View Full Version : Credit Cards?

Paranormal Fear
06-28-2012, 10:59 AM
As all haunted house owners and enthusiasts know, getting financing for a haunted house start-up business is no easy task. What do you think about starting up by use of credit cards as an alternative option?

06-28-2012, 11:04 AM
Virtually everything I have ever read advises against using credit cards to aid in the startup of ANY business!

06-28-2012, 12:49 PM
Assuming that you qualify for the amount of credit that you would need to get those big of credit cards, that is still a bad idea. If you take out say $5000 and gamble on making that back that is one thing, because odds are you will get 500 people to come at $10, but to finance the whole project on something that could potentially be charging you 20-30% interest that is not good. If it rains, snows, etc. and nobody comes you would be out all of that money plus that high interest and it would just keep compounding. Just keep saving until you have enough to start something small and slowly build your way up. We saved for almost 10 years until we had enough to do a pro haunt the way we wanted to, now we are adding attraction 2 this year and trying to steadily grow without taking on much debt.

06-28-2012, 01:47 PM
As all haunted house owners and enthusiasts know, getting financing for a haunted house start-up business is no easy task. What do you think about starting up by use of credit cards as an alternative option?

Basically, it's you going to the bank to get a loan and asking for the sh*ttiest interest rates possible, with the worst possible terms.

If you walked down to your local branch of whoever, you could probably get a home loan for 4% on a fixed 30 year loan if you had excellent credit. If not excellent credit, then at least you'd get close. It would go up a few percentage points, perhaps, but at least you'd be done in 30 years, or earlier if you made additional payments to principle.

With a credit card, you're paying 29% out of the gate (and out the wazoo) on a debt you will probably never pay off.

You also need to ask yourself some serious questions at this stage of the game, the first being, what do you actually need the money for? Seriously.

I'm guessing it is probably for rent on the location, but in general, you need to make a serious reckoning of what you think you'll specifically need the money for, and how much.

People like Greg Chrise, Allen Hopps, or JB Corn back in the day, can take $5K and make an excellent haunt that could turn a profit, or at the very least break even on, and then they would own an asset they could build on each year and improve. Granted, it won't have all the bright and shiny "bells & whistles" that we think we'd like to have, but it will do the job, and they'll make money with it in the process.

However, the minute lots of "free money" enters the picture (or this classic:"the bank's money", as in "hey, let's play with the bank's money, make a ton of money on our haunt, and put it back before the bank even asks for it!") - and we start thinking in terms of 3000+ patrons our first year, at $20 a ticket (more like 800 patrons in some markets) - then suddenly we think we're rich before we've even started, and we start spending money on paper that we don't have, and may not have for several seasons (if we're even that lucky). Suddenly we want to buy up the entire catalog of Unit70, ScareFactory, and FrightProps. Of course, we congratulate ourselves on how fiscal-minded we are by just getting the "cheap" animatronics and props at $2K a pop (and not the $10K a pop animatronics) and think we're real haunt pros and businessmen. But ultimately we are spending money we don't have, and if this is your first year haunting you have no idea what kind of return you can realistically expect see in your market in even ideal conditions.

You also won't realistically be looking at $20 a ticket. More like $10 a ticket.

So, for every purchase we make or dollar we spend, that's X number of tickets we have to sell. That's X number of dollars we won't be seeing in profits. That is a cold, hard, unforgiving form of accounting indeed. I've seen people talk about paying $2000 ("wow, what a deal! I could have spent $10K!") for an "animatronic" that they could actually have made for less than $200 (or even less than $100 with some dumpster diving) and get an animatronic that is twice as good as what they could have bought. But instead, now having paid that $2000 for that one prop, they now need to sell 200 tickets at $10 a pop just to amortize its cost. That's no way to run a business, but that's how a lot of "business minded" first-timers go about it.

Oh, but the good news is that they did mention that $2000 prop in their "business plan". :sad:

Based on your previous posts, I'm guessing this is for rent. How much is rent? You are renting out a local rodeo venue? Based on all of the "outside" questions, does this rodeo not have a roof? The local Mesquite Rodeo here in DFW does.

So, how much is the venue going to cost you in total, and if this is a non-profit haunt (for charity, perhaps?), can you get certain costs donated?


Jim Warfield
06-28-2012, 04:10 PM
About what became a very famous haunt that was started by maxing out a stack of those plastic cards,,, and it was never all paid back. The owner hid out from creditor's phone calls all of his life.
Many "forces" beyond a haunt owner's control can cause many unplanned expenses too.
Most assumed the haunt in question was very successful and in many ways it really was, but not financially.
I know a lot about the personal satisfaction part of haunting. I'm not open every night of the year for just the munny!
I have so much fun here! It can be highly contagious, my patrons often catch it from me, but don't complain.

Allen H
06-28-2012, 07:04 PM
I would not use credit cards for more than $10,000. that also needs to be the first money you pay back. Also try to spend the $10,000 on real items you will keep as opposed to intangibles like marketing.
Allen H

Jim Warfield
06-28-2012, 08:40 PM
Sure, is that what they are calling it this week? Instead of "The Olde Shell Game"?
It's like hitting a moving target in the dark with no starlight scope and half of your ammo are dud rounds!
THE only thing that brings people is a excellant experience their friends or relatives have suffered within your haunted enterprise., but if you like to just spend money and the momentary rush associated with the draining of a Bank balance, then go for it!
The ways in which our society communicates has changed and is changing almost constantly. $3.90 worth of spray paint on a rest room wall worked advertising The Rocky Horror Show in New York MANY years ago... but.
25 years of asking new customers how they discovered Ravens Grin, it has never been an ad I paid for or a billboard, or a nice article in even a major city's newspaper," but last week my friend was here and he said...."
We each get one chance to make a good first impression and that first impression can make all the difference in the world.

Greg Chrise
06-28-2012, 09:44 PM
There are all kinds of "credit" offerings that require no intrest at all like exchanging a percentage of the ticket for rent payment. It could be less than the space usually gets or it could exceed all expectations and pay more than the space would normally raise but the credit comes with no strings, no monthly payments and no accumulating intrest.

Same thing with key people that need to be paid, pay day is in November when the reciepts have all been accounted for.

Materials can be from genuinely helping someone get rid of three trailer fulls of 3/4 inch plywood and stacks of 2x6s that were left on a property and now are a haven for possible rodents and a fire hazard. In other words work by you equals free.

Focusing on paying cash for only raw materials instead of buying turn key props, literally picking things up on trash day like odd furniture and file cabinets that might be a lab scene. Sort of having a predetermined idea of what can fit into scenes and things that can be repurposed into things that look like other things.

It is a little easier if your day job has you traveling all over the place seeing what the disposable society is wasting. Being around contractors that over buy building materials and would rather give stuff away than have a never ending storage bill for things they may never use again. Most real construction jobs want the new stack of materials dropped off by a truck because the customer paid for it. They aren't into recycling stuff that has been in storage for a year or waste labor on trying to get the nails out of things.

It is an entirely different mind set. I'm not saying become some weirdo hippy dumpster diver that also managed to stock up on 6 months worth of food that way too but, there are opportunities everywhere.

There are also lots of new haunt start ups where they bought $125,000 worth of crap and marketing and everything is for sale at 20 cents to 30 cents on the dollar that can be transformed with left over paint and a tint kit. So you do indeed spend some money on gas, trucks, 2 meals a day, mass quantities of coffee and dog food. Some dollar figure per day that in the real world might be considered poverty. You do end up with monthly storage bills where others just refused to do that. So you don't have an outdoor kitchen but you have a sustainable business.

Your time is worth money. That is the goal of how many customers need to show up, not some payment that needs to be met. If you use credit or get a loan, that 20 to 30% income is going back to someone else and not you. Generally in any business that is the total percentage of profit actually available and some one else wants it. You get nothing. There is no reason to buy expensive things and expect to turn a profit 3 years down the road. BY finding some opportunities it is the same as getting paid now by saving money. If a free 2x6 can be ripped on a table saw and become the lumber for a whole wall, you just saved $7.50. Well, you just earned $7.50 in about 20 minutes. You find materials on craigs list $1 a sheet of plywood or $3 a sheet or some whacky deal where you have to take all kinds of crap and sell what you don't want or can't use. Trade it for labor to help move things around or screw things together or paint base coats on things. You are making/earning money.

Anyone can spend money but very few know how to make money. If everything was free, the pressure is totally off. Even if only 50 people show up you profited because everything was already paid for. Don't quit your day job but afford yourself the time to look around a bit. The other mistake everyone does is it will happen by such and such date. Bullshit, it will happen when all the stuff is here and there is nothing better to do than open the booger up. Once you have all the tools then others get excited about what opportunity can really be. People that have stuff and see your stuff as something they would have to spend a small fortune on. And typically they don't have the time or the skills to do all of this. So you get paid.

There is no rhyme or reason to how and when exactly a certain thing gets built, it comes when the deal is there or the materials become available. You get entirely out of the consumer society. Those are the people who buy tickets to escape the daily grind. Credit is something created to make you a better consumer. Not really a business owner that can just pay for things and be able to do exactly what your said you would do.

Look at all the things around you and see things in a different perspective. Haunts are the best thing in the word because everything is supposed to look damaged and old anyhow. Try not to bring home termites but, why take brand new stuff and spend so much time making it look old.

Any topic you want to bring up, lighting, sound equipment, computers, everything has demanded the newest tech every 2 years and as a non consumer who cares if a prop is actually running on an atari 600. It is the same damn processor, always has been as the you program it fancy boards for $550. Someone is using that as a door stop right now somewhere.

How did people make things before there were all of these fancy things in cans and bottles at the big box stores to be convieniently purchased by Joe the consumer and his family. You just made something in the future on prices from the past. Your brain just took 1968 prices and times ten happens and you get paid the difference. You don't have to go all the way back to the 1500s but history and science helps.

Not just haunts or haunting things, I watch people all the time go rent a building, buy all the crap they think should be in there and buy all the special tools, all top grade stuff before they even really know how to do what it is they think is their business of a lifetime. Then they find out no potential customer is as excited about what ever it is and the rent is still due every month and the work they do get, they find out is is work they are doing to pay this rent. Then it isn't fun for some reason. They shut down and don't want to do any challenging work and would rather shut down and stop because it wasn't magic. There is always an excuse, they didn't get the second loan, the locations wasn't right, they found out you had to pay people you hired before youself and fill out all kinds of forms. Instead of just going to work to begin with and earning everything at a pace that you can not lose with.

The collection plate will be coming around soon, dont be skimping.

Greg Chrise
06-28-2012, 10:02 PM
I just came up with a new hobby. I'm going to start asking homeless people if I can review their business plans. They all look better groomed, better rested than I do.

06-28-2012, 10:10 PM
I read somewhere that at least half of new small businesses are financed at least in part with credit cards. The number goes up and down depending on the economy and how tight banks are with new loans. I have struggled with this decision myself. And as everyone has pointed out, it should be a decision not to be taken lightly.

My wife and I compiled a larger credit card balance than Mr Hopps suggested when starting our non-haunt related business. I have to say it was not as risky an industry, and after 7 years have finally gotten to the point it will be paid off soon. In the end it was DEFINATELY worth it. Obviously, I can only say that because our small business has been successful even in this crappy economy. I have seen many others fail, and I'm sure they are not glad they ran up their credit card debt.

Like the others have said, you have to be frugal. There is great temptation to burn through money you have yet to earn, and it's probably one of the most dangerous aspects of our modern society. It is the source of many heartbreaks, divorces, and failures... but it has also been the way many people have been able to reach their dreams. There is much truth in the old phrase: "It takes money to make money." Tread lightly!

Greg Chrise
06-29-2012, 04:23 AM
There are all kinds of scenarios.

There is the need money now to take over an existing business with known amount of income that you have to buy some assets to take over, former owners ran it into the ground and bought new cars and houses instead of paying taxes on employees for 5 years.

There is the every year get $150,000 in private investor credit, pay a few people salaries all year long for super detailed build up every year paying back that money to investors and paying back a rather high percentage. Doing that every year and every year never actually producing enough to get out from under that investor platform. In the end, someone loses eventually, investors pull out, some factor like the location gets sold out from under them and can not be replaced over night or the core staff all proves to have been deviant somehow.

There is the type of business that pays $150,000 fully on advertising every year, reguardless of whether that is efficient or not it sounds really good like you are doing something successful.

There are the old timers that maintain never to start a business unless you have $150,000 in cash and never before because you will never get out from under credit or the credit game will change its rules over time and you didn't count on that so you lose out and have to come up with $150,000 in cash anyhow at some point and basically take over your own company if there is a possible second wind available.

There is the kind of business where the owner was such a go getter they had a heart attack and have $150,000 in doctor bills and only have use of half of their body and brain functioning and show up Thursday night at the Barbeque shack to share heart surgery stories.

There are the stories on Yahoo finance where America kind of all became big box stores and some old guy needs $150,000 because he spent all his retirement, sold two homes and got an equity loan on a third home to start a hardware store in an era when there are Home Depots and Lowes big box stores because it was his dream to have an old timey hardware store, now it is a sad story and how long will it take before Bill and his wife move in with their kids and sit around all depressed and shit because they thought it just took money to make money.

And then there is the build a business from the ground up, paying as you go that actually makes a meager profit that you can actually walk away from with cash in you pocket if a location or whole community doesn't work out for you. That can be done over and over where like in the days when there was nothing 100 years ago, you can drop that man in any town with maybe $1000 and in a year walk out with the next years full income.

Or there are the types of businesses where there are industry magazines and business plan demos you can possibly duplicate and reports of thousands of these types of businesses that all certainly must be doing so well and you can too if you just weasel your entire family for the fortune and credit they have amassed and it will all be grand somehow when you become part of the machine. Just do what someone in California has done in some backward little town in the wonderful world of America where you have the right to lose and go back and get a job and file for bankruptsy. So the question is, if you do lose, who wins? Well, 95% of start ups don't go past year 2 because no one really taught finance properly, not even the most supposedly advanced colleges in the country. SO don't lose, don't play the game. Don't have to be all 24/7 assholes and elbows because you were told by some 20 year old magazine writer that never actually did anything in their life that the facts are in.

So to truely be successful, you develop your own market, you don't buy one. You pay as you go, you don't over extend on credit especially in a situation where you might get hit with $40,000 in zoning issues and compliance problem half an hour before opening your business. You go in much smaller cycles that are proven to be successful to only your own yearly balance sheet. You can be super resourcefull and go years and years making money and really have only spent $10,000 where you might question if that was a necessary expense or you can go spend $150,000 and give a seminar and no one will really no what a dumbass you are because they haven't done that or probably won't get ahold of that much money but, it sounds good. If only I could get a shit load of money, what would I do with it, it would be great.

The key is the money comes from ticket buying customers whether it starts out at $2 a ticket or $20 a ticket, it doesn't come from Grandmas food stamps savings, some asshole loan officer that you agreed to hire his kid, Some fat assed investor group that wants 40% on the dollar every year and certainly thinks you should come on the yearly cruise too.

Where does all this money go? How fat are all these people? Do they really work or do they only really work their jaws? Sure you can get fronted $50,000 and all the ticket money goes to paying off that $50,000 plus a factor of times 1.5, then you have to run around pretending to be a go getter too until that money is satisified. Then if you haven't already killed your health, your family, your credit, your sanity you can do it again for yourself on the third cycle and it will be great!

Haunts are a seasonal business and I watch the big earners get behind different ways of marketing that costs lots of money and then 2 years later they will say that didn't work and isn't really what the business was about at it's core. And over and over and over I hear something like a billboard cost $30,000 or a bunch of props cost $30,000 or a machine that makes props and all the supplies cost $30,000 and it is the best thing they ever did in their life but all the actors and artists at a haunt all did everything for no pay at all and $30,000 could have been payroll for everyone! Why wasn't it? Who pays? Who loses? Is it a real business? It can be if the priorities are right.

Money comes from the customers. Then it pays everyone involved for real work performed and maybe there is some left over. Maybe there isn't some left over. If it was done on credit, it becomes a somebody somewhere loses somewhere scenario because that is the American way. Kind of an everyone that has never done this before sharing little secrets and rumors of how they think someone else actually makes lots of money when who they are talking about was just a blow hard that won't even admit to themselves they ripped everyone else off in their lives and it is all fronted on credit that could implode any day.

The right way is to pay cash for some tool. Either the sears craftman $139 home handy man set or the $13,000 I got a bunch of walls lets put on a show because it's a recession and I'm otherwise unemployable starter kit and go to work. There are tons of scenarios where people inherited money and spent it all regardless of how efficiently and got all this stuff you will never be able to afford. Or 5 people all got together and had money and it always seems 3 or 4 of them screwed away a decade of their life and will never get over that lesson.

You see all the pictures of the 20,000 SF haunts built just the way they wanted. All the fancy things. Is that really what the customer wanted? Isn't it some kind of odd spectacle like going to a monster truck show, makes no sense what so ever but people line up and go see it trying to figure it out? Or is it something the community really becomes a fan of and goes to every year because there might be nothing but some black walls and dummies and 5 guys with masks running around but it is real, it isn't like TV.

Then there is the reality not seen in any magazine where you drive around and just read the signs. They say air conditioning and taxedermy. Transmission specialist and Gunsmith. Arts and crafts and siding supply. Hardware and auto parts. Day care and limosine service. Or even in the haunt deal, people have a haunt but they also act at 2 others, make props for 5 haunts, sell stuff at 3 trade shows and work 6 other kinds of festivals and carnivals just to make a living. Still after taxes just a living.

Most succesful businesses discover down the road a few years that 80 percent of their customers are the biggest pain in the ass ever, expect the most and want to pay the least. There is 20% that alone actually support the business and buy in volumes and don't haggle for prices, they value their time and your time and things happen. So what if right off the bat you could figure out how to lower all the stress in your life and know your own pattern will work and you only cater to that 20% of good customers right off the bat, how sweet would that be?

Well, conversely you can get rid of 80% of the predatory lenders, the telemarketers and phone book solicitors, the false insurance over writers that need all in cash up front and pay a bigger company by the month and loan out your money, the banks and fees they like to come up with, the delays from all the crap in consumer society, the advertising staffs sitting around waiting to take your $4,000 call. Lets get rid of all the investors that want to talk about their health 3 times a week on the phone until 3AM because you might be their only freind that understands. Lets get rid of the assholes that think they pimped you out and really hooked you up somehow and now you owe them. Lets get rid of all the losers that need a cigarette from you and $30 a day and can you give them a ride to the probation office at noon today. Lets get rid of 80% of all the bullshit that really holds you back from day one.

The solution is in the next post.

Greg Chrise
06-29-2012, 05:21 AM
Being a credit card millionare worked great in 1980. You could buy a house on a cash advance and have a few other credit cards to pay those credit cards and sell the house for a profit and you didn't even have to speak the language. That was before computers hooked up all the banks in a federal system. You can become a super weasel and figure out what banks subscribe to what federal systems, which ones report and with ones don't. Intest on a credit card is nothing if you can pay it before the 30 days bill so that really means in 3 weeks given how wicked fast the post office is.

Except now, every purchase, the amount and the type of purchase and to the day when payments are recieved are a ticking time bomb of screwing up your credit. Back when everyone was supposed to have credit it was only 4% APR and now it is if you are an hour late you pay 31% from then on because you are the loser. And you will lose. Why not just go to the dollar store and give them twice the money for that box of twinkies. That is what you are doing especially if you take years to pay off your balance.

I joke about what I had to pay for my current business that is doing well but it really isn't a joke. I found a guy that was doing it wrong, I worked for him and we earned all the equipment it needed instead of im renting. Then I worked hard to buy the equipment from him when I bought the business. Then I worked hard again and bought all the equipment from al the contractors I worked for so they couldn't just go do a job with out buyig new equipment, then I worked harder even still and rebuilt all this junk equipment and then I worked even harder to wear out 3 sets of equipment over the course of 15 years until there was only one set of equipment left. And then the market changed where you really didn't need all of this equipment, only some of it. Yet, every fe years some new person goes out and taks grandmas money and buys all new equipment and fancy trucks with signs on them and lasts about a year before they figure out they don't have any customers that are not that 80% I already dumped because they were all about them and psycotic.

SO at what point in the market are you jumping into? Are you creating a market or taking over one where someone else failed or one where someone left only the dregs? Or will someone see all of your fancy spending as something they might want to do too and take that 20% of good customers because customers really have no loyalty at all until they have been burned by everyone else.

Another fun thing is having a hobby mentality. You buy $1000 worth of the latest mask making products, $1000 worth of carpentry tools, $1000 worth of airbrushing equipment, buy a couple $2500 props just to see how they are made and maybe you can make your own after that, lets get crazy and figure out how $5,000 worth of sound equipment works, lets try the new style of lighting for $4,000, lets get a couple $3,000 costumes, that will make sure people think we are for real, lets buy a couple props from someone that this is their first year building such things and it's okay if we ar guinee pigs as customers, we love making phone calls and bitching on the internet. We are gonna need a cre cab dooley with a vehicle wrap and a hearse and iphones for everyone and lap tops and GPS systems and all kinds of shit. We are gonna need some of those $470 masks and the $270 costumes that go with them.

You know spending money is a lot of work. And then all that shit you bought seems to break down, needs replaced, repaired maintained and stored and prevented from theft and insured and moved all over the place and all along all you needed was a drill with a screw bit in it from a garage sale. They sell paint brushes at the paint store. They sell spray bottles at the dollar store. Allen Hopps videos tell you how to make all this shit for $4 in 15 minutes. You have Jim Warfield right here totally for free on the Interwebs with 12,000 posts basically telling you it is about stimulating the customers minds and senses, not about puzzling them with something that cost $150,000.

Then you have me that wonders how some serious retards have made it through life and got so many other people to pay for every aspect of their lives because you have to help them reach that goal in their lives if at all possible. Doesn't matter if they are functionally illiterate or stupid or have no skills what so ever, they have to have a trophy. And if they make $20 they are done for the day and off in the car to Dairy Queen and even if they are 60 and run into not being able to pay the bills, momma will give them some money. And if you do a job for them that makes them some money they are in the car going on a 3 day vacation and didn't pay you your part first. Or you drive into some place to get your check and there is no check but there is a brand new truck there. Gee where did my money go?

Everyone needs to live their lives but it really doesn't have to be all stressful. The economy is still there, never went away, just what is for real has changed. What was real relative to money hasn't changed. The only thing talked about in the media and internet reports are the crazy things. You never hear Bob just did his same routine and made a deposit in the bank because he did some work, back to you Susan! You never hear ralph earned that money, you only hear you can steal money or borrow money or do a ponzi scheme or become a corporation backed on everyones insurance holdings and pensions they will never get. You will get an hour of how they figured out how to sell corn puffs to your stupid ass and you will watch it in between 30 commercials because you are livin the dream.

So if being creative makes people happy, why aren't people creating things? Why do they buy all this shit and expect everyone will love it? Why do people buy things produced by a machine and think everyone else wants something made from a machine. You can make things one of a kind for $10 and be really weird instead of buying things for $100 that there are 20 of and pictures on the internet to prove it. It takes just as long to make something as it takes to go shopping. Or you spend $1000 to go to a trade show to buy something for $100. Well, I guess you are living your life and shit. Education is expensive. Or maybe it isn't? Who said it was? Someone that is being paid as an educator? Damn everything is some kind of scam, you can't win.

Who said it takes money to make money? Someone that loans money. You can make a mud puddle scary. How much does that cost?

Greg Chrise
06-29-2012, 05:44 AM
So everyone go to the Raven's Grin Inn located in Illinois, open all year and buy all of Allen Hopps DVDs. Now continue with living your life.

06-29-2012, 10:40 AM
Who said it takes money to make money?

Money isn't the cause of failure or success. It's how YOU use it that determines that... regardless of the source. But with no money... you're a hobo building your haunt out of a cardboard box in an alley. Sure you could start your business there but how long do you have to live to make it a financial success? I guess that depends on what "financial success" means to you.

Jim Warfield
06-29-2012, 11:47 AM
just may be "The Ticket", look at Justin Beaver, a You-tube video and he's a Richie Rich now!
Build that cardboard haunt, pray for no rain.
(I prefer an old chicken coop, myself.)
We fimed a very funny, accidental video involving a chicken coop (in my back yard)
IT was "The Love shack"! I am carrying a foxy mannequin about to enter the Love Shack when the bottom half of the dummy accidentaly falls from the upper body. I stand there stunned for a mere moment or three, then said something like:"Well I guess this WAS the half I REALLY WANTED!"
And walk into the coop holding the upper half.

06-29-2012, 01:23 PM
Money isn't the cause of failure or success. It's how YOU use it that determines that... regardless of the source. But with no money... you're a hobo building your haunt out of a cardboard box in an alley. Sure you could start your business there but how long do you have to live to make it a financial success? I guess that depends on what "financial success" means to you.

Looking forward to Greg's response to this one. *breaking out the popcorn*

Jim Warfield
06-29-2012, 06:40 PM
The problem is always having enough money to get all of those things that you are supposed to have, need, get.
Adding up a column of numbers can be debillitating when the total key is pushed.
IT says:"And YOU thought you had enough money!?"
How much is ever "Enough"?
I can't answer that question, but I know I have never come close to whatever mythical figure it may actually be or become.
Do you spend $25,000 a season on advertising? ME? Never even close, sometimes spending nothing at all!
Where does the ticket money go then? It stays right close to me!
When the money is rolling "IN", it will not always keep rolling in because of numerous factors and major influences, many of which are beyond our control....

06-29-2012, 10:27 PM
Where does the ticket money go then? It stays right close to me! When the money is rolling "IN", it will not always keep rolling in because of numerous factors and major influences, many of which are beyond our control....

Because if you are indeed only open a few weekends out of the year, then having 2 weekends, or even 2 nights, totally rained out can totally sink you for the next year.

I wonder where you put that on the "business plan"? Perhaps right next to the column where it said you maxed out your credit cards and mortgaged out your home on your haunt in your first year.


Greg Chrise
06-30-2012, 02:26 AM
The real super successful people that have haunts and routine numbers of customers and routine amounts of money to deal with. The ones that last decades not just a few years, typically started out with nothing what so over. Real honest to god hobos or outcasts. They ended up having a different perspective of what it took to make that money, where the guy who thinks the world is the guy with the most collateral when he dies wins doesn't live real long or have a healthy life from all the stress. The people that know there is a new cardboard box being thrown out somewhere in the world tend to go all out to exactly not have to pick out that next box. The credit or other peoples money guy thinks you hire someone to do all that and it magically happens.

Another bunch that says it takes money to make money are financial advisers and now the whole country is finding out if you give your money to someone else, guess what, you gave your money to someone else. You think it is making money but it isn't your money anymore, you will never see your money back. Or when you do get it back it is now income that has taxes due. So that money can go to other people who don't want to work also.

Something where you might be able to inventively take some money and turn it into money any time of the year as needed might work for the modern day credit card millionaire but something seasonal means it only happens once a year at harvest time? You better know exactly where to go and when to sell something. Preferably indoors or really quick like selling stuff out of the trunk of your car.

You can have a nice car that is on payments or lease, you can have an iphone that costs so much a month, you can be on the road to owning your own home and property and dress real snazzy and talk all positive and still those credit cards aren't getting you a 20,000 SF haunt in an old Walmart building inspected as okay by the city. Your credit cards aren't what the city or property owners want to hear. They want to hear that some billion dollar organization is going to employ a few people and pay for a whole year in rent up front in cash.

So yes, we are going to start out with a card board box and off season do freaking puppet shows from that same box that can be picked up and run with like the little cardboard cars on Romper Room to survive. So you are gonna flash credit cards in a cardboard box world? Kind of a mismatch. We want real coinage or tools that can be a performance art the makes more people throw more coins into the box. When everyone gets a little lax on donating we are going to a new crowd a few blocks over. Then we are forming a Hobo coop where we can trade information. We are helping other Hobos out and getting help back when we least expect it. It's a life style.

Yes, you can use credit cards, it doesn't matter because you will end up cutting them all up anyhow if you are hanging around Hobo town. You are the new popular guy and everyone has something to sell you. You didn't earn the money from the ground up so what the hell lets party, we can always go make more. Then you can't make more. Oh oh.

All the other Hobos laugh at you. You fell for the credit card trick? HA HA HA!

I didn't respond earlier because he has a legitimate point. A different way of thinking. A younger man's sentiment. The younger people are supposed to over extend themselves and keep paying the older people. They eventually get old too and wise up but when they are young they already know everything and listen to catch phrases made by Ben Franklin in the years when he was crazy mad with syphilis. But it all sounds reasonable. I mean he printed it in a book so it must be real.

07-09-2012, 01:34 PM
I began working on building up a haunt some 12 years ago, collecting a few little things here and there over the years, until I had a respectful inventory of props I had either built from scrap materials or purchased real cheap. It wasnt until I reached a point where I had a decent inventory that I opened the doors of The Plague to the public.

Everything is financed by me. I dont believe in using credit cards because the terms are lousy and I hate paying bills. If you build slow, and invest over time, you will be able to build a great attraction that is 100% paid for! By the way, Big T Productions Inc owns a diesel for hauling, 100% paid for, a utility trailer for hauling, and flat bed trailer for hauling, and several other assets that are all 100% paid for!

If something happens and we have a bad year, I dont get my money back . It just means I get to try again the next year, and I dont have to worry about paying those bills!

BTW - we are now able to buy from all the big guys which is really paying off because it adds a lot to the attraction, and we are adding a new attraction this year as well ....... its all about your savings plan!

07-09-2012, 08:08 PM
I don't agree. Some business credit cards like capital one are offering 0% for 12 months. 0% is a far cry from 29%! The APR after the initial 12 months is at 12% I believe. I think it is a good idea to use it to boost your capital. If it were at 29% I would agree it is a bad idea...

07-27-2012, 01:16 AM
I don't agree. Some business credit cards like capital one are offering 0% for 12 months. 0% is a far cry from 29%! The APR after the initial 12 months is at 12% I believe. I think it is a good idea to use it to boost your capital. If it were at 29% I would agree it is a bad idea...

Well, you'd think so, yet crushing credit card debt is a major epidemic in this country. :( Believe me, what you described is precisely where my issues with credit card debt started, and where millions of people's problems started as well. Trust me when I say that we were all pretty much frightfully too clever for our own good. Like I said, "playing with the bank's money."

Unless you pay it all back, at 12 months and 1 day, that 29% interest rate comes crashing down on you like an Acme Anvil in a Roadrunner cartoon, and midwife's you into a whole new world of hurt. When you see first time haunters idly musing over whether or not to spend $10K or $20K or more on their haunt, much less some $8K on one room, then that is just a disaster waiting to happen.

Consider, if they had the money, they wouldn't need to use the credit card, yes? Well, what? Are they going to have a spare $20K lying around in 12 months and 1 day that they can use to pay that debt off in full? Are they planning on winning the lottery about that time? Did they already take out a second mortgage on their home to cover expenses, and are pretty skint as it is? What if they face a financial crisis? Based on real world results, if they didn't have it at the start of the year, they probably won't have it at the end of the year either. I know I didn't.

These are all realities that regular people face, even without taking on something as risky as a haunt. I don't know how much credit card debt you have, but I know from my own experience and the experience of millions of other people, this is a risky game to play.

(Now, that being said, a few thousand in available credit for incidentals during a successful run, that might be more tenable.)


07-27-2012, 11:00 AM
I agree, IF you're going to use a card, keep it at a manageable amount. Part of the reasoning here is if you ever need a serious loan for real world problems, high amounts of revolving (cc) debt is the worst thing you can show; that will make you a much higher risk to the bank, so you'll wither need to pay more money down or a higher interest rate.

If youre not getting a loan, Another option is to get a LINE OF CREDIT through your bank. This will have a slightly higher interest rate, but like a cc you only pay for what you use. An added benefit is you will develop a deeper relationship with your bank, which ultimately leads to waived fees and better/faster service. But keep in mind that a LOC is also revolving debt..

Again, avoid unmanageable amounts on any credit card, unless you have a foolproof schedule of payments based on a fixed amount, so that you pay it off before that 0% goes away. There's also the balance transfer game but let's just not go there lol.