Family Entertainment Center
Sample Business Plan
Advertising and Promotions
Marketing for XXXXX can be thought of broadly in two segments:
- Awareness of the facility.
- Special Events and Promotions.
Awareness of the Facility
Evenings and weekends, when the utilization of the facility will be at its highest (often at 100% utilization) is the purpose of this marketing effort. This is the time that will be largely filled by people coming in with families to enjoy an hour of quality family time, and to get outdoors. In order to drive up utilization during these hours, the direct population around the center must be aware of its existence.
This will primarily be accomplished through newspaper advertisements in local papers. In addition, radio and highly targeted cable television advertising may be considered. This will be most important during the first season. Once people know of the existence of the center, this advertising will turn into a reminder that the center is available and what activities are offered.
In addition to the targeted advertising, other campaigns will include dollar off coupons that will be made readily available through a number of outlets: cross marketing with area businesses and attractions, newspaper coupons, senior centers, daycare centers, print-and-cut website coupons, etc.
A Grand Opening event is part of the package that XXXX provides. This event is specifically designed to raise awareness of the facility immediately.
Free games on the miniature golf course will be promoted aggressively. The key here is to give a free game to one person that will bring two or three other paying players with them. This will be accomplished via:
- Prizes: A number of different organizations give out small prizes for all types of activities. For example, schools often have reading programs that children earn points by reading books. These points can be exchanged for prizes. One such prize can be a free game of miniature golf.
- Parties: Anyone who attends a party at XXXXX (primarily birthday parties and corporate outings - see below) will go away with a coupon for a free game. This especially works well with birthday parties. Children return home with the coupon and get the parents and siblings to come back and play at a later time.
- Gift Certificates: XXXXX will offer for sale on site and over the web, gift certificates for the entire facility. There will be a big push for these gift certificates during the Christmas in July promotion (see below), and during the month of December several newspaper advertisements will be run.
Once again, this marketing program is intended to maximize the course utilization during the hours that will normally be very busy: weekday evenings and weekends. Most of the dollars for this type of marketing will be spend during the early part of the season and taper down over the length of the season.
Special Events and Promotions
The truly successful FECs know that the key is to maximize the utilization of the facility during the normally slower periods. This is essential Monday through Friday from 10am until 4pm (tourist markets will have different peak and slow periods). The amount of utilization during these 30 hours per week can be the difference between a nicely profitable business and a tremendously profitable business. The industry experiences about a 35% utilization over a full season and many operators do not promote these slower period hours as much as they should. XXXXX marketing will look extensively at increasing the course utilization during these key hours. While awareness and reminders that the facility exists is important, it becomes less so as time goes on. This type of marketing, on the other hand, will always be very important.
We are planning a number of segments to this marketing. We will carefully observe the effectiveness of each program and change or replace as necessary. Some of the initial concepts are:
- Birthday Parties: Busy parents have little time to organize parties for their children, but there is a great deal of peer-pressure to have fun, exciting parties. XXXXX will offer an all-inclusive party package that will relieve the parents of this burden while making a special day for their child and friends. The package will include a game of golf, batting cage token, cake, hotdog and beverage, and a small gift bag with trinkets and a free game coupon. In addition, an appearance by XXXXX himself (XXXXX costume is being designed and developed) will help entertain the children. A Party Coordinator will ensure that all the children have fun and the event proceeds smoothly.
- Corporate outings: Many companies have summer outings for their employees to show their appreciation. While large companies tend to do large events, like renting out an amusement park for a day, small and mid-sized companies have fewer options. XXXXX will do a direct mail campaign to area businesses and offer the facility for such occasions. These will be worked out on a case-by-case basis, but will essentially allow a company to have full use of the facility for a Thursday afternoon outing. They would have exclusive use of it from noon until 4pm. The party may be catered. We would work out a flat-fee arrangement with the company for such an event.
- Organizational Fund Raisers: XXXXX will offer area organizations the opportunity of running miniature golf tournaments during the non-peak hours. The proceeds for such an event will be split with the organization for its fund raising needs.
- Cross-marketing with area businesses: There are several businesses in the immediate area that offer additional family oriented products and services. It is believed that XXXXX will not steal sales from these businesses, but in fact will enhance them. The area will become a family destination, where people can spend a full day enjoying the outdoors. We will look to work with these other businesses and provide cross-marketing opportunities; free games, dollar-off coupons and the like.
- Leagues: many people enjoy playing miniature golf, and many people participate in competitive leagues, but few people have considered the fun and excitement of miniature golf leagues. XXXXX intend to utilize this unique marketing concept by offering and aggressively promoting just such leagues. They will be geared primarily towards children and seniors, since the leagues will run during the weekdays. Several leagues may be formed by age group, depending on popularity. There will also be leagues for the batting cages and races for the go-karts.
- Special Events: From time to time, a special event may be held. One such event already planned is Christmas in July. For a 10-day period in July, XXXXX will be all decked out in Christmas decorations and lights. This will make enough of a difference that people will be interested in playing again if they had already played earlier in the season. Repeat business is important, and events such as this will help ensure that.
It is believed that these types of promotions will help increase the utilization of the facility during the normally slower periods. If even marginally successful, XXXXX should enjoy a very high average season utilization.
Pricing (Pricing will vary in different areas, these are guidelines only)
Miniature Golf/Go-Kart Ride/Bumper Boat
· Children and Seniors (over 55): $6.00
· Adults: $7.00
· One token $2.00
Food Service: The menu at XXXXX will be very simple, but very profitable. We will offer cold beverages (soda, bottled water), pizza, hotdogs, chips and a hotdog meal combination (beverage, hotdog, chips).
· Beverages: $1.00
· Pizza Slice: $2.00
· Hotdog: $2.00
· Chips: $.50
· Hotdog Meal: $3.00
As additional activities are developed on-site, they will be priced according to similar activities in the marketplace.
FECs are a very profitable business, especially those centered on a miniature golf operation. The reason for this is that the operational expenses for a miniature golf center are extremely low. The only real consumed item is the scorecard, which costs pennies per group. Labor is fairly inexpensive as well, since very few employees are needed to run the operation, and those employees (other than the management) are teenagers or retired seniors.
Below is a table of projected revenue, expenses, and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) for the first 3 years of operation. This information is further detailed in Appendix A. (Provide a Profitability Summary below.)
Return on Investment (ROI)
Detailed in the next section and in Appendix B, the total investment required to get XXXXX going will be XXXXX. In subsequent years, we will be adding additional activities to keep the experience at XXXXX fresh. Therefore, the total ROI during the first three years of operation will be as follows: (Provide an ROI Summary below.)