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Thread: what or how with start up cost

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  1. Default what or how with start up cost 
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    so this is been on my mind for a bit. how did you come up with start up cost with your haunt? did you go to the bank loans? or put up most of your life savings? did you get a second loan on your house? made a deal with the mob or the devil?? just right now we have a all the plans laid out and ready to go but now we some what hit a road block on our papers right now with our plans. any help out there?? thank you!

    it's ok... the dark has many faces you can't see..

  2. Default  
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Mesquite, TX
    Think smaller man, you dont have to start as a million dollar attraction. Most million dollar attractions didnt start that way. Buy a few acres, put a building on it or do a trail for a few years, then expand. Let your audience fund your growth.

  3. Default  
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Mount Pleasant, MI
    I know a successful haunter on these forums who had a really big home haunt, and then decided to go pro. He made a video of his awesome home haunt and took it around to various farmers in his area, to see if any of them would partner with him to do a haunted trail on their land. He ended up finding a farm to partner with, and now his pro haunt gets rave reviews, and grows every year. He never told me the exact amount of his first year budget, but he hinted at it strongly, and I definitely get the impression that it was below $10,000. Possibly under $5000. It is unlikely you're going to get any less expensive than that. The farm provided the land and insurance. He provided all the sets, props, costumes, marketing, and volunteers.

    If there's a less expensive (but still SAFE and legal) way to get started than that, I'd love to hear about it.

    Best of luck to you!

  4. Default  
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Fairbanks, AK
    So this might sound a bit crazy... But I wasn't sure how much I had actually used to start with till we did our taxes. The number made an eye ball fall out. (still trying to figure it how to get it back in). Anyhow, I focused on location and getting the word out first. State fairgrounds was a great start for us. And the first year is the year you will learn the most valuable lessons, so write them down, lest we forget...lol

    But we didn't mortgage the house or anything crazy... And everything worked out well.

    Good luck

    Fairbanks Asylum

  5. Default  
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Never, ever, ever, EVER use the place where you and your family LIVES to fund a dream. Some people will disagree, but if something god forbid happens to you and no one can help you to build and run the haunt while you're in the hospital, etc., you're screwed. Trust me, as easy as it would be for me to get a 20-30k equity on my house, I wouldn't even consider it. Starting small, charging very reasonable rates, and making sure people REMEMBER you is key. I'd rather people leave your 4-5 trailer haunt paying 5 dollars saying WOW THAT WAS AMAZING over people leaving a massive haunt paying 20 saying "eh, it was alright."

    Another option.... Have you considered what Dark has said?

    Partnering with a local farm would be ideal for starting. They have the land and may even be financially hurting with the commercialization of farming. This may be a great way for you to help them start an "agritainment" and for you to start your haunt.

    Then you can work with them on starting hayrides, etc.

    It's all a matter of marketing. Prove that you know what you're doing and are motivated to do so, and you may have people lining up to help you chase your dream.

    Just my opinion.


  6. Default  
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    No loans unless from family that know you may not ever pay it back. Start collecting a little at a time and the cost does not hurt as bad. Only a fool buy a whole ton of stuff first, oh shit that me I'm talking about. Good luck and start with a affordable plan.

  7. Default  
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Mt. Olive, NC
    You could just get on HW and beg for it.

  8. Default  
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Cincinnati, Oh
    Create a really thorough business plan. Think of all possible expenses, and make a budget. A realistic budget with realistic items. You have to pay for everything, lease, utilities, lumber, permits, insurance, even trash cans, it all adds up. It will always cost more than you expect. Then you will want to create a realistic number of people you expect, and show how you will make enough money for the business to eventually support itself.

    Then- find the money. Local investors is always a good way to go.. No it's not easy and yes it will take some time.

    I can emphasize how important a well thought out business plan is.

  9. Default  
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northwestern Pennsylvania
    What Allen said.

    I started small...think under 2000.00 small...cut a deal with local fire dept. to use a pavilion and some wall panels...then found a deal to use a building in a city downtown 15 miles away and took the little bit I made 1st year and panels/props and did it there for 2 years.
    Just keep putting into your show and growing it and your customer base.
    If I didn't open this year, it has no effect on my house or family since I have the day job.
    My 2 cents...
    Kirk Boemmel
    Dark Ghost Manor


  10. Default Think long term and slow 
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Raleigh, NC
    Like most on here, we started really small - first as a home haunt, then when we got too big for the house, made a deal with a campground. Every year gets bigger and better, and the word has begun to spread. Every year I dump personal money into the haunt to continue expanding, and every year we make a little more. This year we will try to get back some of our investment, but we wont be able to get it all back for several years, but then thats the idea.

    By doing it this way, you learn the patience of growing a solid business, without starting out owing investors a dime. Every penny you pay out to loans, is a penny you dont spend on making the haunt better!
    Travis "Big T" Russell
    Big T Productions Inc

    Owner and Operator of "The Plague" and "Camp Nightmare"

    Customer Quote of the year: "Damn, I pissed myself"

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