Posted on May 26th 2015
So you want to open a kids gym? At Romp n’ Roll, we’ve opened over 70 locations so we know a thing or two about this process! Here are a 5 tips for opening a kids gym:
- Determine whether or not your market has enough kids (and parents with disposable income) to create a profitable kids gym business. At Romp n’ Roll, we use a variety of research tools and have established benchmarks to quickly qualify whether or not we think a market could support a Romp n’ Roll franchise.
- Once you have determined that the demographics are a good fit, you will want to start searching for a location. We believe that a successful kids gym should be located in a part of town that is easily accessible to parents with young children. It should have a safe, well-lit parking lot with easy entry and exit from adjacent roads. Kids gyms are a “destination” business so paying a premium for a highly visible location in a high-end shopping area generally isn’t necessary.
- We bring architects and contractors into a prospective location to ensure that our vision for the layout of the space is reasonable. You don’t want to sign a lease and then find surprises that will prevent you from building out the kind of space you imagine.
- We have also discovered over the years that various states and counties have different laws and licensing requirements for kids gyms. At one location, for example, we aren’t allowed to cut birthday cake (which parents provide themselves) without obtaining a food service license. At another location, our bounce house must be inspected annually. Make sure you understand any local laws prior to opening your kids gym.
- When you file for your building permit, ensure that you are given the correct use and occupancy classification based on the types of services you are going to offer at your kids gym. Getting the wrong classification can lead to increased expenses on one hand, while limiting the services you provide on the other, if classified incorrectly.
Of course, when you invest in a franchise like Romp n’ Roll as opposed to going at it alone, you have a partner to help navigate these issues and countless others. Regardless, pay attention to these 5 tips for opening a kids gym venture and you’ll be off and running in no time!
Michael Barnett is the Co-Founder and CEO of Romp n' Roll. In addition to leading the Romp n' Roll management team, Michael is an active member of the International Franchise Association, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and serves on the Board of Directors for Connor's Heroes and Juniata College Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. He and his wife, Babz, were featured on the first season of ABC-TV's Shark Tank.