Business idea-critique, advice, and thoughts welcome/desired-I'm updated!

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JAG2955
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Business idea-critique, advice, and thoughts welcome/desired-I'm updated!

Post by JAG2955 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 6:29 pm

Okay, I think that we have a small enough community that I can write without fear of someone sniping my SUPERB BUSINESS IDEA!

As I alluded to in the NRA course thread, I'd like to start a small business where I can train and introduce folks to firearms. My target audience is those who have never shot before, to those who have gone to a range and just can't figure it out. Ideally, it will be those with more money than sense. Case in point, I went to a range on the 26th of December this last year with my in-laws to teach one of them to shoot. One of the guys next to us had a Nighthawk 1911. His target at 5yds looked like someone fired a short barreled cylinder bore shotgun at a 25yd target. I'd love to be able to drop off a business card with someone like that to help him get more experience and improve his skills.

I live in a place with lots of highly-paid executives, especially women. I've got a lot of experience teaching untrained/minimally trained shooters.

My plan would be to advertise in-home firearms training for those who don't own a single pistol or rifle, or maybe own one, but have no clue how to use. Show up nicely dressed with a computer with powerpoint presentations, a blue gun or two, a live one or two, some dummy rounds, handouts, and sight alignment/sight picture transparencies. My fears are that I would show up, and they would have some ridiculous, likely German, gun that I am completely unfamiliar with that they want me to train them on. Granted, I can figure out what they have beforehand and study, but I don't want to have to do that.

The steps. Here's where I need help:
-Begin assembling curriculum. I already have a good deal of this from my previous, beardless lifestyle. I just need to translate it from Marine to civilian, take new photos of people in civilian clothing, including women and older folks.
-Get approval from the HOA for a business. While our HOA has restrictions on a "home business", I understand that they just want to prevent people from opening stuff like a garage, daycare, or slaughterhouse. Folks have stuff on etsy without issue. I could probably beg for forgiveness instead of asking permission, but I don't want to pay for the LLC then get shot down.
-File for a LLC
-Make arrangements with a range to provide training. I am worried about this one. The range that I belong to does have a "Corporate membership", where you can have up to six rotating shooters at a time, but it's $3K for the year. It's also pretty far out of the way for folks downtown. I am a huge fan of outdoor ranges for many reasons, mostly noise. There's another one or two that I could check with to see if I could drive them some business if I could act as a "contractor" as opposed to employee.
-Get a separate safe for FFL business firearms
-Get a FFL
-Get insurance.
-Buy modern, common pistols with which to train people (The advice I give to people who say "what should I get?" is to go rent a Glock, M&P, and to a lesser extent, XD, and shoot them, then choose your favorite). Get a small number of AR-15s, and Remington 870s/Mossberg 500s for the same purpose.
-PROFIT! And tax writeoffs. I hope.

I'm not in this to make millions. If I could profit $500/month, I would be more than happy. If someone wants high-speed-low-drag training, they can go somewhere else, preferably to a reputable trainer, not some clowns like the V.I.P.E.R.S. or whateverthehell they were called.

Go ahead, rip it apart. 8-) I can take it.
Last edited by JAG2955 on Wed May 25, 2016 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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arctictom
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Re: Business idea-critique, advice, and thoughts welcome/des

Post by arctictom » Fri Jan 01, 2016 6:46 pm

Test market the idea with a Facebook page for your business and use their "push advertising " it will tell you if people will use the service. And good luck.
You live and learn.
Or you don't live long.

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randy
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Re: Business idea-critique, advice, and thoughts welcome/des

Post by randy » Fri Jan 01, 2016 6:47 pm

Check to see if your state has some sort of list for firearms trainers.

For instance, in Ohio you need to be certified (such as with the NRA or the state LE firearms training) and can be listed as an approved firearms trainer with the state. It's not required here, but might be a relatively cheap way to get some more exposure.

Example link here
...even before I read MHI, my response to seeing a poster for the stars of the latest Twilight movies was "I see 2 targets and a collaborator".

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JAG2955
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Re: Business idea-critique, advice, and thoughts welcome/des

Post by JAG2955 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 6:52 pm

randy wrote:Check to see if your state has some sort of list for firearms trainers.

For instance, in Ohio you need to be certified (such as with the NRA or the state LE firearms training) and can be listed as an approved firearms trainer with the state. It's not required here, but might be a relatively cheap way to get some more exposure.

Example link here
Texas has their own CHL training. I looked into it, and from what I understand, the backlog is pretty heavy to be trained as an instructor. But I sure would like to add that to my repertoire. It's one thing that I've already gotten asked about.
arctictom wrote:Test market the idea with a Facebook page for your business and use their "push advertising " it will tell you if people will use the service. And good luck.
Great idea! Easy and free!

rightisright
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Re: Business idea-critique, advice, and thoughts welcome/des

Post by rightisright » Fri Jan 01, 2016 7:05 pm

JAG2955 wrote:
randy wrote:Check to see if your state has some sort of list for firearms trainers.

For instance, in Ohio you need to be certified (such as with the NRA or the state LE firearms training) and can be listed as an approved firearms trainer with the state. It's not required here, but might be a relatively cheap way to get some more exposure.

Example link here[/quote

Texas has their own CHL training. I looked into it, and from what I understand, the backlog is pretty heavy to be trained as an instructor. But I sure would like to add that to my repertoire. It's one thing that I've already gotten asked about.
arctictom wrote:Test market the idea with a Facebook page for your business and use their "push advertising " it will tell you if people will use the service. And good luck.
Great idea! Easy and free!

For all its downsides on a personal level, Facebook has outstanding targeted marketing for business. For my construction business, I regularly run successful ads that specifically target females 35-60 in wealthy towns.

BDK
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Re: Business idea-critique, advice, and thoughts welcome/des

Post by BDK » Fri Jan 01, 2016 8:35 pm

Perhaps get one of those laser based systems for doing the "in home" portions?

I think there is a market for training which "doesn't scare white breads," or at least a need for it.

Aesop
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Re: Business idea-critique, advice, and thoughts welcome/des

Post by Aesop » Fri Jan 01, 2016 10:19 pm

Go for it.
Your hurdle is that most people who can afford Gucci gear don't think they need help learning to shoot, because American.
And as an ironclad rule, gun owners are the cheapest skinflint bastards on the planet. (Who'll spend $100 in gas to save $1 on a firearm comparison shopping all over town. :roll: )

If you take it on as a sideline business for the first decade, you might last long enough to get enough of a rep to get repeats and referrals.
"There are four types of homicide: felonious, accidental, justifiable, and praiseworthy." -Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"

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blackeagle603
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Re: Business idea-critique, advice, and thoughts welcome/des

Post by blackeagle603 » Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:12 am

Market it as pre-paid gift vouchers. "Give the gift of quality firearms training."
"The Guncounter: More fun than a barrel of tattooed knife-fighting chain-smoking monkey butlers with drinking problems and excessive gambling debts!"

"The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic;" Justice Story

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JAG2955
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Re: Business idea-critique, advice, and thoughts welcome/des

Post by JAG2955 » Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:41 am

BDK wrote:Perhaps get one of those laser based systems for doing the "in home" portions?

I think there is a market for training which "doesn't scare white breads," or at least a need for it.
LaserLyte or SIRT system? Good idea. It offsets the cost of a blue gun/trainer, as you can perform manipulations with the SIRT trainer.

And yeah, the white bread/soccer mom is my target demographic. They want to feel empowered, and to be able to protect their kids. I'm thinking of a women's program called something like Lioness program, or Shepherd program.
blackeagle603 wrote:Market it as pre-paid gift vouchers. "Give the gift of quality firearms training."
I like that for many reasons, payment up front, with the possibility of them never collecting on it. ;)

Here's a question for those of you who started shooting later on in life:

What would you be willing to pay for small-group level instruction, both firing and non-firing portions?

Is there a market for a "help line" to call/email/text/facebook to decide which pistol/rifle to buy? Of course, the answer to this is almost always the same (see above about modern polymer pistols, in 9mm, preferably), unless it is someone with arthritic hands, in which case the answer may be a revolver. I don't know how that would get charged, though I'm certain that there is software somehow that can do it. If they're going to ask for pricing advice as well, I might be able to swing something with a local store to give them a good price if I can get a referral fee.

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randy
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Re: Business idea-critique, advice, and thoughts welcome/des

Post by randy » Sat Jan 02, 2016 1:16 am

JAG2955 wrote:What would you be willing to pay for small-group level instruction, both firing and non-firing portions?
For that I would start with what the going rate in the local market for the closest type of training runs.

'round here I've paid between $150 and $200 for some advanced rifle and pistol courses (draw from the holster, fire and maneuver, shooting from cover aimed at CCW and non-LE types).

Basic CCW (which in Ohio is usually one of the NRA Personal Protection courses with additional range time to meet the state mandated minimum) and usually runs $75-100.00
...even before I read MHI, my response to seeing a poster for the stars of the latest Twilight movies was "I see 2 targets and a collaborator".

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