I've decided to share a few sections of our free indoor golf business plan to help you decide whether or not to go for the download. I've shared our executive summary and SWOT Analysis to give you a good sense of what our free business plan covers (click to get the plan).
Running an indoor golf business involves creating a facility where golfers play rounds on a golf simulator that projects an image of a course and uses sophisticated sensors to depict the real shot in a virtual environment. There are many of these businesses existence, and success turns on 4 basic items:
This business plan will address each of these four items and a bit more.
The GolfPlex (working name) is a high end facility incorporated in City, State designed to provide entertainment via high definition full swing simulation golf. The golfing entertainment will be complimented with good food, beverage, golf merchandise and attractive surroundings.
Our goal is to provide the (City) golfer, and eventually golfers across the US, with an enticing alternative to outdoor golf when time, weather or proximity prohibit traditional play. We provide a realistic golf experience in a comfortable environment, turning the local golf season from 180(?) days to 365 days per year.
Each of our (6) state-of-the-art golf simulator units will be linked to allow competition and record keeping. Customers will be given the option to register a user name with the center and keep track of their scores, see how they stack up with other users of the system, and track their performance throughout the year. Game software will also allow for tournaments to be played with real time scoring and statistical breakdowns of the entire field. It will give customers a quantifiable depiction of their golf game and will allow them to improve their skills.
A group of four can play 18 holes in about 2 hours on a wide variety of courses for only about $25 per player. Compare this to a 4-5 hour round on a local golf course that can cost anywhere from $45-$90 per player depending on where you play.
Strengths – A key strength is in the product delivered by HD GolfPlex. Our simulators are top of the line and provide a realistic golfing experience with very accurate shot simulation. Our facility is also a key strength in that it is high end and provides key amenities local patrons seek in both golf and entertainment. Our staff is friendly and helpful. A final strength is in developing a strategic plan focused on customer centric operations and an information-based marketing strategy. There are a number of golfer oriented marketing databases we can leverage while we build our own data.
Weaknesses - A main challenge will be scheduling to keep the center full. Weekday business hours and weekend days with great weather are likely to be off-times for the business and show a lower utilization. Leagues, corporate events, and other creative ideas and activities will be critical to keep the place full all day, every day. Our other weakness is the technological complexity of the simulators. We’ll be reliant on the manufacturer for service or will have to develop in house technical talent for maintenance and repair of the simulator units.
Opportunities – One opportunity is to partner with local golf courses and clubs to offer offseason memberships. Merchandise sales and club fitting is another opportunity – we could leverage local distributor reps to do demo days, have demo and fitting sets on site and offer extended fitting and playability sessions. The simulator units also have the capability to display advertising, but feedback from the vendor indicates this is best used for in store promotional activity versus seeking ad revenue. A final opportunity would be in the hiring of or partnering with PGA trained teachers to provide lessons and coaching for clients. Research so far indicates that teachers keep lesson fees, so this would just be a strategy to keep the simulators running. One other idea is to focus more on video game or private sporting party clientele in the golf offseason as the projectors can be attached to a receiver to show TV or video games. Could target alumni groups to show / host their football games.
Threats – The main threats are competition or issues with the simulator manufacturers. Competition could be from other similar businesses or Sports Bars as they could add a simulator. There are (number) of Indoor Golf facilities in the area so far. The closest is (#) minutes away. Competition from Sports Bars is a possibility as is competition from golf retailers like Dicks or Golf Galaxy, both of which have a single simulator for club testing.
Get our plan here
Its been a pretty good winter and hopefully that has meant strong traffic for indoor golf centers. With some really warm days this weekend and folks starting to get outside, I thought I'd take a quick peek at one section of our Golf Center Owner survey around increasing play during good weather.
The chart to the left shows responses to what things golf center owners feel provide the most lift in terms of increasing play at their stores.
Leagues and discounts / promotions were reported to be the most effective in increasing play.
Memberships and Corporate events were also reported to be good ways to increase your customer volume.
Before play starts to slow down, get some information up in your golf center about spring and summer leagues, membership specials and corporate fun events. The best time to get the word out is while people are still in your facility. It might even be good to talk to them and get feedback on times and days that would be most effective for league participation.
Corporate events might be a good avenue for getting mid-week traffic as explained in our last article on "fun / team building budgets". Another interesting option is to work with local colleges to offer a continuing study program on golf as explained in more depth in this blog article.
What other creative ideas are you finding help increase play during the summer months?