How to set up

Deciding to set up your own indoor play centre is a huge decision and your first thought is probably, where do I start?

Below is a list of key points to consider when in the initial stages of opening and operating a new indoor play facility.

Your idea

The very first thing to do is to explore your initial concept in depth. Decide on the scale of your project, a budget and make a plan! Also consider what your unique selling point will be to set apart your indoor play centre from the competition. Understanding the development process is essential.

The location

Choosing a location for your new indoor play centre is one of the biggest business decisions you will need to make. Selecting the right location could make or break your business.

Access potential premises in your chosen area and consider the following things:

  • What competition is there in surrounding areas?
  • Is there a good concentration of housing nearby?
  • Will there be passing trade?
  • Is there public transport and parking available?

Funding

When a location and premises have been chosen and terms have been agreed with the landlord you will need to secure provisional funding approval.

It is also important to stay on top of recruitment, tax and national insurance costs, health and safety, employment law, payroll and fees, to name a few key areas.

Johnson Reed is the UK’s most respected indoor play equipment finance provider. They can assist new businesses with the finance of main indoor play centre structures, play equipment, catering equipment and more. Visit www.johnsonreed.co.uk for more information.

Design

The design of your indoor play centre can be crucial to the quality of the guest experience which will directly affect the impact on revenue. Guest experience will determine how much they spend at your facility and more importantly, whether they return.

Choose a supplier that will design and install your soft play equipment as well as managing the build alongside you from start to finish. Ensure that you view other sites they have installed and speak to these operators. Check that they have adequate insurance cover and are also a member of the The Association of Play Industries (see www.api-play.org for a list of members).

A RoSPA (www.rospa.com) post installation inspection is strongly advised for all new indoor play facilities to determine safety and standard compliance.

Refer to our directory page for a list of many essential services and products to the indoor play industry.

Click here to read the Diary of a New Operator.