Paintball shops should serve the beginner- to expert-level player.
Paintball shops provide equipment and supplies to paintball players. Because many department and sporting goods stores carry paintball equipment and supplies, a paintball shop must provide a broader selection and specialized service. An entrepreneur with an interest in paintball may consider starting a paintball shop to serve the paintball community. Serve the needs of beginner-, intermediate-, and expert-level paintball players at your shop. Research the market to find an ideal location to start your shop.
1. Research the local market to determine information about the viability of a paintball shop. Look at any existing competition. Research locations, suppliers and storefront spaces that are available in ideal locations. Research the market to determine the overall demographics in your area. For example, you will need to consider who already plays paintball in the market as well as who may be introduced to the sport.
2. Write a business plan based on your market research. Define your business goals in a statement of purpose. For example, “to provide expert service to paintball players at all skill levels.” Include an analysis of the market and competition as well as financial projections for the first year. Describe the business in detail, including location, storefront set-up, products, pricing and policies. Policies should include not selling paintball guns to minors without a legal guardian present. Work with an attorney to draw up shop policies that will protect you and your customers.
3. Fill out a business registration form and file it with your state. File for taxes at the state and federal level. A paintball shop should consider forming either a limited liability company or a corporation. Paintball can be a dangerous sport. Take advantage of the protections that these business structures provide to prevent undue personal losses as a result of a lawsuit. Contact local authorities to determine specific local regulations for retail stores. Most local municipalities will require a permit and inspection.
4. Meet with an insurance agent to insure your shop. Because people will enter your property, you will need liability and property insurance. Coverage must include potential injuries people may incur while on your property. It should also cover damage, theft or loss of property. For example, people will want to look at expensive paintball guns before they purchase them. In the process, the gun may get damaged.
5. Select a location for your storefront. Possible locations for a paintball shop may include retail spaces close to paintball fields, sporting goods stores, or specialty shops in shopping centers. You will need space to display products as well as a small storage area. Set up a shooting lane for people to test out paintball guns.
6. Stock the shop with paint balls, entry- through expert-level paintball guns, protective equipment, apparel and cleaning supplies. You may also consider providing a tank refill service in your shop to encourage repeat customers.
7. Advertise in local newspapers and other publications. If there are local or regional paintball publications, you may want to advertise with them. Consider sponsoring a paintball team to give you added exposure.