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Thread: "Wantrepreneur" . . . my new favorite word . . .

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  1. Default "Wantrepreneur" . . . my new favorite word . . . 
    #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Finally, someone put a word on it. (Mark Cuban, I think . . .)

    Interesting vid. (Yes, they mention a product . . . ignore that and just gain value from the discussion . . .)



    All I can say is "Thank Heavens" that there are no wantrepreneurs in the haunt industry.

    C.
     

  2. Default  
    #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Columbia, SC
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrotherMysterio View Post
    Finally, someone put a word on it. (Mark Cuban, I think . . .)

    Interesting vid. (Yes, they mention a product . . . ignore that and just gain value from the discussion . . .)



    All I can say is "Thank Heavens" that there are no wantrepreneurs in the haunt industry.

    C.
    Pretty neat vid.
    O'Shawn McClendon
    Creative Chair -- Operator: Cayce-West Columbia Hall of Horrors

    One mans junk is another mans kick-ass new prop...

    http://www.hallofhorrors.com

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  3. Default The silence is almost deafening . . . 
    #3
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    So, what's your favorite haunt wantrepreneur BS?

    I'm always partial to "you have to have a business plan, and the bigger the better".

    C.
     

  4. Default  
    #4
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    Mar 2012
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    154
    Quote Originally Posted by BrotherMysterio View Post
    So, what's your favorite haunt wantrepreneur BS?

    I'm always partial to "you have to have a business plan, and the bigger the better".

    C.
    I watched the video and appreciated you posting it. It put the concept of validation out in front of everything else. I really like that idea. It makes sense.

    I totally get the whole "wantrepreneur" jabs. I encounter those types all the time in my line of business too. But I see a lot of trash talking of detailed business plans on these forums. I don't really get that. What's the alternative? No plan? Less conceptualizing before you start hiring and construction? There's a lot of things that have to happen to run a successful haunt on your own as I know you know. What's wrong with writing all the obstacles together in one place with a tentative plan to overcome them? I know specifics can always change but fundamentals don't.
     

  5. Default  
    #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    Tyler, Texas, United States
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    I think what is objectionable is "business plan" being the same thing as filling out a loan application. There is nothing wrong with planning out every detail of a haunted event or business. Coming up with how it will grow and what is expected from a given area as far as customers. Really you have to consider all of those things.

    Where it goes horribly wrong is that there is some magical paragraph everyone new comes in expecting to fill in section one of their business plan form. It is always I have no money and am opening a haunt next year in 10 months and you have to do this for me. Somehow this is how it is communicated all the time.

    I have watched the video a few times and tried to understand if it is valid. Haunts either have to be taking over an existing location from someone that has spend years and years building a clientel or starting out with very little. I have never heard any story where someone started out with nothing and went into profit mode immediately in 10 months having has nothing to do with the industry before. There are more stories of some group of people lost $250,000 and everything all their families had because some consultant told them it could happen if they said what he said to do. And the first thing on the list was to keep paying that consultant.

    And that outlines what the real war if there is one is. Honestly making information available to anyone for free if we are able so some shark doesn't set them up for failure, whether that is a self proclaimed haunt consultant or some loan officer or private investor that of course wants 40% of your business if you build it.

    So, for a haunted house a business plan is not a 30 page prepared formal document. It is more like here is what I need to try to build or buy. Here are the options of where I could set one up. Then you either do it or you don't.

    Further advertisers are going to give you hype that might not match what your market really is.
    A real business plan includes a marketing study and so there again someone who knows nothing about the haunted house customer is going to spin some population numbers and this is somehow going to look important to some one that will somehow be inspired to invest in a business.

    Plus a lot of self proclaimed investors aren't real bright either when the capital gains tax is 35% of those profits. At some point their percentage point being outside formal banks makes them crash into the next tax bracket of they do indeed ever see their money again and so the whole loan didn't make any money or may even have lost them money. Of course they are all genuis mathematicians that haven't had time to figure that out. SO the experienced investor or group is going to know there is no way for their money to grow and hence, no investment.

    A bank loan is not going to happen because you have a business plan. It will only happen because you already have excellent credit and have a job that you are not going to lose or quit that can pay the bills. You may have assets that have the ability to be colateral for a loan, that how ever many page document is only a piece of paper.

    So even if you did get a loan on some property, and your haunt only saw 4,000 customers instead of 8,000 customers and you didn't pay your loan because everything went into the event, the bank takes your property. You signed the papers. The place you rented locks up your haunt and tried to sell your stuff to pay the lease agreement. The suppliers and creditors call the sherrif because you basically stole from them and miss reprented your self. But you had a business plan.

    The reality of running a haunted house is that you may have to do everything in the place either completely or at any given time. Like if you could afford a Subway sandwich location, at some point you are going to find yourself at the counter being a sandwich artist. There was no business plan, there was here's what the franchisee needs to do and one of those things is give us $375,000 to build the location by the equipment and start providing an inventory of cold cuts.

    In big projects, there are estimates, bids, mission statements that describle payment decisions. No business plan. The plan is to get through jobs and get paid and hopefully it went as planned and you made money.

    You might need a business plan if you are running a corporation and planning out the next 5 years spending 30 millin dollars. Not something that is generally going to have 75 helpers and only make $150,000 to $200,000 for the most part. Or a seasonal business. Business plan to operate a hot dog stand. Maybe. Who are you going to show that too?

    I had conversation with an old billionaire and he was old enough he has no idea what a haunted house was. He could relate that it as similar in set up to a fund raising event they have here in physical set up. He yelled over to his wife to come over, 80 years old, Greg wants you to dress up like a Vampire! He was right. Anyone that has made money actually did the work, they did the deed, they paid the dues. They didn't get a big loan and hire a manager to make that billion dollars. They typically started out with nothing back in times when things like home mortgages and home equity loans didn't even exist. You saved money or built your own house.

    So the conversations with this guy went as deep as I could go. At some point back in the late 60,s all these consumer like terms came about. Suburbia sprang up and the end result is the housing crash of 2008. Not something that just happened with people fraudulently filling out loan forms for a couple years, the entire concept was flawed, giving people things they had no idea what it took to earn. Case in point, his son had a business and it sounded like selling glasses should be pretty good, well he sucked at it and was good at buying cars and houses and things for his family and it cost the Billionaire guy $150,000 even after the smoke cleared from the business not doing well. His daughter had a business and she died and they were left with trying to piece together what was left and lost money there too.

    Real investors aren't going to accept a business plan until you are already making money, have several people that can run the business and a well experienced and demonstrated full time team. If one of the heads were to get hit with a bus the company goes on like nothing ever happened. If that support structure and income isn't there, the proposal (which is the right word) goes in the trash.

    If you walk into the bank with a business plan they are going to excuse themselves and have a big ass laugh at how illiterate you are in the back room and then come out and try to keep a straight face and tell you they don't loan on such things like small businesses. If you wanted a loan on a tuba or scuba gear or to start a CD toward a vacation fund, they are here for you. Bait and switch we loan money and when you come in you need to save money in our bank so we can invest it and make money with it while you don't.

    So business plan is a buzz word. We have never heard any big successful haunt owner tell us how they got a loan for much more than their car was worth and they made it from nothing.


    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.
     

  6. Default  
    #6
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    Aug 2003
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    Tyler, Texas, United States
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    I have spent about 20 years wandering around haunts and shops that make things for haunts. My day business is working on swimming pools that cost $150,000 and $350,000 behind McMansions in the area and I have almost done that for the same 20 years now. Being a poor man it has always been the question I get into, what do you do, how did you get all this stuff.

    I have gotten real good at not even asking and the people will bitch about how you have to have something that makes $100,000 a year just to live in this god forsaken community with the golf club membership, constant landscaping and maintenance on the house and taxes. The good news is everyone I have talked to started out with nothing and paid cash for these houses, 2.5 milllion, 14 million. You don't get a loan for a McMansion. You just don't. You either have it or you don't. You might get yanked for buying a ranch home for your family and paying after compound intrest and insurance 3 times what the original selling price is. You are a consumer. A sucker.

    All the McMansion stories involved starting a business, or doing major project jobs for years and years and saving the money. Families of 5 living in a travel trailer for 20 years. Owning not one but 30 Subway stations, 50 gas stations or 40 oil change franchises and being the last one alive in the family but before that they made millions of sandwiches, pumped thousands of gallons of gas and ran cash registers and changed uncounted numbers of old oil from car. Of course they have a McMansion, a pool and cancer too.

    Every story involved sacrifice and starting with nothing, working for slave wages and positioning themselves to be the end owner of a business no matter what for their family. Very occasionaly there was the guy who got 9 billion for helping invent an artificial heart part or the inventor that has had a few good hits. Mostly is was the ones that saved or just sold a business of like 30 restaurants. None of it was a bank loan. It might have been support from family or even buying out family members over decades but it was never a bank loan or any such fancy pants activity.

    Even haunters that explain they are $650,000 in debt, it is really what they have to pay their father someday for the land they own and he set his crap up on. It wasn't a bank loan.

    All of these are a passion to keep doing things, not filling out a form to go big time because you sort of like how pumpkins look once a year. So I kind of blame the schools and colleges for just spouting off crap and buzz words in an environment where no teacher has actually done crap except gotten a regular pay check. OR people that have business plan software you can buy! Even though no one needs a business plan really in such a formal manner.

    Somehow everyone is misinformed and starts right out with making a business plan instead of hey I drew up a clown scare, what do you think? Or I made a sculpt for a mask, I am coming up with some lines to say at the haunt. No it's first or 20th post, I'm writting a business plan. How about a marketing plan or a things to do list.

    Bottom line it does come down to how are you going to do something. The real culture of haunted houses is being able to design things and make things with your own hands or know who can. The money comes from ticket sales. Sometimes if goes bad and if you did manage to get some institution involved that can take you crap you really did bad. Or if you became "partner" with someone that insists on a contract, you are about to lose your ass.

    How do you get into the haunted house business? Same as the McMansion people, you and your family if you have one live and breath this crap for a decade for what amounts to $2 an hour until it really makes money. After 30 years of doing it the only value might be what the land it is on is worth. Or it is still only worth $2500 in used plywood.

    Ten years and 25 years into this high paying, rewarding field of haunted houses, people move on to other things in their lives because they have to. Even the ones making serious money, no one understands if they don't reinvest all of that money into their haunt and redo it, it goes away in taxes. They can only pay themselves so much money. Owing tons of money doesn't factor in to real tax planning. SO where does getting ahold of lots of money solve any problem what so ever? If you don't have a passion for this stuff, and you think it would be a cute business to own, you aren't going to make it anyhow and business plan seems to be the phrase that is all about money as opposed to what kind of clay did you use on that.

    Because there are sharks out there that have ripped people off, ruined their financial lives, I continue this madness. Because there are books out there that might as well be titled "So you want to be a Wantrapeneur, I continue this madness. An attempt to point out what is "playing business" and what is "going to make money". I am incontact with haunts that are in bad shape even making relatively big bucks because they have this loan they had to take on. There simply is no room in all the things that have to be done for that plus intrest. Even for a successful haunt.


    What to do with funding? Save money, make things, design things, build things, have a proposal, find someplace to set up that is willing to get paid when the tickets are counted. Be a gypsy haunt until you can actually pay comfortably rent or buy a permanent building. Then you can get a loan because it will be 10 years in business and you have records of income and chances are you can keep making that income. Or it was lame and it isn't worth anyone helping you out. Making money was either demonstrated or it wasn't.


    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.
     

  7. Default  
    #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    613
    I thought this was particularly apropos.

    For those of you who don't know, Back to School was a film about an industry giant (played by Rodney Dangerfield) who follows up with his life long dream of finishing his college education, even tho he went on to become a successful business man all the same. In this scene, theory meets reality in his first Economics class.



    C.
     

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