Play Time for Kids

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Recreation Center Business Plan

Market Analysis Summary

Research indicates that the prime market for an FEC is near urban neighborhoods comprised of middle- to upper- income families. These families search for ways to engage their children that are more than just activities their children passively enjoy.  As Howard Gardner writes in his book, The Unschooled Mind: "As institutions, schools have become increasingly anachronistic, while museums have retained the potential to engage students, to teach them, to stimulate their understanding, and, most important, to help them assume responsibility for their own future learning." This is the idea behind an edutainment facility. Its purpose is to stimulate children so that they can transition from being taught or entertained (passive) to learning through play (active).

4.1 Market Segmentation

The U.S. Census Bureau 2000, and the Our County website provides the following demographic information about NorthEast Our County and the areas surrounding it.

CityPopulationIncomeChildren under 12Households with children
Big City (ZIP Code 1)45,874$72,86027.24%8,037
Big City (ZIP Code 2)23,290$62,63622.96%3,694
City A (ZIP Code 3)21,571$36,79923.56%2,868
City A (ZIP Code 4)31,094$40,64821.64%4,282
Town B3,393$79,40224.97%566
Town C31,168$89,64427.60%5,467
North Big City Hills59,591$63,968 22.02%9,033
City D7,889$65,05626.80%1,349
City E25,834$63,41125.81%4,417

Market Analysis
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Potential Customers Growth CAGR
Stay Home Moms and Dads 50% 8,000 12,000 18,000 27,000 40,500 50.00%
Elementary Schools 50% 11,200 16,800 25,200 37,800 56,700 50.00%
DayCares 35% 4,935 6,662 8,994 12,142 16,392 35.00%
Parent's day out programs 10% 1,020 1,122 1,234 1,357 1,493 9.99%
Total 46.25% 25,155 36,584 53,428 78,299 115,085 46.25%

4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy

Our success will be based on our ability to become known within the community. We must focus on the specific market segments whose needs match our offerings. Focusing on targeted segments is the key to our future. Therefore, the focus and marketing message will be the services offered. Once the message is developed, it will be communicated and fulfilled.

Stay at Home Moms and Dads
For a variety of reasons, stay-at-home Moms and Dads are an attractive segment. Parents are looking for a place to take their children to play and learn. They live in the middle class suburbs surrounding the metropolitan area. The market segment customers will lead a lifestyle in which their children play a large part in their lives. The company also focuses on meeting the local community need for child play care and birthday party services within the 10-mile radius of Big City. Flexibility in the program allows children to be dropped off, or to come and play with parent.

Elementary Schools
The company would also like to establish a relationship with the local elementary schools; there are 15 elementary schools in this target area, for possible field trips. The strategy for this market is to provide periodic communications through the PTA channels, which are available to us uniquely due to past service to the PTA. This strategic approach will provide credibility and frequency of communication to our target market.  While this market is not the primary focus, sufficient flexibility to handle this secondary market is important to producing supplemental revenues.

Day Cares
Local Day Care centers in search of field trip alternatives can select the Play Time for Kids as a destination that combines playtime with learning interactions. While this revenue would not be the company's primary focus, its potential could increase revenue base by building strong community relations. 

Weekend Working Couples
Another segment of our business includes weekend working couples, meaning weekend child care.  This client base could provide a 1% profit for the company since most Day Care centers do not operate on the weekends. This service allows part-time weekend workers and/or fitness center aficionados to drop their children off for several hours. While this market is not a primary focus, sufficient flexibility to handle this market is important to the local "word-of-mouth" marketing strategy.

4.3 Service Business Analysis

Success will be based on the ability to become known within the community. Play Time for Kids must focus on the specific market segments whose needs match its offerings. Focusing on targeted segments is the key to the company's future. Therefore, marketing messages will be focused on the services offered. We will develop our message, communicate it, and fulfill our commitment to excellence.

Play Time for Kids is part of the Recreation Center industry, which includes everything from bowling, skating, mini-golf, and batting cages to playgrounds and water parks. We provide a much higher level of direct child care than do most other recreation centers, and straddle the line between family entertainment center and daycare facility. As such, we need employees with the child care credentials to satisfy safety-conscious parents, and programs with the "fun" value to lure in repeat customers.

4.3.1 Competition and Buying Patterns

Price, service, certification and reputation are critical success factors in the edutainment/play care services industry. The company will compete well in the defined market by offering competitive prices, high-quality play care services, and leading-edge educational toys with certified, college-educated instructors, and by maintaining an excellent reputation with parents and the community.

Competition for the Play Time for Kids comes in various forms. Chuck E. Cheese, McDonald's, and Clubhouse for Kids only, are the only places within a 10-mile radius from our company that offer services similar to ours, and all are limited to arcade games and soft play.

Large Chain Children's Entertainment Venues
The competition in the defined geographic area includes Chuck E. Cheese and McDonald's. Both of these venues are limited to arcade games and soft play. They offer entertainment value, but little educational value.  Play Time for Kids is differentiated from these types of facilities by offering an interactive environment with components designed to allow children to learn through play. 

Small, Independently Owned Child Play Care Venues
The competition in our area includes Club House for Kids. This venue does offer some learning through play experiences, but it is limited in its direction of activities. Themed rooms allow for free play but there is little interaction with the staff.  Play Time for Kids will be differentiated by offering structured child development activities and play groups guided by Play Time for Kids employees.

Children's Museums
At one time, Imagisphere Children's Museum operated nearby. The museum offered learning experiences, but did not have the variety of options Play Time for Kids plans to offer; therefore, they did not experience enough repeat business to sustain profitability.  The company's differentiating factor is the variety and enhanced entertainment value offered, which leads to increased repeat and referral business.