Originally Posted by NormanPaintballOwner
I think your very wrong, I don't sell any equipment and I live in a small town area where the majority of all paintballers were outlaw balling before I seperated from the military and opened the field. I simply offer the players a place to play and they in turn by their paint from me/ or the local shop --35 miles away-- So I think by saying my field is hurting the sport, you are so wrong!!! My player base grows every month, but not with players who are verterans of the sport but new players. I am growing the next generation of players, field owners with attitudes like yours piss me off! You ever met the average joe and asked him, "Have you ever played paintball before?" He responds: No, it is to expensive. I solve that problem, get that guy hooked, and next thing you know he is showing up in your shop to buy your equipment and playing at your field to have better competition and field quality. Sum of the story is you should change your outlook on fields like my own. However, everyone is titled to have their own opinions, I just thought I would put my 2 sense in. Havn't been playing paintball for 10 years to have a buisness that hurts the sport.
More power to you if you've operated a profitable business that has drawn more players into the sport than you've pulled away from a full-time paintball business. I didn't mean to offend you by my comments. The "businesses" that I have issues with are the guys who open up "stores" so they can buy things at cost, the online drop-ship stores, and the fields that are more clubs than they are businesses (the ones that sell paint slightly above cost). These businesses operate at little to no profit margin, and for all intents and purposes have an unsustainable business model. I feel that in the long term, the fields and stores that turn a reasonable profit, and reinvest a portion of that into their businesses, are more beneficial to the paintball player.
Bottom line, profit is what motivates businesses to thrive. When you take that out of the equation, the business lasts only as long as the owner is getting something out of it--in this case it's discounted play.
There were two statements of yours that led me to believe you might be one of those fields. To quote:
"My field isn't FPO because I don't care about the $$$ as long as I get the money back I pay NSERA every year."
"My boss was just lecturing me the other day because my gross dollars rock, but my markup percentage sucks. What can I say, I like hooking the customer up with a good deal."
Basing my opinions solely on those comments, I was of the opinion you were simply in the business of paintball as a hobby.
I've been playing for 15 years, and have been operating a non-profit paintball organization (Indiana Captains Council) for the past ten years. The purpose of that organization has been to promote the sport of paintball within Indiana. The relationship I've built with the Indiana fields and stores has provided me with a lot of insight.
In my fifteen years, I've worked for a field, operated a brick-and-mortar store, owned and operated two online stores, worked as a master tech for a paintball equipment manufacturer, worked as a sales rep for an paintball equipment distributor, am a partner in a paintball equipment manufacturing company, and operated two tournament series. I've also developed a product that has helped bring competitive paintball into high-visibility locations.
In short, I've spent time in just about every aspect of paintball. I've drawn my opinion of fields and stores operated with the hobbiest mindset based on those experiences. I feel I have enough information to form an educated opinion about the economics of paintball.
Again, understand that I did not mean to offend you. If your company functions as a business, and not as a hobby, then you have my support. It's the guys that start "businesses" just for the discounts, or operate at a near-zero margin, that I feel are damaging the sport.