Jeff Platt had just graduated from college when he found himself in an interesting position — his dad had just opened two trampoline parks, but he also needed to step back from the business.
This was 2006, and Jeff decided at 21 years old to take the reigns and become the CEO of Sky Zone, a trampoline park company. He took charge, and without any real plan of action, he kept refining the parks and opening more and more locations.
Somewhere along the way he decided that the real path to growth was in franchising parks to people around the world — and this is exactly what he did. From those first two locations, they grew to over 200 locations around the world.
25 million people will visit a Sky Zone park this year, generating more than $300 million in sales.
Now, let's hack…
Highlights from the interview
- [5:00]: Jeff discusses the role of listening in the success of his business. He tries to keep himself open and available for his team and his guests, rather than setting himself apart from them. This helps people feel comfortable contributing new ideas.
- [10:35]: Skyzone made the decision to expand and become a franchise long after they started getting flooded with emails from prospective franchisees. There was a lot of demand early, but they decided to take their time and sort out their processes first. They wanted to make sure the success of the first three parks would be genuinely repeatable.
- [15:48]: Jeff talks about the challenges he faced as his company grew rapidly. He started feeling overwhelmed, and looked to a lot of other people for advice. He doesn't consider himself a finance guy, which made it hard when meeting with investors and discussing the numbers. The growth of his business brought a greater sense of pressure and responsibility.
- [21:46]: Jeff explains that he didn't quite start with a definite “vision.” He just started and kept going. He took it one day at a time, figuring out how to do things and making sure basic things like payroll were always covered.
Resources and links from the episode
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