Smokin' Guns Range and Shooting Academy

Raising money to build a premier indoor shooting range & firearms training facility in a tourist destination with an already large shooting demographic and literally no competition

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Smokin’ Guns Range & Shooting Academy, LLC is a premier firearms training/education, and retail facility located in Biloxi, Mississippi. With climate controlled indoor shooting bays, an expansive retail showroom, state-of-the-art training facilities which can easily be formatted to become corporate or social meeting spaces, SGRSA will serve the local and regional hunting/shooting sports, law enforcement and personal/self-defense sectors. SGRSA will be the first choice for a quality, safe place to shop, learn, train and entertain.

Executive Summary

The Business
Smokin’ Guns Range & Shooting Academy, LLC (SGRSA) is a start-up company that is a 25,500 square foot, state-of-the-art indoor gun range.  It will be situated on a five-acre lot with 700 feet of road frontage, located on W Oaklawn Rd, Biloxi, Mississippi.  Access to the site is conveniently located off Interstate-10, Exit 41 (Woolmarket).  

Smokin’ Guns Range will meet the underserved needs of South Mississippi’s shooting sports enthusiasts and grow the new shooter market. We will use the newest innovations and technologies to build an all-inclusive firearms training, range and retail facility with special event capability.  We will offer both club memberships as well as be open for daily-use to the public.  Our emphasis will be on firearms safety, training, education and entertainment.  It is designed to incorporate the best in safety, comfort, and technology available in the shooting sports industry today. 

The range will consist of nineteen individual shooting lanes divided between four custom shooting bays: 

·         One bay will consist of five shooting lanes at a distance of 10 yards 
·         One bay will have ten shooting lanes at of twenty-five yards 
·         One dynamic bay which allows for shooting 270 degrees for advanced training
·         A one-hundred-yard bay with four shooting lanes 

Smokin’ Guns Range will be the first choice for a quality, safe place to shop, learn, train and entertain.  With our customer service professionals managing the firearms retail and pro shop, our friendly, certified instructors teaching classes in the state-of-the-art training facility; and with the ability to host events and parties that include Smokin’ Guns activities, it’s easy to see how Smokin’ Guns Range will successfully serve the firearms retail, training and event hosting market.

The Market

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is the world's leading organization supporting the firearms industry and provider of insight on the feasibility, development, and design of indoor gun ranges.  According to the NSSF, travel times of 35 minutes is a key figure in defining the market for an indoor range. While modest gun ranges are successful in smaller markets, the NSSF recommends 250,000 persons in a 35-minute drive time as a beginning point for feasibility.  However, with lack of competition and additional offerings the market area can grow and, with easy accessibility, can grow even further. In our market we know, via the NSSF Consumer Market Report, we know that the population of adults (18 years and older) is 310,908.  Favorable demographics, the lack of direct competition, great location and our multiple offerings all combine to produce a greater than the normally expected market area.  The business plan will further explain how the Smokin’ Guns Range will capitalize on the other market factors to make this company a success. 

Our NSSF research further states there is an untapped potential market of 74% of the population who say they wouldn’t have a problem shooting in a controlled, safe environment if given the opportunity.  This tells us there is a HUGE market of new shooters.  One-way Smokin’ Guns will capitalize on this new shooter market is by partnering with the NSSF and offering their “First Shots” and “Plus One” programs.  These programs are geared specifically to get new shooters into the shooting sports.  Range facilities across the country are using these programs to successfully convert first time shooters into gun owners, members, true enthusiasts and what we’d like to refer to as “customers for life.” 

The Mississippi Gulf Coast had more than 13.5 million tourists visit in 2017.  Casinos are the area’s largest draw, followed by people visiting family and friends, beaches, fishing tournaments, golfing, etc. Because Smokin’ Guns Range is an event destination themed with a South Mississippi flare, and offers various shooting packages, we have the unique ability to attract tourist business to our range.  

There are two local military bases within a 20-minute drive of our range.  One of these is a training base with over 30,000 new airmen rotating through training each year.  They will greatly add to our market in several ways which will be discussed in greater detail in our marketing strategy. 

The business plan explains how we plan to keep the range busy by capitalizing on several other markets within our area as well as many specialized niche markets.  

Managing the day-to-day operations of SGRSA will be range owner, Robert Cavaco.   As a noncommissioned officer in the Air Force, Robert has managed multi-million-dollar accounts while training and managing a wide-range of diverse teams.  He’s a certified USCCA and NRA firearms instructor and NSSF member who has meticulously studied the firearms industry in order to develop the best range possible.  For 13 years, he has successfully managed and operated his high-end custom cabinet shop and looks forward to bringing the same dedication to Smokin’ Guns.
A former U.S. Air Force Reserve Personnel Specialist, Sheila Farr brings an extensive amount operational management and training expertise to SGRSA.  With more than 25 years of medical management experience, Sheila has developed and overseen training programs, managed operations and compliance, designed and implemented successful marketing campaigns, and built dynamic teams.  Having previously worked as LEAN/Six Sigma Program Manager and Education Director has provided her the skills and the practical ability to efficiently manage multiple programs while at the same time fostering development and growth of the people assigned to her supervision.

She holds a doctorate in Organizational Leadership (ABD) from Grand Canyon University, an M.Ed. from the University of Georgia, a M.A. in Counseling from Liberty University, and a B.S. in Human Services from the University of Alabama.  Additionally, she has multiple professional certifications in Human Resource Management, Risk Management, and Medical Practice Management. 

SGRSA has also engaged Range Development Services, LLC (Range DS), an experienced commercial real estate and development project manager with a focused expertise on the establishment of quality indoor shooting sports facilities throughout the United States.  Range DS is the team leader on behalf of SGRSA and provides insight to the industry, strategic facility recommendations, key guidance in navigating the process of establishing the facility, and key introductions to other industry leaders that are uniquely unmatched. 

Assisting in the management of our facility we have Joseph Green, a career law enforcement officer who has been serving since 2002, and who currently works as a full-time instructor at the Southern Regional Public Safety Institute Law Enforcement Training Academy.  Joseph is the owner/manager of an outdoor range in Hattiesburg, MS, that has been in successful operation since 2017.

SGRSA will also establish a 5-member advisory committee made up of successful range owners and local business people who will meet quarterly to assist the SGRSA management team in ensuring the range is doing everything possible to provide high-quality service and products in the most efficient manner.


Estimates for financial projections are prepared with a conservative look at all aspects of the business.  The reader will see that this business will be profitable, with a positive cash flow year one. 

A conservative pro forma puts annual sales revenue at $4,913,000. The cost of goods sold and operational expenses is $3,923,000 thus providing a profit before interest and taxes of $990,000 (20.1%). 

The business will be structured as a Limited Liability Company for many reasons but one of the main reasons is that an LLC allows for more flexibility of profit distributions.  The flexibility of distributions would be so the equity investors recoup their up-front investment earlier in the life of the business, projected to be within the first five years of operation. 

The total costs for the company are $11.4MM and is divided into two parts: start-up (hard and soft costs) costs of $9.93MM; and working capital of $1.47MM.  The start-up costs are funded with 20% ($2.28MM) of equity raised, and a USDA B&I Guaranteed Bank Loan for the remaining 80% ($9.12MM). The USDA B&I program guarantees 80% of the loan.

More About Us

The Smokin’ Guns Range and Shooting Academy is a new and exciting indoor shooting range with an emphasis on extensive firearms training.  Our facility is well-lit, open, clean, and easy to navigate.  We are a full-service facility, open seven days a week and offer a myriad of safety, personal protection and firearms training classes along with a unique shooting experience in our state-of-the-art shooting range designed with a coastal flare / theme.  As a full-service facility we also have an on-site armorer and gunsmith and offer a wide range of retail options including guns, ammo, accessories, targets, and a limited display of ladies' concealment clothing.  

Steeped with traditional Southern pride and family values, SGRSA will provide a safe and family-friendly environment to capitalize upon the existing underserved customer base and growing public interest in firearms and firearm safety.  We are a destination; featuring classrooms that can easily be converted into an event space in which we will host everything from birthday parties to corporate team-building events.  We will consistently create an experience that has the customers wanting to return for more.  Whether it be training and educational, entertaining and fun, or shopping and buying - the customer will have a positive experience and we will be the “go to” place for those needs.

Customer service that is second to none:  Our patrons will always be greeted by a friendly and professional staff who are knowledgeable and care as much about providing exceptional customer service as they do about guns and shooting.  

A detailed description of our offerings.

Nineteen climate controlled indoor shooting lanes:
·   Bay 1 is a dynamic “tactical” bay which allows for 270-degree shooting.  The bay designed this way will accommodate normal classes shooting in a static line as well as advanced training and scenario running where the shooter can shoot peripherally and advance to targets. This bay will also have the unique capability of accommodating night training, low light situations, as well as law enforcement special lighting that will enhance the tactical and police training experience. (This is to the shooting world what cross fit is to the physical fitness world, we’ll be the only facility to have this.)
·    Bay 2 has 5 lanes at 10 yards.  This bay will be used primarily for everyday range rental.  It will have a programable automatic target retrieval system with digital controls.  Each lane will be designed and built by Rushing Ranges and handles all pistol rounds. This bay will also feature photo murals of scenes from the MS Gulf Coast.
·    Bay 3 has 10 lanes at 25 yards.  This bay will be used primarily for everyday range rental.  Like bay 1, this bay will also have the unique capability of accommodating night training, low light situations, as well as law enforcement special lighting that will enhance the police training experience. It will have a programable automatic target retrieval system with digital controls that provide shoot/don’t shoot scenarios.  This bay will also be equipped with load speakers and a sound system to create a heightened more realistic training environment. Each lane will be designed and built by Rushing Ranges and handle all pistol rounds and rifle rounds up to 308.  This bay will feature photo murals of scenes from local law enforcement and military bases.  
·    Bay 4 has 4 lanes at 100 yards.  SGRSA’s 100-yard indoor bay is yet another feature of our facility that sets us apart from other ranges in the Biloxi area.  In addition to hunting, long distance precision rifle shooting is a skill to be developed and is a growing hobby that we are excited to accommodate.  It will have a programable automatic target retrieval system with digital controls. Using cameras at the 100-yard point and monitors at the firing line, shooters will be able to view their shots on target without retrieving them constantly.  This bay will handle up to the 50 cal.  Each lane will be designed and built by Rushing Ranges.  This bay will feature photo murals of wildlife/hunting scenes from the MS Gulf Coast.
Retail / Pro-shop:  
The 3,000+ square-foot retail showroom / pro-shop will serve as a nucleus of activity both physically and functionally.  The retail area is well lit, attractive, inviting, open and easy to navigate around.  Our pro-shop and retail will not only offer competitive pricing but the best customer service in the industry.  It will be designed and laid out for maximum efficiency and revenue.
Our goal is for our guests to have exceptional service every time they visit our range. By providing intimidation-free customer service in a positive environment, we will ensure our customers experience a friendly, shooting, learning and gun buying experience.
We will provide customer service that is, above all else, friendly and respectful.
For some people buying a firearm can be an intimidating experience. Sometimes customers, especially first-time buyers, are not sure what to buy or even if that particular gun is going to be the right one for them.  For this reason, too many times a new gun buyer has been looked at from behind the display case as someone who is too indecisive, ignorant as to what they want, and just a waste of the salespersons’ time. We believe that by providing a comfortable, friendly, intimidation-free environment, we will build and foster a relationship that will create what we are going to refer to as a “customer for life”.

(One way that we will set our range apart and build relationships that create customers for life is to use our “value added” benefits. What, exactly, does “value added” benefits mean?  We explain it in this manner:
We know that we are not in business to be the “discount gun warehouse”.  We understand that firearm margins are low and that we may not be able to sell the most guns at the lowest prices. However, what we can do is sell more guns by adding value to the purchase. By being a full-service firearms retailer and range, we will have packages available to sell with the firearms that will add value to the purchase. Whether the package includes other retail items (with larger margins) at a discounted price, or packages from other profit centers such as:  range time, training and memberships.  We do this so that when a customer, having done online research, comes in to compare gun prices, we have the unique ability to earn their business by simply adding value to our product.  We will increase our customers buying opportunities with us and ensure the perceived value for doing business with us is obvious. We believe this will go far in fostering the trusting relationship that we intend to build with our customers).

Gun rentals:  
Another multi-faceted revenue stream for SGSRA is gun rentals.  Gun rentals will increase our revenue streams in at least three ways: 1. The rental of a firearms. 2. The sale of ammo. 3. Gun sales.
Offering everything from handguns to fully automatic rifles for rent to our customers will provide an opportunity for new shooters and recreational shooters to try a broad-range of guns.  Having a wider variety of guns to rent means that we will rent a higher volume of guns.  Since outside ammunition cannot be used with our rental guns, there will be increased ammo sales.  Our gun rental program will enhance the sale of new firearms because of the number and variety of guns we will offer for rental. 
Try It Before You Buy It:
SGRSA offers a personalized "gun fitting" service called "Try It Before You Buy It.” This program gives new shooters the opportunity to try guns prior to selecting the gun they’d like to purchase.  It gives them an opportunity to consider the way the gun fits in their hand, their ability to safely manipulate all operations of the firearm, and to experience the recoil and trigger reset; all with the assistance of an experienced range safety officer/sales person.  We want our customers to be happy with their firearm choice, so we feel this program will allow us all to experience success in fitting the right firearm to each customer. This will ensure the new gun owner buys a gun that they enjoy shooting and will return over and over to practice, thus becoming our customer for life.
Training Classes and Instruction:
Holding true to our mission statement of providing our guests with the “greatest possible training,” quality training classes and instruction will be foundational elements of improving the shooting sports and firearms safety in our community.  We plan on having two large classrooms that adjoin, or can be separated with heavy room partition/wall dividers.  Each classroom will have its own smart board projection system and computer docking station podium.  The classrooms can be set up in various configurations to accommodate different class settings.
We feel that by starting with a definitive plan, bringing in industry and law enforcement professionals, and staying open to adjusting our schedules depending on customer demand, we will have a strong education program that is unmatched by any of our competitors.
The intention is that proficient skills development occur through ethical, logical and methodical training at SGRSA. A preliminary list of courses at Smokin Guns follows: 
·         Concealed Carry
·         Basic Firearms Safety Course
·         Home Firearms Safety
·         NSSF First Shots Class
·         Introduction to Handguns
·         Introduction to Shotguns
·         Introduction to Rifles
·         Family Firearms Safety
·         Youth Intro to Firearms
·         Women Only Classes
·         Defensive Pistol, Shotgun & Rifle Courses
·         Hunter Education Courses
·         Personal Security and Situational Awareness
·         Low-Light Shooting Dynamics
·         Carbine 101
·         Know the Law
·         Firearms Cleaning and Maintenance
·         Advanced Concealed Carry
·         Map and Compass Skills
SGRSA will be open to the public for daily use.  However, membership opportunities will be presented in a tiered system (both pre- and post- grand opening) to accommodate the demands of high frequency enthusiasts. The full menu of membership opportunities is listed below which presents the utmost in flexibility to meet individual and family needs, budgets, and lifestyle.  SGRSA’s use of memberships will be simple and intuitive so that customers receive the greatest benefit for their membership commitment.
(Memberships are HUGE deal!!  It not only adds value to, and encourages a gun sale, but it also adds to membership sales.  Members are especially valued by our gun range. They provide the range with an ongoing recurring income/cashflow with monthly membership dues in exchange for extraordinary perks and opportunities that ordinary customers do not have). There are a few ranges that can boast of exceeding 100 percent capacity based on monthly memberships alone.
Many ranges today offer leagues and sanctioned competitions.  League shooting matches are an important component at SGRSA as well.  We will offer monthly matches in several disciplines. This will encourage customers to return, develop camaraderie, and satisfy the desire to compete and enhance their proficiency. We will also host various leagues, clubs and events for those enthusiasts who wish to evolve and advance their skills and knowledge, as well as those who just want to have fun.  Among those will be:
Event Hosting:
Classroom/Event Space:  We plan to have two training rooms with collapsible/accordion walls that will allow different room configurations.  As the class rooms are able to adjoin, we expect to host events ranging from birthday and graduation parties, shooting competitions, corporate team building events, ladies’ night, and fun shoots themed around holidays (pumpkin shoots and zombie shoots for example).  Our 1800 square foot of training space will also be used for event hosting for up to 75 people. Also available for event hosting is the 500 square foot lounge and 2100 square foot, air-conditioned, outdoor patio. Rental rates by the hour or pre-packaged event pricing will be offered to both members and non-members. 
Gunsmith/Armorer Services:
SGRSA will have an on-site gunsmith to help with new sights, triggers, grip installations or cleaning.  Another key service offered by SGRSA is accessorizing and upgrading firearms to improve its fit and function.  We will have a shared space for our gunsmith and armorer.   By putting a large customer service window on the gunsmith shop and having it next to the vending area makes the gunsmith more accessible to our customers for questions and thereby providing opportunities and relationship building between our staff and our customers. Our gunsmith will provide a full spectrum of services ranging from simple safety function checks to fitting, customizing and enhancing firearms.  Repairing, customizing and even building firearms is something we will be “known for” throughout the market.
Community involvement:
We will be an asset to our community.  Not only will training make gun owners safer and more responsible but we will be active civic participants.  We look forward to being a location for law enforcement training. We will work trade shows and community events, we will sponsor fundraising for community and charitable causes, and we will work with elected officials to maintain logical direction in legislation as it applies to gun laws.  We will be the "go to" location for firearms information.
Social and Civic Collaboration and Partnerships:
We are a business that has a vested interest in our community. Not only will we provide a wide range of jobs (from trades to professional), we will also band together with civic and social organizations to develop programs that foster a sense of community.
Trade School Partnerships
High School Partnerships
4H Partnerships
Military Partnerships
Law Enforcement Partnerships
Domestic Violence Awareness Partnerships
The trend in recent years has been to offer an exclusive space or lounge for only high-paying VIP’s to call their own.  We will have the lounge plus three other uniquely different places for customers to sit, visit and enjoy the range.  These four areas will be all-inclusive and open to members and non-members. 
·         The lounge is separated from the retail section (for noise abatement only) and will have relaxed seating (couches and oversized chairs) in front of a large screen television and fireplace.  This will have the feel of an executive VIP area (but it may still be cordoned off for special events and planned functions by reservation). 
·         Cafeteria style seating in front of a variety of vending machines or in our café. 
·         We will have seats at the windows that have views into each of the bays so people can watch others having a great time on the range.   
·         Finally, an outdoor patio that will be actually be cooled by the cold, filtered air that leaves the range. 

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