How to start indoor laser tag business?
If you decided to be involved into arena laser tag business, be sure that a good beginning is half the battle. As in other fields, this business is for purposeful and success-oriented people. In fact, you are about to start a new interesting business and make lots of discoveries. There are a lot of headwinds in any business bit despite them, this indoor laser tag business will become not only a source of income, but it will also bring you a lot of positive emotions.
So, what would we start with?
Explore indoor laser tag business industry
Before drawing up a business plan and calculating the upcoming costs, look into the matter of indoor laser tag business from the inside: play laser tag in different arenas, travel around the cities and see how indoor arenas are designed, study the experience of your colleagues. Feel free to ask questions to owners and operators who have already achieved something in this type of business, call them, ask in social media groups, try to aggregate as much information as you can. Of course, they will not disclose to you their professional secrets (nevertheless some of them will), but they will tell you where to start. There is, of course, large competition in indoor laser tag business. But, however, it is less rigorous than in other business industries.
Find a location for the arena
It has been argued that if one’s opens the arena in a mall, he will achieve commercial success as quickly as possible, because from the one hand advertising costs, in this case, will significantly decrease, and from the other hand the payback will be higher. However, this does not mean that it is necessary to dismiss all thoughts about indoor laser tag in a separate building. Select an option that will meet your goals. For example, if you want to count on a constant traffic of all-aged clients, then large malls with high traffic will be the best option. Alternatively, if your targeted audience is regular customers who play arena laser tag very often, then it makes sense to rent a separate spacious building. If you have a competent marketing policy you can run up any arena, even located at city outskirts.
DIY or buy arena maze
So, after you rented a room and made decisions on the concept, then your next step is to build the arena. You have three options:
– buy a ready-made arena maze (sometimes arena equipment is also included in such offers);
– purchase an already used maze;
Build maze walls yourself.
Of course, the cheapest way is to build a maze yourself. If you know how to handle with construction material, then it will be not difficult to make a good maze construction. Especially if there is no rush because the process of construction and installation is not very fast.
But when there is no time to spare, and you pay money for the rented room, sometimes it will be more efficient to buy a new maze, even despite its large price. Moreover, in most cases manufacturers will bring it and install it very fast, saving your time and money.
In the case of a maze that has already been in use, there is a great chance to buy a pig in a poke. There are no guarantees that you will get a good seller who is not trying to sell heavily battered construction.
Purchase equipment
The good news is that ready-made kits for indoor laser tag business from LASERWAR company are 2-3 less expensive than arena sets from other companies, but quality, they surpass other counterparts. Moreover, the equipment does not require any additional payments. Buy, turn it on and you can play. Always purchase equipment from proven, reliable manufacturers, because, After all, your profit depends on it. Despite the fact that the equipment breaks extremely rarely (there is nothing to be broken inside), it is useful to buy a couple reserve sets.
Hire staff
In most cases, all functions (administrator, game manager, technician, cleaner) in the beginning can be successfully performed by one person. Of course, working alone is very hard, but giving the hard-earned money to the staff in the beginning is even harder. Therefore, a lot of owners start an indoor laser tag as a family business and hire closest relatives as employees. Thus, all the money earned remains in the family and are invested in business development, but not on the salaries of outside staff. However, there are some traps and pitfalls and sometimes it is better to hire a really good specialist who has experience in attractions entertainment than a lazy relative who is able to drive a business into financial losses.
Do not forget about advertising and loyalty bonuses
You will need to not only to attract new customers but also make loyalty programs for existing ones, especially if there are several arenas in your location. No one will know about your arena without advertising. Word of mouth works well only after you already have a gamers community. It wouldn’t work at the beginning. That’s why If you can hire an experienced marketer and sales manager, then do it.
The core of laser tag business is regular customer’s community, that’s why you should never forget about them. There are a lot of ways of increasing customer’s loyalty. For example one of the ways is to give huge discounts to players who form constant teams. In this case, you’ll form a community of teams and will be able to run tournaments as event-marketing tools.
Never underestimate the role of social networks in laser tag marketing. Create your arena account on Facebook, G+, YouTube, and Instagram. Be sure that the largest part of your target audience is registered in these social networks. Don’t forget about making group and individual player’s photos at every event and post them at your social network account. Teens like to «like», «share» and «repost» their photos. You’ll get a lot of new customers from such reposts. Make watermarks at the corner of these pics with your brand name. Build your website and optimize it for local search keywords. There are so many ways to attract the customers that we need a separate article about this issue.
Initial investments
It’s quite obvious that indoor laser tag equipment requires larger initial investments outdoor laser games. There are no standard estimates, however, all will depend on owners marketing plan, available rooms for making the arena, clients traffic, advertising funds and so on. The owner can start from small equipment set and small arena.
With a proper marketing strategy, the return on initial investment in this type of business is very high and in half a year it will be possible to start planning to open a second arena. After two years in business, the owner can think about making his own franchising business.