The indoor playground equipment industry is projected to grow at a CAGR of 3.6% through the next five years, with revenue in the current year expected to be over $1.5 billion in North America alone!
So, do you want to start an indoor playground equipment business and earn amazing profits? In this article, you'll learn how to find your niche, what type of equipment is needed and where to get it, and how to get started.
You'll also get to know about factors like choosing a location and pricing options. Read on for more information!
Why Indoor Playground Equipment Business has huge potential?
The world of play is changing. The rise of digital entertainment has led to a decline in outdoor playgrounds, but indoor playgrounds are on the rise!
Three main factors are contributing to this change:
- Kids stay indoors more because they have tablets, game consoles, and computers that keep them occupied for hours.
- The moms and dads are concerned for their kid's safety as there is a risk of accidents involving playgrounds.
- In the modern era, parents prefer to send their kids to indoor play areas rather than sending them outside where they might get into trouble.
An indoor playground business could be a great way for a family to earn extra income and gain financial freedom. You'll need to have a good location for your playground, find the right equipment, and hire your staff.
Once you start making profits, you can use them to repay your loan and expand your business by opening more locations in major cities.
Step # 1: Planning:
While many people may think that an indoor playground business is not as profitable or efficient, those with innovative ideas will succeed.
Your first step should be creating a budget and marketing plan to ensure you can cover your costs while still making enough profit for yourself- without investing too much time into the venture!
Being a business owner you first make a detailed plan about which type of indoor playground equipment business you want to install. Then you can order your custom color to the target customer and indoor playground manufacturers. This custom color will become your park color or tax identification number.
If the playground is providing fun, bright colors, children will wish to come back again and again. Similarly, parents will bring their kids to a place that makes their children physically active and provides their child care and social skills.
It's also important to research competitors, so they don't steal all of your market shares before starting up since this industry has been growing lately due largely to parents wanting more creative places for their kids (and themselves!).
Step # 2: Market Research:
The goal of market research may include:
- · Number of children in the area.
- · Average age of the children in the area?
- · Whether there are already indoor playgrounds available in the area
You also need data on prices people are willing to spend or which businesses they want near them so that you know where best to position yourself when it comes time to open up your soft playground!
To do this kind of work effectively, though; not only does one have access to talking with current customers directly through surveys/interviews, but studying other similar companies' sales records can provide insights invaluable towards identifying trends within each industry category (i.e., if certain products always generate more revenue than others).
Moreover, age Range affects every aspect of an Indoor Playground Equipment Business including size to types to services. Playgrounds are prepared for kids, usually where kids can play and have fun comfortably.
As no one can play around the day, therefore an appointment for two hours will be beneficial not only for kids but for parents (who have to pay for two hours).
So an Indoor Playground should cater to the needs of a toddler as well as adults to engage with plays for several hours.
Moreover, there are a few steps which will help to understand the market research, let's make out them.
Local Population: firstly analyze the local population, this will help you to get potential information about the customers, children's age, the number of kids, and a bit revenues. Because the highly populated area is beneficial because it is packed with all ages people and social classes. Further, with the help of schools and kindergartens records, you can get an idea about the population density.
Geographical position: it is another point you should observe before starting a business. An area packed with a variety of shops, schools, and parks will help in decision and investment.
Competition analysis: it is a crucial step that helps in making valuable strategies and pricing venues. Also, record the competitors and their equipment types to win the game.
Step # 3: Know Your Competitor:
· Your competition is not just one company, but many. More active competitors mean you are more active and energetic in your business.
This means that to stand out from them all, you need an interesting idea or product which will set your business apart and offer customers something exciting at a price they can afford - meaning it's not only good for the budget-conscious consumer!
· Learn about what makes competitors successful, so when planning your business strategy, there are some tips based on this knowledge.
· Next, visit companies around the same size as yours who serve similar regions; explore their social networks looking at site traffic statistics, etc., then use these insights into how others operate before deciding where best place emphasis within our marketing mix.
It's important to get the story straight across all platforms. A lot of content will be created over time, so building up a coherent stream of information will allow your potential customers to create lasting connections with you and your business.
· Visit competitors' social media pages to understand their working model and methodology; look at what is popular or unpopular and why!
· Additionally, consider what your main competitors are charging for their products or services, which you can use as inspiration when creating yours.
For instance, indoor playgrounds in the USA charge around $4.5/visit for kids of age between 2 and 12, while adults and kids below 2 are free. Moreover, for “open play,” they charge around $11 to $13 depending on the weekdays and weekends.
Step # 4: Choose the Most Suitable Location:
The next thing you need to do is find a good location for your indoor playground. Before launching the playground business, you should consider the appropriate place and size of the place. Because opening an indoor park in a big city is more profitable than in small villages or towns.
A wide place for a playground and enough space for seating, bathrooms, and canteen should be your top priority. But this will cost you more as the place in the mid-city is premium. So rental rates should be in your knowledge. The best location in a place surrounded by a good neighborhood is the best. Because a convenient location is more valuable than crossing the busiest roads.
- You should make sure that there are many people in the area; otherwise, customers won't come to your business.
- You'll need to find an appropriate place that has parking facilities and can be accessible by public transportation easily. The ideal location will also have street traffic (vehicular) and foot traffic (pedestrian).
- A good Indoor Playground Businesses near schools or community centers will make customers more inclined toward coming back again!
- If you want to start an indoor playground in a shopping mall, note that some malls have restrictions on what kinds of activities are allowed on their premises.
- You need to check whether the mall is suitable for an indoor playground or not.
- Pay special attention to ceiling height. It would be great if it is higher than 2.8 cm.
- This will allow you to put more attractive games and equipment inside the playground like magic slides and climbing.
- Try to choose the space with fewer pillars. This will help to give extra space to add more equipment or large equipment.
- Before signing any agreements with landlords, you should check out the premises very carefully.
Check whether they have good lighting and proper ventilation so that kids can enjoy their time there.
Step # 5: Determine Your Budget:
To start a successful indoor playground equipment business, you need to know how much money you have.
A lot depends on the specification (i.e., type and size) of equipment that is right for you. Obviously, it's going to be more expensive if you want something elaborate or large-scale in your space, but sometimes having just one piece (stand-alone playground equipment) can also serve its purpose well too!
The price should match up with what YOU value because this will ultimately determine how long your company lasts out there - so take into consideration where did YOU get started before making any final decisions about which direction YOU go next?
You can divide the expenses into the following categories and make the final budget:
1. Total cost of the equipment: how much equipment you want to install in your indoor park.
2. A minimum 1-year rent for the place: do you have enough money to bear the cost of rent at least for one year without considering the profit.
3. Employee salaries based on the number of hiring: you can determine the amount by dividing the amount by the number of hired employees. If you hire 10 employees you can offer them a handsome salary as compared 20 employees salary.
4. Decoration is another crucial step, do you have enough amount to make your playground beautiful and fanciful. Because children love decorated walls and equipment. A thrilling and enjoyable environment will surely keep the children physically active and entertained for a long time without getting bored.
Step # 6: Choose the Right Design and Equipment:
The next step is to choose the right design and find the best indoor playground equipment for your business. Children love physical activities and you should ensure it like trampoline parks, Ninja warriors, soft interactive games, bright interactive games, blocks, climbing structures, inflatable bouncers, swings, tunnels, etc.
For the design, you must consider the following tips:
· A big issue with playgrounds is where to put them. So, you need to consider the space while designing. A good indoor playground has a large space, high ceilings, and lots of seating (along with washroom, toy shop, and food areas) around the outside so that kids can socialize while they play on your new installation!
· Create an indoor playground design that makes families feel comfortable bringing other indoor playground members, including toddlers and indoor playground babies. Make indoor playground equipment accessible to children of all ages, including crawlers and younger toddlers. You can also design a toddler area for 0-3 years old and an inflatable area for 0–7 years old.
. Children love to find things curiously in their own way because kids' vision is different from our vision. Therefore, you should keep small magics, peepholes, unexpected sounds, talking tunes, small gaps, and little surprises throughout the playground.
· Design indoor play equipment that lets children develop their indoor playground motor skills. Like a climbing, swing, jumping, etc. (equipment like soft climbing wall, strop, single-log bridge)
· When designing an indoor playground for kids, one should consider the color and theme. Bold primary colors like yellow or blue-green can stimulate a child's imagination while remaining simple in design. On the other hand, a themed space would be perfect if you want your little ones to have fun with their imaginations, even more than just using stimulating colors! A themed space like Jungle, Candy, etc. ninja-themed indoor playground can also be incorporated that is more focused on elder kids and is much more challenging and thrilling.
· Consider the brand of your company while designing an indoor playground for kids. Keep consistent with colors and styles, or use them as inspiration in other aspects like logos on equipment to reinforce this message about who you are! Maybe think outside the box? For example - if owning a restaurant makes sense, why not create one that features all things related to food?
· You can add a Food and Drink corner along with a rest area for parents that will include relaxed seating with a washroom facility.
For choosing the right equipment, the most important thing you need is a climbing frame, but it's also important to have stuff like foam mats, ball pools, and tunnels.
Some other important indoor playground equipment you can also choose:
- Indoor Trampoline
- Ninja Warrior Course
- Crochet Playground
If possible, you should buy new equipment instead of second-hand.
Used equipment could be damaged or unsuitable for use in a public area, so it may not suit your business. However, if you want to buy used equipment, ensure that it's safe enough to use with small children.
Besides, you must ensure that you buy indoor playground equipment from a reliable manufacturer that ensures maximum quality and safety (compliance with local and international standards).
Moreover, the equipment should come with all the safety and quality certifications, a warranty, and excellent after-sales services.
Last but not least, ensure indoor play equipment is safe, sturdy, durable, and strong enough to withstand the weight of children on it without tipping over or breaking apart while playing on it or touching it.
Step # 7: Consider the Safety of the Indoor Playground:
The safety of the equipment and customer is among the critical aspect of the indoor playground equipment business.
There are a few safety tips that indoor playground owners should consider to attract more customers and generate higher revenue streams for their business:
· Select indoor playground equipment made from indoor playground materials that cannot be chewed and swallowed and indoor playground surfaces that will not chip and break if they fall on them.
You can ensure it by buying equipment from Reliable Indoor Playground Equipment suppliers that comply with local and international safety and quality standards like EU EN1176 and CE. You can ensure they use 100% non-toxic and harmless material for the equipment. Moreover, the small components of the equipment, like softballs, are kept with a diameter over 7 cm with double thickness to ensure they are non-swallow able, non-chewable, and breakable.
· Ensure indoor play equipment is up to indoor playground regulations and indoor playground standards (i.e., ASTM safety standard is for the USA, EN1176 is mainly for EU), so parents feel comfortable bringing indoor playground babies and indoor crawlers with them.
· Besides, the aforementioned safety standards, and certifications, one can also consider the following ones:
o ASTM F1918 for North America: Standard for safety and performance of soft contained play equipment.
o NFPA 701 for North America: This safety standard ensures the safety and quality of fabric and material used to make indoor playground equipment.
CPSIA for North America: Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act is a law of the US Government that restricts levels of hazardous materials in children's products imported from abroad and those made in the US.
o UL 94 for North America: It is a test to determine the indoor playground equipment material's relative flammability.
o REACH: It is a European Community (EC) safety regulation that issues safety certification for Non-Phthalates in Toys and Childcare Article.
o EN 71 for Europe: It specifies safety requirements for toys.
o AS3533.4.2-2013: It is indoor playgrounds Australian safety standard.
o CSA Z614-07(R2012): It is a standard developed by Canadian Standards Association (also known as "CSA Group") that provides requirements for public-use play spaces and play equipment.
o ISO standard: is one of the most implemented and recognized international safety standards.
Step # 8: Acquire the Business Licenses:
It's important to know what you need for a business license and permits before installing an indoor playground. Not only will this help with the legal aspects, but it can save money in other areas as well!
For the United States, you may require a Doing Business As (DBA) license and General Business License along with other permits for food handling, etc.
A few other necessities include registering your company name(s), getting liability insurance coverage from an appropriate provider (or self-insuring) depending on state laws),and making sure that any applicable taxes have been filed by filing yearly reports).
In some countries and states, you may also want certain equipment such as slides which require special licenses from the authorities.
Moreover, liability cost depends upon many important factors such as location, size, and scope of services you are offering. Therefore it should be thought that the activities which are not proving fruitful should be removed.
As insurance liability for houses and cars, so as the indoor playground Liability. Ensure to check out all reviews, and all options which are offered for your business.
The indoor playground franchise has many advantages under its belt for a business owner. Franchises lower the investment cost in a complex business model. Franchise offers a variety of benefits such as
- Lease Negotiations
- Discounts on food/beverages
- Design and Equipment
- Discounts on Equipment
- Territorial Protection
- Market Research
Step # 9: Install your Playground Equipment:
Once everything is done, now it's time to install your Indoor Playground equipment, along with all the other amnesties you have planned to include.
Ensure the installation process is done by professionals to ensure maximum safety and quality. You must make sure that the indoor play equipment is stable, balanced, and properly installed so indoor children can enjoy it without the risk of injury. And children will play confidently.
Wherefore, you can buy installation services from the supplier. However, clients are responsible for taking charge of salary (100-150 dollars/day, accommodation, local transportation, two-way ticket, and visa fee).
The best playground should teach the children experiences of upcoming life through different games competitions.
Step # 10: Hire the Staff and Training
Most people who start an indoor playground tend to hire one person first and then add more staff as the business picks up and brings in more revenue. You can find most of the staff from career websites that specialize in helping people find work.
If you need something specific (for example, someone trained in First Aid), you can post a Job Wanted ad on the internet and wait for responses. Once you have a good collection of staff members, it's time to advertise your business.
It is simple to target customers and teaches children to play energetically. This is for those kids who want to play but hesitate to play because of a lack of proper knowledge or practice.
At this time staff members can do the job and take their older children and have fun with them in front of confused children. When a child, after observing the play, wants to play by themselves, then parents have to pay for their kids.
A group includes two or three employees who should have training in first-aid in case of emergency if the children get scuffles, scrapes, and bruises. Because a good business always has employees for every area such as a group professional staff that takes phone calls, some admission tickets, few answers the inquires, some oversee snack bar and canteen, few supervise events, equipment, and games, etc. This is the reason during the selection of staff try to choose the most professional person who can manage multiple tasks at once if the other employees are not available at the time.
Once you trained them, it is time to get more and more revenue and customers, because the right employees make the business successful and run in the rival race.
While hiring the staff, consider the given points:
- Only hire well-experienced, and qualified staff for operations, maintenance, inspection, and overall management.
- By conducting regular training sessions, their skills can be improved.
- As kids are hyperactive, careless, the staff should be specially trained to handle them. They must know how to provide first aid treatment, as well as emergency exit protocol.
Step # 11: Marketing and Advertisement:
Once your indoor playground is ready to launch for the general public, it would be best if you implemented your marketing strategy. This is also called affiliate marketing. If you invite nearby schools' students to pay a free visit to your parks it will build trust. When these schools engage in different competitions, activities will obviously discuss your park obviously.
Marketing is the most important aspect of starting an indoor playground because if nobody knows that your business exists, no one will come and visit. You'll need to create a good logo for promotional purposes and find appropriate marketing channels for your area.
It is the age of social media. Your business advertisement needs some clicks from you. Launch your business on Facebook pages, Twitter, Instagram, etc. These social media channels will boost up your indoor business' awareness and customers along with advertisements. Here are some useful tips to follow.
It is the best way to get more and more customers because through membership cards we ensure the customers that they are special. Or some games are restricted to members only.
This will attract customers and be good for new business. Hire professionals for operating hours and operation procedures. This will help you to estimate the targeted customers or evaluation of exactly what you estimated.
- Dispense leaflets near the surrounding area of indoor playgrounds.
- Try to grab more customers during opening advertising via different social media channels.
- Promote community networks through local radio and television channels.
- Invite free visits of kindergarten and school students on free trials.
For example, indoor amusement parks usually have their Social Media Pages, such as Facebook Pages, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, etc., so you can start advertising there.
Besides, you can also throw a grand opening party, launch a website and offer promotions and free tickets. You can also collaborate with schools and conduct kid-specific events for promotion. Don’t forget to offer free open-play offers and discount coupons.
Once you've started receiving responses from your marketing efforts, you should begin advertising your business on websites like Yelp or Google Places so that people can easily find you when searching online.
Step # 12: Maintain your Indoor Playground
After the successful start of your indoor playground business, you will now be getting many visitors daily. Regular usage of the equipment will cause damage and wear. Therefore, it is vital to maintain your facility and equipment to prevent any unforeseen event. Moreover, if the equipment and swings are not cleaned daily, they can become hazardous for the public.
Therefore, plan a schedule to clean the equipment, mean when they need disinfection machines' cleaning or when they need sanitizing because proper disinfecting and sanitizing reduces the killer germs and kids illness. There is a difference between routine cleaning (on a daily base can be cleaned with soap, water, soft clothes, and soft brushes) and disinfecting cleaning means proper cleaning with disinfection machines.
For the maintenance, you can consider the following given points:
- Conduct regular inspection of all the indoor playground equipment in your facility. Hire a professional team for this purpose, and get the problem fixed before it worst to prevent any accident or injury.
- Ensure indoor playgrounds are dry and indoor playground floors are free of indoor playground dust, germs, and indoor playground stains.
- Maintain indoor play equipment to ensure indoor playgrounds remain safe and sanitized for children to enjoy daily.
- Install every safety equipment including fire-alarm, fire-extinguisher, first-aid box, power breakers, etc., to ensure maximum safety of both equipment and customers.
- Further, first-aid boxes will be available every time, in case of any child got injured, your professional employees can ameliorate the damage. This will gratitude the parents.
A good playground should have modern Surfacing materials that can be used throughout the year for different purposes. The material should be durable, easy to maintain, and suitable to play on.
For this purpose, you can consider different options available in the market or in similar businesses. During material options, you should not forget the disabled children as well. It should encourage a balanced environment and avoid discrimination against disabled kids.
Install swing sets where wheelchairs can be adjusted and wheelchair-accessible gardens. These steps will remove the social stigma about disabled kids and encourage them to play and feel healthy!
Step # 13: Expanding your business:
Once you've started making a profit, you can start paying back your loan and use the extra money to expand your business. You should think of opening more indoor play areas if possible. You will need to have enough money for this, so do your research first.
After a while, you might want to move into other business segments such as childcare or movie theaters. As long as there is demand for it in the area, starting an indoor playground couldn't be simpler!
Some other points you can also consider for expansion:
Try expanding your existing playground space, and adding more and unique indoor playground equipment.
If there is enough space to walk around the swings or parents can encourage their kids during fun, it will be best for your equipment business and will distinguish your park from competitors' trends.
More space for sitting to observe their children's activities, wide space for walking around and in the swings, specific area for parking (it should be considered because the provision of parking space is the responsibility of the indoor owners), etc.
. Adorn With Toys
As indoor playground equipment is for kids of age between 3 to 15 years, you can target kids of all ages within this range (if you haven’t). There are plenty of options available for playground decoration. You can use universal red, green, and blue colors to decor the park.
If you want to boost your business then Surround the park with different kinds of toys. These toys like artificial snakes, turtles, tigers, lions, will prove beneficial to attract more kids. For example, you can introduce indoor equipment for teenagers like trampolines, and ninja warriors, which will add more exercise, thrill, and fun.
Children like mysterious castles, jungle themes, to see their imagination in reality. So, it's best to design the walls with adorable and prominent colors which attract the attention of the playing children.
How many children visited the indoor play area and how many were active children. Once the child loves to play in your indoor playground, they will not leave the place even after free time.
When a child becomes stubborn to not go, obviously parents have to pay them and have to visit your playground regularly.