A Quick Guide to Starting a Bowling Alley
Bowling has been a favorite American pastime for generations and is in many ways as old as the country itself. Who doesn’t love spending their weekend evenings at the local bowling alley, knocking a few pins down in the company of friends?
If you’re a bowling aficionado yourself, you might have considered the benefits of opening up your own bowling alley. Providing a place for other people to enjoy themselves while getting to be your own boss sounds like it might be a pretty good situation.
However, how complicated is it to start a bowling alley? What might you need to get going? Read on and we’ll walk you through everything that you need to know.
Skills & Background Required
What kind of background do you need to come from to successfully own and operate a local bowling alley? It’s good to get a sense of the job at hand before you launch yourself headfirst.
For one, it can certainly help to be an avid bowler yourself. If you’re very familiar with the game and the ideal bowling experience, you will be much better equipped to ensure you’re providing an excellent bowling experience for your customers.
Speaking of customers, it can also help to come from a background where you’ve developed a lot of customer service skills. One of the major elements of owning and operating a bowling alley will be interacting with and caring for your customers.
If you can make meaningful and long-lasting relationships with your patrons, you can keep them coming back and ensure success for your new enterprise for many years to come.
It can also be helpful to have a strong knowledge of technology and machinery. As you might imagine, a bowling alley runs off a large number of mechanical equipment.
While you’ll need to rely on the help of professionals for much of this equipment, being able to troubleshoot and inspect certain machinery can be very advantageous as a business owner.
Failure to have this sort of background doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t go forward with your hopes to open a bowling alley, but it can be a useful skill for this kind of work.
Startup Costs For a Bowling Alley
If you’re thinking of getting into the bowling alley business from scratch, how much might you need to have or raise in order to make this dream a reality?
As you might imagine, the initial startup costs for a bowling alley can be quite significant. Construction will be the largest expense you’ll face, with costs ranging somewhere between $40,000 and $100,000 per lane you want to be installed.
Of course, you might be able to cut down on these costs by purchasing and renovating an existing bowling alley or negotiating with a qualified builder.
If you’re simply renovating old lanes, the costs for bowling alley construction can be significantly lower.
Outside of construction, you’ll also need to budget for a number of other costs associated with your operation. You’ll need to purchase ball-return machines, pins, bowling shoes, and furniture including all chairs and tables.
You’ll also need to purchase uniforms, lighting, television screens, and other such elements to make your space inviting and exciting to customers.
Last but not least, you’ll need to establish a budget for the food and drink that you’re planning on serving at your bowling alley. This can be a great source of profit for a bowling alley, but you’ll need to decide on how much inventory you’ll purchase early on.
All in all, there are a lot of expenses to consider as you get started launching your new bowling alley. However, the rewards of all this hard work and investment are just around the corner.
Launching Your New Bowling Alley Business
If you’re ready to get started making your bowling alley business a reality, there are a few steps you’ll want to follow through on. You’ll want to craft a business plan that includes your budget, your plans for the business, and projections of your eventual profits.
This is a step that is absolutely essential for any new business.
You can bring this business plan with you when you start to raise funding for your enterprise. It will also serve as a helpful blueprint for yourself to follow as you begin the process of opening your business.
You’ll want to register as an official business entity in your state, which will mean filling out a lot of paperwork and taking the time to understand a lot of laws and permitting. You might want to retain the services of an attorney who can help you to walk through all of this.
Pick out a location for your business that you believe will bring customers in and will be within the budget you’ve planned out. Before you break any ground, you’ll also want to make sure you have all the necessary insurance in place.
That means liability insurance, but also commercial property insurance and worker’s compensation insurance.
With all of this in place, you can begin construction on your new bowling alley! Once construction is complete, all you’ll need to do is get the word out about your new business and wait for the hungry and eager new bowlers to come to visit.
Starting a Bowling Alley
If you’re looking to launch your own bowling alley business, there’s a lot to get familiar with. The above information can serve as a quick guide to help you understand what steps you need to take to get from your initial idea to a fully realized business.
Need more help in making your bowling alley dreams come true? Contact us anytime for assistance.< Back