With a new-store opening cost between $1,000,000 to $2,000,000, Rebounderz Indoor Trampoline Arena Franchise is not for the faint of heart. Still, Franchisee Chris Bouma from Grand Rapids, Michigan is happy with his franchise choice and tells us, “It takes an incredible amount of time and quite a bit of business savvy. You will work harder than you ever have, but it is also exciting and rewarding at the same time. Be prepared to answer about a thousand questions every day. You’re the boss and you need to be able to make decisions quickly and move on.”
In a recent Business Opportunities Interview, here is more of what franchisee Chris had to say:
How long have you owned a franchise?
My co-owner, Rich Van Dyke, and I purchased the rights for a Rebounderz Indoor Trampoline Arena franchise in October 2015 and officially opened in early February 2016.
What were you doing before becoming a franchise owner?
I worked at a Fortune 500 company in supply chain optimization. I also flipped homes.
Why did you choose your franchise?
They had the right business model that I thought was positioned for the greatest amount of growth and stability in the entertainment industry. They also had top-notch support in training, supplier selection and equipment.
What were some of the challenges you faced when starting your franchise?
Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. My franchise shielded me from the big obstacles, but there were many little surprises along the way.
Where did you research or get advice about starting a franchise?
We did a great amount of reading from resources online. We researched lots of articles and trade publications, but ultimately it was the conversations with the franchise business development folks that really helped.
How much did you spend before your doors were officially opened?
We went with a large facility of 54,000 square feet and put about $2 million into the franchise prior to startup.
What does a typical day look like for you?
It really starts with planning in the morning on what needs to be accomplished for the day. Developing a good time line and to-do list in key. You become a project manager and have to keep on top of everything. Communication with your team, the franchise, the contractors and all the suppliers via email, phone or in person is what the majority of the day brings.
What is your secret to success?
Organization is key; you can’t run a business like a fire drill. Understanding the priorities and timeline and then putting good people around you to help you succeed is critical. No one person can handle a task of this size alone, so finding the right management team and experts to help drive decisions and progress is an absolute must.
What would you do differently if you had to do it all over?
Our startup went extremely smoothly. Two changes I would make would be to bring my management team on a couple of weeks earlier to help in the process and allow 10 to 15 percent in the budget for “unallocated surprises.” I had allowed five percent, but the project came in closer to 10 percent. Costs will always be unexpectedly higher (rarely lower), especially when you are building out a space and preparing Rebounderz to come in.
Where do you see your business in five years?
I see us as a full-destination family entertainment center anchored by trampolines, but also Ninja Warrior, human foosball, arcade and other attractions. We plan to run summer camps and maybe bring in outside entertainment in the summer months.
What is one trend that really excites you?
Providing more entertainment options than simply trampoline jumpers. We can expand into other areas that fill the needs for teenagers and adults even more than we do today. Having fun with an exercise element is attractive to everyone.
What are your favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
I think Facebook is amazing for many reasons – the connectivity and ability to reach friends/customers is great. Chat rooms are also an interesting way to get feedback on the industry. You can never keep everyone happy, but the minute you stop listening to your customer base and stop improving is the day your business will decline.
Do you (or did you ever) have a mentor?
Mentors are extremely important. My father owned a couple of his own businesses and has been a solid foundation for me to bounce ideas and thoughts off of. I’ve also had several uplines and peers over the years that have been very influential. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. You will never improve if you don’t open your mind and heart to receiving real feedback.
What advice do you have for others looking to own a franchise?
It takes an incredible amount of time and quite a bit of business savvy. You will work harder than you ever have, but it is also exciting and rewarding at the same time. Be prepared to answer about a thousand questions every day. You’re the boss and you need to be able to make decisions quickly and move on.
Would you recommend others be franchisees? Why?
Absolutely. Having a strong franchisor at your back can make or break your business. The business world is complex and having a franchise will provide you with expertise and resources that in the end will save you time and money. Branding is also super-important and having strong brand recognition is very advantageous.
Is there anything else you want our readers to know?
I have learned more about marketing, networking, IT systems, equipment and vendors than I ever thought I would. Starting a business can be taxing, but getting to meet really interesting people that are experts in their fields has really been a highlight for me. The experience of building something for yourself, your family and your team of employees is one of the most gratifying things I have ever done.
To learn more about Rebounderz Indoor Trampoline Franchise CLICK HERE