14 April 2022

How to Start Your Own Escape Room Business

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In recent years, escape rooms have exploded in popularity. If you're wondering how to start an escape room business, you're in luck. This step-by-step guide will show you everything you need to know. Let’s get to main topic straight!

Escape room business

Understand Your Market and Competitors

There are countless other escape room businesses to compete with. To succeed, you will need a leg up on the competition. The first thing to do is conduct market research. Look at as many escape rooms as possible and determine what makes them successful or not. Consider the following:

1. How does each room's theme relate to its story?

2. Is it realistic?

3. What types of puzzles are included? Complex, multi-layered ones requiring a lot of thought and effort result in a more satisfying experience.

Simple puzzles without any real challenge will disappoint customers. They could even dampen their enthusiasm for future experiences because they have nothing to look forward to other than 'literally opening boxes.'

4. Are players allowed free roam or confined to a specific area?

Fully free-roaming rooms can be disorienting unless a staff member stays with the group. Otherwise, players will easily get lost and confused, lengthening their experience. If you want free-roaming rooms, consider what it would take from a business perspective. You'll have to hire more staff or risk losing money due to longer experiences.

5. What challenges stand in the way of achieving the goal? Are they realistic? Do they make sense within the context of a room's theme?

If your escape room presents nothing but simple puzzles requiring no thought whatsoever, players may become bored quickly because there's no sense of achievement as each puzzle unlocks another. You need to tie each puzzle into a larger narrative with a goal that players strive towards.

6. What is the most common age group?

If you want to target people from young adulthood through middle-age, consider having more complex puzzles and traps with many moving parts. If your target market is teens or kids, keep in mind how much supervision they will require so that adults can play along too.

Children tend to become easily frustrated if they don't know how to solve a puzzle, while adults won't like it either if they feel like the game has been dumbed down for them because there are no challenging puzzles.

7. How long does an experience last?

The time frame for escape rooms varies depending on what company you go through. Some companies offer 60-minute escape rooms, while others provide 90-minute ones. The longer the time frame, the more likely players will become tired and worn out towards the end of their experience.

This does not mean that you should cut down on your experience's time to be competitive, or else you risk losing customers. You can satisfy your customers' needs by having short breaks between each stage, so they have a chance to rest before moving on to something else.

Defining Your Business Concept

Start escape room business

Now that you have all this information, it's time to decide what concept you want for your business. It could be anything from "Be a spy" or "Save the world" to being put into an era where vampires are real. Think about things that everyone has heard of and see if you can develop a unique angle for your business.

Your concept should entertain your customers while reinforcing the theme in subtle ways.

Creating a Detailed Escape Room Business Plan

If you are thinking about starting an escape room business, writing a strategic business plan is the next step towards success.

Ensure that you have at least ten years' worth of projections to give yourself enough time to accumulate capital so that you'll still be in business later on down the road when demand may fall, or other unpredictable variables occur.

Here's what should be included in your detailed escape room business plan:

  • Description of services offered by your company, including any additional offerings outside of the escape room (i.e., food or drinks)
  • Company mission statement and company vision
  • Organisational structure including office locations, position titles, and responsibilities
  • Estimated start-up costs with explanations on which costs are recurring annually
  • Projections for revenue, expenses, assets, liabilities, and equity for ten years (if possible)

Securing Finance Options

Once you have created your detailed business plan, it's time to seek out financing sources so that you can set up your escape room business with minimal delays.

Your bank is an excellent place to start, but if they cannot accommodate you, you might want to consider other sources such as loans from friends/family, angel investors, or even crowdfunding.

Remember which costs are recurring and which costs have a one-time charge so that you can see how much each source of financing will lend to the overall cost of your business.

Choose a Proper Location

As with any business, location is vital for an escape room business because it's where customers will be spending their time trying to solve puzzles and escape from traps within your themed rooms.

Look for a venue with lots of foot traffic and easily accessible parking spots nearby if possible. Also, consider whether or not there would be renovations required to accommodate your specific needs.

Also, don’t forget to check an escape room booking software to make it easier for your customers to book your games at any time of the day or night. 

Creating Entertaining Themes and Narratives

The most vital element to consider when developing your escape room concept is what would excite your customers the most. The best way to find out is to ask them! Start a survey by creating a questionnaire and gathering responses from everyone you know. See what they're interested in and whether or not they have any ideas of their own.

You'll be surprised at how excited they get when you tell them about your business plan, probably because there's nothing quite as exciting as being locked in a themed room with only an hour on the clock before something terrible happens!

Start Promoting and Build a Marketing Strategy

When all the hard work is done, it's time for some fun. It's time to start telling people about your new business venture and how much fun it will be for them to participate in this immersive experience that they won't soon forget. The more innovative the experience is, the more likely you'll attract customers who are passionate about what you're offering.

Getting and Using Customer Feedback

Start your own escape room

When people leave your escape room, make sure to ask them what their time was like and whether or not they had any ideas for improvements! Whether it be constructive criticism or something else entirely, you can never take feedback too lightly since it's one of the best ways to grow as a company over time.

Taking Care of Legal Requirements

Your government must approve a certain licence to carry out specific business practices such as selling food and alcohol, which applies to most escape room businesses.

Once you have all the appropriate paperwork, put them in a folder and keep them stored in an easily accessible location just in case you need to use them for reference later on.

Staying Up to Date With Industry News and Trends

The escape room industry is booming at the moment, so you must stay up to date with all of the latest news, information, and changes taking place within this ever-growing market. If you do, then no one will be able to take your business away from you because you'll know exactly what's happening before it does!


Escape rooms are not only fun, but they're also great learning tools for team building, teaching others about logic/strategic thinking. Whatever your reasons for starting an escape room business, remember that your business will need lots of start-up capital to get it up and running, so choose a suitable venue accordingly!

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