JustJimAZ

HAUNTING PROFITABILITY PART 2: Profit Must Be Greater Than or Equal to Zero

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By Leonard Pickel of Hauntrepreneurs.com
Used with permission.
Continued from last week...

All that Said, it is possible to make a living with a Haunted Attraction, and there are people who are doing just that. For most of my life I have been doing everything in my power to help those who are not making any money, get to the profitable stage:

Through the articles I collect and write for industry magazines.
Through the Haunt Ed Seminars I select and offer at HAuNTcon
Through the 3 hour plus ?How To Get Started? seminar that I offer at every gathering I can talk them into letting me speak at.
Through consulting services, and brokering used attractions that I offer to the industry.
I am not sure how much of this is sinking in though. Too often I see people skip an important business seminar offered at a convention and hurry to the standing room only seminar on ?Cheap Scares.? There is even a mentality in cyberspace that making money with your Haunt or your Haunted business is somehow, not in the spirit of the season! These ?Haunters? look down on others who ?just pump people though their Haunt, so they can make a buck!? Please allow me to fill in those of you who think that profit is bad thing, (If you have been to one of my seminars, then I hope you have this statement engraved in your brain already!) ? ?If You Do Not Make Enough Money With Your Haunt, Then You Don?t Get To Play Anymore!?

Now please understand, I am not advocating ripping off the paying public! That hurts the industry as a whole, but October is only 5 weekends long, and if your attraction cannot give people a show and move them along quickly while you are doing so, then you ?Will not get to play anymore!? So after I have said all this, do you still want to do a Haunt? If so, the first thing you do if you are thinking about doing a haunt, (after building a web site and Facebook page) is to write a business plan. Here is all you need to know about a business plan:

TICKET PRICE X ATTENDANCE = TOTAL INCOME

TOTAL INCOME - TOTAL COST = PROFIT

NOTE: Profit must be greater than or equal to zero. (If Profit is not drastically greater than zero, then don?t do the project!)

When trying to get started in the haunt business, funding and

The two hardest pieces of getting started puzzle are location and funding. And as hard as funding is to procure, location is even harder unless you own or can buy the property, (which takes even more funding). Until you have both funding AND location, then those are your top priority. There is no pot of gold hidden away for people wanting to start any business, much less a haunted house. No bank will give you a loan for a haunt, (unless you have something to borrow against), and KickStarter has not worked out too well either. So if you don't have money or a location, then you have to find someone who does to partner up with. The local water park, family farm, or FEC is a place to start. Build a 4 room haunt in your garage (of evil) each October, send people through, work out the bugs, and put them in storage. Do the same next year and in 3-4 years you have a haunt ready to open, (If you can find a location!)

In the meantime, there is still plenty you can do now. Write an in depth business plan. Design your attraction and price it out to the last screw so you know how much money you need. Put together your creative package, name, storyline and theme for the haunt. Once you have a name you can build the website, start up social media and try to get some buzz going on what you are trying to do, while you work on funding ad location.

It takes a month or more to build a 4,000 sf haunt, operation dates are Friday and Sat only from the last Sat in September through the first Sat in November. So assuming you can get a building permit in that time frame frame, then as you can lock down your location by middle of August, then you may be able to operate that year, (depending on the size of the city, it can take as much as 12 months to get a permit through the process). If not than you are looking at the following year. (Read More next week!)

Updated 04-21-2018 at 07:23 AM by JustJimAZ

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