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sprotz

Why doesn't anyone start an airsoft business in Africa ?

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Why doesn't anyone bother opening an airsoft paying field in any of the African countries? I know that to open a business in an area means that there must be demand for it, but who doesn't like to play war games? There are over 50 countries in Africa in which to open up an airsoft business and most of them don't have a single airsoft playing field, so if you opened up an airsoft shop or playing field in any of them, you would be a monopoly.. That means you would control the price, rules etc. There is no pressure to keep up with competition, so you would be making healthy profits.

And yes, I know that most of Africa is a weak economy and most of the population live in poverty and may not afford, but you could lower the price rates accordingly. It could work because the recreation business sells wherever you are. And opening any business there is real cheap, so if you are from a developed country, like USA and you are a low income earner, you could easily buy a mansion sized house and an SUV in Uganda, and if you are a middle class earner from a developed nation, you could buy 3 houses and several cars, now imagine what you could do if you are a high earner.

I know a man from Netherlands who opened up a paintball field in Uganda, he is a monopoly and says business is picking up quite well. South Africa is the only country I know that has several airsoft shops and playing fields, Kenya, however, has got a shop that sells airsoft guns but does not have a playing field.

And concerning legal issues, it shouldn't be a problem becase most African countries do not have any specific airsoft laws, except for Nigeria, where even paintball is banned.

Concerning political stability, for the most part is fine, but some countries are war zones, others, like Zimbabwe are ruled by dictators, but are otherwise stable.

There are many more businesses not available in which one could become a monopoly, maybe because the economy is so weak and there is no demand or purchasing power, but is that about to change ?

Any investors / Entrepreneuers out there, you could try since like I said, it's a low start-up cost and therefore little to lose.

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Guest alberty

I think you would need to present more than a 2-paragraph justification to get an investor interested. If you are serious about trying to encourage the growth of airsoft in Africa,perhaps you need to take the lead in presenting a business model. Otherwise, it's easy for anyone to just say "Why can't ___ just do ___?".

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"Concerning political stability, for the most part is fine, but some countries are war zones, others, like Zimbabwe are ruled by dictators, but are otherwise stable."

As long as there is a dictator, it is not stable. The higher up the ladder you stand, the more hurt you will be if the ladder tips over. If one person has so much power, it only takes one person falling and everything will be turned upside down in an instant.

 

I've talked with a lot of people who run different organizations (NGOs) in Africa and the number one problem they have is corruption. Even if you have a monopoly, you still have to worry about the government, they will keep wanting a larger and larger piece of it and if you don't give them what they want, they can shut you down in an instant.

 

The essentials for running a field, when you factor in things like insurance costs, the financials probably just don't make much sense. And most people who run fields want one reasonably close to where they live.

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To an extent, yes, when there is an oppressive government, they will end up harrassing you. But if a dictatorship is economically friendly, then they would leave businesses to run normally. But it has been shown that some dictatorship countries live peacefully internally, that is why I mentioned stable. In Uganda, for instance, they call it a democracy, yet the president is actually a dictator who committed human rights violations, and plans to stay in power to avoid prosecution (he is elected every 5 years), The country's democracy is being threatened and a civil war might start anytime, with the government brutally crushing any protests against it. But businesses are opening and operating as normal because the government's goal is to develop the economy. Some businesses are suffering in the economic hardships, but airsoft, I think, which is a recreational business might thrive, because there is always a market for recreation, people always like to have fun, even in economic hardships, wouldn't you agree ?

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But the value of a business depends on a relative profit. If the value of the currency is low (relative to one's home country), then there isn't much profit there. What is the disposable income of your average player (in dollars)? If it's only a few dollars a day, for a foreigner to run a consumer business, even a consumer service business, it doesn't make much sense. At best, the business can gross maybe half that daily amount in sales from that player, unless that player is really desperate to play the game at your field.

 

And you can't really make up for this in volume, b'cos it's hard to scale airsoft business in general. If there were a successful formula or brand of field that people were lining up to go to, and you could franchise that out, then you could scale it. But without that, each quality field just requires too much individual time to manage.

 

Look at a market like China, first, US companies did a lot of manufacturing there b'cos of the low cost of labor. Then you saw businesses like restaurants popping up b'cos of the low cost of labor and the ease in scalability. The profit per unit wasn't huge, but the volume was. Finally in the past decade or so, since China has an emerging and ever-increasing middle class with significant disposable income, now you see companies lining up to sell more expensive consumer products like smartphones into China.

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But an investor from a developed country would be richer and have more capital and experience to start an airsoft company. Even a home grown entrepreneur would have to interact with the developed world and ship products from asia as he would have no clue what airsoft is unless he has been in the developed world. When it comes to the recreation business, home grown investors are simply not interested.

So, we need someone with experience in airsoft, which exists in developed nations to come open some stores and fields.

 

It would save people the hassle of travelling to South Africa just to play airsoft, and only the wealthy/middle class few can do that.

 

In Uganda, for example, every outdoor recreation, be it para-gliding, white water rafting, sport fishing etc is , guess what, owned by Europeans.

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I often times have to tell people who are "waiting for something to happen" (that they believe will happen).

"If it's taken this long, it's probably not going to happen." I mean, ever, or at least until something changes (like the currency valuation).

 

In short, probability is such that, given enough time, even an 'unlikely' or 'rare' event will happen. If an event doesn't happen at least once in a sufficiently long period, it's likely that it's just not ever going to happen.

 

For static situations we can run a chi-square analysis based on the expected period versus the actual amount of time that has passed. When the actual amount of time exceeds a factor of somewhere between 3.841 to 11.071, we have 95% certainty of the "never" hypothesis, at least, until the situation on the ground changes (assuming we have 5 or less degrees of freedom).

 

http://faculty.elgin.edu/dkernler/statistics/ch09/9-3.html

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