10/5/2005 - The Begins have Begun
Since my first writing I have been working away diligently on the Haunted Attraction dream. In my 'Favorites' on the internet I probably have well over 300 websites that I have visited and added related to Haunted Attractions. These encompass 'How to's' to newspaper articles, from yard haunts, to The Haunted Mansion, midis, fonts, graphics, you name it, I probably have it. It has been hours and hours of reading, watching mpegs, listening to sound effects, and printing out articles and such. I actually printed out a whole slew of things that I copied and pasted into WORD and it came to 160 sheets of paper covered front and back. I even knocked the font size down to about 8 to compress it. Thats a whole lotta stuff! If you have a question related to Haunted Attractions, I probably can answer it or point you toward an answer.
A really cool thing I have found out is: if you are handy with tools, you can probably build just about any kind of prop, saving you the thousands of dollars that it would cost you to buy from a professional prop seller. Or... If you are good you can build and sell the props you make. Just keep in mind that safety is a number one factor and if you build a prop, there are standards you should follow.
I really haven't found a professional prop out there that you can not find instructions on how to make somewhere on the internet. Don't get me wrong, you are not going to make a prop for free, but your cost is sometimes 75% cheaper then buying it made.
So anyway, not only have I been doing that, I also have been working on my business plan. Now, I have always been told that a business plan is a 'must have' 'must do' for any business. Mostly if you want to get financing of any sort. And it is a kind of manual to set down your goals and mission statement so you have something to follow as you run your business. I believe it is very important and I will do mine to completion. It's not easy though. There is a lot of financial gobbledy gook you have to wade through and demographic type stuff that makes you want to yank your hair out. But my point is two things: A well known business magazine says that only 28% of businesses have a business plan. And the other is, I have an acquaintence, who owned a business, had it for thirty-five years, recently closed it, went into a bank to get a loan to buy another business- no business plan- and the smallest offer a bank has made to him so far is $200,000. He has collateral but doesnt want to put it up. BUT ... its frustrating, because I have to put this BP together and will, but I know I am going to be struggling to get the money i need to get this venture rolling. And , I own a home and two cars, so I have collateral, but man, I haven't owned them long enough to be useful at getting a loan.
I have owned a business before, I started a coffeehouse up back in the day and it went for a good two years, but it was in a bad location, so I ended up selling. But in that case I started it with my own money and had no loans. Anyway, thats the nagging demon in the back of my head through this whole adventure--- money, money, money. BUT fearless reader, there is always a way and I will not give up uintil every avenue has been travelled at financing this op. (Legally of course)
I will at some point put up links to the hundreds of sites i have collected. Thats a project on its own. I'll categorize them and such. Meanwhile if you have a question, leave a comment or email me at email@example.com