Setting up a clay target shooting business

Discussion in 'Shooting, Hunting and Fishing' started by colourservice, Oct 31, 2012.

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  1. Well with 2 years left to go I am looking at my resettlement opportunities:sweatdrop:

    I have a longing to run my own business. I have looked at Franchises and for a number of reasons have ruled these out. Reading up on individuals that have successfully started up their own business they all recommend doing something that you enjoy.

    Now I am a relative newcomer to clay target shooting but am finding that when I am not shooting I am thinking about shooting!. I realise that running a shooting ground is far removed from having your own personal ground for your own enjoyment but the idea really does float my boat.

    Ideally I would like the following;
    Club house with cafe perhaps selling a limited range of vests, glasses etc.
    Sporting, skeet and DTL disciplines.

    I appreciate the risk I am taking opening this up to the wisdom of the S,H,F forum but do you think there is room for this type of set up in the Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambs area?

    I have just joined the ARA and am going to take advantage of their courses at Bisley. As a novice shot do you think I could use the next 2 years to obtain enough courses to become a coach?

    When looking at land I am aware about taking into account noise, direction of shot, public footpaths etc what else do i need to think about? Can I use any land or does it need a particular designation i.e. can I just buy 20 acres of arable land (this is a for instance).

    Thanks for reading,

  2. Schaden

    Schaden LE Book Reviewer

    I think the organic goat farm would be a better idea...
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Start off with a container as a 'clubhouse'. You can secure it enough, cheap etc. Some shoots aound here are run as a sideline by an established gunshop, some have a committiee type membership but you'll not make a business out of that unless you run the shop/armoury.

    Make sure there isn't a glut of shooting grounds near by, within a 8 mile radius of me there are 3, 15 miles and its 5. There are only so many shooters out there. It's also not the distance but the quality of the shoot that matters. Personally I get bored shooting in a field, prefer a 'sporting' style shoot but that's just me. See what is already in your area and do something different. These are the views of a shooter, not an shoot owner.

    Good luck.
  4. Without trying to piss on your parade mate..

    I think you would struggle to run a business that depends only on Clay Pigeon shooting.. Your profit on clay targets are pretty slim. Even with half a dozen layouts, you will need to attract a constant customer stream in at least double figures to earn a decent crust. This is difficult on a seven day cycle..

    You need to set up other income streams such as retail and catering to spread the load.. a golf range is a possiblity that uses the same footprint.

    The key factor is location.. you need to be near enough to a population that will pay, but far enough away not to be a noise problem.. you will need planning permission for the change of use, and this will depend on which way your local planning authority/council feels about it..

    I would get in contact with the CPSA and see if ther have any business planning guides that could help you..

    DO NOT FFS spend money on traps & other toys until you have a clear plan of action and know where and how the game is played to make money..!

    Good luck!
  5. There's always room for a "good" shooting ground, problem will be that it does have to be good. We are quite well served up here with Lakenheath as a world class facility and plenty of smaller shoots. It seems to be difficult to have anything in between, Broomhills always seems to be on the point of going under despite having a decent facility.
  6. There are a few grounds that do a bit of everything, not very well. If you can find a concentration of shooters in one discipline and then offer them something significantly better than anything in the area then you should get the clients in.

    There's not all that much money in it though, and the startup costs can be horrific. I'd say go with the organic goats.
  7. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    While the organic goats seem to be getting the votes here, have you thought of offering different types of shooting ?
    For example, alongside clays a PSG course of fire would be very popular amongst certain clientelle.

    You may have to relocate to Bradford though.
  8. OP.. If you do have a go at it I can supply you with any number of secondhand guns for you to hire out.
  9. Rule number one: Never mix business with pleasure
  10. Indeed Lakenheath is where I regularly shoot and it was this layout that planted the seed to be honest.

    I will google Broomhills now and perhaps pay it a visit.

  11. Paint balling as a side option on the same premisis?

    I'm not much of a business man but I know paintballing is quite popular with the kids these days.
  12. There's a place near me that has Sporting, skeet, DTL and a woodland layout. However, they also have Archery, Quad-biking, Conference rooms, Function rooms, Paintball, Fishing ponds, some sort of zip-wire thing, holiday cottages and some working farmland. In the off-season they have group parties of inner-city toerags alternating with groups of mongs and their wranglers. A lot of their traps are on their last legs and rather than fit smartcards to the stands they trust you to be honest how many clays you had. They're doing a bomb.

    On the other hand, there was a state-of-the-art clay ground a bit further west that sank without trace a couple of years ago; not enough custom.
  13. I think your right and some type of diversity (E&D trg paying off at last) would be helpful but then the size of land required gets bigger which requires more money coming in to support, I guess there is an ideal cross over point of land size-activities offered-income vs outgoings.
  14. It seems to be that the people who are successful at this are the ones who own decent-sized farms, who are diversifying and who can flog off a few fields to finance it, or use the land as collateral to get a loan on good terms.
  15. I assume you have at least £150k of un borrowed money ? you are also a RFD? , land is at least £5k per acre if you can find some suitable ,then how many months to get planning ? will you even get it ? then I doubt you would see profit for at least a year if all goes well.

    Most shooting grounds Ive seen seem to be a wealthy businessman's toybox / hobby .

    If you have cash then place an ad in the wanted section of all the gun mags including the trade ones for an existing shooting ground , lease or purchase , you may then get an existing business with all the kit and most importantly planning permission in place.

    Good Luck.