How to start an escape room business

Be creative while choosing a theme
Escape rooms have become a much more popular form of entertainment. People watch films and videos of others doing various challenges and want to try it themselves. Surely, that has resulted in the higher number of businessmen who make their own escape room business. In this article we’ll discuss each aspect doing it.
If you wonder how to start an escape room business, just follow this plan:
1. Study the market and your competitors.
2. Choose a business concept.
3. Make a detailed business plan.
4. Take care about financing.
5. Select the most suitable venue.
6. Create interesting themes and narratives.
7. Set up a marketing strategy.
8. Collect clients’ reviews.

Potential profit and costs

The market is really profitable. Studies in Asia show that profit margins are 75% in the first years, and the number lowers to about 50-60% later. These are average rates, and the profit can be a lot higher. Keep in mind that the market is localized. There aren’t any franchises which are popular all around the globe, so everyone has a chance to shine.
Don’t be afraid to try new decorations
An average escape room charges each person $25-30 for an hour. 10-12 people can play at the same time. The most significant objects of expenditure are payroll, rent and taxes, not to mention expenses and your time spent on creating an escape room. Some escape game are simple and some of them are pretty sophisticated, so expenses vary.
How to make the business more profitable
If you want to increase your income, the best way to do that is to open several escape rooms. Games should be different in them. There is a huge probability that a satisfied customer will try another room, as well. Here are some factors that affect a profit:
• Location. It’s pretty simple that businesses in populous areas are much more advantageous, as the number of potential clients is higher.
• The games available. Don’t be afraid to be creative. It’s a bad idea to just copy other rooms. The more unusual idea you have, the more people will be interested in them.
• Staff. There will be lots of negative reviews if your staff is not qualified enough. Employ only those people who seem hardworking and artistic. Let them provide you with their own opinion on the company.
• Decorations. Your room mustn’t look cheap. Players won’t try it, and they will probably tell their friends about all the negative aspects.
Discounts. You’ll lose some money the short term, but this will result in the increase of your income later. Try coupons, bonus programs and casual discounts.
• Marketing. A profit largely depends on how much potential clients know about the business. Don’t even think about saving money on this part.

How to advertise and promote an escape room

Opening an escape room will not be profitable without a proper marketing strategy. Potential customers won’t have an opportunity to find out about your company. As a result, you will fail. Take care of the following aspects to attract more clients.
Don’t make a room too cheap
The website
The first thing a player sees is your site, so you need to take care of it. It should look modern, all the necessary information must be presented, including pricing, working hours, photos and reviews. A potential client needs to think not opportunities he has, not about money he will spend for that.
Having a website is a must for a escape room business
Don’t let inexperienced specialists make your website, otherwise, it will be useless. Pay attention to SEO, so that the site will be on the top of Google and Bing while someone looks for an escape room. Spend some time testing all the features presented on it in order not to lose clients because of minor mistakes.
Booking systems
Most booking systems require a monthly fee. Prices can be both fixed or based on revenue. Make sure that a booking system integrates with banking services. This feature is really convenient for customers, as they can make reservations in a matter of seconds. Provide the service with contact information, including your website, phone and email. The most popular sites specializing in booking are:
• Bookeo;
• Xola;
• Zozi;
• Nowescape;
• Escape Assist;
• SimplyBook;
• BookingBug.
Try a few booking systems to bet the best results
Social media
There are millions of users in social networks. A huge number of them is your potential clients. They surf Facebook, Instagram or any other site and see your advertisement. If it’s creative enough, they will be interested in trying it. Presence in social media guarantees a steady flow of customers. Every big company has business accounts in such websites and they don’t seem to be disappointed with it.
Almost all people use at least one social network daily
Discount Sites
Discount sites are a great option for a few months after you create your escape room business start up. The most important advantage of them is speed. You will get immediate reaction from customers, as most people don’t like to spend much money on entertainment. As a result of promotions, your potential customers get an opportunity to save some money, while you form huge clients’ base.

There are some disadvantages, as well. If discounts last for too long, they might not be economically sustainable anymore, because you have an opportunity to attract full-priced customers. Take track of ROI (Return on Investment) in order to find out how much money you get and lose out of a specific promotion. Decide on the future strategy after examining everything.
Run promotions actively after launching a company
Some escape room owners prefer offering services at lower prices on particular weekdays. Escape rooms are usually not busy on Monday, as most people return to work after a weekend. You can take advantage out of this fact by just choosing a strategy wisely.
Offline escape room marketing ideas
Promoting an escape room offline is usually less effective in comparison with online marketing, but it’s a lot cheaper, so it’s worth trying some strategies for a short period. Don’t forget to track the ROI in order to find out whether it’s is efficient in your case. Offline marketing includes the following strategies:
• Handing out flyers;
• Ads on billboards;
• Mass media advertisements;
• Spots on radio.
Some promotion strategies are not suitable for escape rooms
Ready-made solutions
Most people make escape rooms by themselves. Surely, it’s a great option, as it’s usually cheaper.

Moreover, you are free to choose the most creative ways to build an escape room business. However, some businessmen prefer buying ready-made packages. Here are some advantages of doing that:
• You’ll need less time to set up a room.
• The number of features is huge.
• It’s much easier to organize everything.
• You don’t need to think up puzzles.
• Such escape rooms are equipped with customizable software.
• The goods you buy will pay off fast.
• Some ideas are so sophisticated, that you cannot make them a reality by yourself.
Ready-made solutions has got a huge popularity
Buying an escape room business is more convenient, however. They are a bit more expensive, as well. The first thing that potential customers ask is “How much does it cost to buy an escape room?”. The prices vary. They depend on the features included, software, puzzles, decorations, etc. Check our catalogue to find options that are suitable for you.

Whether you choose to buy an escape room or build one by yourself, planning everything thoroughly is a key to success. Write down all of your expenses, try new escape room advertising ideas and decide whether a chosen strategy is worth trying. Other people’s experience can help you a lot with that, so keep eye on forums dedicated to the subject. Good luck!

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