Business, Marketing, and Life Advice for Local Business Owners

Why I Created Play Cafe Academy | Open a Profitable Indoor Playground

Apr 21, 2019

If you've been keeping up with my weekly blogs or watching me over on YouTube for a while, you know that I tend to talk about opening a profitable indoor playground-- my recommendations based on what we did right and what we did wrong with Climbing Vines Cafe & Play.

Today, I really wanna take a step back and share a little bit about why I create this content and began Play Cafe Academy. (My paid program where I teach people step-by-step how to open an indoor playground and also hold...

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5 Ways We Make School Break Weeks as Smooth as Possible

Apr 16, 2019

If you are a parent whose child is preschool-age or above, you understand how “break weeks” can be. Routines go out-the-window, and it’s easy to get stir-crazy, especially if you live in an area that stays cold well-through spring break like it does here in Western New York!

It can be very tempting to plan a fun outing for every day of the week, yet here’s the thing; Everyone else is also planning to do the same.

That can mean difficult parking, lots of crowds, and...

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6 Ways we Deliver an Above-and-Beyond Birthday Party Experience

Apr 11, 2019

At Climbing Vines Cafe & Play, we offer a variety of services from classes and camps to open-play and private events. It’s our adult and child-friendly birthday parties, though, that we have chosen as our focus.

While we, of course, put time and resources towards making each aspect of our business the best it can be, I have found that having one primary focus helps us best serve our customers. Having one top priority has also helped our indoor playground stand out against our local...

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9 Tips for Handling Online Criticism as a Business Owner

Mar 13, 2019

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR INDOOR PLAYGROUND (OR YOU!) GET NEGATIVE FEEDBACK ONLINE

If I am being honest, this has been a post that’s been on my “idea board” for months. Handling online criticism has always been a struggle for me, and I am still constantly learning and maturing as a business owner.

This past week, I had an angry woman orchestrate a coordinated social media attack on my business and me personally, and it left me gutted for hours. I could tell soon after she...

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The 3 Most Common Complaints We Get (And Why I Choose to Ignore Them)

Mar 11, 2019

Over the last 3 years in business, we have gathered a tremendous amount of feedback from our community. While we try and take all of this into account and make improvements and changes based on the needs of our customers, we sometimes get suggestions that we choose to not implement.

This isn’t to say that we don’t value these suggestions or the customers who make them. However, I firmly believe that if you try to please every person who comes across your business, you will end up...

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Opening an Indoor Playground- The 6 Main Ways to Make Money

Mar 04, 2019

SECRETS OF A OPERATING A PROFITABLE INDOOR PLAYGROUND

One of the most common questions I get from my students inside Play Cafe Academy and from prospective owners inside my inbox is: how do we make money? So, variations of this question might be, What are our revenue streams? How do they compare to one another? Is there a “right” model to make the most money when operating an indoor playground or play cafe?

And my answer, for my business, is simple. We focus on parties. That is...

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3 Ways to Fund your Indoor Playground Business

Feb 11, 2019

After helping dozens of indoor playground owners and prospective owners get their businesses up and running, I have noticed that the funding phase can be the most difficult part of the process. In fact, of the prospective owners I have worked with that did NOT end up making it to the finish line, most have cited insufficient funding as their reason for halting progress on their plans.

While insufficient funding can certainly be a very real issue you face on this journey, I would like to...

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The 6 Biggest Misconceptions I Hear about Starting an Indoor Playground Businesses

Feb 04, 2019

Through the years I have gotten hundreds, maybe THOUSANDS of calls, emails, and in-person inquiries from prospective play cafe owners. They generally all start the same, with an innocent, “Hey Michele, I was wondering if I could pick your brain about opening a play cafe in my area?”  When I had more time and only one business, I took close to 100 of these calls and meetings.

This was one of the many reasons I created Play Cafe Academy; because I noticed everyone had the same...

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The 5 BEST Things about Opening an Indoor Playground

Jan 30, 2019

HOW OPENING A PROFITABLE INDOOR PLAYGROUND HAS BROUGHT JOY, OPPORTUNITY, AND VALUE TO OUR LIVES ABOVE THE INCOME IT PROVIDES!

As an owner, I am constantly scrutinizing my business and making tweaks to our processes and systems to maximize our profits and elevate our clients’ experiences, and often forget to reflect on the immeasurable joy this venture has brought to our family.

Yes, there have been tough times-- lots of tears and many hours spent away from my family while getting our...

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4 Ways to Market an Indoor Playground or Play Cafe

Jan 17, 2019

IF YOU’RE CONSIDERING OPENING AN INDOOR PLAYGROUND, MARKETING IT INEXPENSIVELY IS ESSENTIAL! LEARN HOW YOU CAN MARKET YOUR INDOOR PLAYGROUND EVEN MONTHS BEFORE YOU OPEN!

Many owners feel like marketing their business online is just putting posts up on Facebook, but there is SO much more to it than that. Marketing is building an email list, it’s having a high-converting website, it’s having a word-of-mouth marketing strategy, and it’s converting your customers with...

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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!