You have found the perfect business idea, and now you are ready to take the next step. There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple step guide to starting your indoor trampoline park. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
STEP 1: Plan your Business
A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:
- What are the startup and ongoing costs?
- Who is your target market?
- How long it will take you to break even?
- What will you name your business?
Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.
What are the costs involved in opening an indoor trampoline park?
The costs involved in opening an indoor trampoline park business are often high. Startup costs average in the low seven figures, because trampoline parks usually must be custom built. There are two steps business owners can take to reduce their buildout costs slightly, although they can’t be completely eliminated.
First, business owners should get quotes from multiple contractors. Business owners should contact several contractors that specialize in indoor trampoline parks and ask them to submit a bid. Obtaining multiple bids not only shows what different contractors will charge for the work, but it also gives the business owner several designs to consider. One design may be simpler than the others and, therefore, significantly cheaper.
Second, business owners can look for a building that already has a wide open space. Choosing a location that has a large, open area will reduce any costs associated with demolishing walls, counters or other structures that are already in place.
Some buildings that may be good locations are old industrial buildings and old barns. Both provide lots of open space and are usually in low-rent areas. Although they may be in rural or industrial areas, guests will usually drive to an indoor trampoline park business even if it’s a little out of the way because it provides a unique business.
Read our indoor trampoline park purchasing guide to learn about the materials and equipment you'll need to start an indoor trampoline park, how much to budget, and where to make purchases.
What are the ongoing expenses for an indoor trampoline park?
The largest ongoing expenses for an indoor trampoline park business include rent and common area maintenance, which together should be between 15 and 20 percent of gross revenue, labor costs, which should be between 20 and 25 percent. Trampoline parks that don’t serve food usually have labor costs closer to 20 percent, while those that have food tend to be closer to 25 percent. Insurance typically runs between 6 and 7 percent of gross revenue.
Other ongoing expenses include marketing costs, trampoline repair costs and utilities.
Who is the target market?
An indoor trampoline park business’ ideal customer is a family that has active children and discretionary income. Trampolines are a fun way for kids to burn off some energy while having fun, and a family with discretionary income can afford to bring kids to the trampoline park.
How does an indoor trampoline park make money?
An indoor trampoline park business makes money by charging guests a fee for a set amount of jump time. Many also rent equipment (e.g. specialized jumping socks) and sell refreshments.
How much can you charge customers?
Indoor trampoline park businesses typically charge around $10 per hour of jumping time. Rates are slightly higher in high-rent areas, and they may be a little lower in less-populated areas.
How much profit can an indoor trampoline park make?
While the startup costs for an indoor trampoline park are high, so is the profit potential. One trampoline park in California has a gross revenue of $2 million and a profit margin of 39 percent -- which equates to an annual profit of $780,000. A business owner who opened a park in New Jersey expected a profit margin of 25 percent.
How can you make your business more profitable?
An indoor trampoline park business can increase its profitability by adding concessions and other forms of entertainment. Transforming a facility that’s exclusively dedicated to trampolines into one that’s a trampoline-focused family entertainment venue can double guests’ time in the park and increase revenue by as much as $1 million annually.
What will you name your business?
Choosing the right name is very important. We recommend checking if the business name you choose is available as a web domain and securing it early so no one else can take it.
STEP 2: Form a legal entity
Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC prevents you from being personally liable if your indoor trampoline park is sued. There are many business structures to choose from including: Corporations, LLC's, and DBA's.
You should also consider using a registered agent service to help protect your privacy and stay compliant.
For most small businesses forming an LLC is a great option, but if you still want to weigh all your options check our our article, What Structure Should I Choose for My Business?
STEP 3: Register for taxes
You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!
You can acquire your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our article, What is an EIN?.
STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
Open a business bank account
- This separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- It also makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Get a business credit card
- This helps you separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- It also builds your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money and investment later on.
STEP 5: Set up business accounting
Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses
Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
State & Local Business Licensing Requirements
Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate an indoor trampoline park. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.
Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.
In addition, certain local licensing or regulatory requirements may apply.
If you sell food, you will need licensing from a local health department; all establishments serving food are required to pass a health inspection. Tips for faring well on a health inspection can be found here.
For more information about local licenses and permits:
- Check with your town, city or county clerk’s office
- Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources
Release of Liability
Liability waivers are essential since consumers will be in high risk environments, partaking in intense physical exertion. For this reason, it is best to require protective gear. Here is an example of a release of liability waiver from Sky Zone.
Recommended: Rocket Lawyer makes it easy to create a professional release of liability form for your trampoline park business when you sign up for their premium membership. For $39.95 per month, members receive access to hundreds of legal agreements and on call attorneys to get complimentary legal advice.
In order to play music in a business setting, as many indoor trampoline parks do, permission must be acquired from the composer or license holder. Typically, it is possible to obtain a “blanket” license allowing a businesses to play music owned by a large catalog of artists and recording studios. Such licenses can be obtained from Performance Rights Organizations, such as ASCAP or BMI.
Labor Safety Requirements
Most important amongst OSHA regulations for a trampoline park are the relevant safety measures, including proper labeling, training, and injury report.
Certificate of Occupancy
An indoor trampoline park is generally run out of a warehouse. Businesses operating out of a physical location typically require a Certificate of Occupancy (CO). A CO confirms that all building codes, zoning laws and government regulations have been met.
- If you plan to lease a location:
- It is generally the landlord’s responsibility to obtain a CO.
- Before leasing, confirm that your landlord has or can obtain a valid CO that is applicable to a indoor trampoline park.
- After a major renovation, a new CO often needs to be issued. If your place of business will be renovated before opening, it is recommended to include language in your lease agreement stating that lease payments will not commence until a valid CO is issued.
- If you plan to purchase or build a location:
- You will be responsible for obtaining a valid CO from a local government authority.
- Review all building codes and zoning requirements for your business’ location to ensure your indoor trampoline park will be in compliance and able to obtain a CO.
STEP 7: Get Business Insurance
Insurance is highly recommended for all business owners. If you hire employees, workers compensation insurance may be a legal requirement in your state.
STEP 8: Define your brand
Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
How to promote & market an indoor trampoline park
A trampoline park business can maximize how many potential customers it attracts through customer segmentation, which involves scheduling different activities that are targeted towards different demographics throughout the day and week. For example, a trampoline park might offer a morning fitness class, afternoon fitness class, after-school kids’ club and evening dodgeball league.
Each class, club or league ought to be promoted at places where the target demographic spends time. Libraries, health clubs, parks, recreation centers, coffee shops, YMCAs and similar organizations may be willing to let a trampoline park put up flyers about a class, club or league.
Recommended: Get started with local advertising for your business with a $300 credit from Yelp.
How to keep customers coming back
These classes, clubs and leagues can help convert one-time guests into recurring customers, as the activities encourage guests to sign up for multiple sessions. It may be difficult to get potential customers who have never been to a trampoline park to sign up for several sessions at once, though.
To get new customers in the door, a trampoline park should also offer truly novel experiences. Trampoline dodgeball and basketball are two fun, unique sports that most people will consider doing at least once.
STEP 9: Establish your Web Presence
A business website allows customers to learn more about your company and the products or services you offer. You can also use social media to attract new clients or customers.
Start An Indoor Trampoline Park In Your State
Select your state below for an in-depth guide on completing each of these steps in your home state.
Anyone who loves people, adventure and having fun may be well-suited for operating an indoor trampoline park business. These businesses promise guests high-flying adventures and fun activities in an indoor setting.
Business owners often also need to either have sizeable savings, decent credit or a business partner who can provide financial capital, because the startup costs for an indoor trampoline park business can be high.
What happens during a typical day at an indoor trampoline park?
In a typical day, a business owner will welcome guests, explain how to enjoy the trampolines safely and respond to guests’ requests. They also may help serve guests refreshments, prepare for any scheduled parties and clean the facility, although these tasks may also be done by employees.
When not interacting with guests, a business owner will spend their time scheduling and managing employees, inspecting and repairing equipment, and marketing the business.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful indoor trampoline park?
Indoor trampoline park business owners don’t need any specific training before they open a trampoline park, but they ought to have strong communication skills (in order to clearly explain safety protocols), good customer service abilities and decent general business skills. Business owners who want to improve in any of these areas may want to attend a relevant seminar or a class at a local community college.
While it isn’t required, business owners may want to become certified service technicians. Getting certified as a service technician can help a business owner keep their maintenance costs low, as they’ll be able to perform a lot of the maintenance their trampolines need themselves. The International Association of Trampoline Parks offers two levels of certified service technicians exams.
What is the growth potential for an indoor trampoline park?
Most indoor trampoline park businesses serve a single city. In areas where there is already at least one trampoline park, competition may be stiff. In cities that don’t have any, though, an indoor trampoline park business can fill a unique niche in the out-of-home entertainment industry. People from all over the city may be willing to drive to the trampoline park, because it’s something different.
Should you consider joining a franchise?
Joining an indoor trampoline park franchise can be a good option for entrepreneurs who prefer to use a proven model rather than start from scratch. While joining one can mean slightly higher initial costs and less control, a quality franchise offers great benefits such as initial and ongoing support, marketing assistance, and brand recognition.
Opening an indoor trampoline park franchise typically requires $1,000,000-$3,000,000. Larger indoor trampoline park franchises like Sky Zone typically cost more, while more niche favorites like Rockin' Jump often have lower startup costs.
Interested in joining an indoor trampoline park franchise? Check out our favorites.
TRUiC's YouTube Channel
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One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.
Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.
Resources to Help Women in Business
There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:
If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.
What are some insider tips for jump starting an indoor trampoline park?
When designing an indoor trampoline park, only 50 to 55 percent of of the space should be devoted to trampolines. Leaving about half of the space without trampolines provides plenty of room for a welcome area, concession stand and seating. It also lets a business expand in the future and add another entertainment option without relocating (and having to build-out another place).
How and when to build a team
Because indoor trampoline park businesses have large facilities and are open long hours, most business owners hire at least a few employees from the outset. Entry-level employees can help process guests when they first arrive, serve guests refreshments and run parties. Eventually, a successful trampoline park that has other features may have 35 to 40 employees.