This quarter started out as a disaster, got challenging and then finished on a high note. In January we had a major problem getting approval from the town to begin operations. I lost a little over a month making changes to the Zone to comply with regulations that I thought were exempt. We finally opened and then the landlord informed me that he did not want to renew my short term lease…just as I got things running!. But in the last week of March, after turning on advertising through Groupon, over 40 people came in and paid to complete a Mission! We even hosted 2 birthday party groups. So overall things are looking positive.
The feedback from groups has been amazing. Families with middle school and younger kids love working as a team and sharing the adventure. We talked about future Missions and they are excited. A millenial group of 5 had a blast and wants more with more physical challenges and complexity. The only negative feedback was from a family with young adult children, they felt our base (easy) Mission should be longer. To me, that’s a win…they want more!
Generate revenue - We got some and that is good. I learned about new ways to market and charge for services. Birthday parties work really well. We have a few new ideas for Q2 also.
Hit Metrics- I set a revenue goal for the 1 month of operations in Q1 and we blew past that one. We got lots of people in and are building a customer list that should be the base for extending usage and figuring out LTV.
Content- 3 Missions are in place. That is far less than the 10 I had set as a goal. But we had to refactor the intro video and the “free” mission. So the experience is much better now.
I was in a funk for most of Q1, it was a rough time and some personal stuff didn’t make things any easier. But we weathered that well and things are definitely looking up. I grade myself a B+ for working through those issues, getting a product experience that makes customers happy and continuing to build. I grade the company an A-. We delivered flawlessly and the product worked great. People see the value and they have fun in ways that I didn’t anticipate. The team dynamic is really working well. Some Agents are even coming up with ideas I hadn’t considered.
Location Location Location. Not only did the building have scaffolding covering our office for a month, but at the end of April, we will be homeless. The short term lease definitely limited risk, but it made it hard to plan. We still haven’t had a grand opening.
Content. We need more and I need to do a better job of creating a points system and Mission levels and conveying those to customers so they can get the experience they seek.
Pricing and offerings. Yes you should always go to market with a product that you are a little embarrassed of. We did. I wish I had thought a little more about product offerings and pricing, but that’s always a tough balance.
The videos are definitely working. People are starting to get it. We are not all the way there yet, but defining ourselves as not an “escape room” but rather a Mission experience where you break into a space, is resonating.
Sales. I was doubtful, glad they are coming in.
Experience. Things are working exactly the way I hoped. I got the video cameras working and can watch Agents interact in the space and the concept really works.
Feedback. I have been meeting with people at Venture Cafe, teachers, parents, PTOs, etc. Everyone is super helpful and has great ideas. Special hat tip to my Adviser Anita who recommended doing reservations. I never would have thought of this, but people really like making appointments.
Jury is out
Need to find a space and the rent won’t be as cheap, can we sustain that level of income to make it work? Can we find a space and move with minimal down time?
Schools. I met with teachers who are VERY encouraging. They recommended a new approach and I am hopeful that this can start to catch hold.
Financing. I want to hire people this summer. I haven’t paid myself in 15 months. We need to secure financing in Q2 or boost revenue to the point that we are sustaining operations.
Q2 Outlook & Objectives
Establish revenue, metrics and contacts for a financing event. I know we can grow at scale. Bootstrapping this MVP has proven that. Time to take it to the next level.
New space, grand opening, establish roots. I’ve had to be cautious because I don’t have a future space that we can call home. This must happen or we are done.
Content. My current pace is 1 mission per week. I need to double this and find a partner.
Overall I am happy with where we are headed now. This next quarter is another transition to a fully operational concern. We’re ready.
Missions on Platform - 3
Average Revenue per customer - $10.43
Burn - $4,500 (per quarter)