A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Jumping Castle Business Plan
The inflatables market is hot and growing by the minute. Are you considering tapping into it? Here’s your guide to creating a jumping castle business plan.
It’s not just hot air. The global inflatables market is rapidly expanding, experiencing unprecedented growth.
Valued at $4.33 billion now, it’s expected to jump to a net worth of $5.72 billion by 2021.
Savvy business owners around the world are taking note, cashing in on this valuable opportunity to take part in one of the most popular niches around.
The best part? Your audience isn’t limited to kids. In fact, adults are now embracing jumping castles, bouncy houses and more as part of their grown-up fun, especially favouring them at weddings.
Does this sound like an industry you’d like to explore? Though the idea centres on fun and games, it’s a serious career pursuit.
To get off the ground, you’ll need a bouncy castle business plan. That’s where we come in.
Today, we’re sharing a few key elements to consider as you set up and structure your new bounce house business. Ready to learn more? Let’s go!
Step 1: Understand and Research the Business
Before you dive headfirst into running your own inflatables business, it’s critical that you understand what the job entails. Let’s review a few important components to keep in mind.
When you’re in the entertainment business, a majority of your on-the-clock time happens on the weekends. As such, if you’re the type who reserves those two days for family or personal time, you may want to consider a different route.
On the other hand, if you love the idea of managing your business during the middle of the week and putting more of a manual effort in at the end of it, you may be an ideal fit.
When you aren’t setting up a bouncy castle at a pre-determined location, you can expect your workday hours to include the following tasks:
- Cleaning and sanitizing inflatables
- Repairing inflatables where you can (or shipping them out when you can’t)
- Drying and ventilating wet inflatables to eliminate the risk of mould
- Answering phones, completing reservation requests, fielding questions
- Completing invoicing and other required paperwork
- Marketing and advertising your business in person and online
Thus, the job is part-administrative and part-hands-on, making it a great fit for someone who’s up to the physical and mental challenge.
The Physical Requirements
A 15-by-15 inflatable weighs around as much as four to five bags of mortar. It’s important that you’re able to lift and manoeuvre that load to ensure proper setup and tear down.
Step 2: Budget for Initial Costs
Unlike some jobs, getting started in the inflatables industry doesn’t require a massive up-front investment.
You can expect to spend around $1,500 per bounce house with shipping averaging around $200.
While individual units are hot sellers, it’s smart to invest in at least one combination unit that includes separate sections for bouncing and sliding. These will run you around $3,000.
In addition to the inflatables, you should also budget for the other inventory you’ll need to procure. This will include a reliable vehicle that’s capable of storing and transporting multiple inflatables at once. You’ll also need a trailer to help with busy spurts when you’ll need more inventory on hand.
Considerations for Storefront Locations
Some business owners decide to set up an indoor establishment, where people can rent your inflatables-filled space for events, rather than taking them to the destination themselves. In this case, your costs will be higher, as you’ll need to secure:
- A large building with open areas and separate hosting rooms
- An architect to help with the design layout
- Various types of bounce houses to fill the space
- Kitchen equipment and drink machines for food and beverage offerings
- Dining furniture including tables and chairs
If you’re joining in on a franchising opportunity, expect to spend around $165,000 to $250,000 or more to get off the ground.
Essential Costs for All Business Types
Regardless of whether your business is mobile or stationary, you’ll need to invest in a robust insurance policy. An insurance professional can guide you toward the best one for your needs.
You should also invest in marketing materials and the costs to design a top-notch website. With mounting competition in the space, you’ll need to deliver a cohesive branding experience to make sure your name sticks.
As you consider all of these costs, calculate how long it will take before you’re able to break even as an inflatables business owner. Once you know how much you’ll be required to spend, will it be months or years before you’re turning a profit? If the answer surprises you, it may be wise to scale back your operation until your earnings increase.
Step 3: Define Your Target Market
Do you see yourself delivering bouncy castles to children’s birthday parties all over your local area? Or, do you dream of adding a level of childlike wonder to adults-only bashes including weddings, bachelor/bachelorette parties, anniversaries and more?
The type of inflatables you’ll buy and the way you’ll advertise your business hinge on the answer to this question. A business that markets to the 10-and-under crowd, for instance, looks different from one designed to appeal to Millennials.
Step 4: Create a Legal Entity
You don’t want to go down this route without turning your business into a legal entity, such as an LLC. This way, if you’re sued because of anything related to your business, you won’t be held personally liable.
Not sure where to start with this step? The Australian government website is full of resources to help you learn the ropes as you register a new business in Australia.
Step 5: Register for GST
Before you can sell a product or service in Australia and earn $75,000 or more in income, you’ll be required to register for Goods and Services Tax (GST). Again, the government’s website can walk you through this, step by step.
Step 6: Set Up Your Business Accounting
It’s smart business sense to create a separate business account for your inflatables company. By dedicating a checking account to this entity, you’ll keep your finances organized. You’ll also appear more professional and legitimate to your current and future customers.
Along those same lines, set up a business accounting system using software that allows you to record your myriad expenses and track your income. Make sure these records are as detailed as possible for tax purposes.
Step 7: Obtain Necessary Licenses and Permits
To operate an inflatables business, your city may require you to obtain special licenses and permits.
If you’re in Australia, you can conduct a search through the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) to see the types of licences and permits you may need for yours.
Set Up a Successful Bouncy Castle Business
Running your own bouncy castle business can be exactly as fun as it sounds.
Yet, before you can start reaping the rewards and taking part in the fun, you have to put in the hard work, first.
This business plan can help you get your feet wet in the industry. Once you consider the costs, define your audience and take care of the legalities required to get your brand off the ground, you’re ready to soar.
Interested in learning more about the inflatables market? Want to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and news? We’d love to help. We provide all the information you need to make your bounce house business run as smoothly as possible.
Ready to start buying your first batch of inventory? Check out our bounce houses for sale and take a giant leap toward success.