How to start a Go Kart business in South Africa

How to start a Go Kart business in South Africa

People love Go Karts; this is a business that can give you great joy and fulfilment while giving you a high ROI. This is a guide on how to start a Go Kart business in South Africa.

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Go karting is a very lucrative business that generates fun for owners and customers. The industry grows at a rate of over 5% annually. Go karts usually attract younger people and family units, most people go to go-karting to have fun.

It is a business with very high start-up costs, you should be prepared to pay over R1 million. The ongoing expenses are also high, this is not only a negative but a positive as well, the high barrier to entry means that you will face less competition and will recover your initial investment between 2 and 3 years.

Choose the type of track

You have to decide whether your business will be focused on professional go karting or family orientated fun. The other thing you have to decide early on is where your go kart will be, will it be indoors or outdoors. It’s much cheaper to build an outdoor family orientated go kart track. Building an indoor or professional track can demand more than R5 million.

Choose the right location

This will affect your bottom line a lot, you have to choose your location very carefully. It has to be an area that is easily accessible by road and it should be in a high-income neighbourhood. People of the neighbourhood should ideally have enough money left over to spend on luxuries like go-karting, this will also make it easy to charge a fair price without fearing losing customers.

Design your go karting track

People don’t just go go-karting for racing, it’s mostly about the environment, you are going to have to design the space carefully. There must be the actual track, a storeroom and entertainment areas like a cafeteria. You also have to account for offices, workrooms, showrooms and other activities. Design all this in a way that is seamless, the restrooms should not be far from where you expect the most people to be at any given point.

Build the track

This is the actual execution of your plan; you have to find a reputable contractor. Preferably someone who has designed a go-karting track before. This is a very expensive undertaking; you want to make sure that your money is going to the right place. It’s best to use asphalt on the actual track.

You also have to install things such as protective barriers and make sure that your track is modelled from a “safety-first” perspective. This goes hand-in-hand with buying equipment, which is mostly the karts and other equipment for complimentary activities.

Hire the right employees

This is not a business that can be run by one person, you will need employees to assist with different aspects of the operations. You will need cashiers and track managers and people who work on maintaining/repairing the vehicles. It’s important to bring in people with experience if you yourself don’t have any experience but if you do then you can simply train them.

Market the business

You don’t need to spend a lot of money in marketing a go kart, go karts are so rare that most people will just go to the few that are available. It’s highly unlikely that you will ever face more than 10 competitors, the number is usually 3 at most. You can bring your business to a public spotlight by having a grand opening day.

Offer meals and drinks at a discounted price and invite the press to your opening, this will get your business noticed by enough people. You can supplement this by having an online presence, start by creating a website and making sure your business appears on Google maps. Social media won’t bring you that many customers but will showcase the fun that people are having at your track.

How to earn more money

You can earn more money buy selling things like T-shirts and Caps that have your business logo. These sales often add up to make a lot of money, money that you can use to pay off some of your expenses. You can also lease space to another business, allow other businesses to sell things to your customers, including food. This will create a steady flow of predictable income.


This was a guide on how to start a Go Karting business in South Africa. Do you have any thoughts or questions? Comment below.

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