The Business Owner

AR-15 Rifle Safety Switch
AR-15 Rifle Safety Switch

We want you to think like a business owner, not as an instructor. As a business owner, you will be faced with many challenges. The most basic question: “How to make money?” A more complicated question: “How to find students?” And the most complex “Do I have what it takes to own a business?” Being a good instructor does not necessarily mean you will be a good business owner; these are two different skill sets. Both can be taught; both can be learned; neither is easy. For discussion, we’ll assume you know how to use a firearm. With that in mind, do you know how to teach? Do you know what to teach? It’s one thing to go out with friends and show them how to shoot, and it’s another thing to teach a stranger.

Notes from the RangeDo You Know What to Teach? We’ve lost count of how many students have told us their friend or relative taught them how to shoot. As with anything, some are great shooters others are not. But most don’t know the basic safety rules or know how to clear a simple malfunction. Teaching a student in a formal environment is far different from teaching someone casually. When you’re the instructor, you are the subject matter expert. As a subject matter expert, you cannot afford to shortcut training.

If you have never owned and operated a small business, you have a huge learning curve ahead of you. It’s not insurmountable, but it will be a long endeavor. You must acquire good business skills. You’ll follow the same rules, regulations, and requirements other business owners face daily. Initially, you’ll be required to work long hours, make sacrifices, and study hard to improve your business skills.

As a business owner, you are the investor, manager, receptionist, accountant, salesperson, credit collector, and janitor. You are the representative that attends Chamber of Commerce meetings, luncheons, civic clubs, trade shows, and other social events. As the publicist, you write the press releases and work with the social media crowd. As the training coordinator, you write the curriculum, schedule classes, and look for ways to improve training skills. And by the way, you’re also the instructor.

But wait! There’s more! For the low cost of just a few hundred hours a year, you get to: Create/review your business plan, prepare a budget, review your profit and loss statement, balance sheet, and cash-flow statements, create/update your marketing plan, pay liability insurance, renew licenses, and of course; pay Uncle Sam.

Do you still want to open and run a firearms training business? It’s OK if you don’t. It’s a lot of time, energy, and hard work; it’s not as fun and glamorous as it appears, and it’s certainly not easy. Are we trying to discourage you? Not at all, but we want you to be prepared for what’s ahead. Back to the original question: “Do you have what it takes to be a business owner?” If the answer is yes, think it over one more time. If the answer is still yes, sleep on it. If the answer is still yes, welcome to the world of entrepreneurs. The rewards are long hours, hard work, and the freedom to set your hours. Perhaps, just perhaps, you’ll make a little money along the way and hopefully enjoy some financial independence.

But what if the answer is no? That’s OK too! If you have honestly determined that opening a business will be too difficult, too challenging, or that you don’t have the time to dedicate to a business, we have done our jobs, not in the sense of discouraging you but in the purpose of bringing home reality. We have saved you countless wasted hours, financial disasters, false hopes, and unrealistic expectations. This is a good thing.

If you want to be professionally trained as a firearms instructor, go to for class information.

If you don’t want to wait to see what is next, you can purchase our book, “How to Become a Professional Firearms Instructor,” on Amazon.

David Streb
About David Streb 14 Articles
Microsoft Training providers, trainers, and Microsoft Partners. Mr. Streb achieved the highly respected certification as an NRA Certified Instructor and later as an NRA Certified Training Counselor. Mr. Streb developed the Hell Week® instructor program nationally recognized by the NRA and across the U.S. for firearms instructor certification. Mr. Streb plans to take the "NRA Basic Instructor Training Courses" to the next level. This program will develop firearm instructors who exceed the NRA "Basic" development program and deliver advanced instructor training.

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