Mark Gurley is a world-renowned martial arts champion, successful entrepreneur and industry- changing innovator. He studied martial arts at 12, turned pro at 18 and racked up five world championship titles before retiring from competition at 45. From 2000–2012, Mark’s martial arts school, Highsteppers American Karate, trained more than 14,000 students in Sanford, Florida.
He also built a career in home construction and neighborhood development, co-founding R&G Development. Ultimately, Gurley’s experience in athletics and construction led him to create Rebounderz Indoor Trampoline Arena. Gurley’s trampoline arena and equipment design details include patented improvements that significantly boost safety, durability and profitability. His vision revolutionized the indoor trampoline business and is elevating Rebounderz to the top of the market.
Please answer the following questions:
1. Tell us about the Rebounderz Indoor Trampoline Arena concept.
Rebounderz Indoor Trampoline Arena is a full-service extreme fun, family entertainment center franchise. It started in 2008 as a trampoline arena and continues to evolve and
now features the trampoline jumper and additional attractions such as a Ninja Warrior course, laser tag, cafes and arcades to name a few. Rebounderz Indoor Trampoline Arena is dedicated to safety and developed as an entertainment center that appeals to children, teens and adults. It is a way kids can exercise and release energy in a positive manner. In
2009 Rebounderz Indoor Trampoline Arena began franchising.
2. How and when did you become involved with Rebounderz Indoor Trampoline Arena?
After getting injured at a mom and pop trampoline park while on vacation, I knew there was a way to create a safer venue for kids and families to have fun. On the flight back, I sketched out the initial drawing of the Rebounderz Indoor Trampoline Arena jumper and exoskeleton. A few months later, the first Rebounderz Indoor Trampoline Arena opened. Rebounderz Indoor Trampoline Arena is committed to safety, and leading to the company’s tagline: “Superior Engineering, Maximum Safety.”
3. What was your background prior to joining Rebounderz Indoor Trampoline Arena?
Prior to founding Rebounderz Indoor Trampoline Arena, I was a five-time world champion kickboxer. I opened and owned Highsteppers American Karate, a karate studio, from 2000-2012, which trained more than 14,000 students. Prior to opening
Highsteppers, I worked in construction.
4. What are some of the advantages in being a Rebounderz Indoor Trampoline Arena
Unlike many other franchise models and brands, Rebounderz is still new as a concept, which makes the timing perfect for this franchise opportunity. Rebounderz mixes fun with exercise, which isn’t common.
Another advantage is the lower cost of operation over competing franchise opportunities. We estimate our franchisees are spending an average of $7,000-$10,000 per year in trampoline maintenance costs, depending on arena size and number of trampolines, by having the right equipment and engineering. Our research shows that maintenance costs at other indoor trampoline park franchisees about $7,000-$12,000 per month.
Rebounderz builds its arenas using products that are made in America whenever possible. In fact, American-based companies domestically produce 95 percent of the materials required to build and open a Rebounderz franchise.
5. Who is your ideal franchisee?
The ideal Rebounderz Indoor Trampoline Arena franchisee would be someone who
loves children and the community, someone who desires a hands-on approach to running a fun business with safety as their priority.
6. Tell us a little about the family entertainment industry Market?
The demand for affordable family entertainment centers continues to rise. So many industries and companies disappeared during the Great Recession. In 2008, there were only five trampoline facilities. Now, despite a global recession, there are nearly 500 trampoline facilities, and only one of those first five hasn’t grown into multiple locations. Being an independent store in our industry is tough because of insurance regulations and requirements, as well as building your brand and reputation. We provide all of that for our franchisees.
7. What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this franchise?
It is important to be proactive rather than reactive, especially when it comes to safety. Paying attention to detail, even the smallest detail is important. You need to cater to the children as well as the parents to ensure guests keep coming back.
8. Do you have a mentor and is there someone you use for inspiration?
Bruce Lee is one of my inspirations. When I watched Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon for the first time, I saw how he carried himself, and I knew that was the way I wanted to carry myself for the rest of my life. As a point of honor, I wanted to make sure that whatever I started, I would make it successful by doing the right thing and completing
the task at hand. That film defined who I was and who I wanted to be.
9. What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?
Some keys to running a successful Rebounderz franchise are: First, you have to maintain a safe environment for your guests. Second, concentrate on customer service. If you
have a bad day, leave it at the door. Smile and engage with the customers. Third, keep your facility clean. The fastest way to lose a repeat customer is to have him go into a dirty bathroom. It’s important that our arenas smell good and are spotless. The fourth key to success is a focus on marketing. Each franchise needs to have a dedicated
marketing person who reaches out to the community. The fifth and final key to success is to keep your costs in control, and a big part of that is keeping payroll in check.
10.In your opinion, why do you think that Rebounderz Indoor Trampoline Arena would be a great opportunity for someone?
A Rebounderz Indoor Trampoline Arena is a great opportunity for someone because the family entertainment and exercise industries continue to grow. A Rebounderz Indoor Trampoline Arena franchise also appears to be recession-proof.
Another reason Rebounderz Indoor Trampoline Arena franchises are a great opportunity is that we also provide the support and training our franchisees need. We give all Rebounderz franchisees comprehensive hands-on training, where they learn everything about our services and how to effectively market their businesses and oversee their employees. In addition to the training, franchisees are also given a manual training suite that provides a comprehensive, easy-to-understand tutorial on how to run the business. Our franchisees are never left feeling as though they weren’t trai