Far-out employers

This Tasmanian couple spent three years developing a genuinely child-friendly play centre, but their hard work has paid off with a business excellence award

Case study

Who:       Phil & Jeannie Diamantis

What:     Far Out Play Centre

Where:  Mornington, Tas

When:    July, 2012

Web:       faroutplaycentre.com

It took just under three years – from jottings on paper to opening the doors – for owners Phil and Jeannie Diamantis to realise their vision for Far Out Play Centre.

‘As the parents of three young boys we felt there was a gap in the industry for child-friendly venues,’ they say. ‘We want to offer a quality, comfortable, uplifting and happy environment where parents and children can join together to enjoy each other.’

They used Facebook for market research.

When Far Out opened, it had just one full-time employee and four casuals. It now has 18 staff, all bringing ‘wonderful personalities’ to the business –six staff members of these attended a retail training program in order to further their knowledge and enhance the qualities they bring to their workplace.

It is easy to have all the ideas but forget the important issues. Having a business mentor helped enormously.

In a little over 12 months more than 100,000 visitors came through the door and an average of 15 children’s parties were booked per weekend.

Phil and Jeannie comment that their local Business Enterprise Centre – Business East Enterprise Centre, Bellerive, Tasmania – was instrumental in the success of their business. They had access to the right people who could contribute to help move the business forward.

‘It is easy to have all the ideas but forget the important issues,’ they say. ‘Having a business mentor to assist in writing a business plan and a cashflow budget and direct us to suitable programs and experts helped enormously.

‘We encourage people looking to start or buy a business or improve their existing business to contact the local Enterprise Centre.’

The Far Out Play Centre now offers six different types of event themes, from pirate to disco to princess. It was recently awarded Employer of Choice in the City of Clarence Business Excellence Awards.

John Beard, Manager, and Tracey Jordan, Assistant Business Advisor, Business East Enterprise Centre, Bellerive, Tasmania