1. The beginning is not always easy
The reasons why most entrepreneurs start this business is because it’s cheaper than starting other types of ventures like a bakery, or a bar, for example. So you shouldn’t be surprised if you see you’re not the only one on the market in your city. Just try doing your best to make sure you’re the first choice in your area when it comes to having fun in an escape room.
And that means it requires some initial investment. You will have to find contractors, designers and even employess, if you don’t have the time to do it yourself.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from someone more experienced if you feel you can’t handle it.
2. Make sure you have some extra savings for your business
If you make your escape room simple with nothing attractive in it, you’re not gonna get a great profit. People who will come to your escape room will seek an amazing experience and will be disappointed if you don’t deliver. Also there is a big chance they’ll write a negative review online about your business.
Be very creative and don’t be cheap when it comes to decorations. If you have a bug budget you can add some high quality puzzles, high-tech stuff and whatever else you feel it’s necessary for your escape room to be popular and to attract more clients.
3. Invest in a high quality room design
What I recommend you is to buy an already tested high quality game design. Because it has already been tested, it will help you save time and money and also, by doing it this way you don’t have to postpone the opening.
You can also try to create the design and puzzle by yourself, but from my experience, this will take months of creating and testing puzzles until you get the perfect escape game.
4. Always improve your room design
As I said above if you’re not experienced in game design, just don’t try make it your way. It’s better to follow a pattern than losing your investment. Use something that has been tested and it is new in your city. Once you have finished designing a room, start designing the second one.
And if you start making money, don’t be cheap and re-invest it in your business. It’s for your own good.
5. Don’t start with only 1 room
By building more than one escape game room you offer your customers a chance to come back to your venture and try a new experience. Also this will result in a bigger cash infusion and step by step you will grow faster than you think!
6. Your success depends on your marketing plan
If you think people are gonna discover you by chance you’re wrong. You have to make your business visible and that means that you will have to invest again. But first start a marketing strategy and build a plan that will help you reach your goals.
You might think that this is difficult and you’re right, marketing isn’t easy nowadays so if you feel you can’t do that by yourself pay some marketing specialists to help you, to get awareness and build your brand.
7. Think of all aspects before opening your business to the public
Before starting you should make sure you covered all aspects: opening hours, contact number for bookings, POS and online payment possibility, schedule, children policy, public or private rooms, etc.
8. Nothing will surprise you if you know before opening that:
- Customers may break the stuff you have inside
- Not all customers are educated and have a proper behavior
- You will have to deal with some cranky customers that are not happy with their experience
- Some people will come there just to cheat
- Some people will come drunk or high. Make sure you have a policy for this case, to avoid someone getting hurt or other unpleasant incidents.
On the positive side, other people will be so happy with their experience that will start hugging you.
9. Save a monthly budget for maintenance
Unfortunately you can’t control some parts of you business. Things may get broken and you will need to fix or replace them fast so that the next group in line can enjoy their experience. You better be prepared than surprised about this aspects and have backup puzzles (and a lot of superglue).
10. You can save on rent by joining forces with another business
Some business owners chose share the space they rent for their escape room with other business like children entertainment centers, pubs, movie theaters, fast food restaurants and others. In this manner they split the rent with the other business and they also profit from their traffic to attract new clients.
11. If your customers are happy it means you are successful
Maybe you won’t make a profit on the first month but when you see your customers leaving happy from your escape room it means that success is on its way. Their happiness will attract other customers and this is the key to success and to a profitable escape room business.
Do you want to start an Escape Room Business?
Take a look at how this industry is performing by downloading the 2018 Escape Room Business Income Report.
About the Author
Escape room designer, Artist and Entrepreneur
Costin is an artist, but also a very dedicated entrepreneur and for the past 10 years he run several successful business in the entertainment industry, and worked with hundreds of international clients.
After creating a successful escape room business, in the past 3 years he started sharing what he learned, become an escape room designer and so far helped more than 20 other entrepreneur in starting their own escape room business all over the world.