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Bowling Alley Business Idea

If you love bowling, starting a bowling alley business probably seems like the perfect opportunity to combine business and pleasure. The popularity of bowling waned for a time, but has enjoyed increased popularity in recent years. In fact, bowling is now the number one participatory sport in the United States.

Bowling is a sport that many families enjoy together. Bowling leagues are extremely popular. Many corporations sponsor bowling teams. Schools and colleges in many states recognize bowling at the varsity level. Youth, young adult, and women are the fastest growing bowling participant segments today. Starting a bowling alley business in the right location can be a highly profitable enterprise.

Starting A Bowling Alley Business

Starting a bowling alley requires enough start-up money to build and operate the facility through the first three months to a year. The Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America (BPAA) offers guidance to those looking for funds and offers a wealth of information about starting a bowling alley. Small business loans from the Small Business Association (SBA) can be applied for through local financial institutions.

Conduct extensive research about your competition. Your bowling alley will have to offer something different, better services, longer hours, or target a different group of players in order to effectively compete.

Purchasing an existing bowling alley may be more cost-effective than starting from scratch. If you plan to build, however, visit several alleys to get an idea about how to structure yours. Procure professional advice in order to have a bowling alley designed that works most efficiently in the available space.

Ensure that the entrance, play, and restroom areas are fully accessible to the disabled. Your bowling alley should be located where there is already a hub of activity, such as near restaurants, nightclubs, shopping centers, and theaters. Apply for the proper permits and business licenses as early as possible.

The bowling equipment you purchase must be safe and of excellent quality. Staff should be highly trained in the use of the equipment and in safety procedures.

Finding Success With Your Bowling Alley

Advertise your bowling alley in newspapers and other local media forums. There are several ways to encourage people to come in the door. These include:

  • Hold contests for both kids and adults
  • Offer discount rates for bringing friends in
  • Host birthday parties or other events
  • Host charity events and fundraisers
  • Hold discount nights for different groups, such as corporate bowlers, children, teenagers, and families
  • Form leagues and hold competitions
  • Host school competitions and tournaments
  • Add vending and game machines

Dedicate yourself to offering the best in customer service. Bowling alleys are supposed to be fun, safe, and enjoyable. Create the right atmosphere for your customers.

Expanding Your Bowling Alley Business

Starting a bowling alley business can bring solid returns on an initial investment. After establishing a strong, returning customer base, you may start thinking about expansion opportunities.

Some expansion ideas include:

  • Add a restaurant or fast food facility
  • Sell customized league shirts
  • Sell bowling balls and shoes
  • Add more lanes

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