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I'm interested in opening a Batting Cage facility... Anybody willing to share any ideas, tips, or advice? Thanks in advance for any and all info.
Thought about it here in Portland Or would advise to add space for an indoor golf driving area winter is wet here and this would add extra income and keep dads busy
Jose, great question: I'm surprised their aren't more folks chipping in.
My advice: invest in quality equipment (pitching screens, netting, etc) from the get go. I get lots of facility owners purchasing new screens and nets less than a year in, taking a big chuck of the profit and momentum they've been gaining. With the 24/7 use of a facility and the liability associated with it, be sure to raise and budget for the best equipment. Your clients will notice, your coaches and trainers will thank you for quality protection, and you'll steer clear of avoidable injuries.
Best of luck!
Thanks for the advice, Dylan. Great appreciate it.
Absolutely, happy to help.
Get in touch with me if/when the time comes. I'd love to share with you my new A-Screen Pitching Screen at www.MorrowSports.com.
Welcome to the world of indoor training facilities. I agree with Dylan on a lot of what he said, but my first "investment" would be to find two partners to go in with you; one partner with commercial real estate background and a love for baseball and another partner with a construction background with a love for baseball. Trying to do this on your own is nye impossible. Here is a little background on myself and why I recommend starting this way: I am the Owner/President of The Baseball Barn in Vacaville, CA. My background was finance and I had a couple of friends with the backgrounds I described. My search for the right facility was 5 years. Two years of searching, visiting buildings, etc. Most were too small and some were too big and the rest were the wrong location-too far from my hometown. My dream was 35k-40k sf to build 1-2 full size indoor infields, 10-12 batting cages and instruction area with eatery. The rent would be almost unsustainable ($6k-10K/month) and the build out was a million dollars to do it right. Then about 3 years of just waiting because I was tired of searching.
I finally found a 7800sf space within a building where the rent is very reasonable (end rent is $2100 with less in the first 6-12 months). Another big item in the beginning-be frugal with your spending once you open. You must have cash in thebans by the firs year with a majority of debt, if you carry it, paid off. We paid off half of the build amount in about a year with just the initial investment form each partner left. Knowing I was not going to be able to do this alone (who wants to work 7 days a week/365-and hiring in such a small margin venue was almost impossible). The build out was approximately $60k with a lot of our own labor, design of retractable nets to accommodate IF work and camps, 2 hitting cages (self-load Jugs Jr's) at 12x38 and 5 toss lanes at 12x40' with one pitching tunnel. It works? Overhead, electrical, etc is <$350/month. I agree with quality nets, because once you get them up you do not want to have to replace them within a year or two. We are currently 23 months on ours and have replaced baseballs and softball once. Don't forget softball players...that's a big part of our business. Buy quality baseballs, or you will be replacing them every 6 months and that's a pain. Look for deals too. Buy form someone that you plan on building a relationship with so you can get better pricing since you will be coming back over a long period. Start somewhat modest with your ideas and then build once you know you will be able to sustain your "dream".
We work a 1 week on and two week off schedule M-F 4-9p.m., Sat 10a.m.-7p.m. and Sunday 11.m.-5p.m. It works for us. I also have the flexibility to adjust my schedule for my hitting clients (I am the hitting Instructor here). If you want to see the layout and some picture, go to www.vvbaseballbarn.com and then check out our FB page www.facebook.com/vvbaseballbarn and my you tube channel - search The Baseball Barn or Rich Lovell.
I hope that helps some. It will be two years this December and our clientele is still growing. If you have a vision, stick with the vision you have and make sure your partners share in the same vision...for example, I am a stickler on how our instruction is to be handled. We have an online reservation system that clients can book and pay for their hitting, practices, and pitching and hitting instruction. We show up when scheduled and DO NOT flake out like a lot of baseball people are known to do. I believe that is what is driving our success is our professionalism. We make improvements, upgrades when we can and offer incentives to come in; Sundays are an Open Hitting session form 12-2p.m. for $10. It's a loss leader for us, but it is a service and provides access for those that may be a little more challenge with finances. We do gain some hitting instruction from this (I don't push instruction during this time. It's for the kids, but I offer a suggestion if the parents are ok with it. Can't really do much without video anyway). Most importantly, have an owner, or knowledgeable adult/teenager at the desk at all times. That has been expressed multiples times by clients that they appreciate someone is there all the time.
I hope I wasn't too wordy, but I do enjoy what I do and I also like to help. Hope this helps.