Billiards, a game that has been around for centuries, is enjoying a renaissance in the modern era. Gone are the days when pool halls were just a place for guys to hang out and play games. Today, there are more than 43 million regular pool players in the United States alone, with a staggering 1 in 8 people considering themselves pool enthusiasts!
However, unlike other pastimes that can be taken on the go, billiards requires a dedicated space to practice and perfect your skills.
That’s where pool halls come into play. These establishments offer a haven for billiards enthusiasts to showcase their skills and connect with other players in a fun and social environment.
With their popularity on the rise, pool halls offer a lucrative business opportunity for savvy entrepreneurs. Not only do they provide a place for players to indulge their passion, but they can also be a hub for socializing, relaxing, and even hosting tournaments.
So if you’re looking for a business venture combining fun, community, and profits, starting a pool hall business might be perfect!
This article lists eight amazing ways to start and scale a pool hall business seamlessly.
- Conduct Market Research
When starting a successful pool hall business, it’s crucial to assess whether there is a market for it and how much competition there is. To do this, you must determine the number of direct and indirect competitors in the area you plan to set up.
Direct competitors are other snooker and pool clubs offering similar services, while indirect competitors include pubs, sports clubs, leisure centers, and hotels.
While it may be difficult to gauge how much impact these indirect competitors will have, you must consider them as they are all vying for leisure spending in your area. For example, even though pubs may only have cramped and poorly maintained pool tables, they still offer competition for your pool and snooker club.
- Create a Business Plan
After conducting market research, the next step is creating a business plan to ensure feasibility and establish goals and objectives. To begin, research the industry and gather data on the costs associated with starting and running a billiards hall. Next, develop a marketing plan and identify the target market.
Once all necessary information is compiled, use it to create a comprehensive business plan. You can utilize various resources, such as templates and software online or professional assistance, to help create a business plan.
Most importantly, ensure that your plan is detailed and includes all pertinent information about your business.
Drafting a comprehensive business plan can be challenging for numerous individuals, as it requires inclusion of all essential components. These components include
- Executive Summary
- Company Overview
- Industry Analysis
- Consumer Analysis
- Competitor Analysis & Advantages
- Marketing Strategies & Plan
- Plan of Action
- Management Team.
- Identify the Pool Hall Business Model
Starting a billiards hall business can be done in a few different ways.
- You can build your own facility from scratch; it requires significant upfront capital but gives you complete control.
- You can buy an existing billiards hall, which is cheaper but may come with problems. Also, you must have the right skills and experience, including legal and financial know-how.
- You can franchise a billiards hall, which is the most expensive option but provides the necessary support and brand recognition.
Regardless of which option you choose, you must ensure your facility meets safety requirements, hire experienced staff, effectively market your business, and manage finances carefully to ensure profitability.
- Set Up a Business Accounting System
If you’re planning to establish a billiards hall business, setting up your business accounting is crucial to keeping track of your finances and complying with financial regulations. Here’s a brief guide to help you get started:
- Select an appropriate accounting software that meets your business needs.
- Create your chart of accounts, which outlines the various income and expenditure categories you will monitor in your accounting system.
- Establish a business bank account to manage your finances efficiently.
- Maintain accurate records of all money entering and leaving your business.
- Prepare and submit your tax return annually to ensure all deadlines are met.
Remember, running a pool hall can be complex and demanding, requiring effective management of tasks such as a table, league, customer, and inventory management. Hence, it can be challenging to stay organized and manage all the information without an efficient system in place.
You can also consider automating a pool hall business with a pool hall POS system. This can provide you with better control and insights into your business operations, improving efficiency, reducing errors, and increasing profitability.
Furthermore, a pool hall POS system can integrate with other software, such as accounting programs, to streamline various business processes. This integration can help you automate financial reporting and reduce manual data entry, freeing up time for you to focus on other areas of your business.
Numerous options are available when considering a pool hall POS system, which can sometimes be overwhelming. To make it easier for you, Wise Small Business is putting together a list of the best pool hall POS systems.
- Form a Legal Entity
To start a billiards hall business, it’s essential to form a legal entity to protect yourself from personal liability and raise capital.
You have the following four options to choose from
- Sole proprietorship
- Limited liability company (LLC)
If you’re the only owner, a sole proprietorship is the easiest to set up with minimal paperwork, but it offers no personal liability protection.
A partnership is similar to a sole proprietorship but requires a trustworthy partner with complementary skills and a written partnership agreement. In contrast, an LLC offers personal liability protection and is ideal for small groups of founders.
Each entity has its advantages and disadvantages and choosing the one that suits your business best is essential.
- Consider a Suitable Pricing Strategy
The expenses involved in launching a billiards hall enterprise depend on various factors, including the business’s size and location. Procuring or renting a building, furnishing it with pool tables, and hiring staff can be a costly affair.
Besides, promoting and advertising your billiards hall to draw in customers comes with a price tag.
Hence, the key to running a lucrative billiards hall venture is appropriately pricing your pool tables and services. It would be best if you struck a balance between setting prices high enough to cover your expenses and keeping them competitive to attract customers.
Several pool hall businesses offer concessions for specific groups like students, seniors, and military personnel. You may also explore the possibility of providing monthly or annual memberships to entice customers with discounted table time rates.
- Attract Customers By Making Ambiance Appealing
People often go to work-friendly cafes not because they like the food but because of the ambiance. To truly start and scale your pool hall business, it’s essential to understand your customers and cater to their needs.
Doing this will help create a lively environment for die-hard pool players and upgrade your business to meet the needs of millennials and youngsters.
Additionally, offering a variety of games and activities, such as darts, arcade games, and other entertainment, can attract more customers and make your pool hall a destination spot.
Further, offering simple foods like popcorn, soft drinks, and beer can increase revenue and create a more inviting atmosphere for those looking to relax and enjoy a drink or snack while playing pool.
- Get the Right Marketing Plan
When planning to start a billiards pool hall business, you must think about how you’ll attract customers to your establishment. There are various advertising methods that you can use to promote your pool hall, and the best ones will depend on your budget and target audience.
If you’re looking to reach a large number of people quickly, online advertising and social media marketing are excellent options. By creating online ads and targeting people in your area who are interested in playing pool and other games, you can reach a wider audience than with traditional advertising methods. Alternatively, you can also place ads in local newspapers and magazines for print advertising.
Word-of-mouth marketing is another effective way to promote your business. Encourage your friends, family, and customers to spread the word about your pool hall, and consider hosting tournaments and pool leagues to generate consistent, repeat business.
But that’s not all – to make your pool hall even more attractive, create a welcoming and fun environment. Doing so will make people more likely to visit and spend time at your establishment. With effort and creativity, you can successfully market your pool hall and attract more customers.
To Sum Up
Starting a pool hall business may seem like a daunting task. However, with careful planning and execution, it can be a profitable and rewarding venture. By following the eigh tips discussed in this article, including setting up a pool hall POS system, you can set yourself up for success and create a thriving billiards hall that attracts a diverse customer base.