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Escape room

Escape Room Startups: Analysis and Market Trends

Before you start your new escape room business, it's imperative you have all your ducks in a row and everything in order...
2021.06.01.

Before you start your new escape room business, it's imperative you have all your ducks in a row and everything in order. As a business, youíll be providing social networking games for the communities in your catchment area. Even though it may seem like money wasted, believe us when we say it's a good idea to hire the services of a HR and business consultancy, which has experience in business structuring, in order to help conduct some analysis for your new venture. You might wonder what such an organisation can offer you, but believe us, the SWOT analysis received will be a huge eye-opener. So what exactly is SWOT analysis?

Strength

On the whole, your strength is going to evolve around a couple of very important factors. The first of these is going to be the location of the business. For this, you ideally need a densely populated neighborhood or a downtown area with a lot of foot traffic. This will increase the chances of having walk-in customers, rather than those who just book in advance. The other essential factor is having a team of professionals who are always on hand to look out for both  the games and the customers. Your whole team must embody the idea of what great customer service is, as they will all be in front of the customer at some point. 

Weakness

You will be faced with a couple of major weaknesses when you open your escape room business. The first and most obvious is that you are a new business and will experience all the teething problems that go hand in hand with starting something fresh. Almost every day will bring with it new problems that were unforeseen, but at the same time each one of these will need a solution, that not only allows implementation, but also gives you the experience to keep moving forwards. The second weakness is more of a practical nature. Simply put, you might run out of financial resources before the business breaks even. Just like making a movie, you are advised to have a budget and then double it. The same goes for starting up an escape room game business. Whatever the original budget you decided upon, it will never be enough as so many unforeseen factors and happenings will appear. And you can bet your last dollar, that all of them will need lots of money as well as time in order to solve them. 

Opportunities

Providing you've established your business in an area of high foot traffic or high residency, then your next biggest problem will be deciding your opening hours. Much of your competition will be open 24-hours a day even during weekends. To that end, and in order to compete, you will have no option but to have the same hours. Whatever wages you had planned to pay your employees needs to be reconciled with the extra work hours they will be required to do, and often in unsociable hours. 

Threat

These are factors that might threaten the very existence of your business or at least have the potential to be damaging. The most obvious of these would be other escape rooms being able to open within your vicinity. This may have a seriously detrimental effect on your overall business. Of course, we should mention the covid-19 pandemic which has had a disastrous effect on many escape room games. But even this can be mitigated by holding the games online via a zoom conference call.

Market Analysis

Just because we're moving into an age where the majority of people have greater time for leisure activities, doesn't necessarily translate that your escape room business will see a greater number of players steadily increasing over time. That's because many of the leisure Industries that benefit from this rise in free time, are those that deal with outdoor events and activities. As a trend, we can see this translating to less games being played indoors in the future. 

Yet another trend is based around both the introduction and the ever-increasing speed of broadband internet. Thanks to the evolution and ever rising speeds of internet connections for both mobile devices and personal computers it means that players are able to stream a great deal more information than was possible just a few years ago. This is a boon for online games but doesn't necessarily translate well for the escape room business model. 

Having said that, with the onset of covid-19, many escape room businesses have had to make a complete 180 degree turn in their business practice, in order to keep their heads above water. This has resulted in an explosion of online games played over zoom for remote players who are all taking part in social distancing. These online live avatar games rely on having a gamesmaster actually situated within the escape room itself. This take on the escape room game phenomena has improved the possibilities of many businesses, and more importantly, has allowed them to remain solvent. As a trend, we predict this will be highly successful and may even be able to make up for the shortfall that real games are lacking.

One final trend that we see with bricks-and-mortar escape room games, is that there is a need to offer more amenities and services than simply the games themselves. Many escape rooms are starting to incorporate more facilities in their reception area. For example we can find fresh juice and smoothie bars, retail food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, all there to help encourage the customer's to relax and socialize both before and after the game.
 

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