Marketing Advice for Your Golf Simulator Business
Who Are Your Customers?
One of the most profitable distinctions of indoor golf centers is the opportunity to provide services to golfers of all skill levels, backgrounds and interest. You have the ability to offer state-of-the art virtual golf to intensely competitive golfers at professional levels as well as entertainment to beginning golfers and people just wanting something fun to do. However, as shown in nearly every business model, identifying your niche and focusing your efforts to the right customers is the most effective path to strong growth.
Market Yourself to the Clients You Want
The design and décor of your establishment must reflect the values and needs of your target audience. Too many companies fail when they try to be all things to all people. The most profitable indoor golf centers have established a niche market and specialized in reaching and providing top service to their clientele.
For example, if you want a high-end indoor golf center focusing on wealthy clients you will need to market your services to that clientele. In this environment your clientele may expect leather chairs, lounges, extraordinary service and staff members, as well as luxurious surroundings. You may also want to offer golf lessons from a resident golf pro, provide access to high prize value tournaments as well as charge upper level rates.
If you are chasing a volume business which focuses on entertainment, family fun great, and cloud tournaments for teams, your advertising and theming will be completely different. Bright lights, music, special theme nights and family friendly events will bring in a wide variety of people and catering to their entertainment needs will keep them coming back for more.
Which Niche is Right for You?
The great news about this industry is that both models and everything in between can be equally profitable. It is up to you to discover where your passion is and then develop a plan to reach your goals. If you love to host family friendly events with lighthearted themes, opening an executive level indoor golf club probably won’t make you happy at the end of the day. Discover who you are and develop your facility become something you are passionate about. We’ve helped all types of people succeed by allowing them to develop a golf center they love and believe in.
Location, Location, Location
Your location will contribute to the success of your business. Extra diligence should be taken when you are searching for the best location for your center. It is crucial the facility has easy access for your ideal customer. If your target customers are wealthy executives you will need to look for a location near affluent neighborhoods, country clubs, and other exclusive areas. If you are targeting families, college students and general entertainment seekers, your location should have easy access to foot traffic, near other entertainment venues or easily accessible for all customers.
There are cases where golf centers have failed because their facility was in the wrong area for their target audience. It is crucial extra time is taken to determine the best location for your customers while taking into consideration the income potential, lease payments and tax rates. Once you discover the sweet spot it will make retaining and finding new customers much easier.
How Many Simulators Do You Need?
We’ve had the privilege with working with a large variety of indoor golf facilities and have found there is no magic formula to determine the perfect number of simulators for your business. The number will be determined by the type of clientele you are targeting, the amount of space you have to work with and your goals. It is important to note that the success of your business is not based on the number of simulators you own, but how you market and utilize those assets. We’ve seen just as many successful one simulator businesses as those with multiple units.
We recommend starting small and adding simulators as your business grows. One of the most common problems we see with start-ups is people trying to maximize initial profits by starting with too many simulators. The space seems crowded and unwelcoming as well as increases liability and safety issues. Fewer simulators will allow customers to have more space to move around, interact and enjoy the environment. Some owners have incorporated open areas with comfortable seating around a central bar. This adds ambiance, gives the center a clubhouse feel and adds an additional revenue stream.
Successful People Dream Big!
Regardless of your niche, your success is determined by only by your imagination. Be creative in your offerings for your clientele. You could offer 3-hole lunch specials for businesses near your facility. Birthday party specials for a family oriented venue. Utilize cloud competition to attract new customers, get local sponsorship and garner new customers from your community.
With an indoor facility you are not controlled by the weather, daylight or time of year. Where else can anyone offer a midnight special golf tournament at Pebble Peach or a longest drive contest during lunch? Golf simulators give you the opportunity to offer your clients the most realistic and competitive play any time of day, every day of the year. Let your imagination run wild and discover the possibilities.