Business, Marketing, and Life Advice for Local Business Owners

How to Deal with Copycat Competitors in Your Indoor Playground Business

Jul 10, 2019

For a year or so after Climbing Vines opened, I could barely go one day without checking the websites and social media accounts of my local competitors. I was constantly looking over my shoulder, hoping and praying that no one would “copy” my business idea and steal all of my customers.

After two direct “copycats” opened within the first few years, it turns out that I was right about one thing: when someone finds success doing something, others will quickly recognize...

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What We USED to do when an Employee Quit

Jul 03, 2019

HOW TO PROFESSIONALLY HANDLE AND RECOVER FROM A KEY EMPLOYEE LEAVING YOUR BUSINESS

As any business that employs part-time team members, we see a fair amount of employee turnover at Climbing Vines. This is true for any local business, but especially for an indoor playground. Many people will apply and join your team without fully understanding what to expect, or what’s expected of them since the business concept is relatively new.

While I felt business was a strong suit of mine, when I...

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5 Ways We Prepare our Play Cafe For Emergencies

Jun 26, 2019

These days, especially if you are in the U.S., even minor injuries like a finger jam or a slip and fall can have devastating effects on your small business, so the recreational aspect of an indoor playground makes us especially vulnerable to injuries, lawsuits, and disgruntled customers.

We also of course want to prioritize the safety of our guests as much as we possibly can.

Remaining prepared during any sort of personal-injury emergency should be self-explanatory but it’s,...

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The Only Time We've Had to FIRE a Customer

Jun 19, 2019

The only time we’ve “fired” a customer happened a little over 6 months ago. While this was a difficult decision to make, it was necessary for the well-being and safety of our other customers. Unfortunately, not every family is going to share our philosophies or feel obligated to abide by our policies, so we have found it is easier to let those customers go and focus on the customers that do love and respect our space and our rules.

Speaking of rules, we at Climbing Vines...

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Should you Consider Opening an Indoor Playground Franchise?

Jun 14, 2019

If you dream of going into business for yourself but you’d rather not build your business from scratch, franchising might be the right choice for you! However, it can also have a variety of drawbacks.

Franchising (and all the legal jargon that goes with it) can be confusing for first time business-owners, so today I’m going to break down the advantages and disadvantages and how franchising differs from licensing.

WHAT IS A FRANCHISE?

A franchise is an extension of an already...

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Opening an Indoor Playground Business: How Much Does it Cost?

Jun 06, 2019

We’ve already discussed the red flags I look out for in an indoor playground business plan, but I wanted to elaborate just a bit more on start-up costs and what you can expect should you decide to embark on this endeavor.

If you want all of the start-up costs you can expect (especially those that will likely surprise you!) I’d love to invite you to join us inside Play Cafe Academy where you’ll not only get ALL the line-by-line details but also personalized support every...

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The Profitable Indoor Playground Business Plan: 5 Red Flags I Look Out For

May 29, 2019

Since I opened the doors to my indoor playground in early 2016, I have had hundreds of prospective owners reach out to me asking to “take a quick look” at their business plan. Now, not all of them have gone as in-depth as I did when creating a business plan, but most business plans are major documents that take a great deal of time to review.

While I no longer offer one-on-one consulting because I have chosen to dedicate my time and energy towards helping my Play Cafe Academy...

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5 Reasons to Book an Indoor Summer Birthday Party for your Child

May 21, 2019

If you live in an area like we do in Western New York (we’re in Rochester!) with beautifully hot summers and cold snowy winters, you’ll know that your options for your child’s birthday party are largely dependent on the weather.

As an August baby, we always had small family parties outside at my house. But, with sons born in November and March, we are always left to book an indoor venue for their celebrations, if we chose to have them that year. While those with children...

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5 Things I Still Do Myself in My Indoor Playground Business

May 09, 2019

In an earlier blog post, I discussed the 7 things I no longer do in my indoor playground business as I have grown and matured as a business owner.

I referenced Michael Hyatt, who, in many of his books and programs continuously refers to designing your ideal days and weeks as “the desire zone.” Operating within your desire zone, as he describes it, simply means you are spending the bulk of your time doing what you both love AND are good at.

While there are many tasks I cut...

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7 Things I did the First Year of Owning My Indoor Playground Business that I DON’T Do Now

Apr 28, 2019

As I have grown and matured as a business owner, one of the most important things I have learned is what to spend my time and energy on, and what I am better off delegating.  Michael Hyatt, in many of his books and programs, continuously refers to “the desire zone” when it comes to designing your ideal days and weeks. Operating within your desire zone simply means you are spending the bulk of your time doing what you both love AND are good at.

For me, a great example of...

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Where Should I Send The Invite?

 

Doors are now OPEN to Stu McLaren's TME (formerly called Tribe) and that means doors to my bonus experience are open as well!

It comes at NO extra cost to you. PLUS you don't miss out on any of Stu's bonuses.

Just tell me where to send the invite!