1. FOUNDATION WORK
Between 2014 and 2019, the market size of the Laser Tag Arenas industry in the US has grown an average of 4.4% per year, faster than the economy overall. With consumer spending expected to increase, this is the perfect time to start a laser tag business.
Whether you’re starting a stand-alone laser tag facility, building a family entertainment center, or adding an arena to your existing center, this definitive guide will give you everything you need to get started.
Are you ready to begin your journey into starting a successful laser tag business? Continue reading below.
2. LASER TAG BUSINESS PLAN
The good news is you don’t need a college degree or business experience to become successful with laser tag. However, you do need to evaluate yourself and determine why you want to start a business or add laser tag to your attraction mix.
Before we embark on this endeavor, here are a few more critical questions to ask yourself:
- Do I have the passion, drive, and dedication to succeed?
- What are my skill sets and areas of expertise?
- Can I set goals and create a plan for achieving them?
Once you’ve completed this self-assessment, you’re ready to move forward with the steps to setting up your business. Here’s a guide to setting up your business entity.
In the following sections, you’ll get guidance to write your business plan.
3. CONDUCTING MARKET RESEARCH
The most crucial step in starting your laser tag business is to conduct market research, so you measure the revenue potential for laser tag in your market. Some of the critical factors that determine the long-term success of your business include:
- The population within a 10-mile radius.
- The demographics and psychographics of your market.
- The competitive landscape in your market.
- The demand for laser tag in your market.
If you’re new to the amusement industry, it’s a good idea to get a feasibility study and market analysis done by a trusted professional.
4. DESIGNING YOUR LASER TAG ARENA
Now that you have selected a location, you’re ready to design your laser tag arena—where the magic happens. Aside from your laser tag equipment, your arena design plays a pivotal role in the gameplay or how your guests interact with the game.
Instead of your conventional laser tag equipment that involves simply tagging other players, look for manufacturers with interactive elements that you can integrate with your arena. Here are a few examples:
A Base Station is a wall-mounted device with lights, sound, and voice to target players to shoot. For an additional dimension to your interactivity, look for Video Base Stations where players can pick up “Power-ups,” reload ammunition, capture bases, and run exclusive games like Capture the Flag, Quiz Show, or Laser Ball.
A lighting system like Crystal Lighting and Spotlights integrated with your laser tag software and Base Station enhances the experience. Contrary to static lighting, your dynamic light interacts with the players to add an extra level of excitement.
Other interactive arena components include Energy Gates and Laser Shooters, which significantly expand options for laser tag games. When these components are combined with creative concepts and designs in your arena, you create a unique differentiation in your market.
As you plan the layout of your arena, the key sections include:
- The Briefing Area shows your players briefing videos on how to use your phasers, play the game, and important safety instructions.
- The Vesting Room where your players can suit up and where your staff charges your equipment.
- The Maintenance area where you can service your equipment. Be sure to select a manufacturer that makes it easy to replace parts without the need for an engineering degree.
Some additional variables that affect the players’ experience include the shape of the arena, the height of your ceiling, and whether it’s a single level or multi-level. You’ll want to account for any guests who may feel claustrophobic along with restrictions for multi-level structures for your building.
Finally, a key consideration for your layout is the Game Flow. The Game flow in laser tag is the ability to get customers in and out of the arena as smoothly as possible, which reduces downtime.
For a more in-depth look at designing a winning laser tag center, be sure to download our free guide.
5. FREE BRANDING & MARKETING
As many players know, not all laser tag equipment is created equal. The criteria for selecting your laser tag equipment should include:
- Durability and reliability. Your equipment should minimize downtime.
- Modular replacement parts. A self-diagnostic system should tell you which part should be replaced, and modular components make it easy for you and your staff to replace it.
- Laser Tag Software. Your software is the brain of your entire system and should be intuitive and allow you to customize your games. View examples of games for laser tag software here.
- Technical support. Having 24/7 technical support to help you troubleshoot your system is critical to minimizing downtime.
To learn more about the specifications and features of Genesis, the award-winning laser tag system, download the brochure here.
6. GETTING FINANCING
Now that you know what to budget for, you’re ready to get funding for your laser tag business. Like financing other ventures, you can invest your own money or get angel investors willing to fund your dreams.
Another source of investment capital is to crowdsource on sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. While your chances of getting your entire business funded by customers are rare, running a campaign can help you gauge demand in your market.
The most common way of getting financing is through lenders like SLS Lending and Live Oak Bank, who are very knowledgeable in the industry. In many cases, they will be looking at feasibility studies and market research to determine the loan amount.
7. OPERATING A LASER TAG CENTER
Now that you have your center coming together, you want to account for your business’s daily operations. To keep up with the demand from your customers, here are the core functions of running your business:
- Marketing and Sales to attract guests and book parties and events.
- Customer service to ensure your guests have the best possible experience.
- Administrative to oversee all other functions, including paying rent, ordering supplies, licenses, permits, etc.
- Finance and Human Resource to hire, train, and manage staff.
- Information Technology handles everything from emails to phone systems.
There are numerous resources and software in the industry to handle every aspect of your core functions, including online party reservations, digital waivers, and debit card systems. Just keep in mind that technology enables your strategy of reducing customer friction at every touchpoint.
By putting yourself in your customers’ shoes, you’ll be able to map every interaction to create and document internal processes for your staff. To become a data-driven fun center, you’ll want to establish Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) and metrics to track opportunities to improve your business.
As you prepare for your grand opening, it’s always a good idea to have a soft launch to iron out all the kinks before opening up the floodgates. Remember that you should still learn from mistakes and continuously make improvements. That’s what the best laser tag and entertainment centers do.
8. START YOUR LASER TAG BUSINESS
Congratulations! Now that you know everything needed to start a laser tag business connect with one of our laser tag consultants for a consultation. You’ll get the expert guidance you need to create a profitable and successful business.
To get more in-depth guides most relevant for your stage in the process, visit our resource center for free downloads.
Our team of experts are also eager to help you turn your dreams into reality. Request a free consultation today.
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