Opening up a bar is a small business idea that could thrive almost anywhere – especially in neighborhoods with a nearby university or plenty of working professionals. The atmosphere is a godsend for the extroverted personalities, and you can make quite a success in the endeavor.
However, you must be prepared to work especially hard in the beginning stages. Setting up a business plan, getting your liquor license, and finding the best place to rent are all nontrivial aspects that must be tackled before you can breath easy (but not too easy). Afterwards, there’s the constant need to stay abreast of the competition in the area.
First Things First – Finances
Do you envision a nightclub, standalone bar or a restaurant with an ample bar section? This is the most important starting point, because it’ll determine how much money you need to start. A bar is an expensive endeavor, and although you’ll recoup the money many times over if you’re successful – it’s always a bit tight to start.
That’s why funding sources exist, such as Plumfund, which has helped thousands of entrepreneurs open the doorway to their dreams. It’s much better than a loan, since you don’t have to pay it back. The crowdfunding finances are from people who believe in your vision, so having a compelling story behind it is a plus.
Do You Have A Business Plan?
Now you have to apportion your finances. This covers the rent, the supplies (daily, weekly, monthly, etc), and costs associated with the upkeep. This may sound daunting; but other businesses have done the legwork for you – check out all the things on which they spend money and modify it to suit your bar specifically. Food inventory and marketing will, of course, factor into this part, too.
Get The Necessary Liquor License
Like it or not, you need a license in order to legally sell liquor. After all, not everyone is old enough to drink, and the kind of license further depends on the specific kind of alcohol you intend to serve in your bar. To greatly facilitate the process of finding the right state authorities and all the associated hurdles, consider getting a liquor licensing attorney. This will make the process far smoother and more certain than it otherwise would be.
Where Will You Setup Your Bar
Location, location, location. Clearly some places are better than others when setting up a bar; but this fact has to be correlated with what you can actually afford. Then, there are zoning laws to read up on since alcohol cannot be served near certain types of schools.
In fact, even if the zoning laws allow some locations, it’s still a good idea to gauge the neighborhood and see how the residents feel about a liquor establishment in their neighborhood. It might be a good idea – depending on your finances and vision – to have the bar serve multiple types of non-alcoholic beverages, too. Just because something is strictly legal, doesn’t mean you want to spend every week battling community attempts to get you to move elsewhere – especially if the residents get city officials involved. These are annoyances you can do without.
There are only a few things left to do once you get the big stuff out of the way. Find a catchy name for your bar that reflects your vision for the place, and start planning a marketing strategy that will have people to come through the door.