The aim of carrying out market research as part of planning your business is to make sure that your business has every chance of success. It's worth giving serious thought to the following points.
Choosing your location
The correct location for your range is very important. Whether you are going to start a range from scratch or buy an existing range you need to consider all the aspects of your proposed location to make sure that it offers you the best opportunity to succeed.
Check out the competition in your local area to establish whether the market is saturated. You can do this by looking in the Yellow Pages or similar directories, by looking in specialist online directories or simply by driving around your neighbourhood. If there are already driving ranges within, say, a 10-20 mile radius of your proposed location, consider whether there will be room for you. It is also worth noting how much your competitors charge and how busy they are at various times of the day. If there are no driving ranges anywhere near your proposed location you should try to establish why this is. It may simply be that you are the first to identify the opportunities available or it may mean there is no demand. If there are a lot of golf courses near your area, you may consider them to be a good source of potential custom. However, many courses have their own practice facilities and it is worth checking this out as part of your market research.
Make a survey of the catchment area of the proposed location of your driving range. People will typically be prepared to travel around 10 miles to go to a range, so work on a 10 mile radius unless there are any particular factors about your location or the facilities you plan to offer that mean that customers would come from significantly closer or further away. Your catchment area should be well populated or the range should be served by good roads carrying plenty of through-traffic.
Print out the Record sheets to help you with your market research.
You may find it useful to read the 'Golf Range Study' published by the Organisation of Golf & Range Operators (OGRO) as part of your market research. This is an in-depth study of the golf range market and may help you to estimate the expected level of demand for your own facility. Visit the OGRO website for more details on how to buy this publication.