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Everyone enjoys bowling, which is why it has been around for so long. Even the ancient Egyptians liked to play ten-pin bowling.

Obviously, bowling lanes today are much more modern, with restaurants, bars, arcades, and easy-to-use technology. Also, as the pandemic winds down, bowlers are making a run for the lanes in big numbers, and the business is expected to be strong for the next five years.

But before you put on your bowling shoes, you should know what it takes to start a business. This step-by-step guide has all the information and knowledge you need to get your bowling alley on the right track for growth.

Step 1: Find Out if this is the Right Business for You?

Positives Vs Negatives

Enjoy making people happy!
Expansion Potential – Add a game area or a restaurant.
Gathering Place: Make yourself the place people go to have fun.
Start-up costs are high because you have to buy a building and tools.
A lot of care is needed for bowling lanes.
  • Size of the business and how it has grown in the past: The US bowling industry is worth $3.7 billion every year. The new outbreak caused the business to drop a bit, but it is now back on the rise.
  • The world bowling market is expected to grow by 4.5 percent each year until 2028.
  • In 2022, there will be 2,745 bowling alleys in business in the United States.

Cost of Starting Bowling Alley Business

Between $30,000 and $75,000 are needed to open a bowling alley. About $47,000 is the average cost. How much it will cost to start your business depends a lot on what kind of space you rent and how much you spend on tools and supplies. Consider hiring a bowling alley that is already open to save money.

Investment Items:

  • Office bowling
  • Gear
  • Accessories for bowling, such as balls and shoes
  • Concessions
  • Upkeep gadget

Is Bowling Alley Business Profitable?

Bowling typically costs $25 per lane, per hour. After paying for office space, equipment, salaries, and support, your net income should be around 35%.

In the first year or two, if you have six lanes, you could rent each one out for $25 an hour. This would mean an income of $274,000 per year. With a 35% margin, you would make $96,000. As your bowling hall becomes more popular, you could rent out all of your lanes for eight hours a day and charge $30 per hour. You would make a nice profit of $184,000 from the deal. Your income would be $526,000 per year.

Entry Barriers

  • Finding the right place that is also easy to get to 
  • Initial costs for setting up the building, buying tools, and buying supplies 

Step 2: Create a Strategy

Identify a Gap

Find a chance to look into bowling lanes in your area to find out what they have to offer, how much they cost, and what customers say about them. You’re trying to fill a hole in the market. For instance, there might not be a full-service restaurant, a bowling alley with an arcade and extra games, or a neighborhood store.

This could get referral marketing going again and begin to draw in people right away.


Customers who want to play bowling with their friends and family will rent bowling lanes, balls, and shoes from you. You could also serve drinks or food. Many bowling lanes also have arcades close.


Bowling usually costs $25 per turn. Assuming you have snacks, you can charge between $5 and $15 per item. If your bowling alley has a well-stocked bar, you could charge $10–$20 per drink. Taking into account overhead and labor costs, a profit margin of about 35% is acceptable.

If you know your spending, you can use this Bit by Bit net income number cruncher to figure out your rise and final sticker costs. Remember that the prices you use at send-off should depend on what happens in the future if the market justifies it.

Target Market

People of all ages who want to go bowling with friends, family, or coworkers are your target group. Focus your marketing efforts by using social media sites like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.


Picking the right spot for your bowling hall is important if you want to bring in people and make it a success. Look for a place with a lot of people going around and a good entertainment scene, like a busy downtown or a popular shopping area.

Think about how convenient and easy to get to the spot is by making sure there are enough parking spaces and that public transportation is easy to get to. By choosing the right location, you can set up a successful and well-known bowling alley that serves a lot of customers and hangs out at the major media outlet.

You’ll need to buy or rent an office for your bowling alley. You can look for local business space to rent on Craigslist, Crexi, and Instant Offices.

Step 3: Write a Business Plan

A plan is essential for any business. This will work as a manual to take your startup through the send-off process and keep up with center around your key objectives. A field-tested strategy likewise empowers possible accomplices and financial backers to more readily figure out your organization and its vision:

  • Executive Summary: A brief outline of the whole business plan that should be written after the plan is done.
  • Business Overview: A summary of the company’s goals, vision, purpose, assets, and control structure.
  • What we make and what we do: Explain in detail what you’re selling.
  • Do a SWOT analysis and look at market trends like changes in demand and growth opportunities.
  • Competitive Analysis: Look at your key rivals’ strengths and flaws and make a list of what makes your services better.
  • Sales and Marketing: Look at the unique selling points (USPs) of your business and come up with sales, marketing, and promotion plans.
  • Management Team: An overview of the team’s tasks and professional backgrounds, as well as a business structure.
  • Operations Plan: Your company’s operational plan includes how it will get supplies, where it will put its office, what its most important assets and tools are, and other practical details.
  • Financial Plan: A three-year plan for money, including start-up costs, a break-even analysis, predictions of profits and losses, cash flow, and a balance sheet.
  • Appendix: Add any other papers related to money or business.

Step 4: Create a Marketing Plan

Some of your business will come from people walking by or word of mouth, but you should still spend on internet marketing! Getting the word out is especially important for new businesses because it makes customers and brands more familiar. 

Once your website is up and running, link it to your social media sites and vice versa. Social media is a great way to promote your business because you can post interesting things about your goods. 

  • Facebook is a great place to run paid ads because it lets you target specific groups, like guys under 50 in the Cleveland area. 
  • Instagram has the same benefits as Facebook, but it appeals to a different age group.
  • Website: Search engine optimization (SEO) will help your website show up higher in appropriate search results, which is a key part of making more sales. Check to see if your website’s calls to action are clear. Change the size, color, and placement of calls to action like “Book Now” to draw more customers.
  • Google and Yelp: Putting your business on Yelp and Google My Business can help buyers find out about it and buy from you.
  • Contests and giveaways: Get people interested by giving them gifts if they do something like reshare one of your posts about virtual fun on their page. 
  • Signage: Put up eye-catching signs in your store and on your site.
  • Flyering: Post the right flyers in your area and at industry events
  • Support events—You can pay to be a supporter at events that are relevant to your target market.
  • Post a video: Put up a video about your bowling hall. If you use fun, it could go viral online.
  • Give people reasons to refer new customers by giving them something in return.
  • Paid social media ads: Choose sites where your goal crowd is and run targeted ads there.
  • Influencer marketing involves paying people with a lot of fans on social media to spread the word about your bowling alley. There are small powerhouses with smaller followings and lower rates.
  • Tributes: Let your customers tell you how much they enjoyed their time at your bowling alley.