Paintball stores provide specialized equipment to paintball enthusiasts.
Paintball hobbyists require a source for supplies and equipment. Although department stores and sporting goods stores offer some paintball equipment, the selection is often limited. Take advantage of this by starting a specialized store for paintball enthusiasts, keeping in mind that a niche store may not do well in all areas, so research any market that you are considering to determine if there is enough of a paintball community to support a store. Areas that have a paintball field or arena nearby are a good option.
1. Research the paintball market carefully to determine an ideal area to locate your business. Research the existing competition within this area. If there are department stores that offer paintball equipment, consider how you will be able to compete. Providing quality and selection for serious paintball enthusiasts is one strategy.
2. Write a detailed business plan based on your research. Starting a paintball store may seem like a fun business venture but you will need to approach it as you would any other business. Write a statement of purpose. An example might be, to offer top quality products and services to paintball enthusiasts. Other parts of the business plan include a description of the business, analysis of the market and competition, and financial projections. Consider the cost of leasing or purchasing a storefront, equipment such as paintball guns, masks and paint balls into your financial projections.
3. Complete and file all of the business and tax forms necessary to establish your business as a legal entity. This will mean business and tax registration, and any local licenses or permits necessary to operate your store. A paintball business is really no different than any other retail enterprise. You will need to set up an accounting system and keep detailed records of your business credits and debits.
4. Discuss insurance options with a local insurance agent. Since you are starting a paintball store, you will want property and liability insurance, and because you will be selling an item that could injure people if not used properly, you should explain the nature of your business to the agent to ensure you will be adequately covered. You want to avoid a situation where someone gets injured using one of your guns because they failed to wear the proper safety equipment and wants to hold you responsible.
5. Build up your initial inventory of paintball equipment for your store. You should have a wide variety of affordable, mid-level and high end guns to offer. In addition to guns, you should provide gun cleaning and maintenance supplies. Propellant tanks, ball hoppers and other gun accessories are also necessary for a well equipped paintball store. Stock different kinds of paint balls because players often have a preference. Another important selection of equipment are masks, gloves and other protective gear. Mask cleaners should also be offered because visibility is important, and masks can be difficult to maintain. An optional product offering is apparel. You may want to consider waiting to offer a line of apparel until you have established a steady business to keep start-up costs down.
6. Search for a location for your paintball store. Base your search on your market research and budget from your financial projections. A good option is close to a paintball field or arena. Another option may be near an outdoor gear supply company or sporting goods store. Lease or purchase a building once you have located one to suit your needs.
7. Set up an interactive website with the help of a web designer. Include a forum and blog. Encourage interaction on your site. Improve business based on the feedback you receive on the forums. Post blog articles frequently to promote your business while providing useful information such as product reviews, announcements, gun cleaning and maintenance tips, gaming strategy and other tips or advice.
8. Advertise your business in local newspapers and paintball magazines. Announce your business by sending out a press release to local newspapers. Offer specials to get the first round of foot traffic through your doors. Over time you will develop a loyal customer base.