Owner Preston Smith
How it got started
Preston always knew he wanted to start a business some day. He felt that when you own your own business there is no ceiling on your earning potential.
the potential is limitless when you start a business Click To Tweet
He also wanted the freedom to create. While working in other jobs, he was able to be creative, but always within the bounds of the position. You are stifled by someone else’s vision. Owning a business would allow him to build it however he wanted, and create whatever his vision dictates.
Making it happen
A friend of his and Preston decided to purchase an old Airstream trailer. They had to spend a lot of time fixing it up. As soon as it was all fixed, they came up with some different puzzles and added them into the trailer. With the puzzles in place in the newly fixed up trailer, they started locking people in! Their first group of people (aside from friends they had pilot the room) was a group of underprivileged kids. Once Preston saw how much fun they had working together and completing the puzzles he knew he had something special. The kids were able to gain a lot of self confidence from having even small amounts of success. Being one of the first Escape room’s to market, they were able to secure the domain name Eskaped.com and build more trailers.
One of the things Preston loves most about his business is coming up with and building new puzzles. You can often find him browsing the toy isle at a thrift store to find inspiration for another puzzle. He also finds inspiration for puzzles by seeing how people try to solve his current games. A customer will try something that Preston never thought of, and he can incorporate that into a different puzzle.
He also loves the variety of people that pay him to lock them up! Anyone from teenagers at a birthday party, to a group of doctors at a retreat. It’s amazing to him to see how even a span of life experiences and age can approach problems the same ways, even if they vary from how he would solve the problem at hand. He does say that he was worried when he told his wife that he wanted to lock people up for money, but luckily she was on board and he is able to have a lot of fun at his job.
One of the main challenges he faces is that he has a problem making up his mind. This has been evidenced by his lack of a clearly focused target market. Once he decides to target a specific market, he is lured by other markets and ends up wanting to go after all of them. He believes that if you can focus on one market you will be able to grow in concentric circles from that market to expand your customer base.
if you focus on one market you will grow so much bigger Click To Tweet
Advice for other businesses
His main advice for other people wanting to start a business is to find a pain within a specific market, and look to solve that pain. Even though that isn’t what his business is based on, he has found that providing people problem solving skills is actually helping them solve their own problems. He also reiterates the main challenge he has which is to narrow your target market focus.
find a pain within a market, and solve that Click To Tweet
Watch the video of his interview!