Fun, challenging, and memorable – these three words describe what escape rooms are all about. If you are thinking about running your own escape game business in your locale, here are some of the considerations to ponder before joining this industry to open your own escape room business.
What is an Escape Room?
Escape Rooms are puzzle rooms or escape games filled with theme-based challenges, where the players form groups to complete tasks by looking for hints and use them to solve various puzzles. The rule of the game is to finish the challenges at a given time.
Contrary to the misconception about escape games, no one is locked in. All the threats and dangers that the players will be going through are all imaginary. It becomes experiential because participants will be taking part in the story designed in the game.
Being a player is not hard because escape games have a Game Master who explains how the game works, what the players need to do, and the one who will provide certain clues if needed. Most escape rooms offer the following settings: castle, ancient pyramids, space stations, and more. Some even offer a customized theme depending on players’ preferences.
If you tried an escape room before, you might experience the classic escape room setup that requires the players to finish the game in under an hour or 45 minutes to solve the puzzles and unlock the door. But now, there are new features added in escape rooms like solving a crime, additional targets, finding treasures, and even rescuing hostages.
Due to this, escape rooms have never been so popular. Many companies avail of their services for celebration and reward purposes. Many also use this for team-building activities, a practical activity for building trust, communication, and strengthening relationships.
For a marketer like you, the vast popularity of escape rooms is a huge opportunity for you to start your very own escape room business. As you begin your escape games business plan, there are certain things you should put into consideration aside from the startup costs. These are:
Experience a lot of Escape Rooms
As a startup tip, you do not need to have a business degree to open your very own escape room. What you need are skills and a lot of experience in playing the game for you to succeed. Well, you can’t expect a great outcome if you, yourself, are not familiar or clueless about how an escape room works.
Aside from experience, you also need creativity, attention to detail, and good customer service skills. In this industry, it is not enough to be wise. You should be creative in developing new concepts, room designs, and clues for your players.
Keen attention to details is a must, from booking escape rooms to placing clues. You, as a future escape room owner, must have a good eye for details.
If you have experience in customer service, that is a great advantage because it is ideal for escape room owners to provide superb customer service to work well with adults, teens, and kids.
Find to talk to other Escape Room owners.
It might be a surprise, but unlike other industries where the competition is tough, the escape room community has an inviting aura, and the owners are supportive. To grow or develop this industry, escape game owners rely on one another as a support system.
This practice started way back when escape room owners recommended other rooms to try. Although this practice is slowly fading, some owners are still happy to share what they know about running the business with new entrepreneurs to the point that they will even discuss with you the startup cost of running an escape game business.
Be part of the community.
As mentioned above, the escape room industry has a welcoming community. You can easily reach them as they mostly communicate through Facebook and other social groups like Reddit. They have numerous groups.
For example, North America has 25+ groups whose primary purpose is to aid new owners in marketing and sales. Aside from that, you can also gather information from their podcasts and blogs.
Find time to attend seminars and conferences.
Conferences in this industry do not happen regularly. If you stumble a virtual event about starting an escape game business, it’s best to attend. Such an occasion will help you stay updated with the latest trend or technology to apply to your escape room. Your effort is worth it as you follow a conference because a large portion of the seminar is purely dedicated to helping start-up owners.
Market Research is a must.
If you already decided to start your own escape room business, the first thing you should prepare for is the escape room cost and planning the location of the escape rooms. It is a must because aside from your marketing strategy, this is the highlight of your business. To succeed in this industry, you should come up with new themes for your rooms.
Still haven’t come up with a great theme? You can check out other escape rooms and gain some insights from them.
Aside from the business proper, you should keep in mind your target customers. Are you going after the kids, teens, or adults? Make up your mind, but if you want to cater to all age groups, it is advised that you have 1-2 challenging rooms, 1-2 comfortable rooms, and several rooms in between. This way, all age groups can have fun.
If you want to be unique, you can also have those portable escape rooms set up anywhere.
Learning from the best in the industry can help you gain insight into how you will run your escape room business and create superior rooms like no other. You’re not going to ask your competitors for a lesson directly. You have to study the way they run their business.
Do they offer free versions?
Do they have demo plays?
If they have been in the industry for a while, they must have been doing something right. Also, include their weakness in your study to ensure that their weakness is your success.
Write a Brilliant Business Plan
An escape game business plan is a must if you’re going to start an escape game business. But, do not overwhelm yourself.
You can start with small steps like the designs for your escape room. From there, you should focus on creating a sturdy foundation for your business. So, your business plan must include the following:
- The name or brand name of your escape room business
- The mission of your business
- The market research
These are essential because you’ll know if you’re low on funds and need to attract investors. It will ensure them that you know what you’re doing.
Expenses in starting an Escape Room
Every business has its startup cost. For the escape room, it has too many factors to be considered. But, if we base it on the classic escape room, it could start from $10,000.
Portable escape rooms are much cheaper, ranging from $4,000 to $7,000. Get in touch with Cluetivity for more information. Likewise, transportation is already added to the calculation.
What makes escape room business expensive are the following:
- The renovation cost of the rooms
- The additional lobby area furniture
- The supplies and decors
- The technical supplies like video cameras
- The vehicle for both classic and portable escape rooms
Starting a business is not a stroll in the park. During your journey, you may experience some bumps, but it’s okay. As long as you stick to your business idea, keep yourself immerse and updated with the escape game industry, you can navigate your business smoothly.
To learn more about escape game business opportunities, contact a Cluetivity specialist today to jumpstart your escape game business this year.