Starting a skating rink can be very profitable. With proper planning, execution and hard work, you can enjoy great success. Below you will learn the keys to launching a successful skating rink.
Importantly, a critical step in starting a skating rink is to complete your business plan. To help you out, you should download Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template here.
Follow these 14 steps to start a skating rink:
- Choose the Name for Your Skating Rink
- Develop Your Skating Rink Business Plan
- Choose the Legal Structure for Your Skating Rink
- Secure Startup Funding for Your Skating Rink (If Needed)
- Secure a Lease for Your Location
- Register Your Skating Rink with the IRS
- Open a Business Bank Account
- Get a Business Credit Card
- Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
- Get Business Insurance for Your Skating Rink
- Buy or Lease the Right Skating Rink Equipment
- Develop Your Skating Rink Marketing Materials
- Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Skating Rink
- Open for Business
1. Choose the Name for Your Skating Rink
The first step to starting a skating rink is to choose your business’ name.
This is a very important choice since your company name is your brand and will last for the lifetime of your business. Ideally you choose a name that is meaningful and memorable. Here are some tips for choosing a name for your skating rink:
- Make sure the name is available. Check your desired name against trademark databases and your state’s list of registered business names to see if it’s available. Also check to see if a suitable domain name is available.
- Keep it simple. The best names are usually ones that are easy to remember, pronounce and spell.
- Think about marketing. Come up with a name that reflects the desired brand and/or focus of your skating rink.
2. Develop Your Skating Rink Business Plan
One of the most important steps in starting a skating rink is to develop your business plan. The purpose of a business plan is to ensure that you fully understand your market and your business strategy. The plan also provides you with a roadmap to follow and if needed, to present to funding sources to raise capital for your business.
Your skating rink business plan should include the following sections:
- Executive Summary – this section should summarize your entire business plan so readers can quickly understand the key details of your skating rink.
- Company Overview – this section tells the reader about the history of your skating rink and what type of skating rink you operate. For example, are you an indoor roller rink, an outdoor rink, or a street skating rink.
- Industry Analysis – here you will document key information about the skating rink industry. Conduct market research and document how big the industry is and what trends are affecting it.
- Customer Analysis – in this section, you will document who your ideal or target customers are and their demographics. For example, how old are they? Where do they live? What do they find important when purchasing services like the ones you will offer?
- Competitive Analysis – here you will document the key direct and indirect competitors you will face and how you will build competitive advantage.
- Marketing Plan – your marketing plan should address the 4Ps: Product, Price, Promotions and Place.
- Product: Determine and document what products/services you will offer
- Prices: Document the prices of your products/services
- Place: Where will your business be located and how will that location help you increase sales?
- Promotions: What promotional methods will you use to attract customers to your skating rink? For example, you might decide to use pay-per-click advertising, public relations, search engine optimization and/or social media marketing.
- Operations Plan – here you will determine the key processes you will need to run your day-to-day operations. You will also determine your staffing needs. Finally, in this section of your plan, you will create a projected growth timeline showing the milestones you hope to achieve in the coming years.
- Management Team – this section details the background of your company’s management team.
- Financial Plan – finally, the financial plan answers questions including the following:
- What startup costs will you incur?
- How will your skating rink make money?
- What are your projected sales and expenses for the next five years?
- Do you need to raise funding to launch your business?
3. Choose the Legal Structure for Your Skating Rink
Next you need to choose a legal structure for your skating rink and register it and your business name with the Secretary of State in each state where you operate your business.
Below are the five most common legal structures:
1) Sole proprietorship
A sole proprietorship is a business entity in which the owner of the skating rink and the business are the same legal person. The owner of a sole proprietorship is responsible for all debts and obligations of the business. There are no formalities required to establish a sole proprietorship, and it is easy to set up and operate. The main advantage of a sole proprietorship is that it is simple and inexpensive to establish. The main disadvantage is that the owner is liable for all debts and obligations of the business.
A partnership is a legal structure that is popular among small businesses. It is an agreement between two or more people who want to start a skating rink together. The partners share in the profits and losses of the business.
The advantages of a partnership are that it is easy to set up, and the partners share in the profits and losses of the business. The disadvantages of a partnership are that the partners are jointly liable for the debts of the business, and disagreements between partners can be difficult to resolve.
3) Limited Liability Company (LLC)
A Limited liability company, or LLC, is a type of business entity that provides limited liability to its owners. This means that the owners of an LLC are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. The advantages of an LLC for a skating rink include flexibility in management, pass-through taxation (avoids double taxation as explained below), and limited personal liability. The disadvantages of an LLC include lack of availability in some states and self-employment taxes.
4) C Corporation
A C Corporation is a business entity that is separate from its owners. It has its own tax ID and can have shareholders. The main advantage of a C Corporation for a skating rink is that it offers limited liability to its owners. This means that the owners are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. The disadvantage is that C Corporations are subject to double taxation. This means that the corporation pays taxes on its profits, and the shareholders also pay taxes on their dividends.
5) S Corporation
An S Corporation is a type of corporation that provides its owners with limited liability protection and allows them to pass their business income through to their personal income tax returns, thus avoiding double taxation. There are several limitations on S Corporations including the number of shareholders they can have among others.
Once you register your skating rink, your state will send you your official “Articles of Incorporation.” You will need this among other documentation when establishing your banking account (see below). We recommend that you consult an attorney in determining which legal structure is best suited for your company.
4. Secure Startup Funding for Your Skating Rink (If Needed)
In developing your skating rink business plan, you might have determined that you need to raise funding to launch your business.
If so, the main sources of funding for a skating rink to consider are personal savings, family and friends, credit card financing, bank loans, crowdfunding and angel investors. Angel investors are individuals who provide capital to early-stage businesses. Angel investors typically will invest in a skating rink that they believe has high potential for growth.
5. Secure a Lease for Your Location
Finding a prime location for your skating rink is key to its success. Consider an area that is central to most people in your city or town. You’ll also want to make sure the rink offers ample parking and is accessible by public transportation. It’s important to pick a location with the right amount of foot traffic. If you’re building an outdoor rink, try to find a place that is surrounded by a large amount of residents and/or businesses, as this will drive traffic throughout the year.
6. Register Your Skating Rink with the IRS
Opening a skating rink requires you to register your business with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which will result in the IRS issuing you an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
Most banks will require you to have an EIN in order to open up an account. In addition, in order to hire employees, you will need an EIN since that is how the IRS tracks your payroll tax payments.
Note that if you are a sole proprietor without employees, you generally do not need to get an EIN. Rather, you would use your social security number (instead of your EIN) as your taxpayer identification number.
7. Open a Business Bank Account
It is important to establish a bank account in your skating rink’s name. This process is fairly simple and involves the following steps:
- Identify and contact the bank you want to use
- Gather and present the required documents (generally include your company’s Articles of Incorporation, driver’s license or passport, and proof of address)
- Complete the bank’s application form and provide all relevant information
- Meet with a banker to discuss your business needs and establish a relationship with them
8. Get a Business Credit Card
You should get a business credit card for your skating rink to help you separate personal and business expenses.
You can either apply for a business credit card through your bank or apply for one through a credit card company.
When you’re applying for a business credit card, you’ll need to provide some information about your business. This includes the name of your business, the address of your business, and the type of business you’re running. You’ll also need to provide some information about yourself, including your name, Social Security number, and date of birth.
Once you’ve been approved for a business credit card, you’ll be able to use it to make purchases for your business. You can also use it to build your credit history which could be very important in securing loans and getting credit lines for your business in the future.
9. Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
To start a skating rink, you will need to obtain the following licenses and permits:
- A business license from your local government
- A zoning permit from your local government
- A health permit from your local health department
- A building permit from your local building department
- If you plan on serving food, you will also need a food permit from your local health department
A roller skating rink must also be registered with USA Roller Sports or an equivalent organization. This is necessary in order to comply with insurance laws and regulations for roller rinks, including roller hockey rinks. A certificate of insurance must also be issued to show that the rink is insured.
10. Get Business Insurance for Your Skating Rink
Below are the main types of insurance to consider for your business:
- General liability insurance: This covers accidents and injuries that occur on your property. It also covers damages caused by your employees or products.
- Workers’ compensation insurance: If you have employees, this type of policy works with your general liability policy to protect against workplace injuries and accidents. It also covers medical expenses and lost wages.
- Commercial property insurance: This covers damage to your property caused by fire, theft, or vandalism.
- Business interruption insurance: This covers lost income and expenses if your business is forced to close due to a covered event.
- Professional liability insurance: This protects your business against claims of professional negligence.
Find an insurance agent, tell them about your business and its needs, and they will recommend policies that fit those needs.
11. Buy or Lease the Right Skating Rink Equipment
Opening a skating rink requires the following equipment:
- Rental skates
- Rink boards
- Rink nets
- Bleachers or seating
- Concession stand
- Storage for rink equipment
- Cash register
- Restroom supplies
- Phone and internet services
12. Develop Your Skating Rink Marketing Materials
Marketing materials will be required to attract and retain customers to your skating rink.
The key marketing materials you will need are as follows:
- Logo: Spend some time developing a good logo for your skating rink. Your logo will be printed on company stationery, business cards, marketing materials and so forth. The right logo can increase customer trust and awareness of your brand.
- Website: Likewise, a professional skating rink website provides potential customers with information about the services you offer, your company’s history, and contact information. Importantly, remember that the look and feel of your website will affect how customers perceive you.
- Social Media Accounts: establish social media accounts in your company’s name. Accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or other social media networks will help customers and others find and interact with your skating rink.
13. Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Skating Rink
To start a skating rink, you will need software to manage your customers, track your inventory, and process payments. You will also need a point-of-sale system to process transactions. Square is a good option for small businesses, and offers a free card reader.
14. Open for Business
You are now ready to open your skating rink. If you followed the steps above, you should be in a great position to build a successful business and know everything you need about how to open a skating rink and/or how to open a roller skating rink. Below are answers to frequently asked questions that might further help you.
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How to Start a Skating Rink FAQs
It's not hard to start a skating rink if you have the necessary funding, right location and a little bit of know-how.
Before you start a skating rink, make sure there is a need for it in your community. You can find out by asking locals if they would go to the rink and why or why not. Also consider how many people are currently using existing rinks in your area. If you don't see enough demand for an additional location, you may want to consider a different location.
To open a skating rink business, you will need to do some research on the subject. There are many resources available online and in libraries that can help you get started. You will also need to contact local businesses and organizations that may be able to provide you with advice or funding. Finally, you should create a business plan and pitch it to local investors. If you can make a strong case for your rink, you may be able to secure the financing you need to get started.
There is no easy answer when it comes to deciding if starting a skating rink is a good idea or not. It largely depends on the local market and how much competition already exists in the area. However, as far as investments go, a skating rink can be a fairly lucrative one, assuming you have the right business model in place.
Generally speaking, inline skating rinks are more profitable than traditional roller skating rinks. It is because inline skating is more popular these days and renting inline skates is generally higher than traditional roller skates.
In opening a roller skating rink, you will need to invest in equipment and materials. The total cost to start a rink will depend on the size of your rink and the quality of your equipment. You can expect to pay less for a small rink with basic equipment, and much more for a larger rink with more advanced features.
The ongoing expenses for a skating rink are the costs of maintaining and running the rink. This includes utilities, staff salaries, marketing and advertising, and rink equipment.
There are a few ways that a successful roller skating rink makes money. Roller skating rinks make money by charging admission and charging for skate rental. Some roller skating rinks also sell food and drinks. Renting out the rink to people or groups for parties or events, like birthday parties, is another way that a lot of skating rinks make money.
Generally speaking, running your own skating rinks can be quite profitable businesses. There are a lot of factors that affect profitability, such as the location of your rink, the size of the rink, the type of skating you offer, the price of your tickets, and the cost of maintaining and running the rink.
As with any business, the most important thing you can do to ensure profitability is to market and advertise your rink. Making money through other means such as vending machine sales or snack bars can also help supplement your income.
One of the main reasons rinks fail is because they do not have a well-defined target market. Another reason is because roller skating rinks are often seasonal businesses, which means they only have a few months out of the year that they are profitable. Finally, rink owners often do not anticipate the high costs associated with running a rink, such as rent, utilities and staffing costs.