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Due to a number of factors including the recent pandemic, golf simulators have exploded in popularity over the past couple of years. This has made building profitable golf simulator business a more attractive prospect than ever.
On this page, we’ll provide you with a general six-step blueprint that you can use to start your own golf simulator business from the ground up.
The main topics we will cover are acquiring a location, obtaining the equipment, setting it up, and marketing to grow your business.
NOTE: This guide is not meant to be a substitute for professional business advice. Instead, it’s meant to provide guidance and ideas, and suggest a course of action for starting a golf simulator business that has the potential to be successful. In no way will we be liable for any financial loss incurred as a result of following any of the information on this page. You proceed at your own risk.
We are going to do our best to cover a lot of ground while keeping it short and sweet for those in a time crunch. Enjoy!
Step 1: Find a location.
Before you can start ordering golf simulators, you are first going to need to find an optimal location for your business.
Places like street corners with intersections will help optimize your profits, because people will have to stop there and are more likely to look around while waiting at a red light.
You are also going to want to tour the location to get an idea of the space that you will have to work with inside the building. The amount of space you have will determine the upper limit of the number of simulator bays you can set up.
Instead of adding another golf simulator, consider putting in a bar instead. The revenue from food and drinks can really add up over time, which we also mention on our indoor golf sim profitability page.
Step 2: Find golf simulators.
Once you have selected the location for your simulators, you will have a much better understanding of the space you have available and the simulators that will fit that space.
Before selecting any particular simulator, you’re going to want to do lots of research since this will be a big investment. What will likely make your decision easier is the fact that it will be an indoor facility, so you don’t need any sort of outdoor protective equipment for the simulators.
Other important factors to consider beyond just the hardware are the software options: their features, game modes, and courses that are available for play.
We have created many golf simulator buying guides where we review the best packages. For the purposes of a golf simulator business, you should probably check out our commercial simulator buying guide. You can also look at our general simulator guide or our software buying guide.
In our view, the three best online golf simulator stores to shop for golf simulators are Shop Indoor Golf, Rain or Shine Golf and Top Shelf Golf. Click the links (they open in new windows) and browse their catalogues to find something that you like best.
Step 3: Research your target audience.
This is arguably the most important part of starting your golf simulator business, especially if you’re looking to attract investors to raise money.
You should research your target audience and develop projections. These projections will make it much more likely that potential investors will get on board and drop down money, since, from their perspective, you’re on top of your game and your numbers are attractive. Again, this all starts with the target audience.
To start researching your target audience, you could simply look at the census data for your town or city. This should help you get a general understanding of the demographics that you will be advertising for.
Naturally, you will be advertising to golfers, but you also have to remember that some of the fun surrounding golf simulators lies in the fact that people who have never played golf before can have a great time.
In fact, it could be argued that more people go to golf simulators that have never played before and just want to mess around than actual golfers trying to improve their game. That is besides the point for this step, but it is worth keeping in mind when researching your target audience.
Step 4: Start a marketing campaign.
One of the best things that you can do to generate sales for any business is to have an excellent marketing campaign. Let’s talk about online and offline methods.
One of the best ways that you can market online nowadays, particularly with local businesses like a golf simulator business, is through the use of social media.
Social media can be a very powerful tool when it comes to spreading the word around town about your new and upcoming golf simulator business. Running Facebook ads, for example, can be extremely effective because you can target people in your local area who have specific interests.
You can also run search engine pay-per-click ads, such as with Google or Bing, and target people in a similar way.
One successful offline technique, especially in small towns, is to put up flyers in and around other local small businesses. People are very likely to help support small businesses if they are already buying from one in the first place.
Another very powerful offline marketing technique is to partner up with local golf courses in your area. They could get a kickback or you could promote their golf course in return.
This is what the golf simulator business did in my town! On the back of their scorecard was a $5 coupon for a golf simulator business.
This is great marketing and a great way to reach your demographic of golfers! It would certainly come in handy on a rainy day when they are looking to get practice in, but cannot go play outside.
Step 5: Schedule an opening day.
Following along the lines of your marketing campaign, one thing you could do is schedule a large opening day event. This is likely going to attract a lot of attention from the locals.
This was another thing that the golf simulator business in my town did successfully. Based on their social media, their place looked packed from open to close on their grand opening!
Opening day events can be an excellent way to get people in the door and have some fun that will make them want to keep coming back.
Step 6: Evaluate your performance.
After you have been open for some time (it could be a few months, a year, etc.), you’re going to need to evaluate your performance and projections.
Pay attention to the details. By this, we mean analyze your peak hours and peak days, and keep track of what times of the day, week, month or year you make little to no money.
Maybe you are opening too soon or staying open too late, or maybe the bar isn’t making as much money as you would have liked.
In any case, you should take some time every now and then to reevaluate what you are doing for your golf simulator business in order to grow even further.
As you start to accumulate profits over time, you may consider expanding your indoor capacity, acquiring newer and better simulators, and/or adding more amenities to make the experience even better.
We want to stress that these six steps are a rough and oversimplified way to start and grow your golf simulator business. There are still a lot of details you’ll need to take care of behind the scenes like:
- setting up bank accounts
- creating your brand, logo and signage
- hiring employees
- getting paperwork and legal documents together
For these kinds of things, we suggest speaking to a business advisor, legal advisor, bank advisor or accountant to make sure you’re not forgetting anything that you should be doing.
We hope this article gave you good actionable ideas, and we wish you the best of luck in building a successful golf simulator business!
Thanks for reading this guide. If you have or are starting a golf simulator business and have additional questions, leave a comment down below and we’ll do our best to help.