According to the National Indoor Playground and Café Association, there are three characteristics an indoor playground needs to succeed in today’s market. The first is innovation, meaning the playground needs to be unique to catch the interest of customers. The second characteristic is safety. The structure, materials, and playground equipment must be sturdy and durable, minimizing potential risk of injuries. This is also important for insurance purposes. Third, the playground needs to be diverse in terms of features and options, so that it holds the attention of energetic children.
Obviously, ensuring these three qualities are included in business planning can get expensive, so the business plan is often used as supporting documentation for funding requests submitted to banks and private investors. Entrepreneurs need to carefully consider where the playground is located in terms of safety and access to the targeted market. Rent space in an industrial area because it is inexpensive, and the business is likely to fail. Rent space or build a facility near neighborhoods with a high percentage of families, and success is more likely.
Doing an in-depth market analysis of the customer demographics and competition will help pinpoint the ideal location. Additional points to consider include the following:
• Is this a new business startup, a franchise purchase, or purchase and upgrade of an existing business?
• What innovative setup, equipment, and play opportunities will the playground offer parents and children?
• How will the business market itself, i.e. after school play facility, children’s birthday party rentals, regular special events, holiday events, summer activities, etc.? Without living, breathing customers there is no business, so the marketing plan is critical to success.
• Personnel choices can make or break a business. They need to be friendly, enjoy playing with children, and competent. Will the business do criminal background checks? How will the playground find qualified staff?
• What company will supply the playground equipment? Does it have a solid reputation for quality and safety? What type of equipment maintenance schedule will the playground owner put in place?
Typically, revenues are generated from open play (walk-ins), birthday parties, special events, and holiday events. However, indoor playgrounds also develop special classes like “Mommy and Me” or “Daddy and Me.” Developing an online website and social media sites where parents can regularly check for special events and promotions, and the playground owner can blog interesting information about the importance of playtime, is a good way to stay connected with the marketplace.
It is not difficult to open the indoor playground, but keeping a steady supply of customers coming in the door can be challenging. The indoor playground business plan must showcase a solid plan for achieving and maintaining profitability before investors will risk funding.
Contact OGS Capital to quickly get the process of planning an indoor playground started. Consultants have years of experience in helping thousands of small to medium sized businesses startup and grow through quality business plan development to meet the requirements of targeted investors.
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