This is side hustle money, but requires an initial investment between 5k-10k. I’ll break down some expenses at the bottom.
Who is right for this: Someone that has decent customer service skills and likes interacting with the general public.
If you’re like me and live in a town where there isn’t a ton of fun stuff to do for young people, laser tag might be a great opportunity. If you’re also like me you probably have memories of playing in a dark dirty laser tag arena being rushed around with older kids and malfunctioning equipment. But if that’s what you think of laser tag be a little more open minded.
This is about providing mobile laser tag equipment for parties. What I like about this hustle is that you can maintain your costs low. You’re not going to rent out space from a mall. You’re not going to need employees.
Acquiring customers for me is completely through social media ads and Google ads. When I first started planning this out I felt really motivated because I didn’t see any competitors nearby. I was actually wrong about that. I later found out that there are two local competitors and an additional one that overlaps my area.
What the competitors are doing wrong: Bad marketing & Bad equipment
- When I said I thought I didn’t have any competition I mean that. Of my 3 competitors two of them have websites (neither are mobile optimized) to make matters worse they have some of the worst photos I’ve seen. You have to really try to make laser tag look boring and they have managed to pull it off. The third competitor doesn’t even have social media but he does have a GMB listing and some of his clients have posted photos and reviews. I’ve noticed the parties hes working seem to be younger kids, so I suspect he has a connection with a child care facility.
For me putting together a proper WordPress website was quick and easy. What did take more effort (and a bit of cash) was photos and videos. I found a photographer that was willing to work with me relatively cheap. The subjects of the photos/video were my young cousins- compensated with lunch at chick-fil-a.
This not only provided website content for me, but I also use these exciting action images of kids playing laser tag in my social media ads. I think this is really crucial. I feel like it gets overlooked when people on this subreddit talk about ads. There is a lot of discussion on the technical aspects but the actual ad itself has to convey whatever you’re selling and I think we succeed at selling “fun”. When it comes to keyword targeting you probably don’t want to assume people are looking for laser tag parties (they’re not). You want to be found when they search for things such as “birthday party entertainment”. When it comes to advertising on Facebook you have to know how to target parents (moms). TikTok is something we haven’t tried yet but will likely be doing very soon. Primarily I’m interested in marketing directly to the kids and getting them to ask their parents to book a party for them. Also something I’m preparing to do is EDDM, I’m going to target wealthy neighborhoods with a compelling offer.
- The second thing my competitors are doing wrong (and what’s going to cost you the most money) is getting good laser tag equipment. There are tons of options out there and i’m not going to shill for any company. But I would recommend you stay away from what you might find on Amazon. I can’t emphasize enough you don’t want to go cheap here. You want gear that will be durable and connected (yes the internet of things has reached laser tag). Bluetooth and wifi are features that some of this equipment has. I recommend it. You also want some type of easy to carry barriers for more gameplay options (this you can go cheap on).
The money: Depending on where you are will impact prices. You want to aim for between $250-$300. Sessions should be 90-120 minutes. If you want to get some clients during weekdays you’re going to have to offer lower rates on those days.
Costs: After acquiring equipment your costs will be advertising, transportation, and insurance. There’s a lot of possibilities here depending on where you advertise, what you drive, and what kind of policy you get. For me this is roughly $600/month.
— for comments updates, read where this was originally posted on Reddit here.