The other low budget realization you have to develop is that there is no haunt until there is a haunt. I see people all the time renting a building and trying to get designs approved and then somehow the whole thing is going to get built out in a month and be open. It can be done but in the pay as you go format you build the thing and have the designs and everything is close to being built and planned for, then you go for the building or location. It isn't a long drawn out drama episode of not going to make it or spending $18,000 in non refundable rent or anything stupid.
I see a level of stupidity all the time that somehow the local officials are supposed to jump around for you and provide because you might have paid $100 in taxes your whole life and there is this imaginary thing called a "budget". You either have it or you don't. The other thing that makes me just want to rip off my own appendiges and beat myself with them is the word "business plan". The plan is, you go to work and you get paid. Anything beyond that is bullshit. Or it is a big indicator of someone who is about to spend 3 years in failure mode no matter how much money they have. Much of what has to be done to build a good event is tremendously labor intensive or time consuming. You can jump up in September and totally assemble and detail things and get it on TV, I have done it but, the results might be lack luster. Ten years ago the market would totally dig what ever you provided.
If you aren't strapped by some imaginery schedule and an overhead you can come up with the things you really need to have like larger props, facades, better costumes, even if you do have to make them yourself. So there are two camps, the I have $200,000 and good credit and the I have no money and I'm opening in 2013 and need input for a business plan. Page one, you are doing it wrong. I'm watching all kinds of people spend $200,000 per year and move back in with relatives. In those situations you can't even be short a few thousand dollars and not get screwed. But, if you have managed the building costs, easy because they were done with no money, consider it managed, then any thing even $20 coming in the door is money to spit among every party that did something that night if need be.
Another fabulous post from the U.S.Department of Wild Imaginings, now in spectaclar stereo, sponsored by the Adhesives and Sealants Council, suggesting ways to stick things together since the 1800s. Not fabulous in a gay way. Your results may vary. Illinois residents add 8% sales tax. These posts have been made by professional post makers, do not try this type of posting on your own without extensive training, lovely assistants and a trusty clown horn.