A couple of years ago, Joe Rogan posted a youtube video talking about sensory deprivation tanks. The idea is that you float in a tank that is devoid of light, sound and the water is warm so that you are just floating. What this does is help one visualize any number of things, be it an outcome for a sporting event, a drawing, writing a novel or anything else.
Quinn Zepeda saw this video and immediately had to try it out for himself. Knowing that he was about to move up to Portland, he gathered some friends and they went to Float Lab. He stayed int he tank for over two hours, barely experiencing any of the side effects that have been reported while inside the tank. But when he got out of the tank, everything was different for Zepeda.
“I got out and immediately I was taken aback by how good I felt, how sharp the world was. My sense of smell was increased and I remember how good the soap smelled when I got in the shower. It awakened all kinds of senses that I’m not super tied into most of the time.”
Shortly after he moved up to Portland while drinking some beers with his best friend Graham, the two got to talking about the experience. They scoured around Portland for a place to float and were amazed that there weren’t more of them in the area. Graham had opened two businesses prior, and Quinn had saved up a good chunk of change before making the move. The two sat down and really figured out numbers and decided they could open their own floating business.
In just over 150 days, the business went from concept to opening. Everything for the most part lined up for them from getting the first location they applied for to dealing with issues they weren’t expecting to getting the permits for everything. Their passion drove them forward and they didn’t look back.
Just days after opening, the business was operating at above daily costs. Nothing to pay down any of the debts they took on, but it was making money. It was then that they knew it was going to be a success. That first week, they issued a Groupon and immediately over 2,000 were sold. That meant that the tanks were in full capacity nearly from the get go. And that was one of the best marketing tools they had as Zepeda says, “The best way to do anything is to get people in there, and they’ll talk about it. They will go be your promoter.”
The only issue that they had was informing people of not just what floating was, but the benefits of it. So the team came up with a two-page pdf that they have handed out time and time again. To this day, over 40,000 copies of that pdf have been handed out, all in the name of informing the public what was so great about floating.
As for them getting into the MMA industry, it was much like their approach for just getting anyone in; word of mouth.
“It started with Matt Lindland coming into our spot and we comped him because I knew who he was. He bought a gift certificate for his son after and then he spread the word at Team Quest. Ryan Healy came in first and again, we comped him a float. Then he brought Pat in and Pat started floating with us. Then more guys from Team Quest and from MMA Lab came in. And the response has been great. I remember Pat saying his first fight after he started floating just the jitters weren’t there in a way that they always were. He felt real calm and confident. Some of the guys even tell us to stop getting bigger as they might lose their secret weapon.”
They haven’t worked yet with the UFC, due to UFC’s sponsorship tax, but it is something they are looking into. For now, they are still just a local sponsor for their fighters, and they seem to be enjoying the benefits tremendously. For more information on Float On, visit their website at www.floathq.com