Profitable Indoor Play

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.

The Profitable Indoor Playground Business Plan: 5 Red Flags I Look Out For

The Profitable Indoor Playground Business Plan: 5 Red Flags I Look Out For

Since I opened the doors to my indoor playground in early 2016, I have had hundreds of prospective owners reach out to me asking to “take a quick look” at their business plan. Now, not all of them have gone as in-depth as I did when creating a business plan, but most business plans are major documents that take a great deal of time to review.

While I no longer offer one-on-one consulting because I have chosen to dedicate my time and energy towards helping my Play Cafe Academy students achieve success in their businesses, I do still peek at the occasional business plan that comes across my “virtual” desk.

The reason I am still able (and willing!) to do this is because I can typically glance at some key areas and get a quick gauge on whether or not the prospective owner has done thorough research and if they have realistic expectations.

While I don’t review every plan in-depth (unless you’re one of my students), I wanted to share with all of the play-cafe hopefuls out there the few key sections I look at first and usually have some immediate feedback on.

Why I Created Play Cafe Academy | Open a Profitable Indoor Playground

Why I Created Play Cafe Academy | Open a Profitable Indoor Playground

If you've been keeping up with my weekly blogs or watching me over on YouTube for a while, you know that I tend to talk about opening a profitable indoor playground-- my recommendations based on what we did right and what we did wrong with Climbing Vines Cafe & Play.

Today, I really wanna take a step back and share a little bit about why I create this content and began Play Cafe Academy. (My paid program where I teach people step-by-step how to open an indoor playground and also hold their hand through the opening process!)

I will never forget four years ago when I was researching this business model. When my newborn was only 11 weeks old, I went back to work full-time and I just remember sitting at my desk thinking, "This is just not me. This is not what I want. I want to own my business."

But I had no idea where to start.

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.

Opening an Indoor Playground- The 6 Main Ways to Make Money

Opening an Indoor Playground- The 6 Main Ways to Make Money

One of the most common questions I get from my students inside Play Cafe Academy and from prospective owners inside my inbox is: how do we make money? So, variations of this question might be, What are our revenue streams? How do they compare to one another? Is there a “right” model to make the most money when operating an indoor playground or play cafe?

And my answer, for my business, is simple. We focus on parties. That is where the majority of our revenue comes from and our birthday party packages are high-end and high-margin, so they are a very profitable revenue stream for our business and we are proud of the experience we give all of our party clients.

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 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.