Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How history was made... for Singapore Paintball

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How to start a paintball field?

Yes, the million dollar question: "How to start a paintball field?" Try to google this and you will find many solutions to this question. Different perspectives from different people... some positives, some not so encouraging... but really, how do you really set up a paintball field?

Firstly, you have to understand the mechanics of paintball. When I say mechanics, I mean research, play the game, know how the game works, understand the difference between CO2 and HPA, understand the difference between the various types of paintball, talk to the paintball people. If you have played paintball once or twice and you think that paintball is a viable business, then let me tell you, you dont really know what paintball is. Yes, many people will think that I am bullshitting about this but I am writing this blog from my personal experience, from not knowing anything about paintball to running 2 paintball places, supplying paintball gears and organizing the country's only paintball tournament.

If you think that you know all that is needed to know about paintball by just playing the game...then you are far from knowing how to run a paintball business. Playing the game is one thing, running a paintball business is another. As the saying goes, "Its not about what you know, but about who you know". So in paintball, its no different. You need to talk to paintball people, people who have already been there done that...they will give you the best advice. Better still make them your partners. Its easier to break a bundle of sticks as a team than doing it alone. Playing the game helps a lot, so if you are not a player engaging in paintball, dont even think about paintball as a livelihood....likely, your learning curve is so steep and you are always out of touch. I happen to know this field owner who bought e-markers for his field as house markers...many will think that its surely a good idea . E-marker shoots more paintballs, more paintballs means more money. WRONG! It happen that there were not enough research done before the purchase, there was not enough talk with the paintball people and eventually... the e-markers started to give way and without a good knowledge of marker maintenance, the markers have now become white elephants.

Secondly, find the right people who can "teach" you paintball. Amazingly, paintball can be taught, yes, research, research and research... dont believe everything that is written on the internet. Marketing plans have everyone claiming that they are the best, the easiest marker to maintain, the best quality paintballs, etc. Dont just read, try and test them. Imagine that you are a customer when playing the game...bang the marker around, play it in a tight corner, slide with the marker, shake the marker...and if possible, drop the marker. Dont just read and believe those marketing words. E.g. "Best field paintball marker in the world" Again, this can be resolved if you know the right paintball people.

As I am writing this... I am starting to feel that there are so many things to write about "how to start a paintball field" and its almost impossible for me to write them down, it could take me hours and hours or maybe even days!!! But in short, these are the various things to look out for:

1) Talk to the paintball people
2) Location
3) Theme
4) Supplies
5) Cost
6) Directions
7) Workers
8) Repairs
9) Gears
10) Talk to the paintball people

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More to come... mobile paintball