How to start a indoor play centre in India
With more working couples in today’s India in all cities, there is a tremendous demand for playschools/indoor play centers/crèche facilities. If you are wondering how to start a indoor play centre in India, you are well on your way to contribute effectively to society as well as earn handsome money out of it.
However, to start with, you require a Business plan where in you will put down all the important points/challenges/tasks you need to do. This will be your Bible or blueprint for taking all further steps to make the venture a success. The assumption here is that you have already looked at the working of a few such play centers, are aware of the broad nuances of what it entails. If not, it is recommended that you make yourself conversant with the business methodology of running a play centre before starting one on your own.
Let us look at what are the main FAQs.
a) What is the number of children you want to cater to in indoor play centre?
b) What is the infrastructure facility you can get? Is it in the heart of a residential colony?
c) Is the play centre a part time or a full time facility?
d) How are you going to meet the financial considerations to set it the indoor play centre? Are you self financed, are you going to take loans or use government schemes for women entrepreneurs like the Bharatiya Mahila Bank scheme to start your play centre in India.
e) Where do you plan to recruit the teaching as well as administration staff from? It is mandatory for Indian preschool teachers to have the SSC certificate or equivalent or a Diploma/Certificate completion in preschool education or BEd.
f) What curriculum are you going to follow?
g) What is the return on investment on indoor play centre?
Once you are clear about the above and have some thoughts on them, you can discuss the idea with a couple of friends who may be interested in partnering you for the project. That may help you with the finance part and you may not need to extend yourself too much for the bank loan. If you do not get support, you need to be prepared to go it alone if you are convinced about the project. Do not let the opinions of people distract you from your objective.
Once you are reasonably clear on all of the above points, you can avail of the services of a good lawyer who will take care of the license details and other statutory obligations.
What will be the play centre equipment/ toys/ catering arrangements if any?
Once you have managed to identify the play area for the centre, you will have to think in terms of the equipment and toys you are going to provide the children. If you intend to also feed them good wholesome food, then you have to make provisions for the space as well as people who will prepare such food.
The key to start a indoor play centre in India lies in making optimum use of the available space. You can avail of the services of professionals for this or discuss with the manufacturer of the equipment to suggest how to go about it
How much does it cost to set up a soft play centre in India
The soft play centre prospect in India is a very promising one. With double income families on the increase and fewer families having grandparents living with them, they need playschools/crèche facilities to take care of their children.
The experience with nannies and unprofessional neighborhood playschools that were set up by unqualified people has been a disturbing one as well. Parents today do not mind paying more for a set up that is professionally run, has qualified teachers and administration staff to run such soft play centers. They are also travelling abroad more often, are exposed to how such centers are run in foreign countries and thus are expecting the same standards here in India.
The next question is obviously how much investment is required or cost to set up a soft play center in India ?
First let us hear the good news. If you are able to set up such a center that inspires people to confidently enroll their children, you can expect a quick return on investment. However, like any business, you need to get your financial analysis done meticulously.
The costs involved are the usual ones. How you wish to finance this cost is a major factor. If you are okay with self financing, you save on the interest costs but may lose out on the opportunity costs of the sum you have invested, should it not do well as you expected.
The size of the area and the location you choose. Then you have the other paraphernalia associated with the soft play center like equipment, toys, catering and the like.
You have to consider the recruitment and wages you would be paying to teachers, administration staff. The curriculum you are going to follow will determine the level of personnel you will recruit and have a bearing on the costs. The upkeep of the center and the facilities you wish to provide within it will also push up costs that you need to be aware of.
Here are some of the critical factors that will impact your profit and return on investment:
a) The cost – If you can source play equipment and other infrastructural requirements directly from the people who make them, you will be able to prune cost considerably, since you will be leaving out the middlemen. If you go the franchise route, there could be more savings.
b) Potential – Your analysis of the market conditions in the area you propose to set up the soft play centre will be another huge factor.
c) Competition – You will have competition without doubt. The cost of your investment will also go up depending on how unique you wish your soft play center to be. You may be able to charge a premium or may have to absorb those costs initially till the time there is recognition and awareness among people.
The above three factors are the most important ones that will determine the costing of your soft play center in India.
Children’s indoor play area business plan.
If you wish to set up any business, you need a plan. The business plan is the blueprint that you will fall back for guidance and direction. The assumption naturally therefore is that when you make such a plan, you would have taken all aspects into consideration to make that business a worthwhile and profitable one.
The children’s indoor play area business plan is no different and must have the following components:a)
Executive summary – This will provide the synopsis of why you are setting up the children’s indoor play area. The scope of the project as well as the objectives of the project will be clearly mentioned in this summary.
b) Strategy – Here you will mention the process and methodology you are going to follow for setting up the play area. The guiding principles, the return on investment, competitive threats will all contribute to the making of the strategy.
c) Market research – The potential of the place where you intend setting up the play area, the bearing on the costs for the project, the size of the area and the fees you can charge based on demographics will be necessary parameters.
d) Competitive analysis of indoor play area near me– The current competition around the area, the future threats from competition and how they can influence your offering with regard to the facilities and fees will form this section.
e) Operations – The meat of the whole exercise or project will be elucidated here. How you intend going about operations, how many children you will enroll, what are the teachers, administration staff, the infrastructural benefits in terms of play equipment, catering and so on will be clearly laid out.
f) Advertising and social outreach – Here the emphasis will be on how to popularize the play area quickly and at least costs to parents around the area to start with. Once the initial enrolments happen, then word of mouth and referrals by those parents can encourage other parents to follow suit.
g) Contingency planning – Any back up plan for things going wrong will be in this section of your business plan. You will have to plan for any exigencies and emergencies.
h) Play area Financial details – The manner in which you intend funding the project, either through self finance, lease, borrowing money from friends or loans and the expected return of investment with a time frame will have to be spelt out.There is no doubt that an indoor play area for children is becoming a necessity in today’s world in India and across the world.
Children are no longer as active as the previous generations, given the propensity to play games on the mobile or on the computer. The scope for physical activities is decreasing by the day and unless a facility that promotes such activities are made available for children, they will fall prey to obesity.Children’s indoor play area is also important from the aspect of safety and security. Parents can rest assured about the safety of their children when they play indoors
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