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Escape room business uncovers the secret to growth

Lancs Lock In web

Interactive escape room business Lancs Lock-In has seen rapid growth after first 16 weeks’ trading and is on target to surpass its three-year growth plans.

Lancs Lock-In, trading as Lucardo, is based in Rawtenstall and is operated by David Armitage and Simon Milnes. It was set up in early 2018 as a franchise alongside existing Lucardo escape rooms in Manchester.

Specialising in hosting escape room adventures, the business is aimed at corporate clients who want to engage their staff with team building challenges and host corporate leadership events. They benefitted from support provided by the Growth Support Programme. And thanks to Boost's digital marketing masterclass, they're now making more use of social media to proactively promote their business.

Boost is Lancashire's Business Growth Hub and is led by the Lancashire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) and Lancashire County Council, and supported by funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). With a background in IT, David oversees the business operations whilst Simon, the escape room enthusiast, works on the development of escape room themes and how to differentiate themselves in the marketplace.

David and Simon worked with Sue Denver, an experienced business growth coach, to develop their business plan and identify the skills they needed to deliver the plan. They then attended a series of Boost masterclasses to equip them with these skills. To date, they’ve attended sessions on developing a growth strategy, managing digital marketing campaigns, and pitching to potential customers and investors. The masterclasses have also given them the opportunity to network with other Lancashire businesses, sharing ideas and experiences.

Simon said “The support we have received through Boost has been invaluable to the business. Following Boost’s digital marketing masterclass we’re now promoting the escape rooms more proactively using social media. "We’ve only been trading for about five months and already we’ve had to employ two more staff to keep up with the demand at the weekends. We aim to open another escape room very soon and will certainly require additional staff.

“We are also looking to expand the business and target the corporate market. It is an ideal medium for businesses looking to improve team work and morale within their workers. It’s an exciting venture and we are keen to establish the Lucardo escape room brand.”

Sue said: “There’s no doubt that Simon and David are very quickly seeing the benefits of their business planning. As part of the masterclasses, their market research identified a lack of competition in East Lancashire and opportunities in the market. “Simon continues to attend our masterclasses and review his growth strategy using the helpful business tools and support provided by the Growth Support Programme.

The business is well on target to surpassing their own growth plans.” County Councillor Michael Green, Cabinet member for economic development, environment and planning, said: "Many companies start off with a good idea, develop their product or service and simply get it off and running. Through our Growth Conversations, Boost works with you to increase your understanding of your business and identify opportunities to take it to the next stage of development. "I am delighted to hear that the support which we provide via Boost is helping businesses like Lancashire Lock-In to grow and employ more Lancashire residents."

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