Halloween Haunted House Illustration
Video: How To Manage Your Haunted House
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No, this isn’t a trick – The One Brief has entered the spirit of Halloween this week. While a bit different than our normal editorial approach, we hope you enjoy this more lighthearted treat. Happy Halloween!

Halloween is upon us – and as a self-respecting Scream Leader™, the onus is on you to get a plan in place to make sure your Haunted House is hitting targets and meeting expectations.

But in between ducking eggs and terrorizing children foolish enough to come knocking at your door, it can be easy to forget some of the key steps to driving strong results on the Night of the Spirits – as well as year-round.

What spooky challenges will you face?  Take a tour… if you dare:

Protecting Your Spooky Brand

Halloween_LightingA monstrously great Haunted House is often one that projects an aura of terror – a genuinely spooky brand. And with damage to brand and reputation as the top risk identified by business leaders, getting the right mix of tricks and treats is essential.

According to the Weather Risk Management Association, weather can affect the profitability of up to 88% of businesses – and Haunted Houses are no exception. Ask any ice-cream seller who’s tried to sell ice cream in December how they fared, and you’ll quickly learn that weather and climate can dramatically influence your bottom line. Similarly, a Haunted House without lightning forking the sky or winds that howl from the yawning gates of Tartarus, can significantly impact expected revenue. Just think about how many tales begin with a “dark and stormy night…” – without the “dark and stormy”, spookiness is likely to decrease. Analytics can help better assess weather risks and allow you to take the appropriate action ahead of time.

Location is another factor that deserves consideration when establishing a best-in-class spooky brand. Building your Haunted House in a remote location might add a gothic element, but if you are not able to easily access needed goods like cauldrons, crypts, and cadavers – and especially if customers are unwilling to venture to your facility – you might not have fully thought through the importance of location as a key part of your spooktacular strategy.

Managing Your Spooky Workforce

Although your Haunted House features a rather unique set of talent, you’re still not in the clear in how you engage and retain them. With over 52% of workers open to finding new opportunities, and recent research showing that your disengaged employees are twice as likely to leave their employer than their engaged peers, it’s imperative to keep your thrillingly frightful talent happy and healthy.

But what are some of the ghoulishly unique things you might experience when planning for your spooky workforce?

VampireVampires: Vampires are diligent workers, and their unconventional hours can help them liaise with contacts in different timezones. The nature of their role, however, sees them spending much of their time in coffins, often causing issues with back and neck pain (quite unlike the neck pains they can cause others). As sedentary jobs have increased by 83% in the American workplace since 1950, resultant health implications of sedentary lifestyles are only just being understood. Promoting standing coffins in the office – or other ways to promote healthier working lifestyles – could be an actionable alternative.

Ghosts: Simply by their nature, ghosts are going to be around for quite some time. When ghouls and goblins have been around for centuries – and may still be around, in theory, for eternity – particularly robust approaches to pension planning are needed. It’s estimated that an average of 11 times final pay is needed to sustain retirees, assuming an average retirement age of 65. Ghosts, spirits, and other immortals may need to think about bespoke packages to meet their particular – and peculiar – needs.

Witches & Warlocks: No retirement plans are the same, and witches and warlocks also represent demographics with distinct pension needs. But research shows that women are at a saving disadvantage compared to their male counterparts – only 1 in 6 women are putting away enough for retirement. It’s important to reach out to create plans to make sure that everyone is properly prepared, because with benefits and pensions, one size does not fit all.

Werewolves: Werewolves tend to take a lot of time off, usually every month, so it’s important to work closely with management teams to ensure that this doesn’t become a disruptive work habit. From sickness to worker’s compensation, employee illness costs over $575 billion in the US, and illicit sick days cost employers around £16m ($20m) in the UK alone last year. Access to historical lunar schedules can be particularly helpful in predicting which moonlit nights will take your werewolves off premise.

If You Plan Properly, It Doesn’t Need To Be (Too) Scary

Managing your Haunted House doesn’t have to be a nightmarish experience. The dreadful details impacting your Haunted House – such as scene-setting lightning and the more haunting habits of your talent – can be difficult to control. But a clearer understanding of your challenges and proper planning can help you better ensure your Haunted House remains monstrously delightful year after haunting year.   

After all, your spooky reputation is at stake.