Putting a pricetag on my dream?
June 29, 2014 10:45 PM Subscribe
I've had a fantasy that has been rolling around in my head for the past 15 plus years of opening a small public aquarium. It's always been the sort of things that I thought to myself "If I ever won the lottery one day." level of realism.
Over the past year or so, I've been getting encouragement from friends to actually go for it. While I still thinks it's just daydream fodder, I sort of want to figure out a rough idea of cost to see just how crazy the idea is.
The problem is, I have no idea how to figure that rough estimate of what it would cost.
Because it is day dream fodder, I don't know that I want to go as far as finding out an exact budget, but I'd love to have some high level estimate. Something that I could hold on to on the off chance I had a change in financial circumstances or even start to plan if it isn't as crazy as I think it will be. One caveat, I don't want to necessarily waste too much time getting a firm number, but I don't know where to begin even thinking about things like construction costs and building permits. Or all the things that I wouldn't think of that would go into making something like that come true.
This is, in all honestly, probably an exercise in futility and more just entertainment for myself. But I don't even know how to begin thinking about what it would take. How do people rough estimate ideas like this (or is it unrealistic to even try?) What kinds of things would I have to consider? How do people find out construction costs, and over head like electricity? Costs associated with employees? The whole ball of wax?
I have been been breeding seahorses for years, so I sort of have a a very small scale version in one room of the basement. One of my favorite books growing up was "How To Make A Miniature Zoo" published in 1957, which I'm sure was in no small part responsible for this very impractical daydream.
Ideally, I'd like to come up with some sort of estimate for the small roadside "zoo" and one for the even more impractical version that is everything I would want.
How would I even begin to think about it in a practical manner and start assigning dollar values? I have looked at craigslist for rental space just to get some idea of prices, but that even has it's problems, like location and shared building with noxious chemicals. Plus that doesn't really answer many of the other questions, like staffing, interior construction, decor, electrical upgrades, and probably many other resources I'm not thinking off. The only thing I really can do is figure the specific costs of building display aquariums.
Are there resources for figuring things like this out? Books? Certain subjects I should be looking up online? But I also don't want to get crazy detailed because it's frankly not very likely. I'm dead broke and unable to work at the moment. Which of course makes the daydream more attractive - since nothing is possible it seems like anything is possible.