Amusement Business - New Developers
Over the years, the FEC Network has been associated with many new amusement business startups. From a simple set of online resources or an initial fun center project consultation to our complete Startup Academy program - we have the expertise and experience to assist those who are looking to get started, manage and grow their amusement center attraction. 2013 marks our 18th year in the industry, both as a fun center operator and an attraction manufacturer. For new amusement business developers there are really three hurdles to getting started;
1. Market - the first thing you must determine, is there a real market for your fun center project. Just because there is "nothing for kids to do in this area" or because you think there is a need, doesn't mean there is a real market, or it may be a much different market than you currently think it is. So, step number one in developing your amusement business is to clearly determine that yes, there is a market here, and this is what that market looks like.
2. Location - once you have established that there is indeed a market, and this is what that market looks like (the local demographics, etc), then you can exploit that opportunity with a little amusement indsutry research and a completed fun center business plan to tackle the second challenge - location. We have all heard it before, location, location, location... and the guidelines you have heard from others regarding a business location are the same with a new amusement attraction, with a few exceptions to those guidelines. First, your new fun center business is a planned activity. This means that you do not always have to be right beside the Super Walmart, or next to the new 24 screen cinemas (chances are your new business couldn't afford those lease rates anyway), because most decisions to go to a family entertainment center are planned in advance. Your amusement business or fun center attraction typically will not draw a lot of walk-in traffic just because you are paying through the nose to be beside Walmart. If your plan is to raise five million plus dollars and build the next Dave & Busters, then perhaps a location next to the 24 screen cinema makes sense. But for most of the new amusement business developers we work with, the fun center project is typically under a million dollar startup budget and these retail locations often do not make fiscal sense. This point about amusement center location, goes back to point number one - your market, and what makes sense for your market. With these smaller (million dollar and under) fun center projects, the best location for a few reasons usually turns out to be in a light industrial or warehouse area where the lease rates are more small business friendly, and the ceilings are high. For more ideas and insights about selecting a location for your amusement business - stop by the Family Entertainment Center website and read some of the amusement articles.
3. Funding - ahhh, the big one for most of us. Fun center funding and all the pleasures that go along with finding, securing and spending that amusement business budget. Securing your location, completing the build-out, acquiring your complete attraction mix and spreading the remainder of your amusement budget across your startup and marketing costs. Funding is the number one hurdle for most new amusement developers, and unfortunatley we have never come across one specific bank or funding resource that specializes in project funding. The good news though, projects that have a market, have a completed business plan that professionally presents that market in a real viable opportunity are finding funding. So if this is your dream, we encourage you to keep moving forward and attack the points above with enthusiasm. Pulling togehter all the resources, planning and partnerships to realize your dream isn't a walk in the park, but remember, nothing of value ever comes without effort.