“For younger kids in elementary and middle school play is one of the most important ways in which...
“Everything I do is for them”, an interview with Lee Martinez of Alamo Knockerball in Hondo, TX
October 25, 2019
Lee just opened the doors to his Knockerball business this past winter and shares the inspiration that is driving his expansion…
When did you join the Knockerball family?
Let’s start from the beginning, what were you doing before KB?
Network Administrator at an Electric Company.
Please tell us about your personal story…what inspires you and what makes you tick? What makes you who you are?
My personal story is a long one…first, I grew up in south Texas, then when I graduated high school, I moved to Oklahoma and studied Youth Ministries. Somewhere in between my youth ministry studies, I studied computer networking. I was a full-time Youth Pastor and a Family Pastor for a couple of churches for 7 or 8 years. About 5 years ago, I went back into my IT work. My wife and I moved back to Texas 2 years ago where I had a great job for a while. Well, I thought it was a great job. After the first week, I regretted moving and I hated working there.
After a while, I realized I wanted to open my own business as I didn’t like it when my girls asked me to stay home and I couldn’t. My dad also has always had his own business and always taught me how to work hard and never give up. By seeing everything he did and where he is, I learned that when you fail- you get up and try even harder. I have always loved how when he wants to do something, he doesn’t have to ask anyone (except mom of course). Even still, he always had time for us and was always there.
With what I do currently, I have to make sure I have PTO (paid time off) to do something and it drives me crazy, so I started looking around for other options. I didn’t want to open a tech store as there was too much competition and I wanted to start something that would be unique to the area- something that attracts people. I have always been a “people person”, just ask my wife! I can talk to almost anyone at the store. I also love working with kids and teens so I knew that I wanted to do something that would help teens and kids have a great time.
Then one day I saw an advertisement for Knockerball on Facebook. I probably ignored it a few times. Then I looked it up and there was no one in San Antonio, the closest was one in Laredo, TX. I decided to call them, and I ended up talking to the business owner over in Laredo. I learned a lot from talking to him. He even told me that if I ended up signing on to let him know because he had a huge festival in San Antonio that they wanted him to service, and he couldn’t make it. He said, “I’ll give you the contact info and you can have the event”! So, when I signed up to start my own Knockerball business, I already had 2 events planned! As soon as my stuff got here, I was working the very next week with it.
I really am liking what I do now. I still work 8 to 5 in IT but that’s temporary until I really get going with Knockerball. My 3 kids and my wife are what keeps me going. I want my wife to be able to stay home and I want to give my kids everything they want. They are the reason I want this to go well. What makes me who I am would be my parents. If it were not for them, I wouldn’t be where I am today. They have always taught me to work hard for what I want.
What equipment and games do you currently have (KB and non-KB) and what are you considering adding on to your business?
Currently, we have 16 Knockerballs with the Medium Field. I plan to add Foot Darts and the Connect Four soon. Eventually, I want to add Archery Tag with the new Enclosed Field that Knockerball has.
What events are your main focus?
High Schools, Middle Schools, Elementary Schools
How do you go about marketing and promoting your business?
Facebook, going out and talking to people, passing out fliers that I made. The fairs and festivals that I do work a lot.
What is your business plan for the future?
My ultimate goal is to open a Family Entertainment Center that is all Knockerball everything on one side, and all sorts of other stuff on the other side. I want to make it where teens can come after school and hang out all day. My goal is for kids and teens to have a safe place to be at all day.
What would you say are the 3 most important things to remember as a KB owner?
Safety, have fun, and take care of your equipment.
What are 3 pitfalls you would avoid if you could start over knowing what you know now?
Learn to advertise more- that’s always been a big one for me. I have no clue where to start and kind of still don’t. When you tell someone to go on your Facebook and give you reviews and if they do, you will include 2 free Knockerballs, make sure they do it. Also, I would learn to price myself out better as there are times that I feel I am too expensive but at the same time don’t want to go too low.
What is your most memorable KB moment?
Mine is every time I do an event…I love to see people smile and laugh!
What advice would you give other affiliates or people considering becoming an affiliate?
This is not a ” get rich quick” kind of thing. Take your time and talk to other affiliates that have been there and done that. Have fun… if you don’t like what you do, it will not go well; so have fun and enjoy it!
Anything else that you want to share about you, your family, your goals, your dreams, or obstacles you’ve overcome? Here is your chance!
I just had my 3rd kid (our 1st boy)! They are the reason I try to work hard- it’s all for them.
A big thanks to Lee Martinez for sharing his inspiring story and dedication to his work! If you want to learn more about us, take a peek at start your own Knockerball business!
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