How to Open a Pool Hall

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A pool hall can be a great addition to its community. Pool halls provide social engagement and the opportunity for community members to develop their skills and challenge each other to billiard games and tournaments.

Pool hall square footage can vary widely but typically, pool halls are in fairly large buildings. This space requirement sometimes keeps would-be entrepreneurs from opening pool halls, especially in urban areas and downtowns where commercial space is expensive and limited. If you’re considering opening a pool hall, the amount of space available to you is one important consideration to make, but it’s not the only one.

Create a Pool Hall Business Plan

When you’re planning on opening a pool hall, the first thing to do is craft a pool hall business plan. Not only does your business plan outline everything you need to know and think about regarding your new business, but it also provides a way to work out questions and concerns you have on paper. For example, plotting out your budget in a pool hall business plan can help you recognize holes in your budget and find solutions for them.

A pool hall business plan is a document that covers everything about your burgeoning business, such as:

  • How your business will be incorporated
  • Where the pool hall will be located
  • The pool hall square footage
  • The community and market for the pool hall
  • How you will fund the business’ startup costs
  • The business’ operating budget
  • How you will market the pool hall
  • How the pool hall will charge customers
  • The number of tables in the pool hall

Rent or Lease a Space

For an entrepreneur planning to open a pool hall, pool hall square footage is an important consideration when choosing a space to lease or purchase. A regulation size pool table is 88 inches long and 44 inches wide. Some pool halls are stocked with slightly smaller tables, such as bar-size tables that measure 39 inches by 78 inches, to fit more tables total. Each table needs to be surrounded by a sufficient amount of space so players aren’t crammed into the hall and unable to play easily.

Finding a space that will accommodate a pool hall can be difficult. Some business owners choose to repurpose buildings created for other types of business, like former big box stores or industrial spaces.

Purchase All Necessary Equipment

Opening a pool table hall can require a hefty investment. Pool tables can cost more than $1,000 apiece. Other necessary equipment for a pool hall includes:

  • Lighting fixtures
  • At least one pool ball set for each table as well as spare balls
  • Pool cues
  • A security system
  • A front counter
  • Decor 

In addition to equipment purchases, factor operational costs like utilities and the cost of labor into your budget for the pool table hall. Additionally, many pool halls have snack stands or vending machines. If you choose to offer snacks and beverages via a vending machine, you can buy your own vending machines or lease space in the pool hall to a vending machine company.

Market the New Pool Hall

Marketing a new pool hall should begin far in advance of the pool hall opening, and it shouldn’t stop as long as the pool hall is open. A grand opening event for a new pool hall is a very effective way to get the word out about a new business and encourage players to visit a new pool table hall.

Other marketing strategies include offering half-price admission coupons, themed nights like ladies’ night and retro night and additional activities like a monthly karaoke night. A robust social media presence in local circles can be a great marketing asset for a pool hall.

References

About the Author

Lindsay Kramer has been a full-time writer since 2014. In that time, she's experienced the ups, downs and crazy twists life tends to take when you're launching, building and leading a small business. As a small business owner, her favorite aspect about writing in this field is helping other small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs become more fluent in the terminology and concepts they face in this role. Previously, she's written on entrepreneurship for 99designs and covered business law topics for law firms.

Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images