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danglin
07-03-2009, 08:42 AM
How many people can you realistically expect your first year? I am gearing up to start a haunt in 2010, and I had a meeting with the bank this week to see if they would be willing to work with me. I presented my business plan to them, and they loved it. They had a few follow up questions, and one of them was - How many poeple do most haunts get through their doors the first year?

I know Rich Hanf states in his seminars to expect no more than 3000, and I am forecasting 5000 for my area (Atlanta, Ga.), but I want to hear from all of you-professionals who have been doing this for years. How many people did most of you get your first year? I know a lot of owners don't like discussing this, but one of the purposes of this forum is to help people, and this would really be of great assistance to me.

If you don't want to put your figures on the forum, send me a pm-any info would help. Thanks for your help!

Allen H
07-03-2009, 10:08 AM
we totally cant help you, we dont have enough info. How much are you spending on advertising? where (exactly) is your location? how much drive by do you get? what kind of advertising are you doing? Without this info anyone helping would be totally guessing. Do not use the numbers Im about to give you as a base line as I was in a different area. In my first year in Allen Tx we spent $75,000 on marketing (radio, I wanted billboards) and were 5 min off of the interstate and 50 min from Dallas.
we saw 9,000 people.
Allen H

hauntedghost
07-03-2009, 10:44 AM
How many people can you realistically expect your first year? I am gearing up to start a haunt in 2010, and I had a meeting with the bank this week to see if they would be willing to work with me. I presented my business plan to them, and they loved it. They had a few follow up questions, and one of them was - How many poeple do most haunts get through their doors the first year?

I know Rich Hanf states in his seminars to expect no more than 3000, and I am forecasting 5000 for my area (Atlanta, Ga.), but I want to hear from all of you-professionals who have been doing this for years. How many people did most of you get your first year? I know a lot of owners don't like discussing this, but one of the purposes of this forum is to help people, and this would really be of great assistance to me.

If you don't want to put your figures on the forum, send me a pm-any info would help. Thanks for your help!



heck.. i almost in the same boat as you!!! but with out the bank helping me...

i don't even know how to do that!!!
Intell someone is every nice and that cares alot to tell me how to get a biz loan. lol

HG

danglin
07-03-2009, 08:37 PM
Allen H, Haunted Ghost,
Thanks for the replies. I know that my # through the door will vary depending on all of the things that Allen mentioned. I feel fairly confident that with the amount of advertising I am purchasing, and the location, I will get at least 5000. The bank isn't questioning what I will get. What they want to know are statistics-real life facts on what other haunts have done. I realize that so many things affect your attendance, but a bank doesn't know our industry, so all they can do is go by hard facts. That is why I need some of you to let me know what you did your first year. Allen, I appreciate you giving me that. I would especially appreciate this information from anyone in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, or South Carolina, but anyone's info is still helpful.

And yes, it seems like a myth, but a bank will help you. Banks are given incentives to loan money to a small business right now, especially a start up business. The main problem that banks have always had with loaning a haunt money is that if you default, they don't see a lot of value in our props and sets. You and I see them as a gold mine, but they don't. Therefore, you have to do the selling job of your life to insure them that you have a sound plan to keep your business afloat. Having a realistic 4 or 5 year projection, and having an idea of how long it would take you to pay the money back is what they want to know. Also, they want you to have secured the property where you are going to do the haunt. That is my dilemma, before they will give me the loan, they want me to have a signed lease. However, I am going to have to pay a lot to get my property, and I don't want to do that until I know I am getting the extra money.--Which comes first, the chicken or the egg????

Anyway, I appreciate the first year #'s, so keep them coming!

xtremecreator
07-03-2009, 09:02 PM
Our First year - with no advertising. Only put posters in all schools and banners throughout the city got us 5400 people.

Second year - 60,000.00 in advertisement had lmost 20,000 people and we expect that number of people to rise as the years go by with less money being spent on advertisement each year as the haunt grows in popularity.

John

danglin
07-03-2009, 09:22 PM
John,
Great information! Thanks for sharing.

MidnightEvil
07-03-2009, 11:36 PM
Also, they want you to have secured the property where you are going to do the haunt. That is my dilemma, before they will give me the loan, they want me to have a signed lease. However, I am going to have to pay a lot to get my property, and I don't want to do that until I know I am getting the extra money.--Which comes first, the chicken or the egg????

Sign a lease with a contingency that you get the loan.
That way if the loan falls through, your out of the lease.

As for first year numbers, without naming names. I know
of 6 haunts in California that did 3,000 or under there first
year as a pro haunt. Hope that helps.

Darkangel
07-04-2009, 06:25 AM
John,

I haven't heard of haunts decreasing their marketing budget as they grow, you hit a peak with guests then you are looking for ways to attract new customers beyond your peak. Even Disney still spends millions in advertising as long as your competition is advertsing you will have to, it only increases from what I understand.

Darkangel

Allen H
07-04-2009, 09:49 AM
Once you hit peak, it can go down a bit as you then have 60,000 mouths working for. As long as your show is good you can play with the advertising to maintain what you want customer wise. Also the longer you are in business the less hit or miss your advertising becomes, they all become hits because you narrow down to what works for you. You are right in that experimental advertising dollars are the ones spent to get customers beyond your "peak".
Allen H

EMBRUJADA
07-04-2009, 11:14 AM
i spend in advertise 3000 , im waiting 9000 in my town , my house its a small bussiness, but im grown year per year ;)

legendsofthefog
07-05-2009, 07:15 AM
First season 5260 for our haunted hayride. We are in a Baltimore suburb and we are less than 3 miles form I-95. I would figure on spending $5 for every person you want through your door this season in advertising (web site, pamphlets, posters, billboard, radio, etc.)

good luck

beardedbil
07-05-2009, 08:10 AM
Legends of the Fog... Was your advertising budget 25,000 your first year? Was just curious.

Twin Locusts
07-05-2009, 01:34 PM
we totally cant help you, we dont have enough info. How much are you spending on advertising? where (exactly) is your location? how much drive by do you get? what kind of advertising are you doing? Without this info anyone helping would be totally guessing. Do not use the numbers Im about to give you as a base line as I was in a different area. In my first year in Allen Tx we spent $75,000 on marketing (radio, I wanted billboards) and were 5 min off of the interstate and 50 min from Dallas.
we saw 9,000 people.
Allen H

Hey Allen, could you tell if you got a lot of Plano traffic? I've spent time in Plano and it's a market similar to cool springs, south of Nashville.

I know this stuff is hard to track as a change may have an alternate cause than the one you forecasted, but have you had a chance to try billboard to see if it compares favorably to radio. Due to sponsorship alone, I think radio is obviously in the mix, but I think billboard is an obvious one as well.

Allen H
07-05-2009, 04:08 PM
We have a big Plano to Frisco portion at my current haunt in Waxahatchie TX. I also prefer billboards to radio, I think they are more bang for the buck. I also think you cant beat a good drive by location.
Allen H