In today’s post I respond to Rishi, who is trying to decide between a cheaper $6K float pod or an expensive $19K float pod.
I am in something of a fix. I have an option between going for a $6K pod and one that costs $19K. The expensive one looks gorgeous and is much simpler to install and operate for obvious reasons. It is also aesthetically pleasing and I notice customers find it more appealing to get into.
Would you say 19K is too much for just a tank? I’d be taking a loan at that!
This question is becoming more popular as both float tank centers and float tank manufacturers continue to pop up around the country.
I think there are two factors that will play a role in your answer. First, is how much debt you are willing to enter for your purchases. Second, how much additional income will the more expensive tanks net you?
Ease of installation and operation of tanks is another thing to take into consideration, which i’ll discuss in an upcoming post.
Personally I hate debt. I don’t own personal credit cards, and I never took on school loans (I don’t have a college degree), and I’ve always bought used cars with cash. While we did go into debt in order to open the Float Shoppe, we wanted the amount we owed to be as small as possible. To facilitate this, all of our float tanks were purchased used. Had we bought $20,000 tanks, we would have taken on much more debt that we would have felt comfortable with and we would not have been able to afford our recent expansion that we took on after being open for just a year and a half. While taking on debt can lead to more immediate options, it can also be debilitating in a long term view.
That being said, purchasing an expensive float tank can open up options for your float center that wouldn’t otherwise be available.
The Pizzaz of a New Float Tank
If the Art of Floating’s readers were to survey a random group of people, I bet the number who have seen a float tank would be less than 30%. Since most customers coming in won’t have an expectation of what a float tank looks like, having a visually stunning tank isn’t that important. Your tanks will define what a float tank should look like in their mind.
Your approach may need to be different if you’re not the first float center to open in your city. When we opened, there were already float centers operating in Portland. We wanted to create an image of floating that was incredibly friendly and we wanted float tanks that were both high quality and also exceptionally friendly to enter. For that reason we chose spacious, friendly and open feeling float tanks, all previously used. Not only did we want to create a quality float, but we wanted to be sure potential clients who would otherwise never step into a boxy float tank would want to float with us.
How to Decide?
I feel that we were able to get the best of both worlds. We were able to find both beautiful and friendly float tanks at a low cost. This has become more challenging in recent years as the price of even used float tanks has skyrocketed. Fancier float tanks will often require a large financial investment new or used. So how do you decide if it is worth the price? Despite how common it is for people to say they wouldn’t want to float in a boxy tank, I think the number of people who would outright refuse to float in that style of a tank is quite small, maybe 10% of all potential customers. So my question to you is this: Will attracting an additional 10% of customers bring in an additional $13K of revenue? Is the prospect of being further in debt worth getting that additional customer base? Spending time with these questions should help you find the answer that is right for your business.