Start Your Own Paintball Business
The game of paintball has moved from the realm of niche action sports to a mainstream hobby for thousands of Americans. Paintball businesses have sprung up throughout the United States to create venues for tag, team hunts and other types of paintball games. The lure of running a paintball business in your community may come from a misconception that this type of business is easy to run or offers a quick profit. The typical paintball business has to pay for equipment, building rent, insurance and dozens of other expenses before seeing any revenues.
Establish a Paintball Business in Your Community
1. Write a business plan for your paintball business that answers questions about why your business is necessary. List every paintball business within an hour’s drive of your proposed site to demonstrate the lack of paintball venues for area residents. Establish a set of goals for the next 5 years, including desired profits, potential expansion and subsidiary businesses like paintball equipment sales.
2. Select a location for your paintball business that will allow for expansion in the future. A paintball business in a warmer climate can rely on outside spaces like old farms and parking lots to build battlefields without much cost. Paintball venues in the Midwest and Northeast often have outside and inside spaces to accommodate multiple groups throughout the year.
3. Acquire paintball guns, carbon dioxide (C02) cartridges, helmets and other supplies from a paintball wholesaler like ActionVillage. Your paintball business should keep a sizable stock of these supplies for rental to visiting groups. Purchase additional paintballs, guns and clothing to sell in your pro shop as a source of supplementary revenue.
4. Create a rental agreement that should be signed by each participant in a paintball group before using guns and other equipment. The agreement should stipulate that guns, helmets and padding damaged during the course of rental will be replaced at the expense of the user. Attach a condition report to each rental agreement to indicate scuffs and superficial damage to keep future users from paying for other people’s mistakes.
5. Apply for an operating license from your community’s City Hall before opening your paintball business. Your business may need additional licenses and permits for firearms, outdoor sports and other categories depending on the municipality.
6. Recruit younger employees who have flexible schedules, a familiarity with paintball and a willingness to train groups of varying ages. Your paintball business may need only one or two people to start, but these employees should be able to handle reservations, training and other aspects of the business.
7. Limit your paintball venue’s hours to nights and weekends to reduce your overhead costs. Insert the clause “by reservation” on your store’s door sign as well as your advertisements to encourage businesses, student groups and others to visit outside of posted hours.
8. Diversify your reservation rates to reflect peak and off-peak periods as well as differences in playing venues. Break prices into hourly and daily reservation rates for each floor or field in your paintball complex for easy estimates. Your reservations should feature a clause preventing cancellation within a certain number of days to avoid lost revenue.
9. Advertise your paintball business at outdoor shops and hardware stores where paintball supplies are sold. Create a simple website with your hours, reservation rates and photos to cite in every poster and other advertisement. Offer discounted rates and coupons for pro shop purchases to customers who recommend your paintball business to friends and family.