Wondering how to start a billiard and pool hall? We take you step-by-step from start to success.
Pool & Billiards Industry Overview
Once a staple of American life, pool and billiard halls have made a resurgence in recent years. Presently, there are more than 43 million regular billiard players in the U.S.; more than 1 in 8 Americans considers themselves to be a pool player.
But unlike other hobbies, billiards isn't a portable activity. Billiards enthusiasts need a place to practice their game -- and that's where pool or billiard halls come into the picture.
Customer Demographics for Billiard & Pool Hall Startups
From the outset, you'll need to reconcile your startup business plan with the fact that pool halls serve a very specific segment of the marketplace. Although pool players come in all shapes and sizes, the majority are male adults under the age of 35.
Does that mean women won't represent part of your customer base? No -- it's important to consider offering activities for female patrons. But generally speaking, women won't drive traffic to your hall. So you'll need to focus your décor and marketing efforts on things that appeal to a younger male demographic.
Financial Considerations for a New Pool Hall
As your billiard hall begins to take shape, there are several financial factors you'll need to consider. The most important one is the fact that pool halls actually lose money on billiards. Surprised? Most startup billiard entrepreneurs don't realize that the cost of acquiring and maintaining pool tables exceeds billiards revenue.
So to earn a profit, you'll need to develop alternate revenue streams. Most pool halls make a living from the sale of food and alcohol. In fact, alcohol sales are so important that it just doesn't make sense to open a pool hall until you have secured a liquor license.
How to Write an Effective Billiard & Pool Hall Business Plan
It's virtually impossible for your billiard and pool hall to succeed without an effective business plan.
The best business plans are practical documents that reflect actual business realities. To be reliable, your business plan can't include best guesses or intentional exaggerations.
Instead, commit to creating the most precise business plan possible. For more information about billiard and pool hall business plans, take a look at what the experts say about business plan writing.
Talk to the Community
If you're a startup billiard and pool hall owner, you understand how important it is to anchor your new business in the local community. Most billiard and pool halls are local businesses that are marketed to a geographically concentrated customer base. So, early in your startup process, we strongly recommend that you survey nearby customer prospects whether they would buy from a new billiard and pool hall, if one were to open up in the area.
Don't Ignore Competitors
Before you open a billiard and pool hall within your community, it's a smart move to find out how strong the competition is. Use the link below to get a list of local competitors in your city. After following the link, enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of billiard and pool halls in your area.
Before you open up shop, make sure you know what you will offer to your customers that provides a significant advantage over your competition's offering.
Learning More About the Industry
If you are seriously contemplating launching a billiard and pool hall, it's a wise move to talk to somebody who is already in the business. Local competitors are not going to give you the time of day, mind you. It'd be crazy for them to teach you the business.
Thankfully, an owner of a a billiard and pool hall in a location that is not competitive to you will be much more likely to talk with you, provided that you won't be directly competing with them. In that case, the business owner may be more than happy to discuss the industry with you. If you are persistent, you can find a business mentor who is willing to help you out.
Where can you find a billiard and pool hall manager who is willing to advise you because you live in different cities?
Simple. Let your fingers do the walking by using the link below.
Guidelines for a Billiard & Pool Hall Acquisition
There are a lot of reasons why it may be preferable to acquire a billiard and pool hall instead of starting a new business venture.
An acquisition isn't necessarily a bed of roses. You'll need to thoroughly evaluate the factors involved with buying a business. Right away, you'll want to make sure the business is capable of meeting your ownership expectations.
If the business appears to meet your requirements, you'll need to verify your impressions through broker-assisted due diligence and legal research.
Don't Rule Out Franchising
Purchasing a franchise doesn't guarantee success, but does make everything a lot easier.
Before you consider starting a billiard and pool hall, it's worthwhile to determine whether there are good franchise opportunities available that might be the right move for you.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you currently own a billiard and pool hall, these resources will come in handy:
If you sell to billiard and pool halls, we've got better information for you elsewhere on our site. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.