You’ve had some success, and you’re ready to make a new investment in your organization. There are many ways to invest, but the key is making the right decision for your business in the short and long term.

To help you do that, we, along with a few industry leaders, have put together this list of things to consider before you make your next move.

No. 1: Install a new attraction or game(s).

A new attraction or upgraded game room can undoubtedly increase your earning potential, but should you choose more games, an attended or unattended attraction, or something else entirely?

Marisa Garris, Business Development Manager for Valo Motion, advises, “Some of the most important considerations related to the entertainment mix for a venue start with understanding the intentionality of what any attraction is designed to do, which is to ATTRACT. To be successful, you will need to ATTRACT a suitably large audience of potential visitors to your venue, high engagement from your guests, and interested attention from onlookers who may become players if what they see is compelling. After all, the key factors you are trying to impact are the size of the audience coming through the door, how long patrons dwell on-site enjoying your fun and F&B, how much each person or group spends, and how frequently they return.

Does a new attraction complement an existing offering, or can it help you expand the audience you are appealing to? Are the activities or games Mom-approved with active options to get kids off the couch, or are there non-violent choices? Can groups play together with positive throughput driving to your bottom line? Does the attraction make you stand out from your competition?

What is the total cost of ownership? How much does an attraction cost upfront and what recurring fees are there related to licensing or content costs? How expensive is the labor to run the activity or attraction? What kind of return on investment are you expecting?

In the business of fun, there are a number of serious considerations to keep in mind!”

No. 2: Upgrade your equipment. 

Upgrading your laser tag or other attraction equipment can be a great way to boost your earning potential.

“Upgrading your equipment enhances the overall player experience by introducing advanced features such as improved accuracy and more immersive sound effects. This contributes to higher guest satisfaction and makes them want to return and play again,” says Shane Zimmerman, VP of Sales for Delta Strike and Delta Attractions. “Plus, the investment in newer equipment leads to improved operational efficiency, as it typically requires less maintenance and offers greater reliability, resulting in reduced downtime and operational costs. Add that to the marketing opportunities created any time you have something new to promote, and you’ve got an easy means to see huge ROI on your investment. We see most operators increasing profits by anywhere from 12 – 20% with some top performers seeing over 30% when they upgrade their systems.”

No. 3: Invest in team training and incentives.

Pouring energy and appreciation back into your team is always going to pay dividends. Fostering a culture of continuous learning through training programs and workshops not only enhances your team’s skill set but also boosts morale and motivation. Training can take many forms, though, so consider things like:

  • Trade organization elearning programs, such as those from IAAPA and the BPAA
  • Educational conferences like IAAPA Expo, Bowling Management School, Foundations, Amusement 360, Birthday University, The Experience Academy, Betson Technical University, and others

Investing in industry-related training helps showcase that our industry offers a tremendous career path for anyone interested in growth and development. But consider providing other life skill workshops, too, such as:

  • College/trade school preparedness/financial aid processes
  • Communication and public speaking
  • Time management
  • Money management, budgeting, and investing
  • Fitness or gym sponsorships
  • Creative skills like photography, photo and video editing, etc.
  • Cooking and nutrition

When you nurture people through personal development, you’re not just teaching them essential skills for success throughout life, you’re also demonstrating that you care. Loyalty and goodwill are natural, welcome side benefits!

No. 4: Give your party rooms a makeover.

A little paint, some new graphics or flooring and your party rooms can feel brand new again and give you something to announce to your audience. Perhaps you start noticing that more companies want to visit, so you need more adult-friendly colors and furniture in some of your spaces to appeal more to those groups. Consider what else might make events more appealing.

For example, you could work with your food purveyor and team to explore some different party platters. Another idea is to replace table decorations, linens, or something else that would revitalize your program. A small investment here can give your facility a whole new offering to market, so take time to consider what complimentary changes can have the most impact.

No. 5: Increase your charitable giving. 

Boosting your charitable giving is a smart move all the way around. First, it excites your team to see the company supporting worthy causes, fostering a sense of pride and unity. It also expands your business’s visibility, giving you access to a broader audience who may learn about your facility for the first time. Over time, you’ll develop a reputation as a brand for being generous or socially responsible, which could help give you an edge over your competition.

In fact, CenterEdge client Chanel Bellotto of Skate World Lakeland, in an effort to continue her family’s 50-year legacy, looked toward how some of the fast-casual chains orchestrate their donations. With the help of her savings moving to Dual Pricing with CenterEdge Payments, they were able to double the amount of giving in their weekly fundraisers. You can read more about them in this Client Spotlight.

No. 6: Take a vacation (or give one!)

You pour a lot of time and money into your business, but sometimes, you should also reward yourself for your successes. Getting away isn’t just good for your passport; it’s also helpful to refresh and recharge. Many business owners say that some of their best entrepreneurial decisions are made when they get away for a few days.

Giving a vacation is a pretty sweet incentive, too. In February, at the 2024 Five Star Parks National Conference, the top-performing sales pros and general managers were awarded a Caribbean getaway. The surprise and delight for the winners and the excitement in the room were palpable and it was a pretty fantastic way to reward the teams who give it their all day in and day out. But hey, you don’t have to go all out. Any way that you can reward your team goes a long way toward boosting morale and performance.

No. 7: Explore potential growth opportunities.  

Sometimes, the best thing to do is something totally new! Maybe it’s time to knock out walls and expand. Perhaps it’s time to take the party outside with a new outdoor events venue. Perhaps a second location or a franchise could be the next project you want to tackle. As always, start with data. Is there an under-served market nearby that you should consider? A franchise idea burgeoning? Something completely different? We’ve learned in our 20 years that entrepreneurs are always looking to “better their best,” so if you feel ready and see an opportunity, now might just be the perfect time to take the leap.

Almost any investment into your business can help position you for future success, but it doesn’t have to diminish your savings. A Dual Pricing Strategy for credit card processing could be the perfect way to keep costs low while enabling you to pour more into your business and community. Want to learn more? Contact our CenterEdge Payments team today.

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