Establishing Next Generation Shooting Range Facilities

As you review this information, understand it is difficult to explain ALL of the decisions, joys, challenges, and commitments involved with establishing a Shooting Range facility. You must go through the experience to begin to comprehend it. There are very few people who have successfully (i.e. in a reasonable period of time, on time once the project becomes real with permits and funding, and on budget) opened Range facilities. And far fewer have gone on to build multiple Ranges, in large part due the lack of familiarity with information herein, when to act on these issues, and how to best navigate through this process.
If I were to write a book that covered all aspects of this process, this information would make up maybe 75% of the issues you will encounter. Look at these as chapter titles and introductory paragraphs. It has value because, without exception, every Range owner I have worked with and all the others I have met, look back on the process of getting their business up and running, and realize they had no idea what they were getting into. Those had didn’t have me involved, wished they had.
For some context on my involvement, here’s a perspective to keep in the back of your mind as you review this information and to help you determine the return on investment of operating a facility of this nature relative to my fee.
If opening to the public is delayed, those are days of revenue you will never have an opportunity to recapture. Ever! Depending upon the features of your facility: your market, market conditions, the time of year, changing political conditions, etc., this could be anywhere from $3,000 day to $30,000 (and certain days of the year even considerable more), per day.
If you have successfully completed several Ranges with the same architect, GC and other vendors who understand the proper sequence of tasks and they execute well, my involvement is still key as their efforts necessitate coordination. Whether on your first or 10th Range, my experiences have shown that, as owner-operator, your focus should be on establishing and mastering the operational features of the business, not on completing the build. The first impressions you leave on the public are lasting ones. I hope you are intentional about working smart, not just hard, in your commitment to ignite revenue and gain a favorable public image resulting from being prepared. If not, those can both be costly (in both capital and time) to recover from.
I will involve you in the day-to-day management of tasks to reach completion of the facility and the upfit of the various building systems but will keep you from getting bogged down in them while you focus on revenue in the months prior to Grand Opening to:
- get the right staff hired in to the right positions
- timing the hiring process properly
- build your initial inventory purchase order
- finalize your new staff
- train your staff staff
- customize and implement facility SOP’s
- set up your POS system
- receive and input your initial inventory buy
- pre-sell memberships
- establish firearms compliance standards
- building brand equity, and
- be intentional about your marketing / advertising spend.

(Below you’ll learn a bit more about some but not all of these issues...the book I should write would cover the necessity and value of each, however that’s not the purpose of this document.)
Every minute you don’t spend on these vital tasks is a minute you get to spend focused on generating revenue.
10 and maybe even five years ago, building a Range with the mindset that “if we build it they will come” worked. That’s increasingly not the case now for several reasons, further compounding the need for you to be in a position to achieve operational excellence from day one. My involvement further promotes your position of authority. As the Owner-Sponsor I offer a buffer to empower your negotiating and problem solving.
I’m glad you are interested in the Range business. It’s increasingly important for this wave of our U.S. population of new firearms owners to have access to quality training and retail (products) opportunities.
It’s a mistake to view mine as a service, though you will receive service(s) from me, there’s no way around that. I am hired for my expertise. With all respect that’s due, I engage with clients who:
1) realize they don’t truly knowing what’s needed and when, how much time tasks will take to complete, what the cost should be, the order of the tasks, let alone recognizing the route to the best solutions, and or
2) they seek to keep their focus on what they know and are clearly already very successful at professionally. This is your opportunity to leverage an outside seasoned perspective.
There’s a lot here, so as not to overwhelm you about the process, we will not live out each of these tasks and issues in conscious detail. They will however, be issues I address in some form or fashion as they play out in the background, so to speak. The benefit of my involvement to this end is that you will not need to discover them all, plan for them, and manage / execute them. I will certainly explain the how, when, and why for them as we proceed, but my knowledge of the process is value added so that you don’t have to figure out how to do this nor attempt to do so in as skilled a manner as me...I already do it very well! It will free you to get good at operating (generating revenue and managing operating expenses) to reach higher profits faster.
This document contains a list and accompanying description including informal comments of a full-service Development Project Management scope of services for the establishment of a Next Generation Shooting Range facility.
This is a turnkey suite of solutions. Below are many of the tasks involved in the process of opening for business. Mine is a scope that uniquely weaves +20 years of professional experiences as a city planner, then a commercial real estate practitioner, and now a successful Development Project Manager for shooting ranges across the country.
Not all projects are “Turnkey” to the extent you have some matters completed already, therein fees are adjusted accordingly. Once we’ve had a chance to discuss the status of your project, together we will determine whether, and if so, the right way to move forward.
Regardless of the size of a project, these items are foundational to successfully planning, securing and maintaining control, designing, building and then opening the best facility, in the shortest amount of time, for the lowest cost.
As advisor to the Owner / Operator / Sponsor (i.e. you) on past projects whose professions range from IT to physicians, form law enforcement to banker, etc, my role and experience provides several key benefits:
1) Unique industry insight and key introductions
2) Unique project perspective…by the nature of our relationship, I am your only team member who understands and focuses on your comprehensive interest with no other bias. All others are focused on a specific product, service, or deliverable, etc. My involvement has positive implications on each aspect of the facility: sales, service and operations.
3) Modeling your facility using existing operational Ranges performance metrics (a.k.a. “Facility Information”).
4) Consultation and strategy partnership throughout the process
5) Save time with a schedule of when to focus on each task
6) Save money and reach profits sooner, in many ways
a ) by ordering the sequence of tasks properly
b) leveraging relationships
c) negotiating pricing
d) negotiating best terms and conditions (the devil is in the details as they say)..while there may be legal implications to sort out there the realities of this process are not fully understood by most vendors / manufacturers.
e) coordinating the time, efforts and deliverables of all involved
f) solution development / problem solving and strategy recommendations
g) cash-flow strategies (several) that no one else will discuss with you

7) Provide project validation for yourself, investors and lender(s), architect, GC, etc., knowing that you have an ally who has successfully been through this process many times before.
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