Cabin Fever

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Children's Recreation Center Business Plan

Strategy and Implementation Summary

Emphasize Customer Service
Cabin Fever will differentiate themselves from other facilities. We will establish our business offering as a clear and viable alternative for our target market.

Build a Relationship-Oriented Business
Build long-term relationships with clients, not just an occasional visit. Let them become dependent on Cabin Fever. Make them understand the value of our services.

Focus on Target Markets
We need to focus our offerings on the young family who want a place outside the home to have fun, relax, and experience top quality play equipment services.

Differentiate and Fulfill the Promise
We can't just market and sell service, we have to deliver as well. We need to make sure we have the service-intensive business we claim to have.

5.1 Competitive Edge

Cabin Fever's competitive edge is its positioning as a strategic ally with our customers. By building a business based on long-standing relationships with satisfied customers, we simultaneously build defenses against competition. The longer the relationship stands, the more we help our customers understand what we offer them and why they should both frequent Cabin Fever, and refer it to other families. In close-knit communities like Bemidji, reputation is extremely important, and word-of-mouth advertising is invaluable. The 2 other factors in our competitive edge are:

  • Location: Best location of any child type activity center -- At the intersection of Interstate Highways 2 and 71 in the prime business district of the area.
  • Service: Equipment and facilities to appropriately entertain the age group as well amenities catering to adults and parents in the same building. No other indoor facility in Bemidji offers such diverse services and facilities under one roof.

I do not expect parents to choose Cabin Fever exclusively over these other facilities 100% of the time, but I do believe that Soft Play equipment would be the facility of choice for play groups, birthday parties, and child recreation in the Bemidji area. There is also the possibility of Social Government Services and other health professionals directing their clients to the facility for potential therapy issues.

5.2 Marketing Strategy

Technically, my customers can come from anywhere: male and female, all races, every income level, and can be local residents or tourists to the area. That is why our marketing plan will start at the construction phase; by keeping in mind: if it looks fun, people will come. Thus the main factor to success is demonstrating that a person can enjoy themselves at the center while participating in an activity they choose. Realistically, I expect that initial customers will be more educated and affluent than the area's average, since those types of family are generally the most concerned with providing appropriate stimulation for their very young children. We will therefore make sure to post flyers and advertisements where this group can see them.

By being on site full-time for the first year, I can make sure that customers are satisfied and can also gather information from them about the types of entertainment they most desire. This type of first-hand market research will prove invaluable in attracting more customers and retaining existing ones. A good experience for parents and children will produce best kind of advertising: word-of-mouth recommendations.

We will supplement this informal marketing with announcements, advertisements in the local newspapers and our website:

  • Print Advertising: The Bemidji Pioneer, our local daily newspaper with a circulation of over 22,000, will feature daily ads 2 weeks prior to grand opening and weekly ones thereafter.
  • Direct Mailing/Phone: Mailing lists relating to my target market are available and would be utilized weekly prior to and upon grand opening and on a monthly basis thereafter. Also, mailings and phone contact would be made to local youth organizations such as church groups, scouts and other social clubs that serve children.
  • Signage: Because Bemidji is a vacation destination, the tourism market could be substantial. Roadside billboards on Highways 71 and 2 would be implemented on the four major conduits into town. Also, all local hotels, motels and resorts would be solicited to provide signage.
  • Other Businesses: A relationship with the other businesses in town that cater to birthday parties (Party Store, Special Occasions, pizza restaurants) would be established to try and promote traffic to the facility. Advertising discounts will be offered in exchange for their service.

5.3 Sales Strategy

Cabin Fever will provide a venue in which young children can really enjoy their leisure time by participating in fun and exciting activities that require minimum strength or physical ability. Supported with great service and offered at competitive prices, I believe we have the winning combination.

Once customers choose to come to our location, they have already made a choice to buy our services. We get them there with marketing; we get them back again and again by continuing to offer high-quality, safe, and fun experiences for and with their young children. Our sales strategy involves continuing informal surveys of our customers about their preferences and needs, and keeping an open mind about changes in the adult areas. We may, in the future, institute a small cafe-type service, or offer space for young family book clubs, and so on, depending on feedback from parents.

5.3.1 Sales Forecast

My sales forecast assumes that, on average, 37% of my market (1,465 children, out of a possible 4,000) will visit 1.5 times per month, at an admission price per child of $4.75. We project that parents will spend an average of $4 per visit on food and beverages, at a 20% cost of goods. This would allow me an 80% markup on food and beverages, a reasonable amount given the savings we will get from doing prep work ourselves in the mornings.

Sales will be higher in the winter months, when outdoor competition and free activities are limited, and lower in the summer. In keeping with my sales goals, I anticipate reaching 40% of my market by the 3rd year.

Sales Forecast
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Child Admission $125,222 $131,483 $138,057
Additional Parent Spending $33,170 $34,829 $36,570
Total Sales $158,392 $166,312 $174,627
Direct Cost of Sales Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Child Admission $0 $0 $0
Additional Parent Spending $6,634 $6,966 $7,314
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales $6,634 $6,966 $7,314