So You Want to Start an Escape Room Business? But Should You?

This post is the first in a series focusing on the process of starting an Escape Room Business.

I remember it like it was yesterday. The excitement of doing our first escape room. Even though we didn't escape we were so excited by the concept that we were hooked instantly. After a doing  handful of escape rooms my family and I decided that we would open our own Escape Room business. We thought that our area desperately needed entertainment alternatives besides movies and a bowling alley. Let's just say this, we weren't wrong. 

Our first escape room experience October 3rd, 2015. 

Our first escape room experience October 3rd, 2015. 

We had the desire and we had the passion, what we didn't have was knowledge. We had never been serious business owners previous to deciding to open Cracked it! Escape Games in our hometown of Jacksonville, North Carolina. We took our idea of opening our own escape room and in roughly 45 days went from nonexisting to forming a company and opening our doors to the public on January 7th of 2016.  We are coming up on our 1st year anniversary of being open to the public and we have learned a ton over the last year.

The purpose of this series of posts is to give you, the possible future Escape Room owner, some things to think about before rushing head-long into opening your own business. I also hope to point you in the direction of resources that have been invaluable during our startup phase. As we enter our second year of operation we still have an incredible amount to learn.  

Many people would think that we rushed into opening a business with no real business experience, in an industry with no real track record. Let's say this,  they weren't wrong.  
One of the greatest resources we have available to us is our Small Business Center Network available at our local community college. We have formed a great relationship with the staff and regularly attend FREE seminars to help us grow as business owners and entrepreneurs.

We received our keys on November 14, 2015 opened to the public January 7, 2016.

We received our keys on November 14, 2015 opened to the public January 7, 2016.

Most people who want to get into the escape room business have never owned a business previously and just don't know where to start. Before risking everything, your family, your personal savings, and your sanity while opening an Escape Room business take a personal inventory and see if being a business owner is for you. Ask yourself these questions.

Do I have the ability to set goals and plans to reach those goals?
Do I have the capability to prioritize?
Do I have a strong and positive attitude?
Do I have the energy and passion for my goals?
Do I have good moral strength and character?
Do I have integrity?
Do I have the willingness to take a chance
Am I a risk taker?
Am I a self-starter?
Do I take the initiative?

The key is taking responsibility and initiative, deciding what your life is about and prioritizing your life around the most important things.
— Stephen Covey

Do I have good reasoning skills?
Am I able to make independent decisions?
Do I have strong leadership skills?
Am I well organized?
Do I use time wisely and efficiently?
Am I a procrastinator?
Do I have the ability to work with others who may not share your beliefs?
Am I eager and always willing to learn?
Do I have the ability to change and adapt?
Do I have a need to satisfy others?
Am I Motivated to seek information?
Do I have a creative mindset?
Am I being persistent and proactive in a professional manner?
Am I informed and updated on industry events and trends?
Am I a good financial manager?

Do I have the aility to motivate others?
Am I confident in public settings
Do I have a willingness to recognize contributions of others?
Am I fearful of failure?
Am I self confident?
Do  I view failure as an opportunity to improve and learn?



Before you decide to take the leap and start your own business have an honest conversation with yourself and see if you have what it takes to not only open your own business, but to sustain it through its growth phases and the long term. 

Take this Self Assessment

Brian Vinciguerra is the co-founder and chief marketing officer of Cracked it! Escape Games in Jacksonville, North Carolina.