Avoiding the Pitfalls


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PPA Presentation on starting an Indoor Play Centre from LIW 2009

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Avoiding the Pitfalls

  1. 1. Considerations to avoid being another business failure statistic in the Indoor Play Market
  2. 2. <ul><li>The failure facts </li></ul><ul><li>Why do play centres fail? </li></ul><ul><li>3) What makes a successful play centre? </li></ul><ul><li>Top ten steps to getting it right!!! </li></ul><ul><li>4) How do new operators reduce the risks </li></ul><ul><li>associate with a new business start up </li></ul>Session Outcomes
  3. 3. 1) The failure facts Only 50% of PPA members* are showing a profit (other 50% are reporting a net loss, break even or didn’t reply to the particular question in the SOTI survey) New employer businesses have a 50/50 chance of surviving for five years or more (Small Business Association) No set failure pattern- large and small sites, premium and mass market, various locations and business models… Lots of Pitfalls to avoid
  4. 4. 2) Why do play centres fail? <ul><li>- Poor Management </li></ul><ul><li>- You start your business for the wrong reasons </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of Planning </li></ul><ul><li>Insufficient Capital </li></ul><ul><li>Bad Luck - external factors </li></ul>
  5. 5. Perceptions <ul><li>“ I’ve had this great idea to open a play centre” </li></ul><ul><li>“ We want to do something where we can spend more time with our kids” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The play centre down the road closed, there is obviously a need for one” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Play centre X – was turning them away from the door during half term - what a license to print money!!’ </li></ul>
  6. 6. Perceptions <ul><li>“ All play centre owners must be rich- its always so busy in there” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I’m thinking of opening a play centre – I’ve found a suitable building – planning to open in a month” </li></ul><ul><li>“ We have put everything on the line to start this business” </li></ul>
  7. 7. 3) What makes a successful play centre? Top ten… <ul><li>Business Planning – Do it yourself!! </li></ul><ul><li>No two sites are the same… Don’t rely on figures supplied by </li></ul><ul><li>manufacturers to base your business plan on </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t just build another play centre… build an attraction where </li></ul><ul><li>people want to spend time and therefore money at. Be innovative, Be </li></ul><ul><li>unique and above all else be different. </li></ul><ul><li>3) Costs- Be Realistic and Consistent </li></ul><ul><li>People always over estimate their number of visitors and under </li></ul><ul><li>estimate the costs of running a centre </li></ul><ul><li>Even in your start up stage invest in your brand and keep </li></ul><ul><li>everything consistent. </li></ul>
  8. 8. 4) What makes a successful play centre? Top ten… 4) RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH Speak to customers, local influencers, search the internet, visit other attractions and centres, look abroad for inspiration? Get your model 5) LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION Don’t settle for anything but the building that fits your plan. Does it have room for growth and change? Outdoor space, parking, transport links 6) Get the scale right! Match your local population to centre size. A big empty site is a big cost
  9. 9. 7) New idea’s keep them coming 8) Know your market- match your brand 9) Competition – You have been warned! Competition comes not just from other play centres, but other leisure attractions such as swimming, bowling, the cinema. 10) The bar is raised- Invest and raise it further or fail 5) What makes a successful play centre? Top ten…
  10. 12. 6) How can you reduce the risks of a start up <ul><li>- Get as much information as possible </li></ul><ul><li>Spend time and effort drawing up YOUR business plan </li></ul><ul><li>Be INNOVATIVE and different </li></ul><ul><li>Join the PPA as an associate member </li></ul><ul><li>PPA Start up guide </li></ul>