How To Start An Indoor Miniature Golf Business

For various reasons, a mini golf course business is a popular choice for many entrepreneurs.

The game itself is still becoming increasingly popular, especially now that folks are starting to get out more. 

Business owners love it for its relatively minimal start-up costs and the creative freedom it allows.

Read on to find out why an indoor mini golf business is a smart venture and how you can launch your own. 

Why Start A Mini Golf Venture

how to start an indoor miniature golf business

Mini Golf Doesn’t Get Untrendy. 

Many recreational activities are short-lived fads, but mini-golf is one of the few that has remained popular over the years. 

To put it another way, miniature golf is an evergreen pastime.

It doesn’t matter what time of year it is or what the weather is like; some folks are going to be up for mini-golf. 

And you don’t even have to know how to play golf (I played once, and it was my last time!) to start a mini-golf business.

It’s An Artistic Endeavor 

Starting a mini golf venture has many advantages, including the ability to design your own course. 

Business owners are able to design their miniature golf courses to meet their own demands and budgets, unlike many other small ventures. 

Working with professional contractors ensures that miniature golf business owners get every step of the process properly, starting with planning and ending with implementation.

Low Startup Costs 

Sure, the expense of developing and maintaining a mini golf course isn’t insignificant.

But when compared to other businesses, this is a reasonably inexpensive venture. 

If the course is well-built, it doesn’t require a lot of upkeep, aside from maintaining the sets, common areas, and utilities.

It’s Lucrative 

Miniature golf enterprises are some of the most profitable in the world, thanks to an increase in ticket prices over the previous few decades. 

Because of the availability of new and improved construction materials and mini golf course designs, maintenance costs have been gradually declining. 

This results in a more profitable business strategy for mini golf entrepreneurs.

It’s Flexible 

Because of its versatility, launching a mini-golf business is logical for most entrepreneurs. 

By establishing a miniature golf course in a neighborhood, a business can grow in tandem with the neighborhood’s population and increasing demand. 

A business owner has the freedom to hire and manage a workforce, as well as create a business model tailored to their needs.

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How To Start Your Own Indoor Miniature Golf Business 

How To Start Your Own Indoor Miniature Golf Business

Starting a business entails more than just filing paperwork with the government.

To help you get your miniature golf course up and running, I’ve put together this handy guide. 

This procedure will guarantee that your new business is properly planned, registered, and complies with the law.

Step 1: Plan, plan, plan. 

A well-thought-out plan is vital for entrepreneurial success.

It will aid you in mapping out the specifics of your organization and uncovering some unknowns.

Here are some answers to questions you’re bound to have at this point:

How much is it going to cost to open an indoor miniature golf course? 

The expenses of starting a mini-golf business vary, but the average is $500,000.

According to one professional group, putting a deposit on the land lease or space will cost between $15,000 and $30,000.

Then there could be an additional $100,000 to $140,000 needed to perform all of the necessary changes to the land itself. 

Supplying the necessary course decorations and moving elements, as well as interior decorations, furnishings, and arcade games, can cost an extra $200,000. 

You’ll also have to spend between $7,500 and $15,000 for architectural plans, as well as $2,000 to $4,000 for insurance deposits. 

Basic equipment (including office supplies, PCs, ticket machines, and so on) will cost between $8,000 and $10,000, with the POS system costing an additional $7,500.

Stocking up on golf balls, clubs, and game redemption prizes can cost up to $15,000, while legal and accounting expenses can cost up to $4,000. 

Finally, you may need up to $9,000 in order to acquire eye-catching signs and up to $12,000 to publicize your big opening.

What about the ongoing expenses for running an indoor miniature golf course?

The good news is that beyond the initial costs of establishing a miniature golf course, the ongoing costs are minimal. 

Some rates will vary depending on the location and size of the business, but utilities should be around $1,500 per month, and business insurance should be about $500. 

Fresh supplies can cost up to $400 per month, while rent can cost up to $6,000. 

Aside from that, your primary concern will be paying your employees’ wages (usually $4,000 or so per month for a manager and an adequate hourly rate for other staff).

Who will be your target market?

Families will be your best clientele in general.

This is because parents can help control their children’s behavior (which will not be accurate for all of your teen clients). 

Plus, larger families can contribute more cash at a time than smaller groups of customers. 

And they help you build a lifelong business since youngsters who appreciate the experience will return as they get older and one day bring their own kids.

This is why establishing your target market early on is crucial.

How will you make money as an owner of an indoor miniature golf business? 

A mini-golf business essentially charges clients a set amount to play on the course.

You can also earn from stalls or vending machines you set up. 

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How much should you charge your customers? 

The actual pricing varies by state or area, but visitors may expect to pay between $5 and $7 to play 18 holes. 

With this pricing, your company becomes a highly competitive alternative to the increasingly expensive pastimes of going to the movies, restaurants, and so on.

How much can you expect to make? 

The precise amount of profit your business makes is very dependent on the area and the local entertainment competitors. 

However, because of the cheap recurring costs, a consistent stream of customers can easily earn you over $100,000 per year. 

Some mini golf course owners claim to be able to pay off their initial investment within the first few years of managing this business.

How do you make your business more profitable? 

To optimize profits, make sure to have a presence in logical areas for possible customers, such as schools, churches, and local entertainment centers. 

Try to be open as many days as possible.

Major holidays are frequently very busy for mini-golf courses since people have time off from work and school and are eager to come out and play. 

Lastly, make sure to have a social media presence that prominently displays images of genuine customers and their testimonials.

How do you come up with a name for your business?

Choosing the proper name is both crucial and tricky.

If you don’t have a name in mind, try name generators to get some ideas.

If you go for a sole proprietorship, you may choose to use a business name other than your own. 

I recommend evaluating your business name before registering it by checking:

  • Federal and state trademark records 
  • Your state’s business records 
  • Web domain availability 
  • Social media handles availability 

It is imperative to register your domain name before someone else does!

Related Reading: HowTo Start An ATM Business – Find Out Here.

Step 2: Register Your Mini Golf Business 

a golf club with a red golf ball

It is fundamental to register your company if you wish to start and maintain a legally compliant miniature golf course business. 

Every state and country has a unique legal corporation establishment structure.

In the United States, for example, the most common small business formats are sole proprietorship, partnership, and limited liability firms (LLC). 

Establishing an LLC will provide you with some additional benefits at a fee.

You can register an LLC directly by depositing the requisite registration fees in the state where you intend to start the business.

You can also pay additional fees to employ a professional LLC creation service provider to form the LLC.

Step 3: Secure Licenses and Permits

To operate a mini-golf course, you must secure various licenses and permits.

The legal criteria differ from one state to the next and from one country to the next.

The most typical legal necessity for operating your own mini golf course is a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) from the proper legal authorities.

If you want to open a miniature golf course in the United States, you should first visit the US Small Business Administration’s (SBA) official website to learn more about the necessary licenses and permissions.

After receiving the necessary legal permits to operate a miniature golf facility, it is time to open a business bank account. 

A company bank account in your name is a must because it makes it easier to file annual taxes at the end of each year.

Step 4: Widen Your Circle 

A mini-golf course requires no special credentials to operate.

In fact, once the course is completed, the company will effectively run itself with minimal staffing and maintenance.

It can also yield significant long-term returns.

However, before opting to establish a mini-golf course, it’s a good idea to learn the ins and outs of running a mini-golf business. 

I’d recommend chatting with someone who manages a mini-golf course in a different region (not in competition with you) to learn more about it.

Step 5: Choose The Right Location 

Finding an optimal location is critical to the success of a mini golf course business. The venue must be conveniently accessible and reachable by people.

Remember that the majority of customers choose to visit family entertainment centers in the late afternoons and on weekends. 

Make sure there is ample parking space because there will be a lot of traffic.

Do the required preparations to keep your mini golf course open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

If your goal is for your business to thrive, experts advise not compromising on location!

So, do your research!

You can either purchase an “off the shelf” miniature golf course to install at the venue or create your own. 

If you must, it’s not the end of the world if you scrimp on course quality.

You can always enhance it over time—but not the location itself.

Potentially, you can significantly increase income and awareness by allowing youth organizations to use the facilities and conduct events such as birthday parties. 

You can supplement your revenue by selling beverages, candy, and possibly toys or other novelty merchandise.

Step 6: Hire Staff. 

A single person would find it extremely difficult to run a mini golf course.

You’ll need to hire some help to run the business. 

The following are some of the crucial employees you should consider hiring: 

  • Receptionist 
  • Cashier 
  • Floor staff 
  • Manager 
  • Assistant manager 
  • Security personnel 
  • Janitor (maybe) 

Because this is a recreational business, choose employees that have good communication skills and a pleasant appearance.

Step 7: Price Your Services. 

Before deciding on your rates, gather information on the pricing structure of existing mini golf courses. 

Customers’ fees are heavily influenced by the geography and demand in the immediate neighborhood.

In general, you can charge $8 – $15 for 18 holes of golf.

The majority of successful miniature golf course operators earn more than $100,000 each year.

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Step 8: Promote Your Business. 

Promote Your Business.

It’s a good idea to mix television, radio, printed publications, and web advertising for your initial advertising push.

This helps you establish yourself in the mini golf industry. 

Online advertising through social media and your website, on the other hand, will become simple and nearly free over time.

Plus, it will give a perfect arena for engaging younger clientele.

Creating Your Website 

After you’ve established your brand and designed your logo, the next step is to create a website for your company.

While launching a website is a crucial step, some may be concerned that it is out of their wheelhouse due to a lack of website-building skills. 

While this was a fair concern ten years ago, online technology has made significant advances in the recent past, making the lives of small business owners considerably easier.

The following are the main reasons why you should not put off developing your website:

  • Social media accounts, such as Facebook pages or LinkedIn company profiles, are not a replacement for your own business website.
  • Website builder programs, such as the GoDaddy Website Builder, have made it relatively simple to create a basic website. You don’t need to hire a designer or web developer to make a website you’re proud of.
  • Every genuine business has a website, period. When it comes to bringing your business online, it doesn’t matter what size or industry it is!

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Setting Up Your Phone System 

Getting a phone for your business is one of the better methods to keep your personal and professional lives private and separate. 

That isn’t the only upside; it also helps you automate your business, provides it credibility, and makes it easier for potential customers to identify and connect with you.

Retaining Your Customers 

As I previously said, encouraging customers to hold birthday parties and other events at your course is one of the better methods to attract and keep consumers. 

You can also offer specific days and times with incentives (like bringing friends and earning a free game or lower costs after a certain hour) to entice additional customers. 

Lastly, within your financial constraints, attempt to include interactive arcade games and other activities that clients cannot readily replicate at home. 

This is one of the reasons why unusual games like Dance Dance Revolution remain popular.

Customers cannot readily reproduce these experiences at home.

Related Reading: Side Hustles for Moms – Check Out The Hustles Here.

Final Thoughts 

An indoor mini golf course business is a fun and viable venture, especially if you have decent capital.

It’s an investment that can bear good fortune if managed correctly. 

I hope this guide helps get your business off the ground.

Continual research will make your business thrive, so just keep learning!

Good luck!

Disclosure:  this article might contain links to the resources discussed.
Some of the links are affiliate links, meaning that I will make a small commission if you purchase a product or service by using the link. You get the same price whether you use our special link or not, and sometimes I’m able to get you an even better deal through my relationships!  More info in my privacy policy.

Brooks Conkle Banner Image
Brooks Conkle

Brooks is an Entrepreneur, Sponge, Father, Husband, & Follower of the Golden Rule. He has over 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur after graduating with a BSBA in Finance from Auburn University. He’s addicted to growing new business ideas and any food that includes chocolate and peanut butter. Brooks is a firm believer in creating multiple streams of income and creates content here on to help other hustlers in the areas of marketing, online business, personal finance, and real estate. 

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