As members of the entertainment industry community, we understand laser tag as an attraction and as a business. But an outsider to our industry may not know what laser tag is. Or an outsider wouldn't know that it's a legitimate business model.
Some people might only know laser tag from the references in the popular TV show How I Met Your Mother. Although it would make Barney Stinson proud (Legendary!) to know he shared laser tag with so many new people, the show's references provide a very narrow look at the industry as a whole. To shed some light on these types of lesser-known businesses, Graham Winfrey published an article on www.inc.com.
In the article, Graham sites studies from IBISWorld regarding the revenue, competition, and barriers to entry for various businesses. As these studies show, laser tag is one of the most profitable businesses in the entertainment industry, with profit margins up to 40%. The laser tag industry generated $246 million in revenue last year, and that number is expected to rise above $300 million by 2019.
Many of us in this industry already know that laser tag can be a profitable business. And it's fantastic to see laser tag getting a spotlight on one of the largest websites for small businesses and entrepreneurs. But what I find interesting is that these numbers seem to only include stand-alone laser tag sites. FEC's all over the world use laser tag as an add-on attraction at their facilities. These attractions are probably not included in the IBISWorld studies, and the numbers would be a lot harder to calculate if they were included.
I wonder how much the projected future revenue would change if the numbers from all laser tag attractions (including add-ons at FEC's) were taken into account. And what would happen to the estimated average profit margin? This seems to be a more important focus since the FEC model is becoming more and more popular. Operators are offering more attractions as a way to keep people in the building longer and spending more money.
It's great to see our industry in the spotlight, but I can't help but feel like Graham missed the bigger picture.