Behind The Scenes

What to Do if One of Your Indoor Playground Business Ideas FAILS

What to Do if One of Your Indoor Playground Business Ideas FAILS

If you are considering opening an indoor playground or if you own one already, it is your job as the visionary and the owner of the business to think about the big picture ideas and initiatives and really perfect the revenue streams in your business.

But what happens when you make a decision that doesn’t pan out?

Let’s say you had a great idea for a service offering, or a class, or an event that you were REALLY excited about. You spent tons of time creating it, promoting it, and executing it.

However, for whatever reason, it didn’t work out the way you’d hoped. Maybe it wasn’t as profitable or as well attended as you expected, or perhaps people just didn’t seem interested.

In this blog I want to give you 2 examples of things that either just did NOT turn out to be profitable for us and why, and let you know what we did to pivot and either make changes, or even scrap the initiatives altogether.

5 Things I Still Do Myself in My Indoor Playground Business

5 Things I Still Do Myself in My Indoor Playground Business

In an earlier blog post, I discussed the 7 things I no longer do in my indoor playground business as I have grown and matured as a business owner.

I referenced Michael Hyatt, who, in many of his books and programs continuously refers to designing your ideal days and weeks as “the desire zone.” Operating within your desire zone, as he describes it, simply means you are spending the bulk of your time doing what you both love AND are good at.
While there are many tasks I cut completely and some I delegate to better-suited team members, there are several duties that still lie within my “desire zone,” and that I feel are important for me to handle personally.  While this is constantly shifting as my priorities (both professionally and personally) evolve, these are 5 of the tasks that I’m not giving up just yet as a business owner.

7 Things I did the First Year of Owning My Indoor Playground Business that I DON’T Do Now

7 Things I did the First Year of Owning My Indoor Playground Business that I DON’T Do Now

As I have grown and matured as a business owner, one of the most important things I have learned is what to spend my time and energy on, and what I am better off delegating.  Michael Hyatt, in many of his books and programs, continuously refers to “the desire zone” when it comes to designing your ideal days and weeks. Operating within your desire zone simply means you are spending the bulk of your time doing what you both love AND are good at.

For me, a great example of something I was doing that was OUTSIDE of my desire zone was payroll and bookkeeping. I neither enjoyed these tasks nor did them efficiently. Hiring a bookkeeper and accountant was expensive, which is why I held off on making the hire for so long, but once I did offload those tasks, the benefit I brought to my business and the additional sales I generated as a result made it well worth the investment.

6 Ways we Deliver an Above-and-Beyond Birthday Party Experience

6 Ways we Deliver an Above-and-Beyond Birthday Party Experience

At Climbing Vines Cafe & Play, we offer a variety of services from classes and camps to open-play and private events. It’s our adult and child-friendly birthday parties, though, that we have chosen as our focus.

While we, of course, put time and resources towards making each aspect of our business the best it can be, I have found that having one primary focus helps us best serve our customers. Having one top priority has also helped our indoor playground stand out against our local competition because we have established ourselves as the “go-to” premier venue for private birthday parties, particularly for children turning ages one, two, and three.

But creating a stellar reputation takes more than simply declaring a focus. It’s essential that you plan your entire process, from the very first customer touch point to the last, with this priority in mind. There are a few different ways that we go above and beyond with our birthday party process that gives our clients such an excellent experience that they not only book their events with us year after year, but they also refer their friends and family.

The 3 Most Common Complaints We Get (And Why I Choose to Ignore Them)

The 3 Most Common Complaints We Get (And Why I Choose to Ignore Them)

Over the last 3 years in business, we have gathered a tremendous amount of feedback from our community. While we try and take all of this into account and make improvements and changes based on the needs of our customers, we sometimes get suggestions that we choose to not implement.

This isn’t to say that we don’t value these suggestions or the customers who make them. However, I firmly believe that if you try to please every person who comes across your business, you will end up diluting your mission and company values until you ultimately end up pleasing no one, including your current customers.

I am going to share the three most common complaints we receive that we choose to ignore. We do thank those who bring them to our attention, and simply explain why we do things the way we do. This will result in the complaining customer taking one of two actions. The first action would be that they listen to why we are choosing NOT to implement their requested change and understand the reasoning. Customers who choose this path will likely appreciate the time you took to address their concerns and remain a customer and fan.

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.

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.