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Old 09-27-2012, 10:55 AM #1
bscriver
 
 
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How is your 2012 seasons shaping up?

With a little over a month left in the prime outdoor season in my little corner of Canada, I wanted to check with other field operators and see what others have thought of this year. My field is located in a sparsely populated south east corner of BC canada ( 120k area pop). This fall has seen a strong upswing in customers, but as a whole this year has been our slowest and lowest sales year ever, since 2004. Just wondering if others are seeing this trend or not?
Cheers Brad
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:53 PM #2
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This might be more appropriate in the private forum.
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:50 PM #3
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I work at a field and it has been slower than in past years. Most likely to the recession.

Thats why we are putting some new things together such as Halloween day and a few big events.
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Old 09-28-2012, 02:51 PM #4
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Yankee, I disagree, this definitely should be open for all to read. Why hide the success or failures of your field, it is what it is. However if the topic is discussed openly, maybe it will help garner support for a struggling business.

Cheers
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Old 09-29-2012, 05:27 PM #5
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I manage one of two pro shops within a company here in MN and we have seen 10% growth or better the last few years. Our retail volume has sky rocketed (so has our physical inventory dollars) and we see a direct correlation at our field as well.

The people that run the company I work for are good at identifying where we need to improve things and adapting on the fly rather than waiting to make a change. One thing I see a lot of fields doing is not identifying issues and fixing them immediately. We had great numbers on groups and walk on play last year and rather than sitting on our laurels thinking we were gravy we went out and asked how we could attract more people and more groups.

The big issue fields seem to face is the economic climate within the area they reach out to. If you reach out to a larger area you can cater to more people and expand your clientele base. We actively seek businesses and community outreach programs where you have a high return on confirmed number of people reached so we know we at least tried to get people and left it up to them to check us out.

We also run at least one event per month, more often than not it is 2 though, as well as deals and special days where a MFG rep came out or we had a MFG day (Ninja Day for example) where anyone with a Ninja air system got free entry and we raffled off Ninja related items. People love those kinds of days and eat them up!
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Old 09-30-2012, 11:30 AM #6
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I see your logic, I just don't think you'll get candid answers in an open forum. Personally were having an average year but we're coming up to our busy time.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:39 AM #7
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I would say about 90% of my customers are reporting higher numbers this year than the same time last year and some are reporting record breaking numbers. The majority of the business owners are stating they are seeing a definite up-swing in the industry.

One thing I dont see some owners do is marketing. Think outside the box. What is working and what isn't? Seems like some of my customers have started utilizing free marketing tools such as Facebook and its working out well for them. Just as a suggestion, if you have a Facebook page and dont use it for marketing, check this program out. Its free and customer-driven; meaning you let your customers do the marketing for you.

FACEBOOK PICTURES
Players LOVE seeing themselves in pictures while playing paintball or dressed up in paintball gear. There is a great program that you can utilize to help market your business and hopefully generate more interest and get more players out to your field

On your waiver, include a section stating you would like to take pictures and also post them to your company Facebook page. Also state these pictures are 100% free for your customers to use and download. While the ref is on the field with the group, have them take pictures of the players shooting and pictures of the players with their masks off in the staging area. Throughout the day, make sure your employees tell your customers to come back to the company Facebook page to check out the pictures, which will be uploaded in a few days. Make sure that when you upload the pics, include a watermark with your company name or website link and then load all of the pictures up to a folder titled after the date the pictures were taken (ie: SATURDAY - 10/6/12). This will make it easy for your customers to find the pics and start commenting and tagging each other. As players start commenting and tagging, the picture will show up on the player's Facebook wall which means every person on their "Friends List" will see it.

Here are a few things that should happen after implementing this program:

1) The amount of "LIKES" on your company page should continue to grow. This means that as you post on your company Facebook wall, more and more people will see it since they "LIKE" your page.

2) You should get referrals based on people seeing their Friends, Family Members, and Co-Workers playing paintball in the pictures that you load up to Facebook. Remember, when the customers start commenting and tagging each other, the picture will show up on their Facebook wall meaning they are essentially marketing your watermarked paintball picture to everyone on their friends list.

3) Player's will use these pictures for profile pictures and cover photos on Facebook. When you watermark a picture, that means your company name or whatever you watermarked on the picture will be viewable by anyone that visits that person's Facebook page. Again, free marketing for you.

Hopefully this helps anyone out that is having some troubles this season. If anyone has any questions, feel free to pm or call me at work. I'm more than happy to help.
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