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The following is a copy of a blog on my website...I put it in For Sale threads as I do plug the products I sell to clubs...but, I feel its important enough to post here. Sometimes a club has to spend a little money to keep ahead of the curve. The clubs using our Target Manager systems are very pleased and profitable. Thank you for reading my words.

The Future of Gun Clubs...

There was a recent thread on Trapshooters.com about all the gun clubs which have closed in recent years. I was somwhat amazed at the number. Many, of course, closed due to urban sprawl. Others just seemed to fade away...sometimes not that they are not being used...they simply lost money and closed.

I talk with all kinds of gun club owners and managers every day as part of my job here at Target Shotguns, Inc. We sell a lot of different equipment to them and service a lot of their equipment. During my discussions with them I ask some questions like "How many targets do you buy every year?" and " What is your target loss percentage?". Inevitably, the most successful club managers can almost tell me to the target how many they buy, how many they throw from each discipline and what their loss percentage (targets not paid for..) is. The clubs that are on the fence financially are also almost always on the "honor" system or have no idea what inventory management is all about.

As an example, a modest sized club throwing 375,000 targets a year having tight controls and making money will have a target loss in the 6% range. Amazingly they are still not being paid for 22,500 targets! However if those targets are budgeted for in the cost of a round of trap, skeet, sporting clays or 5 Stand, the clubs are in fact getting paid for them...just indirectly as a cost of doing business added to the shooting fee.

Take the same club with NO target management (inventory control) and the unpaid target average will typically jump to about 17%! Now we are talking about 63,750 (That's right! sixty three thousand, seven hundred fifty!!) unpaid targets. 41,250 more unpaid targets than the club throwing the same number of targets with a target management system in place. With an average price of a target at $.10 each....that means the club paid out over $4000.00 more for targets AND, more importantly, did not receive another $4000 in revenue for the club! Now, I don't know about your club, but I'll guarantee you that mine could use another $8000 in the bank at the end of the year! Thats a new PatTrap, 1/2 the cost of building a new field, 3 new Sporting machines, a complete 5 stand management system or even one heck of a Christmas Party!

The point being, that in today's world, gun clubs have to be managed like a real business. ( You don't think WalMart or KMart have loose cost and inventory controls...) Keeping the doors open on small clubs is the key to surviveability of both the clubs and the shotgun sports in general.

We offer a complete integrated RFID card pay system called TARGET MANAGER. It allows your club members to pre-pay for their shooting. Your club has a record of the transaction on a computer log with the easy to use software we provide. Your guests can be issued a pre-loaded card in exchange for their car keys or driver license and they can settle up when you read the card after they shoot.

Members and guests swipe their card on the reader at the shooting venue they choose and the appropriate number of targets and a couple extras are deducted from their card and loaded into the Target Manager on the field. When they are through, the "extra" targets that are not used will disappear in a few minutes after shooting stops and all the "paid for" targets are used up. The system will not allow more than 8 - 10 targets as extras in the "bank".

Sporting Clays shooters simply put their card in the slot on the Target Manager and shoot the station. As each target is thrown, one target is deducted from the card. Of course pairs will deduct 2.

If your club is loosing targets or would like a simple fun way to increase profits, give us a call or send us an email. Check out EZPull and Target Manager on this website. We're here to help and we can make your club profitable again!

Shoot well!

Bob
 

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In order to a quick assessment of financial viability, what would the turnkey system cost for that same club that throws 375,000 targets?

Regards,

Chip
 

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Of the clubs that have installed coin boxes here, the "spoilage" rate was MUCH higher than 17%. One club figured they were lucky if they were being paid for 1/2 the targets thrown.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Send me an email to [email protected] and I'll be happy work out pricing for your club. Trap, Skeet, 5 Stand and Sporting all have different requirements so any pricing without specifics would be arbitrary...

Thanks,

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #7
AFB and Army Bases used to allow civilians to come and shoot at the clubs on base...I shot at Patrick AFB in Cocoa Beach FL for years before they shut it down and built a Golf Course. The old Spaceport Gun Club near the Kennedy Space Center was on Govt. land and that got the axe too. Clubs on private land seem to be ok and many are thriving...with good management and enthusiastic members.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #8
On another note...we have the best wireless programmable 5 Stand controller on the planet!



It can work with or without RFID card system. Will hold 6 programs (with report pairs!!) for 8 traps. With a 250 yard range you can make a real killer 5 Stand.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the emails & PM's! Our new website is almost ready for publishing and it will have lots more info on EZPULL , MEC and Target Manager systems.

Bob Schultz - Target Shotguns,Inc. 800-684-6329
 

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In PA the reasons shooting clubs close is because the bar drunks, drugheads and other various addicts get control of boards and ultimately push shooters out. There's usually more of them than us who care about voting at elections.

Let's not forget to mention the old timers that are dying off at an alarming rate and the ones still in charge getting tired of the bull----!!
 

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I have to agree with Bob as your club is a business and if it doesn't run at a profit it will close.Your stock in trade is your targets and if you don't closely control this you will loose big time,the Kitchen and Bar if run well can makeup some of the loss but ultimately you will close.I have been involved with club management since 1986 and have seen well run clubs flourish and others close or be run down because of financial loss.As Bob says you must control your losses and in my opinion this is NO FREE TARGETS,you can cut you margins in the Bar and Kitchen but you must make a reasonable profit to be able to improve and maintain your facility.The club I now belong to is in an urban environment and is part of a shooting complex, through good management we use about 3 40ft containers of White Fliers a year and make a profit of about $12,000 a year which we will use for new projects
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ollie... If you have drunks and junkies on the BoD of your gun club, I'd get the heck out of there as fast as I could! Mind telling us the club so we can all avoid it...

Smiley,

You hit it on the head!

Bob
 

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The biggest waster of targets at my club is due to voice calls being misused. New shooters getting instruction, celebrating when their buddy hits his/her first target, talking while the mics are on....etc. Target wasters are also experienced shooters closing the action on their autos causing a target to be thrown, dragging the mic stands to their yardage marks throwing targets as they go.

I would hate to be on a squad with the aforementioned culprits and have the target manager shut down the round because we as a squad are out of targets even though I myself might not have wasted a single target. I can foresee some real aggravation and hard feelings resulting. I have seen these type problems played out when a target management system is incorporated with voice calls.
 

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Gator, I would hope your aggravation would be turned into educating the offenders on proper etiquette on the field and not at the club. If so, I'm sure you would be upset when the club raised it's fee's to cover all the lost targets.

I have found a little bit of help goes a long way with new or uneducated shooters about how the equipment works and proper etiquette. Harv
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Gator,

You would be surprised at how quiet and courteous people get when they have already paid for the targets....they are no longer the "clubs" targets they are theirs. We have put management systems in clubs since 2005, very little problem with shooters adapting...and clubs actually make money. This is one of the few products I sell that the club sees an active and positive return almost immediately.

Generally the only folks that strongly object are the ones poaching targets in the first place. The honor system flat out does not work at the vast majority of clubs. 90%+ of the shooters are happy to pay for all the targets they shoot...it's the others that worry me.

RFID card systems can help manage inventory, are very convenient for the users and the technology is simple and well proven.

As Shotshell states above, any new technology or system at a club needs to be explained to the shooters. This ain't rocket science and I've yet to find a shooter who could not understand the concept.

Bob


Bob Schultz
Target Shotguns, Inc.
Fax: 828-693-3832
Ph: 828-693-3833
 

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I like that statement....when you prepay, they become YOUR targets and not the club's.....too bad people don't treat them that way, without a system.
 

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re; polite and quiet shooters....

Unfortunately it still doesn't seem to phase the hog callers who set off voice calls on fields to either side of them.

Club management should either fine or surcharge them, or tell them not to come back.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Brian,

That's one of my pet peeves also...I have tried to address this politely with shooters who call so loud they set of adjacent fields. For the most part, I have found shooters to be genuinely surprised and they quiet down. I have, however, had some really belligerent answers like "That's just the way I call!",etc...

We don't live in a perfect world. There are just some folks that are horses a$$e$ and you can't help them no matter what you do. The good news is there are not that many of them.

Bob
 
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