Want to start a paintball business but don’t know how? Learn how to start your paintball business from the ground up with these tips and guidelines on what to do first and who to contact. Paintball is a serious business even if it’s meant to give people a lot of laughs. To ensure that your paintball business doesn’t fall apart, here is everything you need to know.
Steps to take in Starting a Paintball Business
1. Decide on a business model.
Every business should have a business model. What’s a business model? It’s the design of where you get your revenue, what drives costs, what are other sources of financing, what products and services you offer, and so on. It’s like a blueprint of your business so this needs a lot of attention. Most businesses fail because they don’t realize that their costs will overshadow their revenue and there aren’t enough revenue streams.
When you think about your business model, make sure that you discuss this with your partners. All the input about how your business will be run is needed in this part. Sometimes, thinking about how your business will operate will take a few days.
Why not skip to the other steps? It’s always tempting to go ahead and rent out the location for your business. However, adding costs to your business without figuring out how you’re going to get the ROI is a little reckless. You don’t want to have a huge debt and then realize that your business model is not capable of getting an ROI early.
So while it is tempting to go ahead with other operational things, it’s always safe to build a business model first. That way, you get to ask what sources of income your business will have. And fortunately, a paintball business can have several sources of income like gear rental, paintball field rental, training, and merchandise.
2. Consult with an accountant.
Hate doing the financials? Then hire an accountant. In all honesty, it’s always better to hire a professional accountant who knows the ins and outs of taxes and books for corporations. There are also different tax implications depending on the type of business you have. If none of you in the team are accountants, then it’s best to consult a professional to help sort out your financials.
Wondering when you’ll ROI? This is where your accountant will be handy, too. Financial projections for the worst and ideal situations will also help you figure out how to better carry out your business plans. This will also prepare you for worst-case scenarios that you might not have anticipated when designing your business model.
3. Consult with an attorney.
Just like your financials, your legal matters should also get a lot of attention. After all, they will make or break your company and you don’t want to realize later on that you were missing a few licenses and insurances.
When it comes to legal matters, expect that it’s usually not straightforward. The law can be complex especially when it’s about businesses. To ensure that you are compliant with all the laws in your state, hire an attorney whose expertise is one corporation and business in your area.
Don’t know an attorney? A quick Google search will often do the trick. Simply type the kind of attorney you’re looking for and type your area or zip code. That will come up with a few choices. What you have to remember, though, is that you have to pick the right attorney. As much as possible, ask for recommendations from your friends and family if they know any attorney.
4. List all assets and materials needed.
This is the more detailed part. A lot of people will find this difficult to do but in order to get an approximation of your future expenses, you need to list all assets and materials that you have to pay for. You can also call this budgeting phase because you’ll have to scout for quotations on offices, land, equipment, etc.
Starting with a detailed list of what you need is always better than just buying things right away the moment you think about them. Who knows, you might even get discounts from wholesale stores that sell a number of the items you need.
5. Check what your competitors are doing.
Why do you need to check your competitors? It’s not because you’re trying to copy them or spy on them, but it’s because you want to look at what they’re doing right and what they can improve on. Look at it as research on best practices for building a paintball business and then using the best practices on your business.
When you check your competitors, take notes on their location, the number of staff, working hours, rates, and marketing strategies. Just immersing yourself in this information will already give you an idea of what you can do to improve your business.
One of the best things that competitor research can do for you is give you an idea of how much they’re charging for the use of the gear and for one paintball game. Depending on your business model, you can think about having the same price, having a cheaper price, or a more expensive one. Of course, this is just a simplistic approach on how to do your pricing. It’s best to consider other factors, too such as operating costs to strike a balance with your rates.
6. Scout for land to rent or buy.
Should you buy the land for your business or is it best to rent it out? While it’s a big portion of your monthly expenses, renting is usually a good strategy for your location. This is because buying land would either entail a loan or a large capital and if you aren’t sure about your long-term plans with the business, this might be too big an investment to make in your early stages.
If you’re thinking of renting the place, look for lots that are in your ideal location. They can be closed buildings or unused land. Whatever the state of the land is, make sure to strike conversations with the owners real quick. That way, you can start planning for construction if needed.
Since your business is paintball, don’t forget to check the zoning requirements of the location. There might be some conditions needed for paintball businesses or recreational businesses, in general, that was set up by the city or state.
7. Look for outgoing paintball business staff.
Why would you want to look for outgoing staff when they’re already leaving a business that offers the same services as you? Even if they are already outgoing, that doesn’t mean that they do not want to work for your business. There are many reasons why they’re outgoing for a reason. Even if they have resigned, they might be looking for a change of scenery, compensation, or management.
Hiring people who have prior experience in working in a paintball business already know how it works – the operation, the schedule, and customer service. Instead of having to train people the very basics, you can just pick up from what they already know and train them in your own management style. That’s less effort on your end to train on the basics of a paintball business.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you can’t hire new people that don’t have any paintball work experience. It is also good to have a few beginners in your team so that they can give a new perspective to the management and a new approach to customer service. Just make sure that the dynamics among your employees are also good.
8. Plan the construction phase for the location.
Whether you’re renting or buying land, you will still have to do a few changes to your business location unless you are already using a location where the previous user was a paintball business. Nonetheless, the best thing for you to do is still design your location in the way that you want it. You’ll realize that there is more that need to be fixed as you think about the design.
How long does a construction stage last? What’s great with paintball fields is that you don’t need to construct bleachers and special flooring. You do, however, need to design the layout of the field. In other words, you won’t know how long construction will take if you don’t have a design in mind.
To speed things up, it’s better to hire a contractor that will help you change the whole layout. If you have an office set up there, consider using pre-fabricated structures so that it saves time and money.
10. Build a marketing strategy.
Excited to start on your branding and visibility? This is where it all gets exciting. Just like any other part of your business, you have to plan this. A great marketing strategy is not just about making a site and making relevant content on your social media sites. For a paintball field in your area, it might not even be wise to start digital.
Most of the time, a paintball business will have to rely on word of mouth in their location to gain a few loyal customers. You can also start your social media presence or website simultaneously. Those that will hear about your business from other parts will want to look for you online, so it’s best to not neglect this part, too.
A marketing strategy is always adjusting and adapting, so it’s best to be agile for this one yet not be too spontaneous when thinking about the next plan of action.
11. Get the word out.
Should you tell people you’re planning to build a paintball business? Of course! Once your construction is almost done, you can start getting the word out and telling people of your soft opening dates. That way, they can be excited enough that they spread the word to their friends and family.
If you’re having second thoughts about the opening dates or your planned opening is still a few months away, don’t mention your business just yet as this can give people false hopes. Although people from the neighborhood will definitely know that there’s a new paintball business coming to town, it’s best to keep the suspense and excitement up. If you tell people about your plans too early, they might forget about it by the time you open.
However, when your business is ready to go, don’t hold back in spreading the good news. Let people know about your business and invite them to try out your paintball games!
Starting a business is not easy. There’s a high chance that someone has told you that already and they’re right. Building a business from scratch, whatever type it is needs a lot of grit and discipline. Even if you’re with a team, it will still be challenging because you have more people to discuss with especially if that is the setup of your organization.
Don’t want to spend a lot of money? Well, if you haven’t realized it yet, that is almost impossible unless you have investors or donors. Either way, you will have to get used to handling a lot of money because that will be part of your daily thoughts. This is not to scare you at all, but it’s also your preparation for the reality that is business.
Keep in mind that if you haven’t started a business before, reading this won’t be enough to learn all the things you need to set everything right. You will need to consult with professionals and other people have started their own business in the area for you to know the specific laws that apply to you.
This list of what you should do is not the whole list. As with every business, there are things that you’ll discover as you go by and there are some that you can plan ahead. One thing’s for sure – when you plan ahead, there are a lot of things that you can anticipate and prepare for so that you can kickstart your business within budget and timeline.