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What Are Some Tips On Buying A Billiards, Pool Hall Business?

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Comments & Replies: 1     Views: 2163     Posted By: Joe Ranieri  Joe Ranieri, Business Broker: LA, Orange County Areas

Pool Halls/Billiards in America, currently is seeing a resurgence, mainly due to pool hall owners catering to a millennial crowd who is growing up with playing pool and other games on their phones and later mingling with others and playing the sport for real. Read about the best tips for buying one!

Topics: Buying A Business     Tags: buying a business



The term "pool hall" can conjure up many different types of images, some negative, such as lowly lit rooms, whose occupants are gamblers or hustlers, who spend their day smoking, drinking, gambling and perfecting their pool technique. Billiards has an on and off again relationship in America, with some decades it being "hot" while others it being "cool". According to Billiard Congress of America "During World War II, a great number of soldiers took up billiards at military camps and the industry expected a tremendous surge in peacetime popularity for the sport. But instead, soldiers generally returned home, got married, started families and built a suburban life." Over the last fifty years, two films have revitalized the sport in America, the first being the 1961 film "The Hustler" and the 1986 film "The Color of Money". Pool in America, currently is seeing a resurgence, mainly due to pool hall owners catering to a millennial crowd who is growing up with playing pool and other games on their phones and later mingling with others and playing the sport for real.

The first thing to do when buying a pool hall is to investigate if they have a Point of Sale machine that tracks how long each pool table is being used during the day and remember that busier times will tend to be at night and on the weekends. Some pool halls will have tables that will be coin operated or have a deal worked out, so that for every 10 dollars or so that is spent for food/drinks equals 1-hour worth of pool. Regarding food and drink, a buyer should find out how much is sold, and verify licenses and permits.

In pool halls, impressions are everything. Customers notice the felt on the tables, is it clean from stains, rips and tears? How does the carpet look? Is it colorful and clean? A successful pool hall should make a conscience effort to play against negative connotations, so it should try to have the glitter and glitz of Las Vegas and less of the basement and under serviced images that we've all seen portrayed in films and television shows.

Pool itself should be what drags the customer in, but it's not what makes them stay. There should several TVs and juke box to keep players entertained, while also have darts and arcade games. To keep customers coming back, organize tournaments and offer monthly memberships.

Regarding employees, make sure they are cross trained, so that they can tend to bar or make food, but also collect coins from the arcade games or pool tables, and know how to do simple maintenance. The food item should be a simple menu that includes finger food, etc., and selection of alcohol, and again, a buyer should always investigate licenses and permits.

A pool hall will require a good amount of square footage, so be mindful of the rent, and make sure that there is good street traffic and ample parking. I've observed some of the best pool halls are free standing buildings, but there have been successful ones that neighbor other businesses.

If a pool hall is going to attract a modern and young crowd then it should have a strong social media presence, a buyer should go on sites like Yelp and see what customers are saying.


  Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses
Steve Zimmerman: Restaurant Broker Specialist

Steve founded Restaurant Realty in 1996. He has personally sold/leased over 900 restaurants, bars & clubs, & completed over 3000 valuations. The author of "Restaurant Dealmaker - An Insider's Trade Secrets For Buying a Restaurant, Bar or Club" available on Amazon. Reach Steve direct at 415-945-9701.

Lee Petsas, Business Broker - Orange, San Diego Counties, Inland Empire

UBI Business Brokers has been successfully selling businesses in Southern California since 1965. Our Agents have over 100 years of experience in selling small to medium size businesses throughout Southern California. We service Orange County, Inland Empire, San Diego. Phone Lee at 714-363-0440.

Joe Ranieri, Business Broker, Orange & LA County Areas

Having owned retail/restaurant businesses for over 20 years, my interest turned to listing and selling businesses rather than owning them. I specialize tend to specialize in Orange County high volume restaurants, fast food independents and chains, bars and liquor stores. Call 714-292-5448.

Ryan Clark, Business Broker, Southern California

The Veld Group provides a refreshing approach to Business Brokerage, Mergers & Acquisitions and Business Consulting and Valuations. From Your Street to Wall Street, we cater to Main Street Businesses as well as more complex Strategic Firms and Start-Ups. Phone Ryan at 310-652-8353.

William Park, Business Broker - Southern California

Highest Volume Broker in California, Simply Check our HUNDREDS of Listings! Over 25 Associates, Speaking Dozen Languages, Helping Buyers and Sellers of Small Business since 1982, Centrally Located between Los Angeles and Orange Counties, while Riverside & San Bernardino Counties are Very Accessible.

Peter Siegel, MBA - SBA Loans, Non SBA Financing Assistance

For over 25 years I have provided niche business purchase financial advisory and loan placement services with SBA and Non-SBA Loans, Retirement Plan Conversions, Private Investors, etc. Financing amounts available: $20K to $7MM. Call today to get pre-qualified or receive financing: 866-270-6278.

Willard Michlin, CPA, Certified Fraud Examiner, Due Diligence Services

Willard Michlin, CPA #106752, offers buyers step by step training & assistance in doing Due Diligence Services when they are thinking of making an offer, or are in process of investigating a business purchase. He helps to determine the actual net profit even when there is cash. Call 805-428-2063.

Hasan Abdullah, Esq. E-2, Immigration Legal Assistance

I have over 10 years experience with E-2's and immigration issues. E-2's approved for as little as $10,000. Let me assist you with E-2 visa strategies when buying and selling a small to mid-sized California business. Mention BizBen.com for a FREE consultation when phoning me direct at 510-500-1155.


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