An indoor bounce house business is a wonderful way to foster an environment for family, friendship, and fun. This is most certainly an exciting venture, but before you open your doors for jumping, laughter, and play, there are a few things you need to know about opening an indoor bounce house business.
Opening an indoor bounce house business may seem easy, but there is much more to do than inflating your bounce houses. To start an indoor bounce house business, you have to acquire a business license, purchase insurance, and secure financing to allow you to purchase equipment and afford a location.
In this completely all-inclusive how-to guide, we walk you step by step on how to open an indoor bounce house business! Are you interested in learning more? Continue reading for any information you may need!
1.Identify The Target Market
First and foremost, you will need to identify and determine the target market for your indoor bounce house business. In order to do this, there are a few factors that you will need to research and keep in mind. These are location, demographic, and who your competition is.
When it comes to businesses like indoor bounce houses, location is absolutely everything. Having a good or bad location will make or break both your business and your bank account. The ideal location can widely depend on the type of area you are in.
Indoor bounce house businesses will more likely do well in areas that are more populated and have a lot of families. We will cover the demographic portion a little more later but are touching on it now as it intertwines with the location portion.
We bring up demographic because if there a limited number of your targeted customers in the location you are intending to open your indoor bounce house business in, you will not attract much business and ultimately end up closing shop. Is there an abundance of kids who are between the ages of 2 and 12? People in this age group are the most likely to want to visit your business for fun days and birthday parties.
Selecting a location that is close to a school or a place for youth activities is a great idea, as is picking a location near shopping malls, tourist attractions, and popular restaurants. These locations also add convenience for parents, who may be looking for a way to entertain their child after school or soccer practice.
Demographic is an obvious key component of your target market. In this case, your key demographic would be young children as this age group tends to be the most drawn to play places. It is important to avoid trying to please multiple age groups in the same setting, so in this case, we believe it is better to pick just one demographic.
For example, some business owners may have had the idea to try to cater to anyone who may come to the business, and include bounce houses and inflatable obstacle courses for everyone. They purchase inflatables designed for toddlers and children, all the way up to inflatables geared towards adults.
In doing so, you are most likely to find that it is a better strategy to simply focus on your primary age group, rather than attempting to entertain teenagers and adults who may accompany younger children to a birthday party. Purchasing an inflatable that is rarely used because it is too big for young children would be a waste of your precious resources.
Another important reason to consider demographics when structuring your indoor bounce house business is safety! We will examine safety in depth a little later, but feel it is important to point this out.
Children are children, teenagers are teenagers, and adults are adults. Children tend to be smaller and play in a less rough manner than teenagers and adults, so it can be pretty dangerous to mix the three groups.
Having these different age groups playing together in a bounce house setting is bound to eventually lead to injury, liability issues, and safety damages. This could ultimately shut down your business if you are not careful. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you only focus on having children as your demographic.
2.Identify Your Competition
When identifying your target market, it is important to also identify your competition. Your competition most likely also has the same target market and is trying to draw in the same customers that you are.
Look into the other inflatable bounce house businesses in your area and see what their prices, deals, and specials are. Also, take into account the type of inflatable equipment that they have.
Take their inventory into consideration. Identifying which types of inflatables are the most popular at your competitor’s business and which inflatables are collecting dust can give you a leg up on your competitor, as you will know what to buy and what to avoid.
3.Secure The Space
Identify The Desired Space
Once you have identified your target market, it is time to identify the desired space for your bounce house business. Because of the nature of this business, you will need to rent or purchase a large, open, spacious warehouse with high ceilings.
This is to ensure you will be able to fit all of the inflatables inside without the space feeling cramped. You will also want to find a building that has smaller rooms on the side for birthday parties, an arcade, a dining area, and events.
Cost For Warehouse Space
Real estate for a warehouse will vary from place to place, and vary depending on size as well. The average base rental rate for renting a warehouse is $0.85 per square foot every month. You can use this figure to help estimate how much renting a warehouse will cost you.
Cost of Heating, Cooling, and Other Utilities
The average estimated monthly operational cost of renting a warehouse is $0.35 per square foot each month. Electricity is estimated to average at $0.20 per square foot per month. You will also need to take into account any potential maintenance if your landlord is not the one who pays for that.
4.Get Liability Insurance of having an Indoor Bounce House
Owning a business like an indoor bounce house is not one that comes without risk of injury. For this reason, it is important that you determine the potential liability and get insurance to protect yourself from lawsuits. Business Insurance protects you and your business from financial damage in the event of a potential issue or loss.
There are many different types of insurance policies created specifically for businesses whoo face different types of risks. If you are unsure what types of risks you may face, it is a good idea to start off with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common type, and a great place to begin.
If your business has employees, you will also need to have a Workers Compensation insurance policy. Most states require that a business have Workers Compensation policies in place.
Many businesses also make clients sign a release of liability form before they can play in the bounce houses and inflatables. This is something you should do, as it can protect you and your business from any legal damage and hefty legal fees.
5.Brand Your Business
Your brand is how the public sees your business, and it defines you and your values. Since an indoor bounce house business is a more family and child geared business, you will want to make your brand as family-friendly and child-appropriate as possible. Think about potential themes you may want to incorporate into your brand!
A great example of this for the indoor bounce house business is the Monkey Joe’s franchise. Monkey Joe’s brand is family-friendly fun with a monkey and jungle theme that makes them memorable and recognizable to children and parents alike.
Promote Your Business
Because we live in an age where people are constantly glued to the internet, social media is a great way to begin marketing your establishment and bring in customers.
The goal of your marketing is to be appealing to both children and their parents. Because of this, you may want to be a little extra creative with your marketing strategies and consider putting advertisements in children-oriented places.
This could be anything from putting an ad in a local school’s yearbook, leaving business pamphlets at a nearby daycare, or hosting events for schools, churches, and youth clubs.
6.Decide Franchise, Or Not
If you are interested in owning more than one facility, starting a franchise may be a good option for you.
If you’re interested in operating a bounce house business but do not want to deal with the hassle of starting a business independently, looking into opening a franchise location with an already established company such as Monkey Joe’s may be a good option for you.
Now that you have an idea of what you need to do to get the ball rolling on your business, take into consideration what type of equipment you will be purchasing. You will need
- Bounce houses
- Climbing structures
- Inflatable slides
- Potentially an arcade
The number of inflatables you buy will depend on your budget and the size of your warehouse.
8.Secure The Right Software
You can utilize technology software systems to help keep your business running smoothly. You may want to consider the following systems:
- appointment scheduling system
- credit card processing
- POS (If you have a dining portion)
The appointment scheduling system will help you keep track of when you have parties and events booked when you have openings, and when you are busy.
The credit card processing software will help you to process electronic payments. The accounting software will help you to keep track of all of your accounts and expenses.
This last one is only applicable if you are going to have a dining area and kitchen in your business. If you are going to prepare and serve food, you will need a POS (point of service) software system to tell kitchen employees what they need to make, and allow the cashier to put in the order.
Indoor vs Outdoor (Mobile) Inflatable Business
There are many pros and cons of opening both an indoor and outdoor, or mobile, inflatable business.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Indoor Bounce House
- Your business will not be affected by seasons and bad weather.
- The inflatables will last for longer.
- Customers commute to you.
- An indoor inflatable business is more expensive
- You are limited to one area, whereas an outdoor business can commute up to an hour away
- You will have to maintain a building as well as the equipment
Advantages & Disadvantages of outdoor Bounce House
- You have lower expenses than an indoor inflatable business
- You can run the business on your own
- You do not need to rent a facility
- You have a higher workload
- You have to drive to different rentals
- You are affected by weather and seasons
How Much Does It Cost to Start an Indoor Bounce House Business?
Opening an Indoor Bounce House will cost anywhere between $166,000 to $250,00 and potentially higher.
Your cost all depends on how much your rent is, the size of your warehouse, how many inflatables you have, other equipment such as tables and chairs, employee salaries, and whether or not you have food, kitchen equipment, and an arcade.
What Is The Typical Profit of an Indoor Bounce House Business?
The typical profit of an Indoor Bounce House Business is roughly $250,000 per year. These businesses tend to make higher profits in regions that get colder weather.
Ruben has been doing online marketing for the last 4 years. Prior to that, he spent 15 years managing different brick-and-mortar businesses, in the home improvement and logistics industries. Overall, he has 20 years of business experience under his belt. Recently, he added SEO, affiliate marketing, and link building to his business skills.