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How to Start an Indoor Playground Business
Starting an indoor playground business is competitive, but can be done successfully if you are willing to work hard and differentiate your brand and offerings in the market.
Playgrounds will vary for different age groups. Know the likes and dislikes of whatever age group you decide to serve. An indoor playground for toddlers is going to look very different than an environment built for middle-school-age kids. Think about the customers that your company wants to target and who you are best suited to entertain.
It's important for those starting an indoor playground business to come up with fresh ideas unless the goal is to buy a franchise. In that case, the business owner would be putting a spin on an already successful idea. But for those starting from scratch, coming up with something that hasn't been experienced before in an indoor playground is key. Kids are smart and they want new and different activities
Since an indoor playground business is directed at children, it's essential that the physical environment be safe. Parents won't bring kids to a playground that isn't child-proof, and negative experiences around safety can put companies at risk for poor reviews which can potentially devastate reputations. Register the business as a limited liability corporation that offers protection on the liability of assets so all your bases are covered in case of crisis or emergency.
Once the playground idea is developed, it's quite likely the business will need ancillary services for when the children aren't on the playground and for the parents who are with them. Consider adding a snack bar, video games, WiFi, vending machines and other fun activities that will keep customers on site for longer.
It's important to know which indoor playground businesses are already operating in your community and geographic area. This shouldn't impact your goals greatly, but knowing what your competitors are doing will help you determine any gaps in your offerings that are needed or desired by customers. Market research can also help determine the best course of action when it comes to marketing and attracting customers into the center.
Like every other business endeavor, it's important to have a written business plan for a guide. This will include the company's goals, mission, revenue model, capital requirements and marketing, among other priority items to get started. Expect to spend at least $250,000 to start, to keep more than 200 children occupied and satisfied. Knowing costs upfront and being intentional about a path forward can help make the process easier in the long run.