Harquebus Paintball, Inc.

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Paintball Products Retail Business Plan

Market Analysis Summary

Paintball is a rapidly growing market. It is a fairly new sport, started in the early 1980s, and took major growth throughout the 1990s. The National Sporting Goods Association ( NSGA [http://www.nsga.org] ) reported that "paintball games" were the #1 sport for growth in 2002, up 24% to 6.9 million players (player = played more than once), up 6.8% in 2003 to 7.4 million players, and up 28% in 2004 as the #2 sport for growth to 9.4 million players .

Harquebus Paintball's main market focus includes Bombarde County males, ages 12-24. Bombarde County demographics below:

  • 5-24:    191,276
    • males (45% estimate):  86,074
  • 12-24:  120,804
    • males (45% estimate):  54,360
    • total males that participate in paintball in Bombarde County (3.9% estimate) :  2,144

Due to the age bracket (5-24) from the Bombarde County demographics, and Paintball's (in general) age demographics (12-24), HPI has broken down the figure 86,074, which represents all males ages 5-24 that live in Bombarde County, and figured that there are approx. 4,530 males in each age bracket (ie: age 5, age 6, age 7, etc.). From there, HPI took 4,530 and multiplied it by the number of years in the general Paintball demos (12 years) which computes to 54,360 Bombarde County males between the ages of 12 and 24.

A simple paintball market study was conducted at various Bombarde County middle and high schools, and an approximate average for the number of males who play paintball and own a gun are 67 males per school. The estimation "67 males per school" was conceived by taking the average population of each school (2,000 students), and dividing it by the average classroom population (30 students), and during the study it was found that an average of one male per classroom owns a paintball gun and plays paintball persistently (at least once a month). There are approximately 32 middle/high schools in Bombarde County, which means there are about 2,144 paintball players in the Bombarde County area.

By taking the 9.4 million paintball players, dividing it by 50 (which represents the 50 States) and dividing that number by 66 (which represent the 66 counties in Ourstate), then you have an average of 2,848 paintballers per Ourstate county.

Major companies such as Nike, Adidas, and Vans are starting to enter the paintball market. Fox Sports and the Outdoor Network are also starting to bring paintball into their business as they host various paintball tournaments for viewing pleasure. There are currently only two paintball businesses in Bombarde County trying to win/gain/maintain customers of the same audience.

Consider these numbers reported by the NSGA and you will find, despite paintball's popularity and age, that it is not far behind:

  1. Soccer: 13.3 million players.
  2. Baseball: 15.9 million players.
  3. Tackle Football: 8.2 million players.

4.1 Market Segmentation

Harquebus Paintball's target market will be Bombarde County males from the ages of 12-24. Based on the Bombarde County demographics (estimated 45% male) and HPI's derived demographics as stated above (3.9% male paintballers), HPI's products and services will be offered to an estimate of 2,144 Bombarde County paintballers.

The following table and chart depict the potential customers (HPI considers "potential" customers, people that enjoy/play the sport of paintball) with a conservative annual growth rate of 3%. The growth rate of paintball in general was 6% in 2000, 4% in 2001, 24% in 2002, 6.8% in 2003, and 28% in 2004.

Market Analysis
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Potential Customers Growth CAGR
Paintball Players aged 12-18 3% 2,144 2,208 2,274 2,342 2,412 2.99%
Paintball Players over age 18 3% 986 1,016 1,046 1,077 1,109 2.98%
Total 2.99% 3,130 3,224 3,320 3,419 3,521 2.99%

4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy

Harquebus Paintball chose the target audience of Bombarde County male paintballers, ages 12-24 because our products and services will be offered mainly to Bombarde County, and the paintball demographics are males between the ages of 12 and 24. HPI will create a public awareness message via radio, TV, and live remotes for approximately three weeks prior to grand opening to let HPI's audience know about the opening of HPI.

4.3 Service Business Analysis

Harquebus Paintball is in the industry of retail paintball products. There are two kinds of paintball retail businesses: Physical Paintball Dealers and Online Paintball Dealers:

  1. Physical Paintball Dealers: These are the storefront paintball retailers.
    • Pros:
      1. Offers repair and upgrade services.
      2. No wait for shipping.
      3. No shipping and handling charges.
      4. Can view products in person.
      5. Queries can be answered immediately.
    • Cons:
      1. Usually offers a low concentration of brand-name product at MSRP value.
      2. Extremely limited advertising.
      3. Very little sales or promotions, if any.
  2. Online Paintball Dealers: These are the Internet based paintball retailers.
    • Pros:
      1. Usually offering a higher concentration (more color variety, different sizes) of brand-name and generic-label product at slightly lower than MSRP value.
      2. Basic sales (ie: $10 off) and promotions (ie: bonus packs).
    • Cons:
      1. Shipping time.
      2. Shipping and handling charges. 
      3. Little advertising.
      4. Do not offer repair or upgrade services.
      5. Cannot view products in person.
      6. Queries may take up to a week to be answered.

The size and concentration of paintball retail centers in Bombarde County is extremely limited. There are currently only two small paintball retail centers in Bombarde County providing an extremely narrow range of products and brands. Harquebus Paintball's goal is to turn the "cons" of the "Physical Paintball Dealers" into "pros."

4.3.1 Competition and Buying Patterns

In the industry of retail paintball, there are a number of factors influencing purchases:

  1. Product Features: Some items may be "better" than others due to the fact that it may contain a feature (ie: on/off switch) that will make that item easier to use, more functional, versatile, etc.
  2. Reputation: Some items may carry a reputation of being excellent (ie: strong, durable, long-lasting, easy to fix, etc.) products, and others may carry a reputation of being "poor" (ie: breaks often, cheap, malleable, etc.)
  3. Word of Mouth: Often times purchases are made simply on the basis of a word-of-mouth recommendations.
  4. Availability: Kids want their products immediatly, rather than waiting maybe a week or two for a reorder of an out-of-stock item, another product of its fashion may be purchased instead.
  5. Pricing: Depending on income, especially for kids, a cheaper price may be the determining factor between two items if that's all that person can afford at the time.
  6. Up-sales: If someone decides to purchase a product at X amount of dollars, and a staff member points out that the "better" model has more features for only a few dollars more, that person may decide to go with the more expensive unit.
  7. Cross-sales: If someone decides to purchase a product that has room for upgrades, a staff member may recommend purchasing a few upgrades to enhance the power of their item.
  8. Impulse Buys: People, especially kids, often tend to purchase items that they think they need, maybe because of certain features, looks, or to even look "cool" in front of all the other paintballers, rather than researching the item and realizing whether they truly need it or not.

In Bombarde County, there is very little retail paintball competition. There are currently only two stores running a retail paintball operation, OPC (Ourstate Paintball Center) and Musketeer Paintball (ratings: 0-5; 5 = best):

  • OPC: OPC has a shop approximately 1,000s/f - 1,500s/f. It includes product selection, and a service area.
    • Store Condition: 2 (non decorative; a sense of dirtiness; worn down equipment; etc.).
    • Product Selection: 3 (mainly a light selection of a couple major brand companies).
    • Marketing: 0 (no known advertising; no sales; no promotions).
    • Sales Staff/Experience: 3/5 (not exactly aggressive in sales, yet can give helpful advice / very knowledgeable in the field of paintball)
  • Musketeer: Musketeer has a shop around 800s/f - 1,000s/f. It includes product selection and a service area.
    • Store Condition: 3
    • Product Selection: 2
    • Marketing: 1 (rotating billboard advertisement)
    • Sales Staff/Experience: 3/4

Staff at OPC will be trained in customer assistance, and willingly transferred to Harquebus Paintball upon opening.