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sgboyle
12-09-2009, 06:54 PM
I have read a lot of the post on this forum, and have not seen to many dealing with start up capital.

I am in the planning stages on my haunt, and will soon be moving to raise capital to get it off the ground. I have read Kelly’s book, and it out lines a business plan they used to secure money with a bank.

I would like to ask how many pro haunters out there raised capital through a bank, and if you did was it hard to convince them that your solid business plan would work, what was the ceiling on the amount of money they would loan?

If you do not feel comfortable posting financial data on the forum, please email me at sgboyle1@yahoo.com, all information will be kept to myself and not distributed in any way.

Thanks for all you insight and help!

Sean B

VSneader2
12-09-2009, 09:29 PM
I too would be very interested in this info as well.



I have read a lot of the post on this forum, and have not seen to many dealing with start up capital.

I am in the planning stages on my haunt, and will soon be moving to raise capital to get it off the ground. I have read Kelly’s book, and it out lines a business plan they used to secure money with a bank.

I would like to ask how many pro haunters out there raised capital through a bank, and if you did was it hard to convince them that your solid business plan would work, what was the ceiling on the amount of money they would loan?

If you do not feel comfortable posting financial data on the forum, please email me at sgboyle1@yahoo.com, all information will be kept to myself and not distributed in any way.

Thanks for all you insight and help!

Sean B

evilmanor
12-09-2009, 10:12 PM
I don't know if it's going to work or not, but I've been running a home haunt for 2 years. This year I ventured out and worked with a charity and ran a haunt as a fund raiser. We were open 3 weekends charged $5 & $8 on halloween (for the record I wanted to charge more) and we raised over $9,000. Local population is only 15,000. We're already making plans for next year.

I'm hoping that through this joint venture I'll get some recognition of my capabilities, while developing my skills, props and gaining experience. This will give me some real working data for my area and hopefully the right info for a pitch to the bank or possible investor(s). It's no overnight success, but I wouldn't expect it to be either.

It doesn't help you right now, but I'll let you know in a couple of years how its going.

Fear Unfathomed
12-09-2009, 10:50 PM
I don't know if this helps but I have a really good Excel spreadsheet for calculating/forming a business plan that covers:
sales
operating expenses
capital budget
equity and debt
amortization
income statement
cash flow
balance sheet

It's just plug and chug. It asks you the questions, you fill in the answers, and it generates everything.
It's called the FastTrac Financial Template made by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. We used it in this entrepreneurship class I just took, where we had to present our "business" to real investors for our final. I was told it was what lots of people use to start companies - it's not just a classroom tool. There are other docs associated with it as well. Let me know if any of you are interested in this/these and I'll send them to you.

freak 'n' stein
12-10-2009, 12:11 AM
Fear, I'd be interested!! Sounds productive.

sgboyle
12-10-2009, 01:11 AM
Fear,

I too would be very interested in this document. Please email me at sgboyle1@yahoo.com to dicuss further

Jim Warfield
12-10-2009, 06:14 AM
The banker had known me since I was born, knew my family, knew my work ethic and he had a personal, historic intrest in seeing this house maintained.
Sometimes living in a small town has advantages, not often, but sometimes.
BTW, the banker loaned me his money, not the bank's.
I paid him back 20 yrs. ago.

hauntman666
12-10-2009, 09:35 AM
Fear I would also be interested in that. If you could email me at prebleftbll82@yahoo.com. Thanks

Dr Spooktakular
12-10-2009, 10:22 AM
Fear, please email info to goksucats526@hotmail.com

Evilution Unlimited
12-10-2009, 11:48 AM
Banks look at your business plan yes
But banks also look for ability to re-pay loans
This is your credit score and debt to credit ratio.
They also look for collateral, things such as a car or house. If you have been a home haunter prior, you have assets (masks, props, walls)

Most banks are fishy about seasonal businesses such as haunts. When I applied, they wanted assets and revenues. So I did not get one for my first season, it was all out of pocket. Now I have those assets and have revenues (though it was a loss) so I am applying again for year 2.

One option is an SBA loan. SBA express loans take less time and are backed 50% by the SBA. If you go for an amount of $25,000 or less there should be little problems but they will want to know in detail how every dime will be spent so have a budget ready. SBA 7(a) loans are more traditional. The SBA will back up to 85% of your loan in case of default. This makes the bank more likely to lend to you. Now this is all contengent on the SBA approving to back you. One of the many things they will want to know is how many employees you will have. This requires you to have every scene already laid out.

All in all if you are going to apply for a loan you should know everything in advance. Surf the web for more info on sba loans and feel free to email me, pumpkinking82@hotmail.com if you have any further questions.

Frightguy1
12-10-2009, 12:17 PM
I have to agree with Evil Manor about working with a charity.

I was home haunting for awhile and began doing the research on how to "go pro" or take it to the next level and it's hard. I bought Kels book and it was very helpful. I also did plenty of research but like most people I didn't have the cash to just go out lease or buy a space and create a huge show around it and we didn't try to secure a loan so I chose to go the charity route after a friend suggested it.

I built a business plan, created a storyline and put together a presentation to show to potential charities in my area and in the end found one willing to work with me. We aimed to give the charity 25% of our total profits and re-invested the rest for next years show. The best thing about the process is we used their space to host the event and that is what we needed the most..a location.

If you have the drive to really create a huge pro-style haunt but cannot get the funds to do it right off the bat then this does seem the way to go and get your feet wet. We did have to make a realistic budget and use our own money which may limit your overall vision for your haunt but if you work towards a goal that you deem attainable you should be able to at least break even your first year.

I don't know what Evil Manors projections were but we aimed at 1500 people attending our event with the marketing we knew we were going to do. That along with our ticket prices put us in the position we wanted to be in and luckily even with the bad weather we hit our goals.

It will be a slow build up but who knows if you put on a great show your first year you may gain a fast following which will lead to a higher attendance each new year and potentially some nice profit gains.

The best advice I can give about working with a charity and teaming up with people is to be certain that they see the potential in it and are willing to help in more ways tha one. You need all hands on deck and if the charity is just going to sit back and watch while you do all the work it will surely slow you down. Make sure they help, use their connections etc..

Best of luck. Let us know how you do.

J.

Producer
Grimlock Manor Haunted Attraction
www.grimlockmanor.com
www.grimlockmanor.blogspot.com

VSneader2
12-10-2009, 01:15 PM
Fear,

I am interested in the spreadsheet as well please email me at

VSneader2@yahoo.com

Fear Unfathomed
12-10-2009, 03:32 PM
Gees, with this type of response, I guess I should have charged for the documents! LOL jk.

Some of the other documents that I included are a formal business plan template for writing a business plan to present to a bank/investor, as well as a sales projection tool.

Everyone who requested them should have received them, hopefully. Let me know if you did not receive it or if I missed someone. Freak 'n' stein I need your e-mail... thanks!

I'll keep sending it as people request it!

P.S. If any of you need it in Microsoft 2003 (instead of 2007), let me know via my e-mail and I'll convert it real fast and re-send it.

evilmanor
12-10-2009, 04:14 PM
I don't know what Evil Manors projections were but we aimed at 1500 people attending our event with the marketing we knew we were going to do. That along with our ticket prices put us in the position we wanted to be in and luckily even with the bad weather we hit our goals.


I think it was on this site somewhere or maybe one of the newsletters I subscribe to I read that a new haunt in a new location should average about 11% of the local population. We actually exceeded this by a little bit, and with more marketing I think could have done a lot better.

Really the only problem we had going this route was the charity wanted to help make decisions they really weren't qualified to do and that limited us some. I think we've proven our abilities and the potential revenue and it should be easier for us next year.

Nightmare_Trance
12-10-2009, 04:26 PM
Hey Lauren, can I get a copy?

djt_rance@hotmail.com

THank you!!!

mako
12-10-2009, 04:32 PM
My brother and I are currently working on our business plan. We are reading all of Kelly's books, soaking up the information on this board daily and praying there is a way we can go to St Louis as this is something we've wanted to do for a long time. Any info any one has to help us secure funding would be great!

Thanks Fear! And all the rest of you for sharing your stories and wisdom!

Brenda & Barry
bbms6667@aol.com

Jim Warfield
12-10-2009, 05:06 PM
I read on here from a guy who probably knew what he was talking about that gov. loans don't usually happen for seasonal businesses. "Small business" by their definition was something like 50 full-time employees and a business doing a paultry million dollars a year in business.
I could be wrong. Things could have changed.??
Whatever the financial outcome never lose sight of the extreme amount of non-stop physical WORK all of having a haunt requires. Think about it. It's very much like building a complete house, most of the time? Anybody ever done that much work before? Do you want to?
Just something to ponder.

evilmanor
12-10-2009, 05:13 PM
... Whatever the financial outcome never lose sight of the extreme amount of non-stop physical WORK all of having a haunt requires. Think about it. It's very much like building a complete house, most of the time? Anybody ever done that much work before? Do you want to?
Just something to ponder.

I wished it was that easy. We don't have our own buiding/property so not only do we have to build/re-build the house every year we have to tear it down and deal with the expense of storing it in the off-season.

Jim Warfield
12-10-2009, 06:44 PM
ALL of that WORK!! Tear down, rebuild. I was in the JCs doing just that. When people compliment me and wonder how I have done all the work here on/in my house I have often pointed out to the complimentor how much work it is for the majority of October haunters ...and I really don't know how you all do it and do it so successfully, year after year.
My hat comes off to you all...followed by my head?
........ then those pesky neck muscles, followed by my collar bone....

Really , I am sure many of your customers and mine have not a clue as to what it takes.
I point this out to some people who complain about another haunt, it's STILL alot of WORK, and I think efforts should be recongnised and appreciated.

oakhillshaunterTHEFEAR
12-11-2009, 02:07 AM
I would deeply appreciate your documents including the business plan templates.

Thankyou very much!

incrementumfear@hotmail.com