Haunted attractions are a multi-million dollar industry that has gained popularity over the last decade. Scare seekers looking for spooky events have created a demand for new haunted attractions.
Halloween is the second-largest commercial holiday after Christmas making it one of the most profitable times. North Americans spent over $10 billion on Halloween in 2021, which is expected to rise in future years. If you love horror, Halloween, and event planning, you might want to consider opening your own haunted attraction. Here are the seven must-haves to start your new business.
1. Create a business plan
Creating an in-depth business plan is the first step to ensuring success. It is essential to have an overall understanding of the current market.
Be sure to include the following information:
Step 1: Write an executive summary
Step 2: Outline details of the industry
Step 3: Create a Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis
Step 4: Set goals and objectives
Step 5: Financial analysis and projection
2. Register your business
You will need to determine what business structure you plan on using. Here are the types of business structures you might want to consider for your haunted attraction.
Option 1: Sole proprietorship. This is the fastest and most cost-effective business to start; however, you will be personally liable for the company as a sole owner.
Option 2: Partnership. This business structure is much like sole proprietorship; however, the business is owned and operated by multiple people.
Option 3: Corporation. This business structure makes your business a legal entity of its own and therefore is separate from your personal income. You’ll not be personally responsible for any corporate debt.
Option 4: Non-profit. This business structure works for charity haunts.
Once you have determined the type of business you want to start, you will have to register it with the government. Organizations can provide you with assistance to set up your business. There are also web-based services that can help.
3. Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
You will need to open a business bank account and credit card for your haunted attraction. Banks will require this if you are applying for a business loan. It is essential to keep your personal and business financials separate.
4. Get the appropriate insurance, permits, and licenses for your haunted attraction.
Accidents happen, and you need to protect yourself and your business. Be sure to apply for insurance with the appropriate coverage. You will also need to apply for permits and licenses to ensure your haunt is built to code. If you plan on serving food or liquor, you must ensure that you apply for the correct permits. You should check the bylaws in your area. Failure to receive the proper paperwork could result in fines and government fees.
5. Create a brand for your Haunted Attraction
Creating a brand does not have to be expensive. Once you come up with a name, be sure to check if the domain name is available. Services such as GoDaddy will assist you in obtaining your domain name. If you are not a graphic designer, you can have a logo designed by a professional. If you are on a limited budget, freelancers can be found on a website such as fiverr.com.
6. Create your haunted attraction website and social media accounts
A website is one of the best tools at your disposal to create awareness around your new business venture. Whether you decide to build the website yourself or hire a web designer, you must select a website platform. Some sites can be built transactional to allow your clients to buy tickets to your event online. Here are some options you might want to consider:
Option 1: WordPress
Option 2: Wix
Option 3: GoDaddy
Option 4: Weebly
It is crucial to set up social media accounts for your haunted attraction. Websites are not enough to build a following for your brand. If you plan to create the content yourself, you should consider starting a Facebook and Instagram account. If you plan to hire a marketing specialist, you might want to explore TikTok and YouTube as well.
7. Market your business
If your business is brand new, it might take a while for your website to be found by Google. You might want to consider investing in pay-per-click adverting. Reach out to your local newspaper and community groups. This will help you with local support and potentially drive business.
Understanding the fundamentals of business and event planning will assist in making your haunted attraction successful. If you are unsure of the process, be sure to do your research and seek professional assistance when necessary.