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Possibility Of Operating A Range?

Discussion in 'Target Shooting' started by James_Powell, Apr 23, 2019.

?

Yes or No?

  1. Yes

    5.3%
  2. No

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Worth researching

    94.7%
  1. James_Powell

    James_Powell Newbie

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    Hello everyone. Sorry this is my first post, I seem to have lost the credentials for my main account!

    I wanted to check in and ask a few questions to the community based on the idea of a full-time indoor 50+ yrd range within the Kent area. I've been an avid air rifle shooter for the last 15 years but have never really attended many clubs in the area, mostly due to them being outdoor, and I have my own land.

    My family own quite a large amount of land in the Kent area in which I shoot targets and live quarry. I've also got quite a few permissions in which I manage the land for the owners, other farms, and even a camp site.

    On the land is a large disused pig shed. A fully sealed building that runs around the 50 yard mark. The shed was cleared out for the use of an indoor range. It's great for getting zero'd in before heading out, but more and more of my friends ask permission to use the shed for target use and zero'ing, and in turn they've asked to bring a friend and it's been great fun!

    Recently I've been spending more and more time on the land but due to bills I still have to work 40+ hours a week. But, all the time I'm at work I get calls from friends asking if they can go shoot on the field or in the shed. In which the answer is "no" as there's livestock around, family on site, and I don't like the thought of air rifles being shot on my land while I'm not around, even if it's inside!

    And this gave me an idea. (Not the first idea I've had).

    I attended a church a few years back and during that time 10-15 people came forwards pending an idea to start a club. I looked into the legal side of things and since it wasn't a business, and everyone could be classed as "friends", there was no need to involve anyone. The land was mine, they were friends, no problem! I have moved church since then and the "club" didn't last very long because dates and times were always an issue, I couldn't be there due to work. I put a requirement in place that I had to be on-site during shoots for safety and movement of livestock.

    Now it's been a few years and I'm slowly getting bored of the mundane 12 hour work days, I was thinking, what if I setup a range that could cover it's costs, and pay a wage?

    I've run a business before so know quite a lot of the legal aspects, but not when it comes to air rifles. I have the land and a building I could invest in. I have money left over from the last business to support the range for its infancy. But how would it work? Would it work? Or should I just move on and forget about it?

    I have a lot of questions to answer. What insurance? What legal paperwork do I need? Do I need a license? Do I need planning permission? Would a business upset the local clubs, or cause their membership base to decline? I work closely with the Police in my current job, should I just contact the local licensing officer and see what he says?

    I have the land and/or could acquire a business warehouse willing to accommodate a range, but is it worth it? Would it be worth having a shop in the long run, or running open days, or selling "away day" packages. From the research I've done there's no indoor ranges near, or in the next town over! Could something like this generate enough interest to cover venue costs, insurance, a wage, business rates, rent?

    This is day 1 of what could be an awesome adventure, but is it worth keeping it day 1, or seeking more information? I'm not an expert in any means, I'm just a hobbiest, is this way above my skill set?

    Any replies would be greatly appreciated!
     
    TheNewbieShooter likes this.
  2. jesim1

    jesim1 Big Poster

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    It sounds like you have your head screwed on and are asking all the right questions, but on a public forum your more likely to get opinions rather than legal facts you can rely on, so only take the advice you get here as that - advice;)

    Think what sort of money you are going to have to put in versus what sort of money you can reasonable expect to get back - if you don't ditch the idea at that point I'd definitely invite your police contact round for a look and a go if you can interest them with a view to get their advice also, it could smooth so many issues from the start. I'd also speak to the council who can tell you if the land/buildings can be used for such activities as it would no longer be farming, but a commercial venture, but it's also worth contacting the sports division/commission or whatever you have in the area as if you make it open to all people - and why wouldn't you if your trying to make money, then there may be grants or provisions made for such things to help it along? (Open to all ages and great for kids, elderly, disabled etc....)

    What I'm basically saying is it will be hard to make money out of it for a living, certainly at first, and the sensible thing to do would be to find out from the above if it's viable before you spend any money on it. This will mean doing a business plan, fact find, H&S survey and probably public/rural impact study just so you can say you have actually looked at it and not just had an idea you scribbled on the back of a fag packet one day.

    My gut feeling is this is more of a hobby than a business and could be better done as a club with paying members and set days/times to shoot which you would have to sort out livestock and range officer wise. If you decided to go the full hog so to speak I would think you would have to make it bigger to include a tea room, toilets, shop, and potentially go into on line sales to be making any kind of money - but only after you have done a demographics and marketing plan as it could be the best place for miles in an area with not enough demand to pay for it:oops:

    Go in with eyes wide open, there are more of these businesses failing than opening.

    James
     
    raven hunter likes this.
  3. Wing Commander

    Wing Commander Engaging Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Wellingborough.
    As with all businesses, it is the overheads which can (and do) eat into any profits.
    Leasing a suitable industrial units could cost £30,000 to £50,000 per annum, so that is between £600 and £1000 per week before wages and any other overheads are taken into consideration. . . That is a LOT of shooting required to cover the costs, and the hourly rate to the shooters could be prohibitive.

    However, if you already own the land and the building, the overheads will be much lower and there is a greater chance of success.

    Best of luck with the venture.
     
  4. Alan1964

    Alan1964 Active Member

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    Location:
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    Self employment is usually a case of "Feast or famine".. you have a big advantage in owning the land and building, the two previous comments from.. jesmi1 and Wing Commander, really put a reality check on your venture... its all about research, research and more research...… however do not in years to come, regret not trying!!
     
  5. Husky-loves-to-run

    Husky-loves-to-run Busy Member

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    Location:
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    How about asking another owner for advice? If you are no-where near them you’re not a threat to their own business.
     
    jesim1 likes this.
  6. shorthouse

    shorthouse Plinker

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    Location:
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    contact the doncaster airgun range. it is a "public" shooting gallery for airguns only (no live fire). i've been once, and will go again. they charge £10 for 3 hours. facilities are basic, but it's got just enough to give a good mornings, or afternoons shooting.
    ian r.
     
  7. Readie

    Readie Proud Member

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    I would say £10 for three hours is reasonable.
    Personally much more you would get less takers.

    There was a thread on here somewhere where a recently opened range wanted something like £10 per hour plus yearly membership.
    Even the local lads said they wouldn't go.

    You could run a poll on here to find out what people would be prepared to pay if you list the facilities you are thinking about.

    It would be a starting point to then determine how many shooters per month you would need to be in profit as you are likely to know your overheads with a bit of legwork.

    All the best...
     
    Redcap 114 likes this.
  8. Redcap 114

    Redcap 114 Donator (Les)

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    Hi,

    I think that £10 for three hours is a bit tight, Pete’s farm is in Essex and he charges £15 for all day. You will find some guys putting 500 + pellets down the range.

    I’m now disabled and I pay £11 for all day. I was up there last week, I arrived at 0830 and left at 1500, 6.5 hrs, that included stopping for breaks and a smoke, the odd chats with other shooters and just generally having a walk round.

    I think that you would definitely be on a winner James, I also think that as a commercial venture it would be a definite long term success.

    I wish you the very best with it James.
     
  9. monsta41

    monsta41 Donator

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    i only pay 15 for all day
     
    Redcap 114 likes this.
  10. Redcap 114

    Redcap 114 Donator (Les)

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    Me too!
     
  11. Rat Man

    Rat Man Comfortably Numb

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    Location:
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    Whereabouts in Kent are you looking at doing this? I’m sure there would be demand across the county though.
     
    Redcap 114 likes this.
  12. Redcap 114

    Redcap 114 Donator (Les)

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    I’ve just noticed that this post dates back to 23rd April and he hasn’t been seen since 7th May.

    There would be one hell of a demand for a range over there.

    Les.
     
  13. Readie

    Readie Proud Member

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    Oh yeh......why do people do that.....:mad:
     
  14. Redcap 114

    Redcap 114 Donator (Les)

    Messages:
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    Location:
    From Hartlepool, now in, Leigh-on-Sea Essex
    Why would people do what? Have a demand for a range.

    Simply, if there isn’t already a range over there, then it would make sense to have one. In the first post that James put up, he stated that he was being pestered all the time by friends and friends of friends.

    The range that we have in Essex is just about always busy and heaving on weekends. There is a demand for both indoor and outdoor ranges.

    Regards
    Les.
     
    monsta41 likes this.
  15. monsta41

    monsta41 Donator

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    how many threads have you started and then not replied in?
     
    Redcap 114 likes this.
  16. Readie

    Readie Proud Member

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    None
     
  17. shorthouse

    shorthouse Plinker

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    Location:
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    i also noticed that the tread was old, didn't know if the original poster was still active. BTW there is an option of extending to all day for an extra £5 at doncaster.
     

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