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opening a paintball business


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#1 hunter77

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 01:05 PM

so for anyone who owns one what does it take to start up my own paintball business.

#2 CompulsivePB

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 01:52 PM

I'm not sure what type of business you plan to start (field, store, etc?). I'll be honest and say that it is pretty well established that Paintball is a TOUGH business to be in right now. We're in the worst economy in our lifetime and this is a luxury business. Not a great recipe for successs... I've seen more Paintball companies, both manufacturers and retailers, go away in the last 2 years than I did in the first 10 of our business.

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#3 HeroForADay

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 02:18 PM

Don't bother, that's my honest advice.

As it is local shops dry up because they can't compete with the online stores and unless you can capture your market completely you won't make any real money, nor will the effort be worthwhile as companies shift to new business models to survive.

Paintball is a money pit as is, I would advise against sinking a size able investment into it unless you have a very very good plan, and you've done a lot of market research.

#4 XxJellyFilledxX

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 02:37 PM

Unless you have a spool that gets 25 pods on a 45k fill, don't.

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#5 Titan429

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 03:14 PM

I help my friend run his business and he's making just enough to keep his head above water. As others have said, I would advise to not even get into starting one right now.

#6 unfated33

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 03:23 PM

I had an opportunity for a career change soon after I got back into the sport, but no matter how I crunched the numbers I couldn't see how to make it viable as a field or shop owner. A field especially would be slow to return on your investment, and depending on where you are, your investment could be as much as half a million or more. Most of that would be in land costs, but you'd likely spend 50k in equipment costs between netting, air compressor system, rental/playing gear, obstacles, and bunkers. Maintenance fees are pretty brutal as well, especially if you're invested in multiple, grasslawn speedball fields (water, fertilizer, seed, mowing, and possibly lighting). By my numbers, if I could get 40 guests to come in per day of play averaged for an entire year, I might get to earn 80k in a year. On a 0.5M investment, that's pretty crummy.

Owning a shop is even harder because you have direct competition with field stores (encouraging you to open your own field, perhaps - then you're dealing with a store and the above), you have online competition that is very well established and rated, and you've got to be able to carry quite a bit of expensive stock onsite. Just a couple of luxes or vapors would put an entire field's rental markers to shame on stock cost.

It absolutely can be done to open a business, especially in markets with low exposure but high concentrations of affluent population. However, I just couldn't imagine the amount of work and risk it would take for me and my family personally. Good luck to you if you decide to head down the path anyway.
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#7 Ironchefxingba

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 05:55 PM

the store that recently opened near me and by recently i mean year or two, they opened the door with over 10k of merch, and thats just basic stuff, not counting rent utilities and the multi thousand dollar air compresser they installed for fills, not to mention business licenses insurance and all the technical training certifications for repairs, etc etc, running a feild would be even more with upkeep staff and insurance not to mention the extra taxes that get tacked ontop of everything entertainment, I have a guy who plays at my local field whos an airsmith and he makes all kind of custom parts for people's markers, but he only does it by request because there isnt a sustainable market for things like that getting into the paintball industry is not easy, especially when you have to compete with the established internet companies for example, ansgear, zepher, just to name a few who have been around long enough for everyone to know about them
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#8 Yankee Paintball

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 02:40 PM

It's possible to open a field/store but it will take a lot of time and money. There is a ton of good info out on the web on this subject but if you have a very specific question pm me and I'll do my best to answer it.
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#9 Pulsar

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 02:51 PM

It also helps if you already own the land through inheritance or some other means. Also you could try just opening a field and then contacting an already established store to see if they would be willing to open up shop at your field.
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#10 hunter77

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 03:44 PM

ok thank you very much eveyone

#11 NJC

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 04:35 PM

Unless you have a spool that gets 25 pods on a 45k fill, don't.


45k fill? you would be hard pressed to get anything under 40 pods

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#12 HillTribe

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 08:11 AM

It is not impossible to turn a profit, but it is going to take a lot of business sense.

I had my wife (an undergrad of international business) do a little project to get ready for her thesis in the profitability of a paintball field and it was possible, it is just is a HUGE undertaking.

The first thing is you have to get ready for the long haul. You will need the credit and the assets to back it on to get the money to even get the equipment and employees you need. Employees are the hard part, you will need good ones that customers will trust to either ref, build, maintain and generally help (book keepers, shop staff ect) the business. Next, you will need to put on the man-pants and do what you have to do to keep your business running(long (read:LONG)hours, keeping undesirables out, keep desirables in, field maintenance, keep employees happy, ect.) NOTE: REPEAT CUSTOMERS ARE KEY!!!!!!! KEEP THEM COMING BACK!!!! I CANNOT PUT ENOUGH EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THEY WILL RUN YOUR BUSINESS!!!!

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#13 Yankee Paintball

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 09:05 AM

Is there a chance that her work might be available for us to check out? It sounds interesting. We subscribe to a slightly different business model, the main income for most fields (generally speaking) is rentals and parties. Gear owners are nice but they don't give the same return per player as the renters.
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#14 HillTribe

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 10:15 AM

Is there a chance that her work might be available for us to check out? It sounds interesting. We subscribe to a slightly different business model, the main income for most fields (generally speaking) is rentals and parties. Gear owners are nice but they don't give the same return per player as the renters.


It is there, just not with us right now. We are in Italy(from the States) while she goes to school for said degree. I/she will be happy to post it once we get back home.

She agree's that the main(by quite a margin) income is rentals and parties, that is what I meant by repeat customers. I'm sorry for lack of clarification, I was just citing from memory. Her two main sources were Paintball Land in Collinsville, Oklahoma and Paintball Adventure in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. These were the two most successful fields in our area.





#15 XxJellyFilledxX

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 10:17 AM


Unless you have a spool that gets 25 pods on a 45k fill, don't.


45k fill? you would be hard pressed to get anything under 40 pods


You get what i mean ;)

"You can't break a man the way you break a dog or a horse. The harder you beat a man, the taller he stands. To break a man's will, to break his spirit, you have to break his mind."

 


#16 slinkyaroo

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 10:36 AM

There's a reason why DYE is now selling men's casual flannel shirts.

#17 Jawz

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 11:41 AM

Unless you live in Canada don't bother. here there are so few stores, and everything cost's so much if you could start selling for a couple of bucks left, and had good customer service you'd be one rich motherf*cker. Other than that I don't know.
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#18 Rob-Juskiewicz-PB

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 09:19 PM

Agreed! We're Definitely lacking paintball stores and fields up here with a good selection. If you want anything specialty or high end you have to order it online.
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#19 Calculon

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 09:59 PM

Agreed! We're Definitely lacking paintball stores and fields up here with a good selection. If you want anything specialty or high end you have to order it online.


That's because there's no viable market at the retail level for brick & mortar stores for high end and specialized products. That's why if you go to any paintball shop you'll see the wall plastered with Tippmanns and BTs. There may be a few mid-ends (Axe, Etha, Proto, etc.) in the corner and maybe even one or two high-end "centerpieces" but the bulk will be woodsball and/or low to mid stuff. I have been going to PBL's vaunted boxing day sale for 5 years in a row now and easily 90% of the people going there buy woodsball/recball stuff. That's what sells, and that's where the money is too. If I were a store owner the last thing I'd want to do is to sell some kid an electro. He will find a way to mess it up. Hell, I regularly encounter players who can't even take care of their Phenoms "huh, they need grease, not oil ?!?" RTFM! No, as a store owner I want to sell that player an A-5 with tons of crap with a good mark-up. First of all Tippmann parts are dirt cheap, fixing them is easy and they're way more newb-proof than most other guns. Then, the new player will probably want a stock, some Cyclone upgrades, maybe a tactical shroud, etc. THAT's where the $$$ is.

The unfortunate situation is that both big distributors up here (Badlands & PBL) carry next to nothing compared to American giants like ANS Gear. With them you can only buy what they have in stock, and you can forget about special orders.

#20 Jawz

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 03:15 PM


Agreed! We're Definitely lacking paintball stores and fields up here with a good selection. If you want anything specialty or high end you have to order it online.


That's because there's no viable market at the retail level for brick & mortar stores for high end and specialized products. That's why if you go to any paintball shop you'll see the wall plastered with Tippmanns and BTs. There may be a few mid-ends (Axe, Etha, Proto, etc.) in the corner and maybe even one or two high-end "centerpieces" but the bulk will be woodsball and/or low to mid stuff. I have been going to PBL's vaunted boxing day sale for 5 years in a row now and easily 90% of the people going there buy woodsball/recball stuff. That's what sells, and that's where the money is too. If I were a store owner the last thing I'd want to do is to sell some kid an electro. He will find a way to mess it up. Hell, I regularly encounter players who can't even take care of their Phenoms "huh, they need grease, not oil ?!?" RTFM! No, as a store owner I want to sell that player an A-5 with tons of crap with a good mark-up. First of all Tippmann parts are dirt cheap, fixing them is easy and they're way more newb-proof than most other guns. Then, the new player will probably want a stock, some Cyclone upgrades, maybe a tactical shroud, etc. THAT's where the $$ is.

The unfortunate situation is that both big distributors up here (Badlands & PBL) carry next to nothing compared to American giants like ANS Gear. With them you can only buy what they have in stock, and you can forget about special orders.


Your forgetting PPP... they special order
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#21 The_Mustang

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 08:04 PM

As others have said, the economy doesn't look good. Owning a paintball field would seem like a fun job though.

#22 slinkyaroo

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 08:20 PM

Not fun. Kiss your weekends goodbye. Whiney kids, people not showing, volunteers wanting to play for free but not maintaining the fields, etc.

#23 akt22

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 10:38 PM

no offense, but if your posting in this part of the forum in regards to opening a paintball business, then I question whether you can actually run one properly.

It requires commitment, savy business skills, critical thinking as well as decision making for the various situations that can happen/occur. You can't just take an open field, put some bunkers and say "blank" field is now open. Nor can you do same thing with pb equipment like it's a lemonade stand.

Edited by akt22, 09 October 2012 - 10:41 PM.


#24 ReconDaddy

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 10:00 PM

Get a business degree and you'll know
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#25 HU Soldier

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 05:59 AM

Its more a labor of love then massive profit really. All the fields around me (except 1) are owned by guys that played in the 80's and 90's and want others to have that same chance.




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