PPA New Operators Networking Lunch


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Presentations on a variety of start up topics delivered as part of the New Operators Networking Lunch at LIW 2010

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  • Six years ago, when I first opened my centre, this would be a different set of slides. Is the future of the Industry bleak, or is this opportunity for optimism?
  • New operators- do any of these ring a bell? How many existing operators thought this and now know the realities? If you are about to open a centre…speak, to some existing operators, the PPA, and take information provided by some manufacturers with a pinch of salt! Impartial Advice is worth its weight in gold!
  • A typical play centre at 3pm on a weekday, or a sunny day during the holidays! Business is very weather dependant!! Business can be affected by lots of different things! (End of month, credit crunch, competition, Christmas plays, holidays…) Typical investment of £200,000 Credit crunch affecting business in existing sites- banks not keen to lend
  • A depressing indication of operators caught in the Great Ball Pool Rush…like the gold rush, without the gold! Opportunities to purchase failing sites, older style sites requiring updating…and in some cases new sites, which may have failed to meet their repayments. All opportunities, but buyers beware!
  • Recently we are seeing more and more competition. In America the range of venues offering parties is extraordinary, from shops, to bakers, to garages to hairdressers. We now see parties in the UK becoming an attractive addition to many venues…churches, yes churches, to gyms. Offers, new concepts, new attractions all come with the threat of taking away our target market!
  • Enough doom and gloom…If at the end of all this you still think that the indoor play centre is the right career choice for you, then this quote may fill you with optimism? Can the new style of play centre, like those operated by majority of our members, see the rise out of the ashes…a professional product. Low lying fruit will be picked off, only those that grow in the top braches will survive. Mediocrity will not exist…only the best will survive.
  • If you choose to go ahead, the second choice you should make is to join the PPA If you want to be involved with the sea change this industry is gong through, to be ahead of the game, and get the support to do so, then joining the PPA is the only way.
  • Stand out from the rest, The definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." — Albert Einstein ... Even if something seems to be working well in one centre, it may not transfer to your location. All these things are vitally important, but this list is only a small selection, get one of these wrong, and the results can be disastrous .
  • There is still potential to do well in this industry, but careful planning is vitally important. Writing you business plan, convincing lenders, organising leases..all these things are small hurdles compared to the daily running of a centre. Don’t underestimate the impact it can have on your lives. If you are opening soon, come back next year and let me know if I am talking nonsense, I would love to be proved wrong. I would love to see centres opening with fresh ideas, but still covering the basics. Be unique and kick ass!
  • PPA New Operators Networking Lunch

    1. 1. New Operators Networking Lunch 2010
    2. 2. <ul><li>Brought to you by the… </li></ul><ul><li>Play Providers Association (PPA) </li></ul><ul><li>Association of Play Industries (API) </li></ul><ul><li>Register of Play Inspectors International (RPII) </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>Aims: </li></ul><ul><li>Provide an insight into the realities of operating an indoor play centre </li></ul><ul><li>Learn from existing operators and leading industry suppliers </li></ul><ul><li>Cover standards, guidelines, statistics and best practice </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity to ask questions to the panel and speakers </li></ul><ul><li>Information to allow your to make an informed decision on your start up </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss future industry trends </li></ul><ul><li>PPA / API / RPII announcement </li></ul>
    4. 4. <ul><li>Program: </li></ul><ul><li>11-00 Researching the Market… Is there an opportunity? </li></ul><ul><li>11-15 Indoor Play – Setting the Standard </li></ul><ul><li>11-30 Location, Location, Location </li></ul><ul><li>11-45 Raising finance in the current climate </li></ul><ul><li>12-00 Choosing a Manufacturer </li></ul><ul><li>12-15 Creating your brand and marketing your site, pre launch </li></ul><ul><li>12-30 PANEL Session (Question and Answers) </li></ul><ul><li>12-45 API, PPA, RPII- Strategic Partnership Announcement </li></ul>
    5. 5. Session 1- Introduction: Janice Dunphy (PPA Chairperson) Researching the Market: Is there an opportunity??
    6. 6. <ul><li>Why might you want to open a play centre? </li></ul><ul><li>The centre near me is always heaving “they must be making loads of money”?? </li></ul><ul><li>I want to start my own business to spend more time with my young family?? </li></ul><ul><li>A local play centre closed- there is a gap in the market?? </li></ul><ul><li>There are no play facilities here and so no competition?? </li></ul><ul><li>Running a play centre looks easy and I can do better than what’s already there!? </li></ul>
    7. 7. The realities are…
    8. 8. Many Sites Closing or Changing Hands …
    9. 9. Others seeing potential! Party / leisure spend competition in all forms …
    10. 10. Causes for Optimism … “ We are seeing a lot of entrepreneurs recognizing that they need to start working on their projects now, even though we are still in the tail end of the recession, so they can have the projects open when economic conditions improve.” “ The Great Recession resulted in many previously marginally performing projects going into the red. Owners are now calling us in to audit and analyze the projects, determine the root cause of their poor performance and develop strategies to improve performance with everything from management and marketing to renovations and rebranding. “
    11. 11. The PPA - Pushing the Industry forward!
    12. 12. Don’t be just another play centre … be unique <ul><li>Product, be unique </li></ul><ul><li>Create a visitor experience with extended dwell times </li></ul><ul><li>Business Model – what’s yours? </li></ul><ul><li>Branding </li></ul><ul><li>Food and Beverage, Party, Secondary Spend </li></ul><ul><li>Customer Service </li></ul>
    13. 13. Researching the Market: Is there an opportunity?? Maybe!
    14. 14. Session 2- Jon Dalton Business Development Manager The Play Inspection Company and RPII Member Indoor Play : Setting the Standard
    15. 15. <ul><li>BS 8409: 2009 - Code of Practice </li></ul><ul><li>Fully enclosed play areas that offer children attractive opportunities are generally those presenting different levels of challenge and difficulty. </li></ul><ul><li>Children can explore solutions to these challenges and practise their newly acquired abilities in competently designed and managed settings, where the levels of risk have been assessed and, through supervision or design, are managed. </li></ul><ul><li>Precautions need to be taken by play providers to reduce the severity of injuries if children make the wrong judgement but the possibility of harm cannot be completely removed. </li></ul><ul><li>This British Standard aims to help play providers develop facilities that children find enjoyable and reduce the risk of serious or disabling injury . </li></ul>
    16. 16. <ul><li>Why do Play Areas need inspections? </li></ul><ul><li>Risk Assessment is clear legal requirement… Health & Safety at Work Act 1994 & Management of H&S at Work Regs 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>Systematic safety inspections are recommended as Best Practice in the accepted standard </li></ul><ul><li>BS EN 1176 and HASAW Act (playground equipment) </li></ul><ul><li>Note: BS EN 1177 (is the test method for safer surfacing) </li></ul><ul><li>Insurers prefer Safety Inspection & Risk Assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Parents, carers & play providers want safe playgrounds </li></ul><ul><li>Play providers also want to avoid litigation. </li></ul>
    17. 17. <ul><li>Why do play providers need inspections? </li></ul><ul><li>For peace of mind </li></ul><ul><li>To ensure compliance with HSE requirements for best practice </li></ul><ul><li>To avoid risk of injury to children & young people </li></ul><ul><li>To operate legally regarding H&S & DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) </li></ul><ul><li>To have valid insurance against risk </li></ul><ul><li>To avoid litigation </li></ul><ul><li>And: - </li></ul>
    18. 18. <ul><li>BECAUSE they want: </li></ul><ul><li>To determine priorities for routine inspections and confirm compliance with changing standards </li></ul><ul><li>B. Help with preventative maintenance </li></ul><ul><li>C. Identify worn parts needing replacement or refurbishment to maintain required levels of safety </li></ul><ul><li>D. Provide a written record and/or evidence of continuous safety checks and maintenance. </li></ul><ul><li>E. Provide defence and/or evidence in legal cases/insurance claims </li></ul>
    19. 19. <ul><li>There Are Benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Achieve good value from capital costs of equipment </li></ul><ul><li>Keep down costs of preventative maintenance </li></ul><ul><li>Maintenance to extend working life </li></ul><ul><li>Improve safety </li></ul><ul><li>Why do they need RPII Inspectors? </li></ul>
    20. 20. <ul><li>BECAUSE: - </li></ul><ul><li>The H&S Act & Regulations specify ‘Competent’ </li></ul><ul><li>The BS EN Standards specify ‘Competent’ </li></ul><ul><li>RPII Annual Inspectors are: - </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Examined/Certificated Competent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Re-examined every three years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Independent Third Parties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experienced Professional Inspectors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>And: - </li></ul>
    21. 21. <ul><li>BECAUSE: - </li></ul><ul><li>RPII Examinations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are rigorous & to BS EN Standards </li></ul></ul><ul><li>RPII Inspectors: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are kept up-to-date & exchange info. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are bound by RPII Code of Conduct </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hold all relevant insurances </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Write comprehensive reports </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Using RPII inspectors aids consistent interpretation </li></ul><ul><li>Insurers / Risk Managers prefer & may specify ‘Competent Certificated Inspectors’ and CRB Checked </li></ul>
    22. 22. <ul><li>Types of Inspections: </li></ul><ul><li>Routine Visual Inspection </li></ul><ul><li>Looking at the equipment’s basic condition, especially faults due to recent vandalism, breakages and also cleanliness of the playframe. </li></ul><ul><li>These inspections can be carried out by the manager or his/her staff and should be recorded on a simple sheet or book. </li></ul><ul><li>The equipment supplier should provide a checklist. </li></ul><ul><li>Dependant on usage, these inspections should be carried out either daily or weekly as a minimum. </li></ul>
    23. 23. <ul><li>Operational Inspection </li></ul><ul><li>Looking in more detail at the condition of the equipment, providing a quality control check on the more regular inspections and identifying wear and tear on the equipment. </li></ul><ul><li>Such inspections should be carried out by an appropriately trained member of staff, or alternatively by a suitably qualified specialist and should be recorded. </li></ul><ul><li>These inspections should be carried out at least on a monthly or quarterly basis. </li></ul>
    24. 24. <ul><li>Annual Main Inspection </li></ul><ul><li>To be carried out by an RPII (Register of Play Inspectors) Indoor Annual Inspector not connected with the playground operator or manager. </li></ul><ul><li>Essentially looking at vandalism, wear and tear, long-term structural problems, standards compliance and design, along with risk assessment etc. </li></ul><ul><li>This report essentially covers the overall safety of the playground. </li></ul><ul><li>Inspection should also include an annual oversight of the internal procedures and documentation to ensure that the correct procedures are in place. </li></ul>
    25. 25. Session 3- Neil Scott (Consultant) Location, Location, Location (and planning!)
    26. 26. <ul><li>Neil Scott </li></ul><ul><li>Play Consultant </li></ul>
    27. 27. Background 1976-1996 Pure Architecture & Planning 1996-2008 Play Industry 2008-2010 Civil Engineering & Construction 2010 Play Concepts Re-established
    28. 28. <ul><li>Location, Location, Location </li></ul><ul><li>Industrial Estate </li></ul><ul><li>Trade Counter </li></ul><ul><li>Business Park </li></ul><ul><li>Retail Park </li></ul><ul><li>Town Centre </li></ul>
    29. 29. <ul><li>and............Planning </li></ul><ul><li>Policy.....town centres </li></ul><ul><li>Employment </li></ul><ul><li>Highways......access </li></ul><ul><li>Car Parking </li></ul><ul><li>Public Transport </li></ul><ul><li>Sequential Test </li></ul>
    30. 30. <ul><li>Taunton </li></ul><ul><li>Previous Tool Hire </li></ul><ul><li>10,000 sq ft </li></ul><ul><li>50 Parking Spaces </li></ul><ul><li>Road Frontage </li></ul><ul><li>Secure Yard </li></ul><ul><li>Adjacent to Retail </li></ul><ul><li>Not Industrial employment land </li></ul>
    31. 31. <ul><li>Northampton </li></ul><ul><li>Previous supermarket </li></ul><ul><li>10,000 sq ft </li></ul><ul><li>40 Parking Spaces </li></ul><ul><li>Road Frontage </li></ul><ul><li>Established Retail Area </li></ul><ul><li>Within town centre </li></ul>
    32. 32. <ul><li>Planning Recommendations </li></ul><ul><li>Have a robust proposal </li></ul><ul><li>Take early pre-planning advice </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss proposal with Highways </li></ul><ul><li>Establish availability of Public Transport </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate a need for your proposal </li></ul><ul><li>Understand previous Planning approvals/refusals </li></ul>
    33. 33. And Finally Remember................. What ever you think is logical ..........probably won't be viewed that way
    34. 34. <ul><li>Thank You For Listening </li></ul><ul><li>Neil Scott </li></ul>
    35. 35. Session 4- Mark Johnson (Johnson Reed) Raising finance in the current climate
    36. 36. <ul><li>Financing Business Growth </li></ul><ul><li>Presenter </li></ul><ul><li>Mark Johnson </li></ul>
    37. 37. <ul><li>Bamboo Tree </li></ul><ul><li>Fastest growing woody plant in the world </li></ul><ul><li>Grow very little until yr 4 </li></ul><ul><li>In the 5th year, the tree can grow 80 feet </li></ul><ul><li>BUT they don’t grow up every year – but continue growing under ground. </li></ul><ul><li>Build your foundations!! </li></ul>
    38. 39. Cash flow <ul><li>Most small businesses that fail within the first 3 years do so because of lack of cash-flow, not because of a bad product. </li></ul><ul><li>Up to 50% of businesses fail in the first 12 months & 70% within 5 yrs </li></ul><ul><li>Know your numbers ‘Dragon Den’ type questions, T/O, P&L, GP, net profit, margins </li></ul><ul><li>Key is; planning, planning & planning </li></ul>
    39. 40. <ul><li>Key points for today </li></ul><ul><li>Information required from all lenders </li></ul><ul><li>Bank funds, equipment leasing & EFG loans (replaced the old DTI) and other grants or just use your own cash </li></ul><ul><li>Recession has severely impacted on niche sectors like Softplay but with good housekeeping, funding is out there </li></ul><ul><li>Market conditions – USA recovery stuttering, rates are set to be on hold for the foreseeable future, UK showing signs of growth last quarter 0.3%…!! </li></ul><ul><li>But this creates opportunities </li></ul>
    40. 41. <ul><li>Information Required </li></ul><ul><li>Business plan ; directors background & CV, SWOT analysis, campari & soda! location details, (serviceability security ability) </li></ul><ul><li>Financial projections ; be realistic with accurate assumptions, ask your accountant for help </li></ul><ul><li>Personal net worth statements for all directors - none home owners will not get finance without a suitable guarantor </li></ul>
    41. 42. <ul><li>Information Required </li></ul><ul><li>Personal bank statements for all directors - not including any unpaid items or missed mortgage repayments </li></ul><ul><li>Investment , clarity ref bank and personal, (often lenders look for match funding) </li></ul><ul><li>Clean credit search </li></ul><ul><li>Other commitments e.g. cards, HP, should be limited </li></ul><ul><li>NO CCJ’s or x bankrupt </li></ul>
    42. 43. <ul><li>Bank V’s Leasing </li></ul><ul><li>Bank normally take security on your property </li></ul><ul><li>Bank normally used for working cap and refurbishment work </li></ul><ul><li>Leasing is secured on the asset only with a personal guarantee </li></ul><ul><li>Leasing for equipment only </li></ul><ul><li>Repayment periods; Bank loans 5-7 yrs, equipment leasing over 3 yrs normal for a new business </li></ul><ul><li>Lenders like to see match funding i.e 100k loan with either 100k cash contribution / 100k equity in the back ground </li></ul>
    43. 44. <ul><li>Types of equipment one can lease </li></ul><ul><li>QURIKY KIT FINANCE ! </li></ul><ul><li>The play structure </li></ul><ul><li>Catering </li></ul><ul><li>Furniture </li></ul><ul><li>EPOS </li></ul><ul><li>CCTV </li></ul><ul><li>Air con </li></ul>
    44. 45. <ul><li>A good advisor </li></ul><ul><li>Able to provide a the mix of bank and equipment finance </li></ul><ul><li>Package your file professionally to both bank and leasing houses </li></ul><ul><li>Have access to a number of funding institutes </li></ul><ul><li>A good business may have a healthy mix of bank funds, equipment leasing & personal cash, with head room on each. </li></ul>
    45. 46. <ul><li>Summary </li></ul><ul><li>Common sense underwriting </li></ul><ul><li>Do not over borrow </li></ul><ul><li>Be committed from the start & once open that's just the start! </li></ul><ul><li>Clearly the market is still challenged but this also creates opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Find a trusted advisor </li></ul>
    46. 47. <ul><li>Presenter </li></ul><ul><li>Mark Johnson </li></ul><ul><li>Johnson Reed </li></ul><ul><li>www.johnsonreed.co.uk/softplay </li></ul>
    47. 48. Session 5- Brad Miller (Association of Play Industries) Choosing a Manufacturer
    48. 49. Session 6- Andy Kidd (Hattrick Marketing) Creating your brand & marketing your site pre-launch
    49. 50. What is a Brand? <ul><li>A Promise </li></ul>
    50. 51. Pre-Opening Branding - A Practical Solution <ul><li>Problem = </li></ul><ul><li>“ I need a logo and a well-designed look & feel.” </li></ul><ul><li>Brand Map </li></ul><ul><li>Promise & Values </li></ul><ul><li>Creative Brief </li></ul>
    51. 52. Brand Map
    52. 53. Promise & Values <ul><li>Think as a Customer… </li></ul><ul><li>Separate ‘Hygiene Factors’ </li></ul><ul><li>Promise what your team can deliver! </li></ul><ul><li>Create the WOW moment! </li></ul>
    53. 54. Creative Brief <ul><li>Why are we doing this design work? </li></ul><ul><li>What do we want to say? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s the single most important thing we want to say? </li></ul><ul><li>Who are we talking to? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we want them to react? </li></ul><ul><li>Tone of Voice? </li></ul><ul><li>My creative ideas… </li></ul><ul><li>Mandatory inclusions… </li></ul>
    54. 55. Getting to market <ul><li>Pre-launch advertising budget… Be Strong! </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Prime the Pump’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sainsbury’s Kids Campaign </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LA Fitness New Barnet launch </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mix traditional & new media </li></ul><ul><li>Plan, plan plan…. And stick to it! </li></ul>
    55. 56. Thank You …any questions?
    56. 57. Session 7- Question and Answer Panel: Iain Westwater !Gambado! MD Multi Site Operator PPA Exec Ian Kearney Cheeky Monkeys Single Site Operator PPA Exec Neil Scott Play Concepts Consultant Ex PPA Chair Jon Dalton TPIC Inspector RPII Member Graham Robinson Soft Brick Manufacturer API Indoor Chair
    57. 58. <ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>Do your market research </li></ul><ul><li>Speak to existing play operators, industry experts and reputable suppliers </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure you are able to invest at the right level without undue risk </li></ul><ul><li>Be different, Be unique and Be professional </li></ul><ul><li>Be knowledgeable on industry standards and know your responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Bring your site to life with a consistent engaging branding and marketing activities </li></ul><ul><li>Join the PPA !! </li></ul>