3 questions to ask yourself before opening an escape room
(time of reading 5 min)

So you played some escape rooms, you liked that and now you are thinking about open one on your own, right? It's totally clear - running escape room business helps you bring excitement to lots of people. That's something you can't fake and you can normally buy, it's just something you can be lucky enough to be a part of.

But does this usually pan out as a business? What under-the-radar problems are going to emerge after the honeymoon ends and you proceed from creation excitement to every-day excitement routine?
3 questions to ask yourself
before opening an escape room
We prepared a list of question, you most probably need to honestly ask yourself before diving head-first into this wonderful business.

1) Do i know a thing about customer service? Can i handle handling the customers if the need occurs?

Obviously, you don't need to be at the world-champion level at customer service to successfully operate escape room business. But a serious chunk of escape room experience comes before and after the actual game. How comfortable is your lobby? How swift and helpful is your staff? How much time are they willing to spend on each group before and after the game?

Every time i see a bad review for any escape room online - there is (to a certain degree) a customer service failure. People can truly like the game or, at least, be ok with it, but if they had to wait for a long time, nobody was paying attention to them etc - this derails the whole experience.

If you are lucky and good at hiring people - your staff will take care of business. But if you are going to handle gamemaster duties yourself or supervise the staff - you will still need to deal with unhappy people from time to time. Better come prepared.
Pro-tip: Do not go on full defense and don't involve in arguments with customers - this leads nowhere and only increases the damage. Be on their side, try to figure out what can be improved to avoid the same problem later. Make sure they are heard and their input is valued. I know, sometimes when someone is displeased with your game, it's easy to go nuts (like your effort is not respected), but please, be smart about it.
2) People break stuff more often than you think. Do i know how to fix things, do i have plan B and plan C?

Pulled wires (sometimes from inside the wall), broken items (sometimes the wooden tables) etc - this happens with every escape room from time to time. The unprepared owner can face his business being stuck for days because of one thing being broken. The prepared one has plan B and a handyman on a fast dial to take care of small repairments. Smart ones try to hire staff, which can take care of small maintenance to a certain degree.
Pro-tip: If you are hiring staff - aim for the handyman, if possible. This will not just save you money, it will save tons of nerve cells.
3) Do i know a thing about marketing?

Unless you are already a huge franchise, able to hire dedicated marketer of his own, you will need to get a hand on promoting your business yourself. This, again, does not mean that you will need to be a marketing heavyweight champion. But still, it will require at least a willingness and dedication to learn a new area of expertise, which you might be not exactly familiar with.
Pro-tip: like many other seemingly creative areas, this one is mostly about checklist and algorithms. Make sure you get all the possible and reasonable ads channels covered and make sure you do it according to the conventional wisdom.
Positive on all 3 questions? Great, let's move forward!

Not sure about any of those 3? You still have time to do the necessary preparations.

Stay focused, dedicated and chase your dream. That always works.
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