How to Start a Successful Escape Room Business
Did you know that people who like puzzles and mysteries have problems figuring out what they want to be when they grow up? People who like playing escape rooms love puzzles because they are imaginative and curious to solve mysteries. If you are considering making money by confounding people with diabolical schemes trying to solve them, designing an escape room is a good idea. Watching people play an escape room you designed is fun, but it is not easy because you will be running a business. You need to be hardworking, creative and dedicated to being successful in starting and running your business.
Escape room business owner roles
Before starting an escape room business, you need to understand your roles clearly. You need to have an escape room business plan and an escape room business plan writer if you cannot do it yourself. Depending on how good you are in designing a business plan, you need a computer and a template to have a detailed business plan that includes a detailed description of your business. The plan should also have well-researched details of how you will finance, build, manage, maintain and market your escape room business. Since you will require financing, you need to have a business plan that is thoroughly researched, well written and organized.
Even though doing a thorough research and writing a 15+ page document is not an easy task, you need to do it because it is your initial step. You need to have a presentable business plan to advance in designing an escape room. Therefore, designing a business plan will help you understand the hard work, commitment, and creativity needed in setting up an effective business.
Legal business entity set up
Although laws may vary in other countries, if you want to set up a business in the US, you need to form a business entity to fulfill legal purposes. In the US, you will have the options to operate as a partnership, sole proprietor, a corporation, an LLC or as a cooperative. You should understand that each of these business types have different tax requirements, legal requirements, and differing liability. Therefore, you need professional help from an attorney and an accountant to know which business type suits you best. In addition to choosing your business status, you need to research and comply with:
• Zoning ordinances
• ADA and OSHA requirements
• Parking spaces obligations
• Liability waiver requisites
• Fire code among others
Finally, if you are going to hire employees, you are subjected to additional legal stipulations because you will have to establish procedures for liability-imbued situations, e.g., when customers are injured, employees are injured, etc. You need to be very careful when setting up a legal entity for your business. You can either do it yourself or hire legal counsel to help you if you cannot be able to it on your own. Alternatively, if you have a partner or friend who likes being involved in such activities, you might include him or her to help you.
Since you will be the accountant/bookkeeper, you will have to create a start-up budget and a financial plan to start and run your business. You will have to do a thorough research to draft a budget. As you progress, keeping good expenditure records help you in paying taxes and budgeting to keep your business profitable. If you are not a good bookkeeper and you can be able to afford a professional bookkeeper in your budget, you can go ahead and hire a professional accountant to help you in bookkeeping. However, you should also be prepared to manage some of the records yourself.
Negotiation skills are a key part of setting up a business. When setting up an escape room business, you will have to make phone calls and meet with other people for negotiations. Some of these people you will meet include landlords, contractors, loan officers and government officials. You will, therefore, need to have good negotiation skills because you will have to convince the people you meet to help you. For instance, you will have to convince a loan officer or your parents that the business you are about to set up will make money for them to lend you money.
You will also need to look for a strategic location to set up your business and then negotiate lease terms with the landlord. Finally, if you are not going to build the rooms yourself, you will have to get bids from different contractors, interview them and then choose the best contractor. To achieve all these, you need to have good communication skills, good personal skills, and excellent negotiations skills. If you are going to build the room(s) yourself, you will have to handle plan approval, building permits and inspections yourself.
Even though you will hire a contractor to build your rooms or lobby, you will still need regular maintenance after the contractor is done. Your rooms and lobby require routine repair and maintenance to keep them in perfect conditions for a long time. Regardless of the warning posts and instructions you will give, escape patrons usually breaks things from time to time and hence the need for regular repairs and maintenance.
Unless you are planning to run the escape room business yourself or with a partner, you will have to hire a manager/supervisor to help you. When hiring, you will have to advertise open positions, review submitted applications, interview qualified candidates and hire the employees you need. The number of employees will be determined by the size of your business and the budget you’ve drafted. In the United States, when hiring employees, you need to consider specific paperwork, tax withholding, insurance cover among other requirements. After hiring, you will train, schedule their working time, supervise them and evaluate their performance.
The marketing expert main responsibility is to make sure customers keep coming back while getting other new customers to keep the business running. As a marketer, you need to ensure that you book a given number of rooms or slots per day to meet your revenue projections. You will, therefore, have to be creative in advertising your escape room business. You can use social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like) to reach out to potential customers. You also need to make sure that the customers you’ve keep coming back by maintaining your rooms, offering them good discounts and rates.
Nowadays, most businesses are advertised on websites and social media accounts. You will have to design a website yourself or hire a web designer to set up a business website. The site can also be used as a booking portal to make booking easier. You can easily set up a website through Wix, WordPress, and Squarespace but if you don’t want to do it yourself, you can hire a budget-friendly website developer to set up and maintain your website.
Customer service representative
Since you will have a business website, you will offer contact details where customers can ask questions, clarify and give opinions about services offered. If you’ve never worked as a customer care representative, you will have to learn about it for a period of time before you start your business. Alternatively, you can hire a skilled customer care representative to help you address your customers. If you are going to offer customer service, you need to be very patient and understanding because you will get hurtful comments that might ruin your day. You should never be rude to a customer for leaving a review or giving a negative feedback about the service you are offering.
You cannot make everyone happy at the same time. Hence, you should understand you will have both positive and negative reviews. However, you should work hard to get more favorable reviews because they promote business growth as well as offering you motivation. The customer is always right, and you should not respond defensively. You should listen to the views and comments of your customers and the respond professionally without provoking them or being rude. You can easily build your business by offering impeccable customer service.
Here at Number One Escape Room, we’ve been running a successful escape room business for years now. Check our address & location out below!
Number One Escape Room Las Vegas
1775 E Tropicana Ave Suite 100,
Las Vegas, NV 89119, USA