View Full Version : When do you decide to go pro?

11-12-2008, 09:56 AM
What factors do you consider when you are trying to make the decision to go pro? Is it when you have had a home haunt for "x" amount of years and have acquired a fairly substantial following? Is it based solely on when you finally have, or are able to acquire, the financial means to get it up and running? Do you consider the amount of people you run through your home haunt and know that with proper advertising you can double, triple, etc. that amount of people and make it work? Any input based on your individual experiences would be greatly appreciated. I've been a home haunt for 5 years now and have received great feedback from everyone who comes through although we have only run about 700+ people through each year the last 2 years. We are already planning and collecting props and etc. for next year. I just don't know how or when to make the "move" from home to pro. Thanks for any help you can give me.

Greg Chrise
11-12-2008, 10:57 AM
Anybody can spend money.

You can make walls, get electrical harnesses, props costumes, decor, safety items and pay rent on a place. You can easily make a list of 40 people that want to participate in the haunt.

Very few can make money.

It is a little tougher to figure out how your area works with reguard to advertising. Over the years EVERY home haunt that became pro never saw but a few of their home haunt customers ever again when it came to paying for a ticket. you are immediately insearch of brand new never before seen customers with the opening of a pro haunt. Advertising is the only way to do this.

Keeping those customers coming back from year to year takes constant change and development. With advertising it may take years to get those customers that throw away junk mail, don't regularly go anywhere, have no friends and have been all along on some weird cable channel or Internet forum for their existance.

Jim Warfield
11-12-2008, 11:31 AM
I had just spent 15 years working 65 hrs. a week, being "on-call" almost every night for emergency repair work (and many times when it wasn't an emergency at all, just some elderly confused person who needed someone to bitch at)
I wasn't bringing home enough money to make the house payments AND feed my family more than just corn meal (every meal! ugh!)
We didn't have a family car for three years, so when this old spooky house went on the market I asked my now ex if we should buy it? She agreed.
It was a gradual thing, finding financial backers and getting this place bought, then my ex said "satan" must have bought this house for me, and she was going to allow me to experience some "tough love" (All the fad -word when describing an unrully teenager, I was not a kid!)
It was slow, extremely labor-intensive getting this place ready to open and there was no money at all for advertising, I built a customer base one at a time over several years........and learned to live on even less money than I had before.
Of course I did not quit my day job right away either.