Business ideas
8 min read

How to Start a Profitable Laser Tag Business [11 Steps]

Learn how to start a profitable laser tag business with our 11+ step guide. From equipment to marketing, we cover everything you need to know. Start today! #lasertag #entrepreneurship #smallbusiness

By Nick Cotter
Updated Feb 02, 2024

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This page may feature products from our affiliate partners, which could influence the products we discuss due to potential compensation. Despite this, our evaluations are impartial, based solely on our independent analysis. The content here is intended for informational purposes and should not be seen as legal advice. For professional guidance, consulting with a legal expert is recommended.
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1. Perform market analysis.

Starting a laser tag business requires a thorough understanding of the market to ensure the venture's success. A comprehensive market analysis will provide insights into your potential customer base, competition, and market trends. Here are some steps to guide you through the process:

  • Research the demographics of your target area to identify the age groups, interests, and income levels of potential customers.
  • Analyze local and regional competitors by visiting their venues, reviewing their offerings, pricing structures, and understanding their market positioning.
  • Examine industry trends, such as the adoption of new technology in laser tag equipment and evolving consumer preferences.
  • Assess the demand for entertainment and recreational activities in your target location, including peak times for businesses like yours.
  • Identify potential marketing channels and partnerships with local businesses, schools, and organizations that could drive customer traffic to your laser tag venue.
  • Consider the impact of seasonal fluctuations and how they may affect your business to plan for consistent revenue throughout the year.
laser tag business image

Are Laser Tag businesses profitable?

Yes, laser tag businesses can be profitable. Many laser tag businesses have successfully generated profits by providing an entertaining and interactive experience to their customers. Additionally, laser tag businesses can benefit from repeat customers and special promotions to help drive revenue and profits.

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2. Draft a laser tag business plan.

Embarking on a laser tag business venture requires a solid plan that outlines your strategy and objectives. A comprehensive business plan serves as a roadmap for your business, detailing your vision, and how you intend to achieve profitability and growth. Consider these critical components when drafting your laser tag business plan:

  • Executive Summary: A concise overview of your business concept, mission statement, and the elements that will make your laser tag facility unique.
  • Market Analysis: Research your target market, customer demographics, and competitors. Identify market trends and how your business will meet demand.
  • Marketing and Sales Strategy: Detail how you will attract and retain customers, including pricing, promotions, advertising, and sales tactics.
  • Operational Plan: Describe the day-to-day operations, including the location, equipment, technology, staff requirements, and customer service protocols.
  • Financial Projections: Provide a clear financial forecast with revenue projections, startup costs, operating expenses, and break-even analysis.
  • Risk Analysis: Identify potential risks and challenges your business may face and outline strategies to mitigate them.

How does a Laser Tag business make money?

A laser tag business typically makes money by charging customers an admission fee and/or renting out equipment such as laser guns, vests, and goggles. The business may also offer concessions such as snacks and beverages, as well as additional services such as birthday parties and corporate events.

3. Develop a laser tag brand.

Developing a strong brand identity for your laser tag business is critical as it sets you apart from competitors and creates a memorable experience for your customers. A well-crafted brand resonates with your target audience and encapsulates the essence of the fun and excitement that laser tag offers. Here are some key steps to consider when building your laser tag brand:

  • Define Your Brand Personality: Choose a brand voice and personality that reflects the experience you want to offer. Is it futuristic, family-friendly, or military-themed?
  • Create a Memorable Name and Logo: Your business name and logo are the first impressions customers will have. Ensure they are catchy, appropriate for all ages, and reflect the theme of your arena.
  • Develop a Color Scheme and Visuals: Select colors and visuals that stand out and are consistently used across all marketing materials, from your website to your arena's design.
  • Establish an Online Presence: Build a professional website and engage on social media platforms to connect with your audience and promote your brand's personality.
  • Consistent Brand Messaging: Ensure all communication, from advertising to customer service, aligns with your brand's values and mission statement.
  • Trademark Your Brand: Protect your brand by registering trademarks for your name, logo, and any unique slogans to prevent others from using them.

How to come up with a name for your Laser Tag business?

When coming up with a name for your Laser Tag business, it's important to choose something that fits the theme of the business. Consider something catchy and memorable, such as Laser Tag Warriors or Galactic Fighters. It is also important to do some research to make sure your name is not already taken by another business. Finally, make sure the name you choose is easy to spell, so that potential customers can find your business online.

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4. Formalize your business registration.

Formalizing your business registration is a crucial step in establishing your laser tag venue as a legitimate entity. This process solidifies your business in the eyes of the law, enabling you to operate within the legal framework and gain the trust of customers and partners. Follow these steps to ensure your business registration is complete and compliant.

  • Choose your business structure (e.g., sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation) based on liability concerns, taxation, and administrative requirements.
  • Register your business name with the appropriate state agency, ensuring it is unique and not already in use.
  • Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for tax purposes, especially if you plan to hire employees.
  • Apply for any necessary state and local licenses or permits required for a laser tag business, which may include a general business license, sales tax permit, and special amusement permits.
  • Check with your local government for zoning laws to ensure your laser tag business can legally operate at your chosen location.
  • Register for state and federal taxes to ensure you are set up to fulfill any tax liabilities associated with your business.
  • Consider the need for additional registrations, such as a trademark for your brand or service mark for your games, to protect your intellectual property.

Resources to help get you started:

Explore key resources designed to empower laser tag entrepreneurs with market insights, operational strategies, and business growth advice:

  • International Laser Tag Association (ILTA): Offers industry reports, operational best practices, and a series of educational resources for laser tag business owners. Link
  • Laser Tag Operators Group: A forum on social media platforms where operators discuss trends, share advice, and provide support to each other. Link
  • Play Meter Magazine: Features articles on the latest trends in family entertainment centers, including laser tag facilities, with insights on market dynamics and business success. Link
  • The Laser Tag Museum: Provides a comprehensive history of laser tag, insights into the evolution of equipment, and interviews with industry pioneers which can inspire innovative approaches. Link
  • Leisure Business Advisors LLC (LBA): Offers market research reports and business plans tailored to the laser tag industry, aiding in strategic planning and investment decisions. Link

5. Acquire necessary licenses and permits for laser tag.

Starting a laser tag business requires adherence to specific regulations and obtaining the appropriate licenses and permits to operate legally and safely. This process can vary depending on your location and the specific nature of your business. Here are the key steps you should follow to ensure you have all the necessary licenses and permits:

  • Research local zoning laws: Check with your city or county's zoning office to ensure that your business location is zoned for a recreational facility like laser tag.
  • Business license: Apply for a general business license with your city or county's business licensing department to legally operate your business.
  • Special amusement permit: Some localities require a special permit for amusement and entertainment businesses. Contact your local government to find out if this applies to you.
  • Building permits: If you're constructing a new facility or renovating an existing space, you'll need the appropriate building permits from your local building department.
  • Health and safety inspections: Schedule inspections with the fire department and health department to ensure your facility meets all safety and health codes.
  • Insurance: Obtain liability insurance to protect your business and customers in case of accidents or injuries.
  • Special licenses: Inquire about any additional licenses required for music broadcasting, food service, or other specific aspects of your business.

What licenses and permits are needed to run a laser tag business?

Depending on the type of laser tag business, you may need to obtain a variety of licenses and permits from federal, state, and local governments. These could include business licenses, zoning permits, tax identification numbers, health department permits, fire safety permits, and building permits. Additionally, some states may have additional licensing requirements for laser tag businesses. It is important to research the specific requirements in your area before beginning operations.

6. Open a business bank account and secure funding as needed.

Opening a business bank account is a critical step in establishing your laser tag enterprise's financial foundation. It separates personal and business finances, providing clarity for accounting and tax purposes. Securing the necessary funding will also be crucial to cover startup costs and maintain cash flow. Here are the key points to consider:

  • Choose the right bank: Research banks that offer accounts with benefits for small businesses, such as low fees, online banking, and good customer service.
  • Prepare the required documents: Typically, you'll need your business registration documents, EIN (Employer Identification Number), and personal identification to open an account.
  • Understand the account features: Look for accounts with features that match your business needs, such as transaction limits, overdraft protection, and merchant services.
  • Explore funding options: Assess various funding sources such as small business loans, investors, crowdfunding, or personal savings to finance your business.
  • Create a solid business plan: A well-thought-out business plan is essential for securing loans or investments as it demonstrates the viability and potential of your laser tag business.
  • Maintain good credit: Ensure your personal and business credit is in good standing to increase your chances of securing favorable loan terms.

7. Set pricing for laser tag services.

Setting the right pricing for your laser tag services is crucial for attracting customers while ensuring your business is profitable. Consider the value you offer, your costs, and your target market's pricing sensitivity. Here are some guidelines to help you establish your pricing strategy:

  • Research Competitors: Look at what other local laser tag businesses are charging to get an idea of market rates.
  • Cost Analysis: Calculate your overhead costs, including equipment, staff, utilities, and facility maintenance to ensure your prices cover expenses and generate profit.
  • Value-Based Pricing: If you're offering a premium experience with the latest technology or unique gameplay, you might price higher to reflect this value.
  • Dynamic Pricing: Consider having different prices for peak times, off-peak times, group bookings, and special events to maximize revenue.
  • Packages and Memberships: Offer package deals or memberships to encourage repeat business and provide a sense of savings for your customers.
  • Discounts and Promotions: Use discounts and promotional offers sparingly to attract new customers or boost business during slow periods without devaluing your service.

What does it cost to start a Laser Tag business?

Initiating a laser tag business can involve substantial financial commitment, the scale of which is significantly influenced by factors such as geographical location, market dynamics, and operational expenses, among others. Nonetheless, our extensive research and hands-on experience have revealed an estimated starting cost of approximately $100000 for launching such an business. Please note, not all of these costs may be necessary to start up your laser tag business.

8. Acquire laser tag equipment and supplies.

Starting a laser tag business requires careful selection of equipment and supplies to ensure a thrilling and safe experience for your customers. You'll need to consider the durability, technology, and user-friendliness of the gear, along with obtaining all necessary supplies for day-to-day operations. Here's what you need to keep in mind:

  • Research Vendors: Look for reputable suppliers with positive reviews and good customer support to purchase your laser tag equipment.
  • Equipment Quality: Choose commercial-grade laser tag guns and vests that are durable and can withstand frequent use.
  • Technology: Opt for the latest technology with features like wireless connectivity, programmability, and real-time scoring to enhance the gaming experience.
  • Safety Gear: Invest in additional safety equipment such as anti-fog goggles to protect players' eyes.
  • Arena Supplies: Acquire inflatable obstacles, themed decorations, and lighting systems to create an immersive environment.
  • Operational Supplies: Stock up on batteries or charging stations, cleaning supplies, and maintenance tools for daily operations.
  • Staff Training: Ensure that staff are adequately trained to use, maintain, and troubleshoot the equipment.
  • Insurance: Secure liability insurance to protect your business and customers in case of accidents or equipment failure.

List of Software, Tools and Supplies Needed to Start a Laser Tag Business:

  • Laser tag equipment: guns, sensors, vests, etc.
  • Computer software for running the laser tag system
  • Computer hardware: processor, monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc.
  • Monitoring system: cameras, sensors, etc.
  • Network equipment: router, modem, etc.
  • Storage system: hard drives, flash drives, etc.
  • Point-of-sale system: cash register, credit card reader, etc.
  • Safety equipment: emergency exit signs, fire extinguishers, etc.
  • Advertising and marketing materials: flyers, brochures, etc.
  • Insurance and legal services

9. Obtain business insurance for laser tag, if required.

Securing the right business insurance is essential for the protection and longevity of your laser tag venture. It shields your business from potential liabilities and ensures the safety of your customers and assets. Here's a concise guide to help you obtain the necessary insurance for your laser tag business:

  • Research local insurance requirements: Different areas have varying regulations, so check with your local government to understand the specific insurance policies required for a laser tag operation.
  • Consult with an insurance broker: An experienced broker can provide valuable insights into the types of insurance that best fit the unique needs of a laser tag business, such as general liability, property insurance, and workers' compensation.
  • Consider additional coverage options: Depending on the scale and scope of your business, you may want to explore additional insurance types such as equipment coverage, business interruption insurance, and cyber liability insurance.
  • Compare quotes and coverage: Obtain quotes from multiple insurance providers and carefully compare the coverage details and costs to find the best policy for your budget and needs.
  • Review and update your policy annually: Your business will evolve, and so will your insurance needs. Make sure to review and adjust your coverage as necessary to stay adequately protected.

10. Begin marketing your laser tag services.

Embarking on the marketing journey for your laser tag business is pivotal to attracting customers and creating a buzz in the community. A strong marketing strategy can set you apart from the competition and help you build a loyal customer base. Here are some key steps to kick off your marketing efforts effectively:

  • Build a Professional Website: Create a user-friendly website that showcases your services, prices, and any special deals. Ensure it's optimized for search engines (SEO) to increase your online visibility.
  • Leverage Social Media: Use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to engage with your target audience. Post engaging content, interact with followers, and use targeted ads to reach potential customers.
  • Partner with Local Businesses: Form partnerships with nearby businesses to cross-promote each other. This could include package deals, shared advertising, or hosting joint events.
  • Email Marketing: Collect email addresses through your website or in-person and send out newsletters, promotions, and updates to keep your business top-of-mind.
  • Host Promotional Events: Organize grand opening events, themed nights, or special discounts to draw in crowds and generate word-of-mouth marketing.
  • Engage in Community Events: Sponsor local sports teams or charity events to increase your presence in the community and show your support for local causes.
  • Utilize Online Reviews: Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on platforms like Google My Business and Yelp to build credibility and attract new clients.

What licenses and permits are needed to run a laser tag business?

  • Laser tag equipment: guns, sensors, vests, etc.
  • Computer software for running the laser tag system
  • Computer hardware: processor, monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc.
  • Monitoring system: cameras, sensors, etc.
  • Network equipment: router, modem, etc.
  • Storage system: hard drives, flash drives, etc.
  • Point-of-sale system: cash register, credit card reader, etc.
  • Safety equipment: emergency exit signs, fire extinguishers, etc.
  • Advertising and marketing materials: flyers, brochures, etc.
  • Insurance and legal services

11. Expand your laser tag business.

Scaling your laser tag venture is crucial for long-term success and can lead to a more dynamic, profitable business. Consider the following strategies to broaden your market reach and enhance your customer experience.

  • Open Additional Locations: Research areas with high demand and low competition to open new laser tag arenas, increasing your brand's presence.
  • Mobile Laser Tag: Offer a mobile service to cater to events and parties, providing flexibility and convenience to customers.
  • Franchise Your Business: Develop a franchise model to allow others to open their laser tag centers under your brand, facilitating rapid expansion.
  • Partner with Other Businesses: Collaborate with local entertainment venues, schools, or community centers to cross-promote services and attract a broader audience.
  • Invest in Marketing: Enhance your digital marketing efforts with SEO, social media campaigns, and targeted ads to increase visibility and attract new customers.
  • Host Tournaments and Events: Organize regular laser tag competitions or themed events to keep customers engaged and attract new players.
  • Update Technology and Equipment: Stay ahead of the competition by regularly investing in the latest laser tag technology and equipment for an improved gaming experience.