Start Your Laser Tag Business
Start your own laser tag business with confidence. Our group has 70 plus years of combined industry experience with over 600 laser tag installations around the globe. Experience you can count on to help you get started and successfully operating now and over the life of your laser tag business.
Laser tag is a super fun game that appeals to a wide variety of ages and demographics, and once played, is enjoyed by most. Unlike some other attractions, this broad appeal allows operators to maximize their investment by attracting paid guests seven days a week, eliminating the number one killer of family fun centers - the mid week dead zone.
Below is a quick overview of the "typical" process to laser tag startup.
Passion, Ability & Drive
It all starts here. The road ahead is not easy, and is not for everyone. It takes real persistence, hard work, drive and the unyielding optimism only a true entrepreneur can bring. With these character traits at hand, the process isn't easy, but it is simple. Here's how it comes together and what you need...
Viable Market Opportunity
We speak with literally thousands of people every year who have had the idea of starting a fun center laser tag business. After filtering through those who do not have the passion, ability or drive - the next big reality check is the viable market opportunity. It's not always cut-and-dry, but if you are thinking about starting an indoor laser tag business and in order to raise the funding required and drive a return on your investment, in general terms, you need to have a minimum of 40,000 to 50,000 people in your market area.
Typically, your market area can be defined as a "reasonable" drive time. If you are in an area with 75,000 people within a 20 minute drive time, that would be a viable market opportunity. If you live in a large county area with 5 or 6 cities of 15,000 people each that are 25-30 miles away, and your town is the retail hub, that too may be a viable market opportunity. But as those cities get smaller and further away, that market opportunity dwindles.
Smaller rural communities may still have opportunity, but generally will not support a bricks-and-mortar location and would typically require a different, mobile or outdoor business model.
Let's assume you have an adequate viable market opportunity - now what?
Feasible Business Plan
Here we are at the first real bit of hardwork... the proverbial business plan. We all know if we need to find some money - we eventually need one, and none of us are really keen about doing it.
Well, again... it's not rocket science but it does take some effort. Here are the primary components to your business plan:
- Executive summary
- Industry analysis and relevant trends
- Target market demographics
- Business ownership and key partners
- Location, design and layout
- Competitive analysis
- Marketing plan
- Attraction mix
- Startup costs
- Income projections
- Financial forecasts
In order to complete all of these components, you will most likely need some form of feasibility study. Generally, feasibility studies can cost up to 2% of your total project costs. For example, if you hope to get started for $350,000 - a feasibility study could cost you as much as $7,000.
As part of the S.M.A.R.T. laser tag experience, we offer to complete this process with our customers. With a little bit of your local research and some homework, we can help you minimize this upfront expense and complete a professional feasibility study for your project.
The Right Location
As part of the business planning process, you will identify potential locations within your area. With a completed businiess plan in hand, it's time to get serious about finding the right location.
It's not so much about finding the best location, as it is about finding the right location. Just because there is a nice, big vacant building in the same complex as the new Super Walmart, a great location - it doesn't mean it's the right location. It may be $18/square foot - way too expensive for most community laser tag centers.
Things that need consideration for the right location:
- Zoning and parking
- Access and egress
- Tenant improvements
- Lease rates
- Facility design and layout
- Noise abatement & neighbors
- HVAC, electrical and plumbing
- Appropriate space for your plan
- Drive-by traffic and street flow
For many new laser tag entreprenuers, location, location, location is the biggest challenge. The first rule of thumb when looking for the right location is a price that is under $12/sqft. I hate to break the bad news to you, but if that awesome location you found is $16/sqft, chances are pretty good the numbers either won't work, or you will be working hard for the landlord unable to make any real money for yourself. Come to terms with it, and walk away :)
So finally here we are. Project funding, how much money are we going to need?
I mentioned earlier $350,000 as a startup budget. When you consider all of the components that go into a medium sized laser tag project of say 6,000 to 8,000 square feet, this could be considered a pretty fair average cost. Here are some rough prices as you think about your project goals:
- 20 player laser tag system $40,000 - $60,000
- 3,000 - 4,000 sqft themed arena $70,000 - $150,000
- Tenant improvements and build-out (3-4 party rooms, suit-up, briefing room, check-in/check-out area, washrooms, staff room, office, etc) $60,000 - $100,000
- Ancillary attractions and/or games $40,000 - $100,000
- Other equipment costs (sound system, TV/Monitors, lobby lighting, alarm system, POS system or cash register, computers, etc) $20,000 - $30,000
- Startup costs (marketing, licenses, depositis, fees, supplies and other) $20,000 - $50,000
- Contigency fund (at least 3 months operating capital) $30,000 - $60,000
Startup range from $280,000 to $550,000
As you can see, that little idea you had for a laser tag business can grow pretty quick.
This is just one average sample. Your project will most likely differ in many ways and costs. And, there is always room for some degree of DIY - you may be a builder or contractor or have family who owns a building...etc.
Laser Tag Startup Packages
Don't loose out on the perfect opportunity to start your own laser tag business. From budget to PROfessional, we offer three turnkey, indoor laser tag packages for new startup entreprenuers. Packages are complete, turnkey solutions and include the following;
- Local feasibility analysis with completed laser tag business plan
- Arena design, layout and special effects interactive package
- Full 60 week marketing plan - from pre-startup to grand opening and your first year of operations
- Comprehensive group sales and marketing service
- Employee handbooks, operational forms and manuals
- Laser tag equipment, game software, arena tech and themeing
- Ongoing business plan support, including location and funding assistance
You find the space, prepare a little local homework and we do the rest.
Complete design, build-out takes from 8 to 16 weeks, once you have secured your location.
Laser Tag Business Partners
Your success is our success.
We work along side you through the planning process, the design and development of your laser tag arena, as well as assisting with your lease negotiations and the process of securing your funding.
Laser tag is a total customer experience business - creating the right environment and game experience from the parking lot through the briefing and actual game, to the last moment of the birthday party, and the last step out the door, it's all about exceeding your guests expectations. This is how to build a strong, repeat, laser tag business.
Our turnkey service is a free service for laser tag developers. We provide all of the above and more, within a comprehensive and complete construction package, including your layout and facility drawings. To get started, all that is required is a small deposit that is applied to your refunded towrads the total startup. We ask for this because, it's a lot of work and commitment, and like you, we want to ensure our time and experience is time spent working with serious developers.
Be sure to checkout our 4-part video series on creating laser tag demand and growing your business.
Budget Laser Tag Startup
Get started on a show-string budget indoors or outdoors.
Perfect for smaller communities or indoor/outdoor mobile operators looking to add an additional revenue stream.
A 12 player tagger only system is under $12,000 USD
Mid Level Laser Tag Startup
A full vested system with laser tag gun and vest. This mid-range package offers great gameplay with a robust software package that provides individual games, group and team challanges, along with a full set of arena bases and targets. Perfect as a small stand alone laser tag business, or as an add-on for smaller fun centers, bowling conversions or other indoor party center type attractions. Typical arena size = 2,500 to 3,500 square feet.
A 20 player indoor package, including themeing starts at just $97,000 USD
PROfessional Laser Tag Startup
A full vested system with laser tag gun and vest, the PROfessional package includes all of the above, plus the advanced design and mission-based game play of ARENA-X. Interactive arena targets, custom developed group and member games, team missions and fantastic team building programs all add up an extra $50,000 to $150,000 in gross revenue for your business. Typical arena size = 3,500 to 6,000 square feet.
A 20 player indoor laser tag package, including arena themeing, custom missions, game content and a comprehensive sales and marketing program starts at just $160,000
Thanks for reading. If you have any questions or would like a no obligation review of the full service, please feel free to contact us, fill out our request form, or take a look at our download page for further information.