My world – like so many others, came crashing down in March 2020, COVID had swept through Australia and changed my world…
My business is a mixture of Laserforce laser tag, arcade games, and birthday parties, based in Rockhampton, in the Northern part of Australia. Like many others, I had no idea of what our future held, I was freaked out for my business, my staff – how long was this going to last? How will we get through this? Will we get through this?
With no answers from anywhere, it was like we were all playing catch up football, dealing with this pandemic on the fly, rules were changing daily – what do we do?
Unfortunately, I stood down all my staff, not knowing what was going to happen – then the Australian government introduced Jobkeeper – At least now all my staff were now receiving a weekly income, that was a relief. We were hopeful that one day soon we may be able to open our doors again – but I knew that we wouldn’t be able to trade the way we used to. We are now dealing with a new normal. So I had to work out how we could make this work, ensuring that my staff and customers would be safe – again we were flying by the seat of our pants.
The first 5 weeks of trading, were not that great – but we were open and thanks to Jobkeeper, we were able to cover costs.
Week 6, was the first week of school holidays and our store limits increased to 50, community confidence was increasing and in turn so did our income. Week 7 we had a great week and we were able to do so safely, still with limited numbers.
With school holidays behind us, I was extremely nervous on about what our future trade would be, so I made some changes. I pulled a data report from our POS, to understand the times of day that our trade really took place, turns out that our income mainly came in from 4pm to 8pm Monday to Friday and nothing after 6pm Sunday. Our Saturday trade was as expected, so with the exception of Saturday, I changed our trading hours. We are now trading 20 hours less a week and still maintaining the same income as before COVID when compared against last year, with reduced electricity costs, and thanks to Jobkeeper again, wages were being subsidized.
I wanted to provide our customers with something fresh and exciting when they returned. It was time to improve our venue and make things better. So we started stripping our redemption wall and giving it a fresh new look. The biggest change, the one I am still working on is our laser tag arena. I’ve hired a talented artist to bring my arena to life and I’m so looking forward to the completed project, which will be done in the upcoming weeks. I have closed the arena down Sunday evening through to Wednesday to make this happen, I’m taking advantage of the quiet times to make the overdue improvements.
We still have a long road to travel, I’m adjusting to the “New Normal” and have taken this time to reassess and adapt to the new way the world is going to work.
It’s time for game-changing laser tag.
Whether you’re an existing laser tag operator and owner or you’re looking to add Laserforce to your attractions portfolio, don’t hesitate to contact us today!