View Full Version : Are two heads really better then one?

03-23-2009, 12:14 PM
I have been told "two heads are better then one" I don’t know how many times?...? Do you think having a partner owner/operator is better then going at it alone? I have been going at it alone for 3 years now. Am I missing out Or am I dodging headaches? :confused: Any thoughts...

Fables Studios

Allen H
03-23-2009, 07:01 PM
Your missing out and Dodging headaches. Both approaches have merit. I have done both, in my eyes having a partner only becomes an issue when your show does well, success is a bigger strain than when you are not doing well.
the big question is do you need a partner? what will they contribute to the show, where are you weak, do you need an artist? do you need a business savvy partner? do you need a work horse to help share the load?
I think those questions are the ones you should ask yourself.
Good luck,
Allen H

03-24-2009, 09:45 AM
I always figured I would not need a partner, but I would need to build a strong "Team or Family" to back the company and to have people in their special areas where my weaknesses are. I have heard nothing but bad things about partnerships... so I think I will keep going the way I have been. Thanks again!
Peter T
Fables Studios

Jim Warfield
03-27-2009, 06:31 PM
I was told I needed a partner 21 years ago. I made the offer to a man who was about to retire from the building trades. I think he retired because he was "tired".
He approached his wife with the offer and she declined...Thank God!
I probably would have acquired some other of his family memebers along with "Dad" and looking back it all would have been a severely limiting situation.
How much unique, different and crazy creations have ever arrived via "Committee?"
Dam few as far as I have ever heard.
I think of the whole house-thing here as "Art", my art.
I also feel that many of my customers are actually "patrons" and return because this is a different sort of show, "Viva La Difference!"
There will be no laundry lists of identicle props found here that were manufactured somewhere else by someone else, sorry to make rateing my place so difficult, but then people come back for various reasons.

03-30-2009, 10:41 AM
I need to see your haunt some time! I am also trying something different... I am unsure if it will work but I will keep my fingers X and hope for the best. I figure since I am a new haunt I will not have mobs of people, so I will be able to have a slower thru put. Thanks again and talk with you soon!

Fables Studios

08-20-2009, 08:15 PM
The two haunts I work for are both owned by partners and they've been doing it for the past 20 years and have had great success. I'm sure it depends on the people but like Allen said, it can be both good and bad. You can split responsibilities, develop more creative juices but also have conflicting ideas...

Find the right "head" and you'll love it

12-29-2009, 08:44 AM
Hello all,

So far everything has been going well on my own. I guess one crazy mind leading the pack works out. I can see benefits to having a partner but as they say “Why try to fix something that is not broken?”. Sometimes too many Minds spoil the Haunt. Some times………

Peter T

Jim Warfield
12-30-2009, 09:54 PM
Happened for me many years ago when I was a JC building a haunt.
I had my idea .
"That will never work."
"Well, then you stay away he and I will make it happen." And we did.
The "He" just mentioned ripped out something I had spent a ton of time and effort trying to make work a certain way (this didn't please me)
A randomly flashimg blinker replaced a customer-activated attempt of mine..but at least "something" was in that doorway versus something that wasn't working......

Take inventory of what each partner brings to the partnership as far as reliability and work ethic.
Communicate alot, eliminate surprises, know who is going to do what before starting anything.

One time a friend approached me trying to get us to become partners in home construction (not "Haunted") He was a friend, we had many laughs together... but he had some glaring personal faults for someone to be holding up their half of a partnership in that business.
His weaknesses: He oversold himself and what needed to be done in a job. He had almost no tools, money.
I had the tools, some equiptment.
I like to work, physically and accomplish noticable results every hour.
He is a "talker".
My biggest shortcoming , I was already 52 years old, he was a few years older...who is going to be doing all that climbing and day-long heavy lifting?
He was upset when I refused his offer. He got over it.
He had already been doing a terrible job just working alone. As his friend I repaired one bad job of his when he was hospitalised (for no charge, of course)
All the job needed were another handfull of screws to keep it from falling apart. (a fence and gate)

02-08-2010, 01:12 PM
I know there are pros & cons to both, personally I believe it's better with two people. As long as for the most part they're like minded with the majority of things, the load the first persons carries should be much lighter. I've been in this industry 10 years this coming season (2010), I don't own the haunt, but I do in a sense help manage & maintain. The guy I work for doesn't really believe in partnerships, but seeing as he gives me a lot of responsibility already & recently I've requested more to do.......doesn't that make me more or less a partner?

I help do everything from plan scenes, demolition/construction, paint, maintenance, general housekeeping both outside & in, makeup, issue costumes, you name it I've had my hands in it.

SlightlySick Illusions
04-05-2010, 02:15 PM
I have had good partners and bad partners over the years! Just make sure you check the person out very good before bringing them into your company, hire a PI to check them out first. I had one partner that I thought was going to be great right up until we did our first convention, then to my surprise all week people kept coming up to the booth looking for money the guy owed them from previous years. To say the least the whole situation went down hill from there, and it finally came to the point that the best thing was to walk away. It cost me and my other partner right around $200,000 so far. Be cautious there are a lot of schemers and crooks in our industry!

04-16-2010, 02:41 PM
I saw a TV show where this small girl had two heads. The second head just sort of rolled it eyes and the mouth opened and shut occasionally but it didn't really seem to make things better at all. In fact, they ended up cutting the second head off and discarding it.

So the answer is officially no.

04-21-2010, 08:33 AM
So Far Everything is going well on my own…. I will have pics up soon of the location.
Thanks for all the comments!!

Peter T

05-28-2010, 09:24 AM
I am sure this will be a matter of opinion for most people. Personally I couldn't even imagine trying to get a haunt off the ground by myself without having a partner. It brings a lot of interactiveness to the table that you don't get by just having staff.

Also having said that, having a large budget for the first year would negate the need for a partner since you could just hire consultants or any crews you need.

To each their own I guess on this topic.

07-03-2010, 05:14 PM
I've never worked in the industry myself, but as others have said, but I would think it all depends on the person. Personally, I would want to be a partner with someone I knew well and trusted, and who I knew was capable of the work.

For someone like me, who's very artistic-minded but has absolutely NO business sense, a partner would practically be a requirement. And it could be beneficial to have someone to bounce ideas off of... for many people, it's easy to get overly ambitious, and having a more realistically-minded person would be helpful.

08-27-2010, 02:50 PM
I just got out of a partnership that lasted for over nine years. Partnerships definitely have their pros and cons. Neither one of us would be where we are now if it weren't for the past nine years of doing haunts together. Our partnership lasted because each of us had our specialties. When building and operating a haunt, one has to be a jack of all trades. Designing, building, promoting, managing, you get the picture. With two people at the helm, this process becomes alot more manageable. With that being said, you must know this person very well and make sure that both of you have the same expectations and game plan. Neither of you must never forget that you share this business with another person. All major decisions should be discussed and agreed upon. Remember, in a partnership, you probably only own 50%. I strongly recommend having a signed contract outlining each parnters responsibities. Any haunt owner can testify that there is a lot a stress in owning a haunt. Sometimes this stress can be eased having a partner, sometimes it can destroy the partnership. With all that being said, if I were new to the industry and planning on opening up a haunt, I would take in a partner.


09-21-2010, 02:40 AM
it also really depends on the individuals personality as well. Some people just have a real vision and they don't want it any other way.. this can cause the partners to butt heads constantly and bring many issues to the table. only you know how well you can adapt to bringing in a business partner.. do you tend to listen/like other peoples ideas? are you a very creative person who would be turned off by having others tell you "I dont really like that idea at all, it sounds horrible"?? the other way you could bring in a partner is if you both handle completely different aspects of the business. someone can be the creative brainchild, and the other person can handle the business/paperwork aspect.

in the end, only you know how well you'd work with a business partner, but you have to be pretty confident or it can get ugly later.

09-22-2010, 04:46 PM
no way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Look its simple if you want to be king be KING! There can only be one! Shane and its to much BS with a partner! Shane this time!!

03-03-2011, 02:25 PM
I'm with those who say that there are advantages to either. If you are in it alone, you are going to get all of the credit if the haunt becomes something major, but you are going to also have more headaches in getting there, most likely. When you have someone backing you, the workload is lessened, plus you gain another's perspective, which is useful when you are getting stuck, as is surely bound to happen at some point. Some people tend to want things their own way at all times, which becomes more of a liability, so it really comes down to who you choose to partner with. You really have to weigh the pros and cons before deciding, in my opinion.

01-11-2012, 05:38 AM
If you need to partner up with someone, make sure you partner with someone who shares the same passion with you.

Jim Warfield
01-12-2012, 10:13 PM
That one of the one things that seems to upset me more than almost anything else is when someone tells me that their Brother, cousin, Uncle, neighbor, used to come down to my house when I first got it, and they helped me build half of my haunted house, used a whole bunch of THEIR ideas too!
I have a very short list naming who has ever done what here for me , and so far none of these people will be finding themselves mentioned on my list, because They are fibbing!" I have probably done 95% of ALL the work here during the last 25 years , ever since I got this house.
"GGGR! Henny Penny baking bread all over again!
I guess probably a partner would not have ever worked out here for me, huh?
When working in the trades I usually worked alone and I would see how inefficient two men could be on a job, because they really could not accomplish the work of two full workers since one had to stop and tell the other one what to do. OR the yakkity-yak BS would fill the air , distracting them from considering the finer points of the job as far as saving time, doing something right the first time, ex cetra.
Sure , heavy lifting it's nice to have another "back", but I figured out how to do such things by myself, with no hernias or injuries in good time too.
I once removed a very heavy cast iron boiler, welded all as one piece, from a basement, up the stairs all by myself, loaded it on my truck too.
"Where do want that new pyramid located Pharoah? I'll get right on that!"

01-29-2012, 04:58 PM
I think a good partner can really be of help. Personally I like to create things ..you know set design, props, fx..and such. But I kinda suck with the PR part of running a haunt. That's where a good partner for me would someone who is great at that aspect.

I can also see where two people just like myself would have plenty of issues . Your partner whoever he or she may be just needs to be proficient where you are not I think.

Jim Warfield
02-03-2012, 04:26 PM
Over the years I have seen, heard , met, so many people who would love to have a haunt. then they ramble on and on expressing tonS of common ideas. The bottom line is:"Are they doers or just ... talkers?
I have proved (to anyone noticing) that I can talk and obviously "Do", but the reality I have observed all too commonly is , most people can't or won't or don't know when it's actually time to "Do" something because the jabber-jaws can't stop moving!!!
Yes, it is MORE Work to bend, lift, sweep, shovel, measure, fasten, test-fit, remove, cut it again, lift it again, think on your feet as you negotiate through tools and processes and the order in which the best way to accomplish everything will be found.
The other thing to watch out for is the insessant talker who brags so large that nobody could have ever been and done everything they talk about in one short, youthfull, lifetime, anyway.
If something sounds like B.S., it probably will smell that way, eventually.
Just don't waste time stepping in it, with your only pair of dancing shoes.
Quit dancing, get to work!