Before you take out your checkbook, take a moment to consider where your business needs your most significant investment.

When you’re a small business owner, there’s a never-ending list of items that need your attention, time, and money. The best operators know investing in your business, and the people and processes that make it work is never a wasted effort. Before you call your banker, consider where you would make the most impact. Here are five key areas to consider when investing.

No. 1: New Attractions or Games – or the Appearance of new

It should be no surprise that new attractions and games can be a terrific investment. Consider your current attraction and game mix, what’s missing in your market, and what might make sense to add based on your target audience.

In addition, think about your current layout and what impact could be made by investing in some new signage, theming, or even a fresh coat of paint to increase your attraction’s visibility or draw further interest from your guests. Even something as simple as switching up your game layout can make an arcade feel new again.

If you do plan to add a new attraction, remember to factor in the staffing requirements necessary to operate that attraction and engage with guests. If labor challenges keep you up at night, perhaps self-attended games or attractions rather than something that requires a lot of staff might be better now.

No. 2: Increased Marketing Efforts

It doesn’t make sense to buy a new attraction and not tell anyone about it, so if you do decide to spring for an upgrade, make sure that you share it with the world. Social media posts in the weeks and months leading up to a new installation, fun staff, and guest video spotlights documenting the new addition, press releases, ribbon-cutting ceremonies, and the like can create a lot of excitement. Create a project management spreadsheet or calendar to capture the tasks, deadlines, and required marketing content and collateral for a successful rollout.

Be sure to make time to plan for the new packages and promotions you’ll want to develop, design collateral around, and the training and communication needs you have so that you can be sure to make the biggest splash.

But marketing isn’t just about creating buzz when something’s new at your facility. Consider what ongoing efforts you could freshen up a bit to help drive further interest and revenue. This could include a new website or web store or a fresh look at your Google ads, social, and even print advertising efforts (and budgets).

No. 3: Upgraded Technology Solutions

If you’ve been in business for a while, the technology needs you had initially may have evolved over time. The right technology helps you streamline processes, improve efficiency, and enhance your guests’ experience.  For instance, you would likely benefit from switching to a single solution if you’re using multiple providers for waivers, point of sale, scheduling, and food and beverage.  An all-in-one solution streamlines your guests’ buying journey and gives you a central hub for your business’s revenue and sales. Just think about how much time you’d save if you had one system to go to for reporting and analytics every time you wanted to assess the health of your business!

Similarly, adding marketing technology could help you make the most of the data your facility management software provides. Systems that help you maintain guest relationships, send targeted marketing messages, and keep records of sales tasks help improve engagement and increase sales.

No. 4: New Hires and Promotions

Just like the systems you use, your staffing needs could have evolved as well. Rather than just adding another frontline team member, think about where it might make sense to promote someone to a shift leader or manager, hire dedicated sales staff, engage a business coach, or join a mentoring program.

One great way to scale your business for the next stage of growth is to hire people with the knowledge and skills you don’t currently have in the organization. If, instead, your biggest issue is not having enough time to work on your business, then consider what could be delegated to current or new staff.

No. 5: Team Training and Development

Never underestimate the power of a high-performing team. Enhance the skills and knowledge of your staff through training programs and professional development opportunities. Well-trained and motivated team members contribute significantly to the growth of any business.

Training programs could be job-specific or cross-departmental and conducted by you or other staff. Or, you might consider outside seminars and certification programs like those offered by industry vendor experts, IAAPA, and the BPAA. In fact, if you have part-time team members that you would love to stay in our industry, now is the time to encourage them to learn more about a career in amusement and entertainment.

Investing in one or more of these key areas is sure to make a big difference in your bottom line. Where do you think you’ll start?


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