Should I build or buy an escape room business?

As an entrepreneur, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is whether to start a business from scratch or to buy an existing one. This decision can be especially daunting when it comes to the escape room industry, which has exploded in popularity in recent years. Should you take the time to build your own escape room business, or is it better to purchase an existing one and build upon its success?

In this post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of both options to help you make an informed decision.

Building Your Own Escape Room Business

Building your own escape room business offers a number of advantages. For one, you have complete control over the design and execution of the business. You can create the exact type of escape room experience you want, and you can tailor it to your specific target audience.

Another benefit of building your own escape room business is that you can start small and grow at your own pace. You can test out different concepts and see what works best, without being constrained by the existing structure of an established business. This can be especially helpful if you’re new to the industry or if you have limited resources.

On the flip side, building your own escape room business can be a lot of work. You’ll need to find a suitable location, design the puzzles and scenarios, purchase equipment and supplies, and market the business to attract customers. All of these tasks can be time-consuming and require a significant financial investment.

Additionally, starting from scratch means that you’ll need to build your brand and reputation from the ground up. This can be a daunting task, especially in a competitive industry like escape rooms. It may take some time before your business gains traction and starts attracting a steady stream of customers.

Buying an Existing Escape Room Business

Buying an existing escape room business can offer several advantages as well. For one, you’ll be purchasing a business that already has an established brand, reputation, and customer base. This can be especially helpful if you’re new to the industry or if you don’t have a lot of experience running a business.

Another benefit of buying an existing escape room business is that it can be less risky than starting from scratch. You’ll have access to financial history and other important information that can help you make an informed decision about the business’s viability. You can also see how the business has performed in the past and use that information to make improvements and grow the business.

However, buying an existing escape room business also comes with its own set of challenges. For one, you may be limited by the existing structure of the business. If you want to make significant changes, you may need to invest a lot of time and money to rebrand or redesign the business.

Another challenge is that you’ll need to be prepared to pay a premium for an existing business that has a successful track record. You’ll need to carefully evaluate the financials of the business to ensure that it’s a worthwhile investment. You may also need to negotiate with the existing owner to ensure that you’re getting a fair deal.

Things to Consider

So, which option is right for you? Ultimately, it depends on your individual circumstances and goals.

If you have a specific vision for your escape room business and the resources to bring that vision to life, building your own business may be the best option. You’ll have complete control over the design and execution of the business, and you can grow at your own pace.

On the other hand, if you’re new to the industry or don’t have a lot of experience running a business, buying an existing escape room business may be the safer choice. You’ll be able to leverage the existing brand, reputation, and customer loyalty to grow the business and make improvements over time.

Regardless of which option you choose, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind. These include:

Location:

Location is critical when it comes to the success of an escape room business. You’ll want to choose a location that is easily accessible to your target audience and has a high level of foot traffic. Look for areas with a high concentration of tourists or local residents who are likely to be interested in escape rooms.

Competition:

Be sure to research the existing competition in the area. If there are already several escape rooms in the same location, you may need to offer something unique to stand out from the crowd. On the other hand, if there are no escape rooms in the area, you may be able to fill a gap in the market.

Budget:

Whether you’re building your own escape room business or buying an existing one, you’ll need to have a clear understanding of your budget. This includes not just the initial startup costs, but also ongoing expenses like rent, utilities, and marketing. Be sure to create a detailed business plan that outlines your projected revenue and expenses to ensure that you’re able to run a profitable business.

Creativity:

Escape rooms are all about creativity and innovation. Whether you’re building your own business or buying an existing one, you’ll need to be able to come up with fresh ideas for puzzles and scenarios. You’ll also need to be able to adapt to changing trends in the industry to keep your business relevant and appealing to customers.

Technology:

As we’ve discussed in previous blog posts, technology is playing an increasingly important role in the escape room industry. Whether you’re building your own business or buying an existing one, you’ll need to be comfortable with incorporating technology like AI, augmented reality, and virtual reality into your escape room experiences.

Tips on running a successful escape room business

Regardless of whether you decide to buy or build your own escape room business, there are a few best practices you can follow to ensure your success. Here are a few tips:

Start small:

If you’re just getting started in the escape room industry, it’s a good idea to start small. Consider creating a single, well-designed room that is easy to manage and maintain. This will allow you to get a feel for the industry and fine-tune your business model before expanding to larger, more complex rooms.

Focus on the customer experience:

At the end of the day, the success of your escape room business will come down to the customer experience. Be sure to invest in high-quality puzzles, props, and decorations that will keep your customers engaged and immersed in the experience. Consider surveying your customers regularly to gather feedback and make improvements as needed.

Leverage technology:

As we’ve discussed, technology can be a powerful tool for enhancing the escape room experience. For example, at Reason, we incorporate AI, blockchain, holograms, 3D printers, and virtual reality into our rooms to offer a truly immersive and cutting-edge experience.

Future Tech Escape Room

Stay on top of industry trends:

The escape room industry is constantly evolving, and it’s important to stay on top of the latest trends and innovations. Consider attending industry conferences, networking with other escape room owners, and keeping up with industry publications to stay ahead of the curve.

Market your business effectively:

Finally, don’t forget the importance of effective marketing when it comes to building a successful escape room business. Be sure to create a strong online presence through social media and your website, and consider running promotions or partnering with local businesses to attract new customers.

Whether you decide to buy or build your own escape room business, the most important thing is to be passionate about what you’re doing. The escape room industry is a unique and exciting space, and with the right approach, it’s possible to build a thriving and successful business that offers truly unforgettable experiences for your customers.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to whether you should buy or build your own escape room business. Both options offer advantages and challenges, and the decision ultimately comes down to your individual circumstances and goals. By carefully considering the factors we’ve discussed in this post, you’ll be able to make an informed decision that sets you up for success in the exciting world of escape rooms.