Opening an indoor inflatable play center

I bet if you're here reading this its because you're an entrepreneurial spirited person, looking for something new and fun but also profitable, and spending some time researching before you open your very own indoor inflatable play center or perhaps family entertainment center with cool inflatables. Inflatables are very eye-catching attractions that draw in visitors from all around, and when combined with the successful family entertainment center-model, it’s even more superior!

But before you get ready to sign that lease or place that order for inflatables with us, it’s important to know that like most everything else in life this requires hard work and elbow grease to make it successful. Crossing your fingers and holding your breath will not work in this business. We’ve been working with indoor facilities for nearly 15 years, and few if any companies have had as much experience as we have. We’ve seen people get into this type of business and be very successful, and others who were not so successful. Indoor inflatable play centers are lucrative business ventures...and if you spend the time to plan it out and then work hard to follow that plan, you can end up with a highly profitable and successful business. In that spirit, this read is intended to give you some food-for-thought when making your decision about opening an indoor inflatable play center. We value our customers (and our prospective customers), and are here to help you in anyway we can, because when you succeed, we succeed!

Why open an indoor inflatable play center?

If you’re currently an outdoor inflatable rental company, you may be looking at an indoor business with a bit of envy. Who wouldn't? After all, the benefits are tempting. You would  eliminate weather-related downtime, decrease your physical labor output and also mitigate a great deal of time you spend traveling because everything is in one more drop-offs or pick-ups!

If you currently have an indoor play center or family entertainment center you may be looking for new innovative inflatables with equal amounts of envy. Kids love inflatables and they are affordable when compared to carnival style hard-rides, making the cost of entry very affordable and manageable with inflatables. Inflatables might just be the perfect way to really take your current business to the next level.

To franchise, or not to franchise?

To franchise or not to franchise?... This is often an important opening question before starting this business venture. There are many franchise chains of inflatable indoor centers available, and many customers take that route. As in most industries, franchises provide a great way to enter this industry, but do your homework before you "jump" into anything. Some simple questions to ask yourself right from the start are:

- How established is that franchise brand in your area?

- Do you see advertisements?

- Is it a household name?

- Are they showing up in local Google searches?

A majority of folks have a flair for originality and decide to skip the franchise route. They go into business themselves, feeling that they can create a valuable brand of their own which they can be proud of. This can bring much personal satisfaction not to mention higher revenue for you the business owner because you aren't paying royalties to the franchise company. 

Since franchises often come with their own guidelines and rules the following is probably more valuable to non-franchises.

Location and Demographics

Location really is everything when it comes to opening any business, especially one geared toward attracting people to come inside, and can really make or break this type of startup business. Finding the perfect spot is only part of the equation though. Aggressive and consistent marketing should also be given equal effort and time. But first, think like a parent and consider things like...will my location be convenient for taking the kids after school? or on weekends? 

So what is the ideal location then?

It's smart to take some time and consider the demographics of your targeted location. Remember it's important that there are many kids between the ages of 2 and 10 in the surrounding area because they are your focus age group. This is primarily the age group that you will entertain for parties at your location. Be smart by not spreading your self thin trying to accommodate more then one age group, as it is better to be the best in one area than to be mediocre in a few. Select kids or teens or adults, but don't do all in the same location.  

Deciding which inflatables to purchase?

This can be a hard question to answer. As stated in the previous paragraph, first you need to decide on your focus age group, then you must decide if you’re going to go  themed or non-themed with your indoor inflatable play center.

Themed inflatables are really an attention grabber and kids love them, whereas non-themed inflatables are less expensive and provide a neutral look for any party or occasion. Many customers have found that inflatables need to be rotated in and out, to keep it fresh so kids want to come back again and again..

When choosing which specific inflatables you want in your indoor play center, it's critical to consider how much space you have, especially the ceiling height, before you purchase your inflatables.

Just like your car has a spare tire, its important to have a backup or “spare” inflatable to avoid any downtime at your location. Always be sure to inspect your inflatables frequently through the day to ensure safe operation, enabling you to be proactive before a problem occurs.  Check blowers, making sure the cords are intact and the blower isn’t clogged. Double check to make sure all units are properly inflated and have no signs of heavy wear and tear. 

Remember there's no exact formula, sometimes adjustments are needed. Customer service and diplomacy are a must when running an indoor party center. Customers are the fuel that power your business growth. Be sure to provide a memorable experience and remember, "happy customers are repeat customers"! Plus they are great at spreading word of mouth advertising because they will chat with everyone they know about their good experience. 

Executed properly an indoor inflatable play and entertainment center can be a very rewarding and profitable business for those who can roll up their sleeves. Please remember that we’re here to help, and if you have any other questions, don't hesitate to contact us.