Everyone knows this one thing for sure, any good, successful business knows their audience. Commando Paintball is no exception to that rule. They know their target audience and how to grow with it as society changes. We, CPOS, were lucky enough to spend the day with the face of the company, Marie Longtin. We had the chance to ask many questions about the paintball business, funny work stories, and more. Here’s what she had to say:
Kids are safe here, they enjoy themselves and get outside!
How did you start your business?
‘’Actually, I married into it; my husband has been doing this for about 30 years and I came in about 10 years ago and just got married into it for sure! Now I do most of the running of the company out here [Interviews/Social Media].’’
What do you like most about this business?
‘’Interaction with the people, helping people, talking to them and seeing they have a really good time. Getting that kind of feedback is fun. I’m a mom so, I want the other moms to know their kids are safe here, they enjoy themselves and get outside!’’
Can you tell us a funny story that happened here at Commando?
‘’Oh boy! There have been so many things, I think the one thing that comes to my mind is that one time, we had a big event with about a thousand players here. My drone went into the pond and while it doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, with an event that big, it was hilarious. If this was the worst thing that was going to happen, that’s ok, I can replace the drone, but that made me laugh pretty hard.‘’
What do you think people like about Commando Paintball?
‘’A couple of things, customer service and we have very unique fields. We have the ponds, the fish, the turtles and that adds to the whole experience. The topography is very unique, there’s lots of fields and valleys and of course, all the unique props that we have on the field (trucks, boats. It really does add to the whole experience!’’
There’s a lot of team building, it just goes on and on.
What’s your favorite field?
‘’My favorite field? That’s a tough question..but I know what my least favorite field is!’’
Can you tell us about your least favorite one?
‘’My least favorite is a new field, it has a lot of wide-open spaces and I have little legs and so when you’re in a wide-open space it’s quite a challenge. I just thought about it now, and my favorite has to be hamburger hill, it’s clean, I like the way it’s set up and it was the first field I’ve ever played on.’’
Which one is the hardest?
‘’I’d have to say village because it’s a very tight space. There’s not a lot of places to go, and so you have to be very experienced to play on that one.’’
Do you remember not taking debit/credit?
‘’When I first arrived, there was no debit and credit and that’s not the way to do business. It is a necessary thing [to take debit/credit] as a mom raising two young kids I live on my plastic so to me it’s imperative. It was the first change I implemented because I don’t know any businesses that don’t take it, we need to have it.’’
Did it ever cause any issues when you didn’t take it?
‘’Of course, we still have people asking if we take debit/credit to this day, and yes of course we do! Back in the day, we had to send them to a local corner store with an ATM machine and it’s very inconvenient.’’
We take extraordinary measures to make sure that people are comfortable.
Was there a day where the electricity was out and you couldn’t use your terminal? What did you do then?
‘’It was a few years ago, it doesn’t happen anymore, we were set up with the paper you write on with the carbon copy. We were able to get through that, there’s always a way to get through things. ‘’
What do you think is inspiring and or interesting about the Paintball business?
‘’It lets people get outside and have fun, there’s a lot of team building, it just goes on and on. We get some workgroups, we have one today, a landscape company. It really builds teams and encourages teamwork, communication and it does help with confidence. I see a lot of people on their first time here, they’re being nervous, shy and once they start playing, they realize that it’s really fun and it grows their confidence. ‘’
What is your recommendation for people who never played and would like to start?
‘’It does have a bad reputation, unfortunately, but it isn’t as serious as some people think it is. A lot has changed over the years and there’s more of a focus on safety and making sure nobody’s getting hurt. We do offer low impact options so you can try it without the fear of what could happen. We also offer bazooka ball which is for younger kids, so there’s a transition for sure.
What would you say to people who would like to try Commando Paintball?
‘’Well, we’re the best! [laughs] We want to make sure that everybody is comfortable and we take extraordinary measures to make sure that people are comfortable. We understand how it feels to try it out for the first time, so I totally understand that perspective, and also the perspective of parents, so we make sure people are safe and feel secure. We also make sure everyone understands we would never put them with players that are way more experienced, we’re really about safety. So if you come and see us, you will definitely have a good time!’’
Commando Paintball is an example to follow for businesses like theirs, preaching safety and healthy competition can be rewarding. We’ve only seen happy customers on-site playing together. This is the kind of activity we recommend going to since it encourages connections to be made and teamwork. Would you go try paintball after reading this interview? Leave your thoughts below.