Financial Model to Startup a Zoo / Aquarium / Park

Yes, most Zoos and Aquariums run as non-profits, but that doesn't mean they don't need financial planning. It is just that they don't distribute profits nor are supposed to have profits. They simply have cash in and out and all extra cash is supposed to be re-invested by the operator. Often times, a Zoo will be run by the government rather than private industry, but it depends on where you are in the world. This excel model allows the user to do the planning of startup costs and on-going operations really well.


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The excel template will be sent to you upon purchase.


This model was designed to allow for maximum granularity and efficient planning of all the cash in and out-flows of what it takes to open and successfully run a Zoo, Aquarium, or Park. You will have donors, government funding, gift shops, special events and admissions for cash in.

Also, to account for seasonality, there is a section for the percentage of expected annual visitors that come in each month and that applies to each year. This helps account for the fact that of all your visitors, much of them may come more in the summer months than the winter months. It depends on where you are in the world, but that is important for operational planning, especially in the beginning years.

Cash-out involves everything it takes to take care of each animal contained in up to 10 exhibits. Costs also include the construction of the exhibits, the cost to maintain each exhibit, the general costs of the park/Zoo itself outside of exhibits/infrastructure, possibly debt service, and general operating expenses such as a staff and maintenance.

The logic is really robust and can probably be applied to a wide range of industries/organizations. The goal was to build new logic that was heavy on module constructions and had ticketing-type revenue driven from visitors.

Assumptions include up to 3 different ticket prices as well (Adult / Senior Citizen / Child) or what have you.

You will have a start month for when visitors come in and the construction is defined on a per exhibit basis. All the fixed costs have a start month per item and the same with the staff. You can also define the headcount of staff per year in each of the 5 years as well as their annual salaries and per year growth of salaries.

If you were trying to model out an amusement park startup, you can think of each exhibit as a coaster or attraction. Simply change the wording of the assumptions so it makes sense and the math/logic should fit that pretty well.