Jump to content
Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!

Growing your base


CrashDodson
 Share

Recommended Posts

45 minutes ago, CrashDodson said:

Anyone have any good ideas for growing your shooter base?  Our USPSA club matches fluctuate between low 20s to 60's at the peak of the summer.  Looking for a way to get more people involved.  Word of mouth alone does not seem to be enough.  

We developed a FB page for Southwest Ohio Practical Shooters. It gets a fair amount of traffic and seems to help with all of our matches at the local clubs.

  Maybe you could hold a match in nice weather where you wave the fees for first timers? You’ll probably snag a handful on newbies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a FB page and we have a FB group with about 500 or so "members".  Outside of that I am unsure how to reach more people.  When I found USPSA it was by accident...I didn't even know what it was or that it was a thing.  I am sure there are many other shooters like that.  Since our USPSA club is no longer affiliated with a public range it reduces our footprint even more.  Considered a FB advertising campaign, if I could get that to go through the facebook gun nazis.  Thought about maybe getting local news to run a piece on competitive shooting.

 

I am going to try starting up Steel Challenge this next year to maybe pull in a few more and give those not comfortable with running around with a gun a place to get exposed to competitive shooting.    

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Post some match videos on your FB pages. Let people see how fun it is. One of our clubs does a USPSA intro class a few times before season starts. They max out at 25 students each and they are always full with wait lists.

I think those things will help a ton

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/12/2019 at 6:31 PM, CrashDodson said:

I thought about maybe making a flyer and seeing if local gun shops would set them out somewhere.  Maybe offering the first match free.  We don't have a new shooter orientation or program and that has been a consideration also.  

all that should work.  also maybe free match fees for anyone that brings a newbie.  are there any local-based gun forums, post matches on those along with a brief description of match day, safety, etc.  like you said, something like an intro to competitive shooting program.  i think most just don't want to be thrown to the wolves at their first match, not that that happens, but folks don't know that.

 

set up a uspsa stage at a steel challenge match (or any match, eg bowling pin etc) and let folks shoot it for free.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I would break down match demographics and target each audience with a slightly different focus.  You have experienced shooters, new shooters... then among them, you may have relevant categories like women and LE.  Each one may warrant a separate approach.  For example, ladies - they tend to be reserved in their participation in shooting sports and often feel overrun by the "know-it-all-been-doing-it-for-20-years-NRA-instructor" types.  They will be much more open to joining an intro class given by another woman - but you should make sure she  can actually shoot and knows the sport well.  Cops generally dont shoot well at all, so approaching local PDs and informing them of a way to get better may actually generate some interest. Some of them will never come back after getting their egos crushed at their first match, but some will stick with it and will want to get better.   Experienced shooters want a good, well run match with fun and challenging stages, with Practiscore registration, match scores uploaded promptly and fees paid on time.

 

In general, l would consider doing the following:

  • Have a solid social media presence (IG and FB for sure) with regular updates and prompt responses.
  • Target the specific audiences.
  • Offer an Intro to USPSA class for newer shooters, maybe offer a regular training night on a weekday
  • Last, but not least... design interesting and challenging stages that will attract shooters with a higher level of skill.  Attracting better and more experienced shooters will help spread the word.
Edited by nasty618
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We started running a free introduction class every month to let people come out and try shooting steel challenge and USPSA without the idea of it being a match looming over them. We Emphasize the safety rules, and teach them the basic rules they need to know (how the match works, range commands, scoring, etc). it seems to be helping slowly but surely. I think next I'll ask local gun shops if they'll let me know flyers about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got our club setup as a steel challenge club and we are ordering the gear necessary (its expensive but should last a long time).

 

For an introductory class what all do you cover besides USPSA safety and rules?  Do you do classroom time and range time?  I am not a teacher nor overly comfortable being the center of attention but could figure something out if that's what it takes.  I'm sure I can get other seasoned shooters to help out. 

 

Im friends with most of the local gun shops as they shoot my matches.  I asked one and they were willing to let me put up flyers.  We have a facebook group with 500 or so members and a public facebook page for the club.  Have not setup an IG for the club but that's easy enough.   I guess I never considered the cost of a match fee to be any sort of deterrent but we could definitely do free for new shooters, would have to figure out how to set that up in practiscore.  I like the idea of giving the person that brings a new shooter a free slot too. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
On 1/3/2020 at 4:28 PM, CrashDodson said:

I got our club setup as a steel challenge club and we are ordering the gear necessary (its expensive but should last a long time).

 

For an introductory class what all do you cover besides USPSA safety and rules?  Do you do classroom time and range time?  I am not a teacher nor overly comfortable being the center of attention but could figure something out if that's what it takes.  I'm sure I can get other seasoned shooters to help out. 

 

Im friends with most of the local gun shops as they shoot my matches.  I asked one and they were willing to let me put up flyers.  We have a facebook group with 500 or so members and a public facebook page for the club.  Have not setup an IG for the club but that's easy enough.   I guess I never considered the cost of a match fee to be any sort of deterrent but we could definitely do free for new shooters, would have to figure out how to set that up in practiscore.  I like the idea of giving the person that brings a new shooter a free slot too. 

My club is going to do an intro to Steel Challenge to work on attracting new shooters. My plans are to cover the basic safety rules and then have the participants shoot some stages. For the shooting portion I plan to have some of the easier stages set up like smoke and hope, roundabout, etc.  I don't want to scare them off with outer limits type stages. The match following the intro day will be free for all shooters. We are also doing some things like discounted ammo with a paid entry. Time will tell how this impacts our attendance.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is multi faceted.

 

I shot at an indoor range for years that had hosted USPSA matches for a long time, and had been a "hot" range for matches and training. The manager had been a long time RO and shooter. They had gunsmiths there that were "known" gunsmiths in the A1 USPSA community. 

 

And they never ONCE mentioned USPSA. Not once. I found out about USPSA on my own, and only later found out this was place was vortex of USPSA. 

 

I handed out USPSA flyers at gunshows for about a year. 

 

I'm in the firearms/LE world and I've dragged 8-10 new people to matches over the past 20 years. Of that group exactly two guys stuck with it. 

 

You can let people know about us....that is the first step. But at some point if they don't want to come...……..they're not going to come. 

 

I'd say we need more CLUBS more than we need shooters; club matches seem to be very full and get that way very quickly nowadays

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not all but a lot of people who shoot at indoor ranges shoot maybe 45-50 rounds, buy a new gun once a year. Can’t afford 3to 400 rounds holster mags mag holder, not to mention a gun for just shooting matches. I’ve had lots of people tell me , I can’t afford that.

So free match for first time may help, some don’t like to go to a Competition match. Money will be the biggest downside, and time.

 

ps John when you coming back ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

We have started Thursday Night matches to educate first time shooters.

 

It has been hard for us to grow our match base, we are a private club with 200 members and can only get 6-10 members to shoot our matches.  We only charge $5.00 to shoot a Thursday night match and youth under 18 shoot free.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...