Do you want to start a batting cage manufacturing business? If YES, here’s a complete guide to starting a batting cage manufacturing business with NO money and no experience. If you live in an area where people play softball or baseball, you can make a fortune by leveraging on providing facilities that will help them practice and enjoy their games.
Of course, people that play softball or baseball typically don’t have the capacity to manufacture all they would need to play the game hence the need for manufacturing companies to come in. One of the many businesses that any aspiring investor or entrepreneur with a manufacturing mindset can start is a batting cage manufacturing business.
A batting cage is an encircled area for baseball or softball players to learn the skill of batting and to equally hone their skills in preparation for games and competitions. The ideal materials used for batting cages are netting, and they are usually rectangular in shape.
The batting cage manufacturing business just like most manufacturing businesses thrives on creativity and good business skills. Any aspiring entrepreneur with technical/construction skills can start a batting cage manufacturing business as long as they are creative, can get people to promote their brand and they have good business skills.
The starting size of this type of business doesn’t really matter as long as the business is built on the right foundation and with the right combination of skills and talents. One thing is certain, once you are creative, you will be able to come out with a unique and marketable style.
20 Steps to Starting a Batting Cage Manufacturing Business in the United States of America
1. Understand the Industry
The batting cage manufacturing business falls under the Golf Driving Ranges and Family Fun Centers industry and players in this industry basically manufacture or provide recreational and amusement services through a variety of establishments, which includes golf driving ranges, miniature golf centers, go-kart racetracks, batting cages, family fun centers, recreational sports leagues and a host of outdoor recreational activities.
It is important to state that businesses/facilities such arcades, themed amusement parks, gambling facilities, golf courses, country clubs, skiing facilities, marinas, fitness and recreational sports centers and bowling alleys are not part of the golf driving ranges and family fun centers industry.
If you have been following the Golf Driving Ranges and Family Fun Centers industry, you would have realized that the industry exhibited revenue growth in recent time, in spite of many consumers being time-strapped. While the industry struggled with mounting competition from alternative leisure activities such as fitness, many operators generated industry revenue growth on the basis of convenience.
For example, golf driving ranges attracted time-strapped individuals because they are more time-efficient compared with consumers playing nine to 18 holes on the golf course. Going forward, the revenue generated in the industry is projected to grow as operators in the golf driving ranges and family fun centers continue to enhance their product portfolios and services to attract families, regardless of their reduced time allotted for leisure and fun.
The Golf Driving Ranges & Family Fun Centers industry is indeed a very large industry and pretty much thriving in some parts of the world especially in developed countries such as United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and Italy et al. Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 53,308 licensed and registered golf driving ranges & family fun centers scattered all across the United States.
The industry is responsible for directly employing about 156,658 employees and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $11 billion annually with an annual growth rate projected at 4.5 percent between 2011 and 2016. It is important to state that no establishment has a lion share of the available market in this industry.
A recent research published by IBISWORLD shows that during the past five years, the Golf Driving Ranges and Family Fun Centers industry exhibited growth due to many industry operators updating their facilities to attract consumers. This investment differentiated operators’ product portfolios from other consumer leisure activities, such as at-home digital entertainment.
The report further stated that to attract budget-conscious consumers, some industry operators implement coupons and discounts, which generated awareness for family fun centers and golf driving ranges as a local entertainment option. Additionally, industry operators focused on specializing their product portfolio to attract particular demographics, such as adding bowling alleys to develop a strong customer base among families with older children.
Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to start their own batting cage manufacturing company is that the business is a thriving business and batting cages can be used not only by professional baseball or softball players, but also people who play baseball or softball for leisure and who would want to have their own batting cage in their yards.
Over and above, the batting cage manufacturing business is a profitable industry and it is open for any aspiring entrepreneur to come in and establish his or her business.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The people who make use of batting cages cut across all genders and age groups; male and female, adults and children all make use of batting cages for either for leisure or as professional baseball players.
3. Decide What Niche to Concentrate On
There is no niche area of specialization in the batting cage manufacturing business since batting cage manufacturing business is a niche area in the Golf Driving Ranges and Family Fun Centers industry. Those who are into the manufacturing of batting cage manufacture different designs and styles of batting cages.
The Level of Competition in the Industry
The competition that exists in the batting cage manufacturing business goes beyond competition in your city. This is so because major batting cage manufacturers can be contracted from any part of the United States to manufacture and install batting cages in any location. So, it will be right to say the competition in the batting cage manufacturing business is not laid-back.
The truth is that no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you have done your due diligence and you brand and promote your products or business properly, you will always make headway in the industry. Just ensure you have what it takes to manufacture safe and easy to install batting cages and you know how to reach out to your target market.
But over and above, there are several batting cage manufacturing companies scattered all around the United States. So, if you choose to start your own batting cage manufacturing company in the United States, you will definitely meet stiffer competitions amongst batting cage manufacturing companies in the United States.
4. Know the Major Competitors in the Industry
It is the custom that in every industry, there are always brands that perform better or are better regarded by customers and the general public than others. Some of these brands are those that have been in the industry for a long time, while others are best known for how they conduct their businesses and the results they have achieved over the years.
These are some of the leading batting cage manufacturing companies in the United States of America and in the globe;
- Super-Net Batting Cage Manufacturing Company
- Nets of America, Inc.
- Grand Slam USA
- Batting Cages USA, Inc.
- Mannino’s Grand Slam USA
- Sportime USA
- DC Baseball USA
- GO USA Fun Park
- USA Training Ctr LLC
- The Factory
- Line Drive Sportz
- All American Baseball Center LLC
- On Deck Batting Cage
- Baseball Factory
- Batters Box SF
- Automated Batting Cages
- Batting Cages of MN
If launching a business and maximizing profits is uttermost on your mind, then you need to ensure that you get your economic analysis right and try as much as possible to adopt best practices in the industry you choose to build a business in.
Batting cage manufacturing business is no longer a green business, as you will come across several brand names in your when you source for batting cage manufacturers in your state. So, if you are mapping out your economic analysis, you should carry out thorough market survey and costing of the required building materials, branding and other costs needed to successfully run the business.
By and large, if you are starting a batting cage manufacturing company, then your apprehension should not be limited to the cost of setting up the business and churning out quality batting cages, but also on branding and on how to build a robust distribution network. The truth is that if you are able to build a robust distribution network, you are sure going to maximize profits in the business.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
Unfortunately, you can hardly find the franchise of a batting cage manufacturing company to purchase meaning that if you want to own a batting cage manufacturing business; you must be ready to start from the scratch. This business is still pretty much thriving and there are loads of opportunities available to aspiring entrepreneurs that are interested in the industry.
The truth is that it will do you well to start your batting cage manufacturing company from the scratch. Starting from the scratch will afford you the opportunity to conduct thorough market survey and feasibility studies before choosing a location to launch the business.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
If you decide to start your own batting cage manufacturing business today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established batting cage manufacturers whose products can be found all across the United States. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market perhaps by producing customized nets.
So also, just like any other business, you are going to face the challenge of getting the required materials when you want them and at the right price that will guarantee you good profit. Some other threats that you are likely going to face is economic downturn and unfavorable government policies.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
When considering starting a batting cage manufacturing company, the legal unit you select will go a long way to regulate how big the business can grow; some batting cage manufacturing companies design their business for regional market, some for national market and international market.
You can either choose a general partnership, limited liability Company, or a sole proprietorship for a batting cage manufacturing company. Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small – scale batting cage manufacturing business especially if you are just starting out with a moderate startup capital.
But if your intention is to grow the business and manufacture and install batting cages for clients all across the United States of America and other countries of the world, then choosing sole proprietorship is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership will cut it for you.
Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. It is not so for sole proprietorships and general partnerships. Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholders meetings and other managerial formalities.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name from the ideas Below
You have to be artistic because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create an awareness of what the business represents. Usually it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend operating from when naming their business.
If you are considering starting your own batting cage manufacturing company, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- House of Baseball® Batting Cage Manufacturing Co, Inc.
- Game House® Batting Cage Manufacturing Co, Inc.
- Verge Primus® Batting Cage Manufacturing Co, Inc.
- Tim Jason™ Batting Cage Manufacturing Company
- Softball Zone® Batting Cage Manufacturer, Inc.
- Victor’s Signature® Batting Cage Manufacturing Co, Inc.
- James Stallone & Sons® Batting Cage Production Company
- Builders Group® Batting Cage Manufacturing Co, LLC
- Closed Loop® Batting Cage Manufacturing Co, Inc.
- Gusto Price® Batting Cage Manufacturing Co, Inc.
9. Discuss With an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. So, it is important to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your batting cage manufacturing business.
Here are some of the basic insurance covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own batting cage manufacturing business in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health insurance
- Liability insurance
- Workers compensation
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting your own batting cage manufacturing business, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is so because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run the business without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
But if you just want to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even jingles and media production concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
Although you do not need any special professional certification before you can successfully start your own batting cage manufacturing line business, but you will do yourself a whole lot of favor if you study construction or a related course before starting this this type of business. It will afford you the opportunity to truly maximize profits in the business; you will be able to have full grasp of the business from start to finish especially as it relates to producing trendy and safe batting cages.
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations. If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hand of the law catches up with you.
These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own batting cage manufacturing company in the United States of America;
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Business Plan
- Employee Handbook
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Consulting contract documents
- Apostille (for those who intend operating beyond the United States of America)
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Starting a batting cage manufacturing business can be cost effective especially if you choose to start on a small scale and making customized batting cages based on demand. Securing a standard and well – equipped production facility is part of what will consume a large chunk of your startup capital, but if you choose to start the business on a large scale, you would need to go source for fund to finance the business because it is expensive to start a standard large – scale batting manufacturing company.
When it comes to financing a business, one of the first things you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.
Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your batting cage manufacturing business;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell of shares to interested investors
- Applying for loan from your bank
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
When it comes to choosing a location for your batting cage manufacturing business, the rule of thumb is that, you should be guided by the demand for such product and easy access to labor and construction materials in the location you so desire to start the business.
Of course, if you are able to secure a central location for your batting cage manufacturing business, it will enable you cut the cost of transporting your construction materials and finished products to and from your production facility and warehouse.
It cannot be overemphasized that the location you chose to open your batting cage manufacturing business is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where the demography consists of people with the required purchasing power and who play softball or baseball.
If you make the mistake of renting or leasing a facility for your batting cage manufacturing business in a not too visible or hidden location simply because it is cheap, then you must be prepared to spend more in promoting the business and perhaps giving direction to potential clients.
It is important to note that a business facility in a good location does not come cheap hence you should be able to allocate enough fund for leasing/renting in your budget. If you are new to the dynamics of choosing a location for the business, then you should feel free to talk to a business consultant or a realtor who can help you pick an appropriate location.
Most importantly, before choosing a location for your batting cage manufacturing company, ensure that you first conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey. The possibility of you coming across similar business that just closed shop in the location you want to open yours can’t be ruled out.
These are some of the key factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your batting cage manufacturing company;
- The demography of the location
- The demand for batting cages in the location
- The purchasing power of the residents of the location
- Accessibility of the location
- The number of batting cage manufacturing companies and softball and baseball players in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community
- Traffic, parking and security
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
If you are considering setting up a batting cage manufacturing company, it means that you should be prepared to purchase a tool box. If you don’t have enough cash, you can start with fairly used construction tools, but if you are financially buoyant, then you should go for brand new ones since they usually have a long life span.
As regards leasing or outright purchase of a production or warehouse facility, the choice is dependent on your financial standing, but the truth is that to be on the safe side, it is advisable to start off with a short term rent/lease while test running the business in the location. If things work out as planned, then you go on a long term lease or outright purchase of the property but if not, then move on and source for other ideal location/facility for such business.
When it comes to hiring employees for a standard batting cage manufacturing company, you should make plans to hire a competent Chief Executive Officer (you can occupy this role), Admin and Human Resources Manager, Sales and Marketing Manager, Batting Cage Experts, Quality Control Officer, Field Operators, Accountant, Delivery Truck Drivers and Client Services Executive. On the average, you will need a minimum of 5 to 10 key staff members to run a small – scale but standard batting cage manufacturing business.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
When it comes to the manufacturing of batting cage, the first step to take is to come up with a design and then have the design approved by your team and the customer. The next step is to determine the quantity of materials that are to be used; materials such as solid nylon and polyethylene(PE) that are used for batting cage nets, oil based net coating (protective coating), metal or wooden rods, ropes et al. Other steps involved in the entire process are cutting the materials to size, join all the parts and installing the batting cage in the already marked position.
It is important to state that a batting cage manufacturing company may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them efficiency and flexibility; the above stated batting cage manufacturing business process is not cast on stone.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed With ideas & Strategies
Running a business requires that you should be proactive when it comes to marketing your goods or services. If you choose to launch a batting cage manufacturing company, then you must go all out to employ strategies that will help you attract customers or else you will likely struggle with the business because there are well–known brands that determine the market direction for batting cage manufacturers.
Customers will purchase and make use of your batting cage if they know that they are going to get the best in terms of quality and value for their money.
As a matter of fact, your marketing strategy will center on quality and pricing, and above all excellent customer service. The truth is that if you are able to put the above stated in place, you won’t struggle to retain your old customers and at the same time win over new customers.
Businesses these days are aware of the power of the internet and they will do all they can to maximize the internet to market their services or products. In other words, a larger percentage of your marketing effort will be directed to internet users and your website will become your number one marketing tool.
These are some of the marketing ideas and strategies that you can adopt for your batting cage manufacturing business;
- Introduce your batting cage manufacturing company by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to baseball and softball clubs, sport enthusiasts and key stakeholders throughout the United States
- Advertise on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across
- Create a basic website for your business so as to give your business an online presence
- Directly market your products
- Engage in road shows in targeted communities from time to time to sell your products
- Join local batting cage manufacturer associations for industry trends and tips
- Provide discount days for your customers
- Advertise our business in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Encourage the use of word of mouth marketing (referrals)
17. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
One key factor that will help you sell your batting cages at rock bottom prices is to purchase raw materials and supplies that are used for batting cage nets like oil based net coating (protective coating), metal or wooden rods, ropes et al directly from wholesalers in pretty large quantities. The truth is the higher the quantity of items that you purchase directly from wholesalers, the cheaper you tend to get them.
Another strategy that will help you retail your batting cage at the right price is to ensure that you cut operational cost to the barest minimum, and channel your efforts towards marketing and promoting your brand name. Aside from the fact that this strategy will help you save cost, it will also help you get the right pricing for your products.
You can also try as much as possible to work with independent contractors and marketers; it will help you save cost for paying sales and marketing executives.
18. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
The quality and uniqueness of your batting cage, your business process and of course your pricing model are part of what you need to stay competitive in the industry.
Another possible competitive strategy for winning your competitors in this particular industry is to build a robust distribution cum business network. Over and above, ensure that your organization is well positioned, key members of your team are highly qualified and your batting cages can favorably compete with the some of the best in the industry.
19. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers
When it comes to business, no matter the industry that you choose to pitch your tent in, one of the easiest ways to increase customer retention and perhaps attract new customers is to produce results and satisfy your customers always. If your customers are satisfied with your services delivery, they can hardly source for alternative service provider or products.
If you can continue to improve on the quality of your batting cage and your customer service delivery, then you won’t struggle to maintain loyal customers.
Part of what you need to do to achieve this is to track progress, results or outputs with the aim of improving on them quickly as the case demands. When it comes to managing your customers, and building a loyal clientele base, you should purchase a customized CRM software.
With a customized CRM system, you can easily stay in touch with your clients (you can carry out quick surveys, you can introduce new products and prices to them without any hitch, you can felicitate with them on their birthdays and other anniversaries, you can keep track of their progress, you can send bulk sms and customized emails and above all, you can easily receive compliant and feedback from them).
20. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
If you are in business and you are not deliberate about boosting you brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portrays your business to be. One of the secrets of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend fortunes year in and year out to boost their brand awareness and to continue to communicate their corporate identity the way they want people to perceive them to be.
If your intention of starting a batting cage manufacturing company is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.
No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and brand boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market.
Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create a corporate identity for your batting cage manufacturing company;
- Place adverts on both print (baseball/softball magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community based events
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your business
- Install your billboards in strategic locations all around your city or state
- Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted neighborhoods to retail your batting cages
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
- List your batting cage manufacturing company in local directories/yellow pages
- Advertise your batting cage manufacturing company in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles and distribution trucks are well branded with your company logo.
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