We are going to do this in stages. Because if you think you can simply put these actions into some type of numerical order...your nuts!!
We put them in stages for two reasons.
Number 1..... To keep you sane.
And Number 2......To keep you sane.
It's important to start Phase 1 and do your best to stay in Phase 1 in both mind and body until it is complete. Don't get ahead of yourself! That's when the crazy brain starts to peak its head. If you start dwelling on everything you need to have complete before your Grand Opening....you will flat out, melt down. So, phases my friend, phases. We'll certainly write your phases down ahead of time but keep yourself in the phase you are in.
In this post I'm just going to introduce you to Phase 1 of the process. We'll move to phase two in our next post.
Phase 1 (these are in no real particular order because depending on where you are in this process things can bounce around)
-Do your research. How close is your nearest competitor and how well are they doing? Facebook is a great place to look. How many fans do they have? What kind of chatter are you seeing on their pages. Are they selling out? If they aren't on Facebook, check their websites for traffic, if they don't have a website and don't use Facebook...they obviously have more money than they think they need at this point. ;-)
-I have a "1 McDonald's rule". If there is only 1 McDonald's in your town / county / area....there is probably only room for 1 Drive In Theater in the area. Because if McDonald's thinks your community/neighborhood can support 2 McDonald's'....there would be 2 McDonald's there. Make sure you are going to set up shop far enough away from your competition that you don't fight over the same core customer. I'd say 40-50 miles is a good bet for you both. You read that right...40-50 miles. People are driving a good bit to get to drive-in movies these days.
-What kind of advertising do you see that Drive In doing right now? Chances are good, they might not quite yet be up to speed on the whole internet deal yet.
-Locate your piece of property. Certainly a "great" location would be awesome but take into consideration how much 10 acres might cost you on that main drag. You may want to look one or two streets over. If you deliver a solid product....they'll find you.
-Once you've found your property....you haven't. Check with your county road commission and zoning department to make sure you can build there. Also, if you are near an airport...go see them too. You'll have some permits to apply for in regards to building something with some real height to it. (your screen)
-Check and see if you have 3-phase power available to you at that location. Call your local electric company...they can pull your location up on a map and let you know the nearest location where 3 phase is available. It's not an absolute necessity, but one that is sure nice to have. You'll provide your customers with a much clearer picture.
-Are there broadband cable lines run to your location? Running multiple credit cards on a slow internet connection....is no fun at all. You should strive to have faster credit card transactions than the Golden Arches.
-Plan on Two Screens. You'll be much more able to secure first run movies in a quicker fashion or at least in a manner that allows your patrons to assume you are changing your movies fairly regularly. If you are reading this in early 2012, you might consider 1 screen that features the old 35mm projector and the 2nd screen to feature a new digital set-up. The industry is transitioning to 100% digital over the coming years and this will be the best way for your to handle that transition easily. Once we are 100% digital, budget for switching your 35mm out for a new digital projector. Cost = $60,000 to $80,000 per projector for digital.
That is phase 1 and kind of the leg work side of things. Always remember....say please and thank you and do not take anyone's word for it. Even if they appear to be an expert...they're not. Get all of your answers from the horses mouth.
All The Best!!
Danny Boy is the official spokesperson of Danny Boy's Drive-In Movie Theaters
Franchise Opportunities Available.