Indoor playgrounds can be profitable ventures in areas with a high population of young children, and of parents with the disposable income to seek activities for them. To make money owning this type facility, it’s important to conduct a SWOT analysis so you’ll have a sense of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that it will face. In your analysis, take into account the wider category of children’s recreational activities, since that reflects the competition you will face.


For an indoor playground to be an attractive destination, children have to find it fun and parents need to be assured that it is safe. Therefore, one critical strength is including equipment that children like. Pay attention to what they are utilizing at your business and what gets abandoned, and refresh the less-popular items as necessary. It’s also a strength to stress to parents how their children benefit from play, and how interacting with other children at venues such as yours can promote social skills.


Depending on where your playground is located, one weakness could be inconvenience. Rents tend to be cheaper in the suburbs or exurbs than right in town, but that also may be farther away from where parents work or live, or in areas where there isn’t much else for them to do when they bring their children. Some parents may also have safety concerns or worry about cleanliness at indoor play facilities. If you can't show that your employees are trained in basic first aid and that your equipment is both clean and safe, they may select other options for their children.


A key to increasing opportunities is to figure out what needs your target market has that are not being met, and consider how your indoor playground can meet those needs. Learn the schedules of the local school system and offer programming for times when the kids are off school but parents may be working. A day-long camp on a teacher’s preparation day can bail parents out of a jam if it keeps them from having to take off work.

Birthday parties also can be a great way to both book revenue and expose potential new clients to your business. Offering coupons for a free class or play session with the goody bags can be a way of drumming up customers.

Take care of the parents, too. Whether you can offer coffee and Wi-Fi on-site or form a partnership with a nearby cafe or restaurant, you'll make yourself a more attractive destination if you give them something to do as well.


Here’s where it’s important to consider both competitive indoor playgrounds and other competition for your market. A new indoor playground that opens near yours with glitzy equipment and deals designed to build their brand name can cut into your business. If the weather is warm, you’ll also face competition from outdoor activities. You need to be prepared to transform those weaknesses into opportunities -- for example, by using the “air-conditioned comfort” pitch for parents concerned about their children’s sun exposure.