a sight tape for them.”

How to Charge for Services


Everyone has their own methods for getting a bow tuned. Ryals believes in results based tuning, where he’ll do a basic tune then let the archery shoot the bow. Photo Credit: Shane Indrebo.

As your shop evolves into a service-oriented business, shift your pricing structure to match. Consider charging for parts plus labor, just like an auto mechanic would. Another option is setting a fixed pricing structure based on specific services.

Ryals prefers a mix of both. He sets a fixed price for basic bow setups, and bills an hourly rate for high-level tuning during private lessons.

Services Your Shop Can Offer

One way is to charge for parts plus labor, just like a mechanic. Or you can have a fixed pricing structure based on the service. Photo Credit: Shane Indrebo.

Your store can also offer various tuning methods, such as super-tuning, creep-tuning and bare-shaft tuning; and sell gear like spine-indexed arrows and custom-printed sight tapes. Consider offering these services on their own or as package.

Everyone has their own bow-tuning methods, but Ryals believes in results-based tuning. That is, he’ll do some basic tuning and then let the archer shoot the bow. If the archer struggles with consistency or releases unexplained flyers, Ryals identifies the problem with a private lesson. If possible, he then fixes the issue with one of his tuning methods. For example, if the student has “vertical issues” but isn’t the reason for them, Ryals will creep-tune the bow.

To learn more about bow tuning, attend Ryals’ seminar at the 2018 ATA Trade Show. You’ll hear his tips and secrets for tuning, shooting form, clean releases and follow-through.

To learn more about the Show’s seminars, click here.

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