3 Ways to Fund an Indoor Playground Business | The Pros and Cons of Each

3 Ways to Fund an Indoor Playground Business | The Pros and Cons of Each

After helping dozens of indoor playground owners and prospective owners get their businesses up and running, I have noticed that the funding phase can be the most difficult part of the process. In fact, of the prospective owners I have worked with that did NOT end up making it to the finish line, most have cited insufficient funding as their reason for halting progress on their plans.

While insufficient funding can certainly be a very real issue you face on this journey, I would like to encourage you to think outside the box when planning your efforts. Also, remember that the funding process can take years depending on your savings.

The 6 Biggest Misconceptions I Hear about Starting an Indoor Playground Businesses

The 6 Biggest Misconceptions I Hear about Starting an Indoor Playground Businesses

Through the years I have gotten hundreds, maybe THOUSANDS of calls, emails, and in-person inquiries from prospective play cafe owners. They generally all start the same, with an innocent, “Hey Michele, I was wondering if I could pick your brain about opening a play cafe in my area?”  When I had more time and only one business, I took close to 100 of these calls and meetings.

This was one of the many reasons I created Play Cafe Academy; because I noticed everyone had the same questions, got stuck at the same parts of the opening process, and had the SAME misconceptions about what it’s really like to start an indoor playground business.

Here are the 6 things I hear from nearly EVERY prospective owner, and I why each statement is not necessarily true.

The 5 BEST Things about Opening an Indoor Playground

The 5 BEST Things about Opening an Indoor Playground

I am constantly scrutinizing my business and making tweaks to our processes and systems to maximize our profits and elevate our clients’ experiences, and often forget to reflect on the immeasurable joy this venture has brought to our family. Yes, there have been tough times-- lots of tears and many hours spent away from my family while getting our business up and running, but I am so happy to look back and say it was ALL worth it. We are at the point in our venture where we have mastered what works and what does not work, and we have an incredible team who runs the show and constantly brings us new ideas to implement. Now that we are into a brand new year I want to share the five BEST things about opening an indoor playground and give you an idea of how opening ours has changed our lives for the better.

4 Ways to Market an Indoor Playground or Play Cafe

4 Ways to Market an Indoor Playground or Play Cafe

Many owners feel like marketing their business online is just putting posts up on Facebook, but there is SO much more to it than that. Marketing is building an email list, it’s having a high-converting website, it’s having a word-of-mouth marketing strategy, and it’s converting your customers with IN-STORE marketing.

Why Should You Open an Indoor Playground or Play Cafe?

Why Should You Open an Indoor Playground or Play Cafe?

If you are considering opening an indoor playground or play cafe, please consider this my vote of confidence in you. When I think about why I began this journey, I remember that it all STARTS and ENDS with family. I have been able to spend thousands more hours watching my children grow up and raising them than I would have had I stayed at my corporate job. And now, my husband has been able to achieve the freedom to accompany us full time as well!

I love that I am able to pick them up every day from school, volunteer in their classroom, and be there to put my youngest down for his nap. It is so fun involving my sons and their interests in our special events as well. This coming weekend, for example, they’ll be able to meet some new friends, visit with Santa in a sensory-friendly environment, and get a nice professional photo taken! They love helping with the set-up and being our special helpers.

Are Indoor Playground Businesses Profitable?

Are Indoor Playground Businesses Profitable?

After doing a deeper dive into our own business plan, operating expenses, and revenues, it was easy for me to see where an indoor playground business can go awry. There are specific areas Climbing Vines Cafe & Play hinges it’s success on, and without them, we would surely have posted the same notice on our website during our first year of operation. This is NOT to say we did everything right when we opened our business. In fact, had we made a few simple tweaks from the beginning, we would be in a much more profitable position today. We are very lucky in that we did enough research and had enough experience, and simply made MORE “right” decisions than “wrong” decisions. This allowed us to be able to pivot and recover nicely enough (though we were sure to make corrections for our second location).

10 Questions You MUST Answer BEFORE Considering Play-Cafe Ownership

10 Questions You MUST Answer BEFORE Considering Play-Cafe Ownership

If you are one of the brave souls considering play-cafe ownership, congratulations! The time for diving in and implementing this business model is NOW. It’s important to note, though, that operating a play cafe is NO easy task. No one (except someone who has lived it!) can prepare you for the experience and the mental, physical, and financial hardships that can come along with following your dream.

7 Crucial Steps to Opening a Play Cafe or Indoor Playground

7 Crucial Steps to Opening a Play Cafe or Indoor Playground

If you’re considering indoor playground or play cafe ownership, then let me be the first to congratulate you! Four years ago, I was in your exact spot. I was at my desk job with my newborn baby at home, feverishly researching the play-cafe business model during my lunch hours, consuming as much information as I could. Here’s the thing: there’s not much information out there. After spending hours searching for answers and even more hours interviewing current play cafe owners (who rightfully charged a pretty penny for their consulting services) on their experiences, I’ve discovered the 2 reasons for this lack of information.