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 Floatation Therapy Forum. Have a DIY Tank Question? Want Help with Your Float Center? Ask Here.

  1. Lance
  2. DIY Float Tanks
  3. Tuesday, November 14 2017, 06:48 PM
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I'm planning on starting my own float spa in a location that has absolutely no competition anywheres for about 4 hrs driving . Ive been researching into float tanks and the prices are absolutely insane for what you get . Really most of them are just fiberglass shells , the filtration system and a few optional add ons like lights , speakers and so on . It blows my mind that they charge 20k to 40 k for something that really broken down shouldn't cost anywheres remotely close to that . I realize that society and people being the way they are always looking for the easiest shiniest possible option and large amounts of debt are basically an after thought for most people . Like buying a brand new car, thereis never ever any reason to buy a 2017 whatever and spend ridiculous amounts of money on it but people do it to look wealthy and because they believe they need the newest top of the line option when you never ever do .ive bought a brand new vehicle and thought before I got it wow I really need this and when I got it and had it for a week I honestly was extremely bored by it and it really meant nothing to me . Just a bunch of flashiness that sucks people into massive unneeded debts . From that point on I always buy somewhat older vehicles because they do the exact same thing as a brand new car and I am done being conned by society and salesman for these vane things in life we don't need just think we do . The same sort of thing applies in the float tank world , I see that a dream pod or a top of the line Samadhi tank looks fancy but honestly your going Into a black chamber where you can't see anything . Who cares at all what the exterior looks like . I'll leave that to those vane people who are consumed by life's needless crap . All that plastic they are made of to me just looks cheap but at the same time well built . Just like a new car . They are pretty much all cheap plastic now but it looks nice to the observer . Building car would be way too complex but building a float tank seems really really really easy . The structure could be built by a ten year old kid which only leaves purchasing filtration and bam all done 20k to 40 k saved . I've seen a number of home built tanks that were also way nicer than the high end over priced pods . I guess my question in the end is why are people so willing to go in large amounts of debt when you could just easily build your own . Is it lack of knowledge , laziness, is it that people opening new centres believe they need to have this big fancy looking egg shell dream pod thing to make clients go wow that looks cool , now I'll jump in shut the lights off and have the exact same experience as any other float tank . I think the only reason is they feel they need to have the high end stuff or they won't be the cool kid at the Xmas dance with the name brand sweater . That and likely laziness . I've read a number of people who have built their own commercial tanks and started their centres this way but they are a rarity it seems . If there are any other folks with stories of building their own please share as I have basically come to the realization that I'm not buying , I'm going to build and have zero debt .
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Dusty Groove Accepted Answer
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There are certainly plenty of things involved in starting this kind of business, and I'm not sure it's a good idea to "round out" your business plan by putting in zeroes because you think that so much of those items are negligible at best. The business plan is intended to protect you from getting heavily involved in the launch process, getting your doors open even, and finding out about all the things you DIDN'T prepare for that come as a surprise. It's in your interest to give yourself the planned budget for things like electricians, specialty contractors, and even "invisible" expenses such as insurance, taxes you never knew existed, or legal funds you never thought you'd need. As for marketing...well, it's a lot more involved than just posting your company's info and photos on your Facebook timeline, setting up an Instagram account to throw pictures at, and sitting behind the counter waiting for the phone to ring off the hook, and deal with the clamoring mob you think will be at your door. This business thrives in a niche marketplace, with passionate, serious entrepreneurs staying up late even on their day off (if they get one) to try and best guarantee that they're still giving their patrons the best guest experience anyone could expect. It's not for the feint hearted "weekend warrior" who thinks they can get in the float center business for a quick, easy buck. (I apologize - I'm certainly not referring to anyone on this forum).

I have a lot of respect for the people who pour their hearts, minds, and lives into the successful realization of ther dreams in offering the float experience to their communities. It's thankless, and never exactly the triumph they thought it might be any given day.

That said...If I were going to ever build a float business, I'd certainly align myself with the right people, and at least TRY and engineer a custom tank that takes the very best build elements from the very best products available. That's how innovation thrives....people building a better mousetrap, or in this case...a float tank.

Float on,

Dusty

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  1. more than a month ago
  2. DIY Float Tanks
  3. # 1
Jerry Accepted Answer
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I agree the prices are ridiculous. Building your own tank would be fairly easy. You just make a mold out of plywood and apply the fiberglass to that mold to create yourself basically a topless box. Now you take the fiberglass topless box out of the plywood box an Id put a good heating element inside the plywood box and put the topless fiberglass box back into the plywood box. now you have a fiberglass float tank which is far superior to most of the ones that need liners. Total investment is really depended upon the heating element because fiberglass and plywood are cheap. If you don't need it to be whiz-bang ultra professional-looking go to some local hardware store buy yourself a pump and filter and a few hundred pounds of salt and your now in business. I honestly see the biggest expense is finding a good heating solution. Most of the people making float tanks just want to make a lot of money off of them. Creating the float tank in the manner I described is very low cost and fairly good quality.

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  1. more than a month ago
  2. DIY Float Tanks
  3. # 2
Master Floater Accepted Answer
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I find it comical that people who don't know anything about float tanks want to start a float center.

If you want to get into building commercial tanks, that would be a better business than running a float center. I know quite a few people who run centers, and it isn't the most profitable or glamorous business.

But if you want to start a float center, you would need some pro level tanks, and if you have never built or owned a float tank prior and you want to build your own from scratch, and out of wood, well, I think you are in the wrong business.

Also it does not take 100k to start a float center. You could buy a used samadhi for 5000 to 10,000, and just install a shower in the room, and rent a commercial retail location for a few thousand. It isn't rocket science. It is more like a lot of work, with very little benefit. 2 or 3 of the biggest centers in california just closed and went bankrupt. You have to be in a very good location, and be able to attract and keep clientele.

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  1. more than a month ago
  2. DIY Float Tanks
  3. # 3
Lance Accepted Answer
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Thanks for the response . Something like a float tank may seem easy in concept i guess , but may be much more difficult to actually build . I'm not eager to get so far in debt but maybe it's the only realistic option . I also see these really higher prices to start a float center . I'm confused other than the tanks what additional costs are there to start up . Marketing these days is so incredibly cheap with social media , I'd value it at almost nothing in a business plan . As far as furniture and costs to renevate a space I also think that would be pretty slim in cost for me . I have access to an endless amount of reclaimed barnwood from another business of mine and I am well versed in carpentry . So as far as construction costs once again for me would be virtually zero in a business plan . I have a brother who is an electrician and as far as electrical set up once again much cheaper cost for me . Only costs in parts if that is a thing . Now other than those elements , I'm kinda scratching my head with what other exspenses there may be in the initial start up . I've read so many articles and I've seen people say each room is around 100 k to start up and I'm really confused how there is like 80 k extra to spend on each room after the machine is bought . I plan to work all hours each day it's open until I get enough return to begin hiring employees , so that cost would not be in my business plan either . And I guess employees wages aren't really anything to do with start up costs so maybe that was useless to add in anyways . I could see some exspenses in the sign outside the building and window advertising banners and such but those wouldn't be anything crazy high either . I've done similar things in the past and it's in the hundreds of dollar range . Plus if I really wanted to get crafty I could build my own sign . Maybe a lot of these costs are the things I'm mentioning but I will do myself because I know how to and maybe others just haven't done these things before . I'm not sure really , I'm still rather confused about these costs to start up besides the tanks .
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Go talk to your brother about the costs of a commercial buildout. He will likely help you work out your numbers.
  1. Kane Mantyla
  2. more than a month ago
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. DIY Float Tanks
  3. # 4
Kane Mantyla Accepted Answer
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You can, but considering starting a float biz is $100k minimum, would you risk your investment with the main device being built by someone who has never done it before? Will people like it enough to come back? Will it get you social media exposure? Perception, in the days of Instagram, is extremely important for the health of a business. I'd strongly recommend building out a serious business & marketing plan with realistic costs first.

I also buy used cars... no need to lose 30% driving off the lot. I even just bought a used Mac. You can even find used pod/tanks/rooms on occcasion, but be sure you research them carefully, not all are created equal.

Manufacturing is so much more than the cost of materials. And like all newer products in the market, price is extremely high until there is enough demand to create economies of scale. These companies have to continually develop and update so a newer company doesn't out do them. This is the nature of progress.

Good luck.

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  1. more than a month ago
  2. DIY Float Tanks
  3. # 5
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