Try This Performing Arts Business Plan Template for Your Theater


There’s always a beginning, even for the greatest. Now that you’ve secured a facility for your dream business, this is the opportune time to strike while the iron is hot. Your dream of owning a theater can come alive if you integrate these tips into your performing arts business plan template.

1. Make Major Renovations

Your newly acquired property should look its best when you open its doors to the world. Get a professional commercial renovation expert to visit and inspect your premises. Good leads should come up when you search online for renovation experts within your location. Try to get a recommendation from businesses near your property as well.

A keen-eyed renovation expert will advise on technicalities such as reconstruction timelines and costs, since this is bound to be a large-scale renovation exercise. Next, as part of your performing arts business plan template, look for reputable, locally-based excavation companies. Their mandate will be to reimagine the spaces and recreate theater designs that envisage and meet artists’ and customers’ needs.

2. Care for your Facility

With a comprehensive report from the redecoration experts, major repair work on the facility can kick off. The excavators will give the septic system a comprehensive inspection. They’ll advise you on what to do if it needs repairs or a complete overhaul.

Engage the sewer and drainage engineers to clean the entire sewer line, empty the septic tank, and unclog the drainage system. Other services, such as trenchless repair and replacement techniques, can be included in your performing arts business plan template.

3. Upgrade Your Amenities

Safety should remain on top of your performing arts business plan template. This is because hosting an event at any one time means having a big crowd of theater lovers show up in the facility. Consider the floors, and fix slippery areas. Next, look at the HVAC system, and ensure it’s working.

Go ahead and book an appointment with an AC installation company and have the professionals inspect the entire building’s system. Installing air conditioners or troubleshooting for repairs should be handled by professionals. Remember that a working air conditioning system is a legal requirement before opening your theater business.

Check the restrooms and waiting for areas and ensure they’re renovated to a fresh look. The theater aisles should have sufficient space to hold more than one person at a time without crowding the space.

4. Repair Your Roof

A roof is one of the most essential parts of a building. However, its condition can deteriorate fast if not checked and repaired regularly, especially in locations where the roofs are withstanding more than their portion of the external elements. Whether the building has been in use before you took over its ownership or was empty for a while, fixing its roof should make your performing arts business plan template.

This is why: Although roofs can serve a facility for decades, you can’t be sure if regular maintenance checks have been done over the years. Don’t gamble. Call in the local roofing contractor.

Your quick internet search for local roofers should bring up contact addresses of professional roofers who serve the area and can offer to fix your arts theater. A keen roofer is best placed to diagnose roof leaks, cracked and missing shingles, which lead to water infiltration in the roof, and areas where moss and algae growth are harming your roof. They can say whether you’ll need a complete roof overhaul or repair the current one.

They’ll also recommend the best materials and the latest techniques to save you money while giving your roof a lease of life. As part of the roof repair, your roofing contractor should unclog the gutters to rid them of water pooling and potential water damage to the roof. They should also remove the debris to help maintain the integrity of your roof.

5. Update Your Office

Expect your theater office to be one of the busiest once operations start. This is where you’ll hold staff meetings, welcome special guests, and strike deals with artists, among other administrative work in the theater facility. You’ll likely spend a lot of time working from there. Your office is the face of your entire business. It, therefore, goes without saying that it needs to be part of your performing arts business plan template.

Working with artists will call for your artistic side to shine from early on, and where else would this be than in your office’s outlook? Pay attention to your office windows, the floor, doors, and storage cabinets, and then determine your new office’s appearance.

You’d want a spacious, comfortable, aerated office. The inside part of the office should deliver a sense of privacy but remain well-lit. Talk to a window treatment company that will dress your windows with enough lighting while cutting off excess light and glare from the outside.

Next, get sturdy and comfortable office furniture for you and your guests. Ensure the furniture doesn’t produce bothersome noises when it must be moved from one point to another. Work on the colors that will adorn your walls. As a performing arts business, you want to use colors that bring your guests life, warmth, and happiness. Think about wall decorations that carry an element of creativity.

The floor, too, could use some attention. Are there cracks and holes bulging out from the surface? They should be fixed to eliminate accidents and to give the floor surface a smooth, non-slip feel. Is the floor cold? A flooring expert can sort that with comfortable carpets for an office space. An office carpet should be durable enough to endure regular washes.

Fix your office machines such as computers, scanners, and printers. With new clients signing in, lots of printing work can be expected. You’d do well to contact a local company that offers printer repair services and have them inspect your office machine.

A printer technician will check common issues such as paper jams, connectivity problems, toner cartridges, and when they are due for replacement. Some of the printer repair services can be handled on-site, but if there are other hardware malfunctions, they may take days to fix. In that case, the technicians will ask you if they can carry the machine to their offices and fix it before returning it to you.

6. Review Your Non-Profit Status

You’ll need to be clear about the type of formal structure your theater business will operate on. If your business is a 501(c) (3), the legal prescription of a non-profit, remember to include these details in your performing arts business plan template. This will guide you when seeking appropriate support structures, such as funding support for your business.

If you want to function as a non-profit, get the professional guidance of an attorney as the legal journey ahead requires their expertise. It’s not uncommon for art organizations to start as non-profits in the United States, giving them access to desired resources, including grants and donations. They can get professional guidance to grow their work without paying an arm and a leg for the service.

Your non-profit status brings immediate financial benefits because your business is automatically exempt from paying the federal income tax. This will save your business a lot of money, especially now that you’re in your developmental stage. Another benefit your attorney can discuss with you is how to apply for art-leaning grants and fellowships provided only to non-profit entities. Think about the people you’d like to work closely with as part of your board.

As a non-profit business, you’ll be required to form a board, and its members will offer advice and mentorship and walk with you throughout the journey. Having a board makes your business formal, with a more structured way of seeking help and collaborating with others. The non-profit status of an arts business gives it a sense of legitimacy and validates its right to belong. More performing artists are likely to sign up to work with your business when they learn it is a non-profit because they’re sure of the tax designation of the business entity.

7. Find Local Sponsors

Once your non-profit status is clear, you can knock on doors to seek collaborations and sponsors. But before the legwork, search online for the kind of businesses and corporate companies you’d like to work with. List them as part of your performing arts business plan template.

While this relationship-building endeavor continues even after the theater opens for business, look around for local pediatric offices that would happily sponsor children-themed performances. You need to be armed with information about the nature of a pediatrician’s work, which you can safely assume is in the healthcare industry. Some organizations could be specialist pediatric units, and their needs are unique. Background information will be useful when pitching your proposal to them.

As you talk to different potential sponsors, make your mission, vision, and values very clear so that you’re on the same page with them. This will help clarify any confusion in your relationship with sponsors and eliminate situations where sponsorship has to be canceled later. Approach potential sponsors whose vision and mission align with yours. Be keen to note sponsors of non-profit events in your area and see what events they’re working with. If you’re comfortable with their brand, reach out to them and pitch your business ideas, too.

8. Host Events

The facility should not limit itself to only hosting performing arts. Think of other ways the property can bring in an extra dollar. Are there clubs, churches, societies, or even families with events without space to host them? Let the community know they’re welcome to hold their functions in your facility at an affordable fee. Include this money-making idea in your performing arts business plan template.

For starters, when planning for the official opening of your theater, talk to local service providers whom you can work with to make the event memorable. A function without good music can underwhelm the guests. A good DJ service ought to capture the theme of your function and anticipate the kind of guests who will attend. The DJ should then prepare the appropriate songs and list them, arrange the music, and be ready to offer you a preview before the main event.

A reputable DJ company can be easy to find. Conduct an online search for local DJ services. Also, read past customer reviews to get a feel of the service you will likely get. Compare costs, and bargain for a package that you’re comfortable paying. When you settle on the service providers you’re happy with, ensure that you sign a contract covering their terms of service and payment.

9. Offer Refreshments

You want your business to start earning good reviews from day one. One of the best ways to do this is to give guests high-quality experiences. This includes what to eat while on your premises. Great food certainly complements great art, and that’s what you want the theatergoers to remember you for.

To meet your customers’ needs, engage service providers with a great reputation known to have been operating similar businesses elsewhere. A cafe is an appropriate business to set up in your theater. They offer customers the option of buying hot beverages and snacks such as sandwiches and salads for a quick bite. Make provision for cold snack vendors, where theatergoers can grab a soda or ice cream, too.

A full-fledged restaurant business is a great idea to include in your performing arts business plan template. A good restaurant will cater to those working full-time on your premises. These include cleaners, office staff, artists on long hours of practice, and even guests who want to spend many hours at the theater.

Restaurants can attract families who want to bring the whole family for a performance at the theater. When they are sure of a place they can eat, they’ll plan for a sit-down dinner for the entire family. Different restaurants positioned in easy-to-reach places, and offering various culinary experiences, will be a delight for families to sample. A restaurant not too far from the theater is a relief for those who don’t want too much walking for a meal between the theater shows.

These ideas aren’t exhaustive but are bound to give you a head start when setting up your business. Your theater’s renovations may continue for months after it’s already open. Still, for now, the basics must be met, at least for you to get a green light to operate. Good luck in your art business.

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