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PAR New Start Up Seminar 2012- at Playfair


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Presentation from the New Operators seminar programme which took place on Tuesday 19th June - run under the umbrella of PAR (the PPA, API and RPII)

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PAR New Start Up Seminar 2012- at Playfair

  1. 1. Practical Advice to …Setting Up An Indoor Play Centre PAR New Start Up’s Seminar 19th June 2012
  2. 2. Welcome and Introductions Graham Robinson API Indoor Section Chair
  3. 3. API, PPA, RPII – A New Partnership• Play Providers Association (PPA)• Association of Play Industries (API)• Register of Play Inspectors International (RPII)
  4. 4. Aims:• Provide an insight into the realities of operating an indoor play centre• Learn from existing operators and leading industry suppliers• Cover standards, guidelines, statistics and best practice• Discuss future industry trends and innovations• Opportunity to ask questions to the panel and speakers• Information to allow your to make an informed decision on your start up
  5. 5. Seminar Outline:3. Introductions (Graham Robinson) - 10am4. Researching the Market: (Kate Costin) – 10-10 am5. Choosing a manufacturer -(Graham Robinson) 10-40am6. Location, Planning and Finance Q+A (Russell Gardner)– 11-00am7. Case Study – Giving Birth to a play centre (Tracey Bancroft) – 11-30 Networking Lunch at 12-0011. Creating your brand and marketing your site (Kate Costin and Graham Robinson) – 12-3012. Ongoing considerations of operating a Play Centre (Tracey Bancroft and Russell Gardner) – 1-0013. Industry Standards and Best Practice (Keith Dalton) – 1-2014. PANEL - Question and Answer Session -1:40 pm
  6. 6. Researching the MarketIs there an opportunity?? Kate Costin
  7. 7. What does the market look like?• Highly fragmented supply structure (700~ Private Operators)• A new breed of operator creating higher customers expectations• However MANY business failures• Current sites having to diversify to survive• Tough economic conditions for both existingoperators & potential start ups raising finance• Increased competition and costs for operators
  8. 8. Why might you want to open aplay centre?• The centre near me is always heaving “they must be making loads of money”??• I want to start my own business to spend more time with my young family??• A local play centre closed- there is a gap in the market??• There are no play facilities here and so no competition??• Running a play centre looks easy and I can do better than what’s already there!?
  9. 9. BUT the realities are…
  10. 10. Many sites closing or changing hands … UK’s largest multi-site operator into liquidation September 2011 “CASH FLOW IS KING”
  11. 11. The economy hitting spend per head
  12. 12. Others are seeing potential!Party / leisure spend competition in all forms …
  13. 13. Any cause for optimism ??“We are seeing a lot of entrepreneurs recognizing that they need to start workingon their projects now, even though we are still in the tail end of the recession, sothey can have the projects open when economic conditions improve.”“The Great Recession resulted in many previously marginally performing projectsgoing 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 toimprove performance with everything from management and marketing torenovations and rebranding. “
  14. 14. Still some great new sites opening
  15. 15. Industry Trends
  16. 16. Are play centres profitable ?• Only 54% reporting a profit in 2009• 192 play centres “for sale” on Dalton’s• Opportunity for failing sites to be purchased
  17. 17. Industry Benchmarks ?• 33% Benchmark• Admissions and F+B up• Parties down• 2011/12 Spend per Headreduced
  18. 18. Don’t be just another play centre …“DIFFERENT IS GOOD”• Product, be unique• Create a visitor experience with extended dwell times• Business Model – what’s yours?• Branding• Food and Beverage, Party, Secondary Spend• Customer Service
  19. 19. Choosing a Manufacturer
  20. 20. Key Considerations• At what stage do you need to speak to a manufacturer ??• What is your budget??• Equipment : Building Ratio … maximise your profit per square foot• New TrendsIssues with funding play centres• Current economic climate means banks are not keen to lend• Presenting the business case• Proving demand
  21. 21. Establish that the Play Provider can…• Provide product information and assistance• Demonstrate a quality control system for design, manufacture, installation,maintenance and repair• Offer an independent post installation inspection service, to be carried outbefore the facility is first open for public use• Provide documented confirmation that the play equipment has beeninstalled in accordance both with relevant standards and manufacturersinstructions• Provide an after-sales inspection, repair and maintenance service, includingan emergency response and a warranty covering defects in design,manufacture and installation• Demonstrate that they are covered by appropriate and adequateprofessional and product indemnity insurance• Take new clients to existing facilities and/ or provide a list of reference sites
  22. 22. Why use an API Member?API membership signifies professional competence and performance• Strict admission criteria : Ensures that all members have the necessaryexperience, financial status and quality of workmanship.• Professional code of conduct : Members are committed to high standards ofcustomer service and business practice.• Standards: Delivering to clearly defined EN, BS standards, guidelines andDDA requirements to maximise play value and accessibility and minimize riskto users. Buyers can also rely on API members being at the forefront of newthinking on play value, accessibility, risk and challenge.• Technical mediation service: Impartial assistance in the resolution ofcomplaints and disputes, if necessary, between Members and their customers.
  23. 23. How much will it cost?• Industry average is 10k per 1,000sqft of play centre for soft play… So normallysoft play will cost you 90K for 9,000 Sq Ft• 3 months landlord rent as a deposit upfront? + service charge plus solicitors fees.EG= £6 per Sq ft x 9000=54k year. Stamp Duty on lease• Building reg’s / engineer, planning permission (EG- Plan 10k inc complications),design drawings for the whole centre to pass planning & building reg’s. Fire Riskassessment as required by law. DDA, labour.• Doing the actual building works (??£$), Building materials, electrical (equipment,plus installing plus testing), plumber, gas engineer, fire alarm , security systems(alarm, cctv), disabled toilet. Fire marshall , Food Hygiene training
  24. 24. How much will it cost? Continued• Extractor (~3K), cooker / oven, griddles, microwaves.... Fridge& freezer (~ 1K)• Toilets, hand wash, hand dry, DDA toilet equipment• Carpet & flooring commercial non slip• Tables, chairs and sofas.... EG -9,000 Sq Ft centre ~10k also high chairs, nappychanging ? lockers?• 1st aid equipment, 1st aid training. CRB checks. PRS license, PPL License, TVLicense, Entrainment License?• Advertise for staff, T-shirts, clothing, Chef clothes. General kitchen tools.vending machines / rides / Arcade machines.• Hoovers, Cleaning Equipment• Menus, Print and Design•EPOS Systems, Online Party Booking software?
  25. 25. • Party room set up, Disco lights, music system. Large PA system.Coffee machine EG ~2k• Hot water machine, hot choc machine, reserve coffee machine forwhen the main on breaks Heating ?? Again thousands of pounds, myrecent air conditioning additional cost EG ~£28 K• Decoration (labour & materials), Cherry picker lift hire, PC systems, BTinstall / connection,• Insurance? Staff opening cost? Business rates? Your wages whilebuilding? Sage accounts system? Accountant ?• Interest payments & repayments on loans ?•Opening day stock & materials… All needs paying before opening & money come rolling in
  26. 26. Location, Location, Location and Planning Russell Gardner Fun4All
  27. 27. Where are play centres located? 20 15 10 5 Frequency 0 Retail/ Industrial Town Other Leisure Centre Type of Location
  28. 28. What size of site’s are currently trading? 35 30 25 20 15 10 Percenta ge 5 0 0-7,500 7,500-10,00 10,000- 12,500- 15,000- 20,000+ 12,500 15,000 20,000 Si ze
  29. 29. Industrial Estate Retail/ Leisure Churches!! Town Centre Shopping Centre
  30. 30. The Bubbles Factory: Case StudyThe Bubbles Factory opened on the 3rd November 2010 in Carluke, ScotlandA 500sqm - community based indoor soft play and cafeThe £1.1million delivered a very high quality, sensitively designed, environmentallyconsiderate building including a Scottish government grant of £550,370.00Local regeneration to drive footfall to other businesses in the town centre
  31. 31. What makes a good location? • High Footfall = Large Catchment Area • Lack of Competition • Height of unit • Car Park Don’t settle for anything less than perfect!!
  32. 32. Invest in Good Design The design of the physical facility has a profound impact on not only the cost of the facility, but just as, if not more important, the quality of the guest experience which directly impacts on revenues and the cost efficiency of operating the business. Design directly affects: •Development cost •How much your guests enjoy the experience of visiting •How much they spend •Whether and how often they return •What it costs to operate the business
  33. 33. Invest in Good DesignMost design decisions are permanent, or at the least, very costly to correct if theycan be corrected. In most cases, the cost of developing a center with a flaweddesign is the same as developing one with a good design. So getting the design rightin the beginning is very important to long-term success.
  34. 34. Planning • Policy … Town Centres • Employment • Highways… Access • Car Parking • Public Transport • Sequential Approach Do you need professional help? Change of Use? How long does it take? How much will it cost?
  35. 35. Planning Recommendations… • Have a robust approach • Take early pre-planning advice • Discuss your proposal with highways • Establish the availability of Public Transport links • Demonstrate a need for your proposal • Understand previous planning approval / refusals
  36. 36. Giving Birth to a Play CentreTracey Bancroft Ezeeeplay
  37. 37. PerceptionAll the Answers – No!!!Framework – YesConsiderations - YesDifferences – YesMove Forward – YesSelf Evaluation - Yes
  38. 38. Framework- Building and Planning Chaos Adventure - Lytham
  39. 39. ResourcesFramework – People• Identify Requirements• Source• Numbers•Security•Resources• Training – Documentation
  40. 40. CustomersFramework – Customers• Identify Needs•Assess Expectations•Know Your Market – research, pricing structure•Reassess – be aware of trends•Marketing - what works• Flexibility – don’t assume you know everything about your customers
  41. 41. Policies & ProceduresFramework – Policies, Procedures, Legislation• Research, educate yourself• Know Your Market – research• Reassess – operational processes• Legislation changes
  42. 42. New Family MemberChild Development FEC Translation 0-3 months I can do this play centre thing and do itWelcome to the world better! How hard can it be? 1st Trimester Oh **** what’s next... Avoiding theThe start of something big PITFALLS 3-6 months Its opening day- here comes theGreat expectations payback 2nd Trimester Where did all these people come from,Your baby’s latest growth spurt thats the 15th party today!! 6-12 months Customer feedback, staff changes,Encouraging your baby’s development process change, Business established,Making steps towards toddlerhood Formula nearly right 3rd Trimester Things getting easier, staff know whatTime to grow to do, perhaps we should open another
  43. 43. Support Network Framework – Family & Friends• Use them, lean on them, include them• Be prepared to live the dream• Remember you have a home• Wear your ‘knocks’ with pride• Either MAKE or BREAK you
  44. 44. PITFALLSP - Planning permission, building, tradesmanI - Independent Inspections: Fire, Environmental Health, ROSPAT - Training and recruitmentF - Finance, security, cash, credit cardsA - Advertising, market research, assess customer needsL - Location, Location, Location – understand it, project growth ,future planningL - Landlords – love or loathe can’t get far without themS – Success????? Good Luck!!!!
  45. 45. Networking Lunch12-00 until 12-30
  46. 46. PPA Supplier Member’s
  47. 47. Marketing and Creating your BrandKate Costin and Graham Robinson
  48. 48. Creating your Brand • The face of your business • Brand Values – what do you stand for? • What is your target market? • What do you want customers to think about your business? • Be consistent throughout • Invest in professionalism • TOOLS … Ie- SWOT analysis, Marketing Plan, Briefing external companies
  49. 49. Key Challenges of Brand Management Brand MapYou and your competitors Not just play centres!
  50. 50. Great Brands in Indoor Play Belper, Derbyshire Putney, Wimbledon, Newbury
  51. 51. Pre Launch • Website • Literature • Staff and Uniform • Signage • VIP Event- Golden Ticket •Where will people be looking to find you? Have a budget and stick to it…
  52. 52. Best forms of Marketing • WORD OF MOUTH • Good PR (and bad!) • Mascots • Local Events • Group Marketing • Local Parenting Magazines / Websites – eg Primary Times, • Less Effective : Radio, Buses, Flyers • Stick to budget • Have a Marketing Plan and MEASURE
  53. 53. Social Media • 2,013 Facebook Fans • 1,757 Twitter Followers
  54. 54. Operating your Centre Tracey Bancroft and Russell Gardner
  55. 55. Play Centre Usage FactorsSetting up your play centre is the easy bit!! Continuing the journey… • THE WEATHER!!! • Competition … All forms Market Saturation • Repeat Business … Customer Service • Marketing your centre • The economy • Time of Year … Peak – Off Peak and Holidays
  56. 56. Turnover vs Size of Site•CapacityMaximising secondary spend•Effective use of spaceOff peak•Play Value VS turnover•3 RsReview, Reinvent, Review
  57. 57. Ongoing Considerations• Tight management of all your overheads - utilities , suppliers , resources• Maximise opportunities to negotiate with suppliers to drive down costs• PEOPLE = 20 - 30% OVERALL COSTS - but also most beneficial resource!!• Rota structures /controls - match anticipated demand -• Policies/procedures - legislative and business• 3 Rs - Review, Review, Review• NETWORK - PPA - organisations, associations, local authority members, MP’s• Educate yourself, staff - understand the industry/understand your customers• Partnerships with other organisations, business• BE PROUD - SELL YOUR BUSINESS - SELL YOU !!
  58. 58. Legal Requirements vs Best Practice•UNCRC - Rights Of The Child - includes right to PLAY, leisure & rest•Responsibility for PLAY - devolved to Local Government - constant review ineach member country•Health & Safety at Work Act 1994 & Management of H&S at Work Regs 1999•Anticipated change to legislative demands•PPA members best placed to absorb changes - e.g CRBs, annual safety checks,operational checks•Peace of mind - professional /conscientious PLAY PROVISION PROVIDER•Robust against litigation•Able to meet customers expectations and allay fears•Best placed to meet future opportunities
  59. 59. Re-invest to survive and grow• Party package offering ie- Laser Guns, Build a Bear• Add new attractions ie- Playbus, Climbing Wall, GO OUTDOORS• Diversifying• Again having a USP and focusing onyour key market’s ie- Toddlers• Keep customers returning by addingsomething newWhen to Reinvest??How often to Reinvest??Doesn’t need to be expensive!!
  60. 60. Indoor Play Setting the Standard Keith DaltonThe Play Inspection Company
  61. 61. BS 8409: 2009 - Code of Practice• Fully enclosed play areas that offer children attractive opportunities aregenerally those presenting different levels of challenge and difficulty.• Children can explore solutions to these challenges and practise their newlyacquired abilities in competently designed and managed settings, where the levelsof risk have been assessed and, through supervision or design, are managed.• Precautions need to be taken by play providers to reduce the severityof injuries if children make the wrong judgement but the possibilityof harm cannot be completely removed.• This British Standard aims to help play providers develop facilitiesthat children find enjoyable and reduce the risk of serious or disablinginjury.
  62. 62. Why do Play Areas need inspections?• Risk Assessment is clear legal requirement…Health & Safety at Work Act 1994 & Management of H&S at Work Regs 1999• Systematic safety inspections are recommended as Best Practice in theaccepted standard• BS EN 1176 and HASAW Act (playground equipment)• Note: BS EN 1177 (is the test method for safer surfacing)• Insurers prefer Safety Inspection & Risk Assessment• Parents, carers & play providers want safe playgrounds• Play providers also want to avoid litigation.
  63. 63. Why do Play Providers need inspections?• For peace of mind• To ensure compliance with HSE requirements for best practice• To avoid risk of injury to children & young people• To operate legally regarding H&S & DDA (Disability Discrimination Act)• To have valid insurance against risk• To avoid litigation
  64. 64. BECAUSE they want:• To determine priorities for routine inspections and confirm compliance withchanging standardsB. Help with preventative maintenanceC. Identify worn parts needing replacement or refurbishment to maintainrequired levels of safetyD. Provide a written record and/or evidence of continuous safety checks andmaintenance.E. Provide defence and/or evidence in legal cases/insurance claims
  65. 65. There are Benefits• Achieve good value from capital costs of equipment• Keep down costs of preventative maintenance• Maintenance to extend working life• Improve safetyWhy do they need RPII Inspectors?
  66. 66. BECAUSE: -The H&S Act & Regulations specify ‘Competent’The BS EN Standards specify ‘Competent’RPII Annual Inspectors are: - • Examined/Certificated Competent • Re-examined every three years • Independent Third Parties • Experienced Professional Inspectors
  67. 67. BECAUSE: -• RPII Examinations: • Are rigorous & to BS EN Standards•RPII Inspectors: • Are kept up-to-date & exchange info. • Are bound by RPII Code of Conduct • Hold all relevant insurances • Write comprehensive reports• Using RPII inspectors aids consistent interpretation• Insurers / Risk Managers prefer & may specify ‘Competent CertificatedInspectors’ and CRB Checked
  68. 68. Types of Inspections:Routine Visual Inspection• Looking at the equipment’s basic condition, especially faults due to recentvandalism, breakages and also cleanliness of the playframe.• These inspections can be carried out by the manager or his/her staff andshould be recorded on a simple sheet or book.• The equipment supplier should provide a checklist.• Dependant on usage, these inspections should be carried out either daily orweekly as a minimum.
  69. 69. Operational Inspection• Looking in more detail at the condition of the equipment, providing aquality control check on the more regular inspections and identifying wearand tear on the equipment.• Such inspections should be carried out by an appropriately trained memberof staff, or alternatively by a suitably qualified specialist and should berecorded.• These inspections should be carried out at least on a monthly or quarterlybasis.
  70. 70. Annual Main Inspection• To be carried out by an RPII (Register of Play Inspectors) Indoor AnnualInspector not connected with the playground operator or manager.• Essentially looking at vandalism, wear and tear, long-term structuralproblems, standards compliance and design, along with risk assessment etc.• This report essentially covers the overall safety of the playground.• Inspection should also include an annual oversight of the internal proceduresand documentation to ensure that the correct procedures are in place.
  71. 71. Conclusions• Invest in market research - speak to existing play operators, industry expertsand reputable suppliers• Ensure you are able to invest at the right level without undue risk• Be different, Be unique and Be professional• Be knowledgeable on industry standards and know your responsibilities• Bring your site to life with a consistent engaging branding and marketingactivities. Opening a play centre is just the start…• Join the PPA !!
  72. 72. Question and Answer Panel: Kate Costin Russell Gardner PPA Association Fun4All Manger New OperatorTracey Bancroft Graham Robinson Keith Dalton Ezeeeplay Soft Brick TPIC PPA Vice Chair API Indoor RPII
  73. 73. About the PPA• Background• Code of Practice and Standards• Cost Saving Benefits• Campaigns• Networking Events• How to join …
  74. 74. The PPA - Pushing the Industry forward!
  75. 75. The PPA- Associate MembershipCost Saving BenefitsJOIN TODAY ONLY FOR £50 +VAT FOR THE REST OF 2012Network SupportIndustry News and EventsHow to join … and upgrading