Buyers Advice: Soft Play Businesses for Sale
Buying an established children’s soft play centre can be an excellent way to start out in the industry. Brand new start-ups in this sector face up-front costs of tens of thousands of pounds, just to purchase the equipment and secure the premises. When you buy an existing soft play centre, a lot of that capital expenditure has already taken place, there is a steady stream of customers, and much of the teething problems that come with a new start-up have been dealt with. You need to ensure that you are compliant with the law, able to keep up with the pace and the hours of the current business, and that the business assets are going to last if you are to ensure financial success.
When considering a childrens activity centre, look closely at the business as it stands now. There are some factors that you can control and change on purchase, for instance you can redesign the communal areas, add new equipment or build on a crèche or a café. Other factors will not be so easy to change, for instance the location and capacity of the premises, or the weather during your tenure. Weather may be a surprising factor to consider for an indoor business, but in reality a hot summer can pinch visitor numbers significantly, in the same way that a prolonged season of wet weather can really boost your earnings. You need to ensure that you can run the business on a sustainable margin, to offset any lost revenue as a result of a hot summer.
There are significant health & safety rules that you must comply with. Not only will you be taking on a business where the staff are constantly interacting with children, but the nature of a childrens activity centre means that bumps and falls are inevitable. You have a legal responsibility to ensure that all of your equipment is safe, and that your staff know what to do if anything goes wrong or if there is an accident onsite.
Try to find premises that offer additional revenue streams: are the current owners hosting kid’s parties? Is there room for a small café for parents, or indeed a small spa / salon on the site? Think carefully about the potential of the business and talk to the business owner in detail to ensure that your purchase runs smoothly, delivering the best possible outcome for both buyer and seller.