Becoming a bar owner might make you good profits contingent on the kind of bar you want to open.
So, have you been thinking about starting a bar on your own, but you’re not exactly sure where and with what, to begin with? You’ve probably already considered your concept and your bar name, but perhaps you’re doubtful about some of the other details, such as how to obtain permits or find suppliers.
Starting a bar of your own can be profitable, rewarding, and entertaining, as long as you carry out some thorough research and follow the right steps.
Below, we provide you with our 6-step checklist with the most important steps on how to start a bar.
Create A Business Plan
A business plan is a crucial document for every kind of small or large business. Once you decide that you’re going to pour your finances and energy into starting a bar, it’s almost a requirement.
Briefly, your bar business plan is a written plan that guides you from initiation to success. It will cover your business’s value proposition, the sector you’re entering, your legal structure, the location and staff, services and products, advertising strategy, financial projections, and any further information that will direct you toward lasting growth and profit.
Your bar business plan will help conduct every one of the other steps required for opening a bar, and you can refer back to it frequently and modify it as needed if your plans change or turn.
Register Your Business
No one can run a business unless it’s properly registered. The requirements for registering a bar vary for each city and state, so make sure to check locally. Next, you’ll need to obtain an employer identification number (EIN) for tax filing purposes and register your bar with local authorities.
You will also have to pick an appropriate legal structure. The most popular ones are sole proprietorship, general partnership, corporation, and limited liability corporation or LLC.
Get Permits And Licenses
When looking to start a bar in the US, there are plenty of startup costs. These include licenses and permits. Below is a list of the ones that you must have.
- A Business License. Once you start considering opening a business, you should start here;
- A Certificate of Occupancy. It is a legal document that proves a structure (a house or office building) is safe to inhabit. Find a location before you apply for this one;
- A Liquor License. This will probably cost you the most, and it will be the hardest to get;
- A Food Service License. This is about complying with all of your local safety and health requirements. However, the codes differ by state;
- A Music License. Music in your bar will be copyrighted. That’s why there is licensing for that as well.
Secure Funding For Your Bar
Create a list with all the startup costs needed to get your bar running. Then, add the expenses for day-to-day operations, including the alcohol expenses, salaries, rent, and utilities. From here you can establish a budget and predict how much money will be essential to keep your bar running for the whole year.
Furthermore, ascertain how much money you have to put towards your startup expenses and how much additional financing you’ll require.
Once you have a definite number, you can start the process for a loan application. The early investment that you make could be reimbursed within several years if you run your bar properly.
Find A Location
Location is everything. Different locations of your city attract different populations. If you want to appeal to students, opening a bar near a university would make the most sense. But, in case you want to attract higher-caliber customers, then set up your bar in a more wealthy part of the city.
Another thing to consider is parking and accessibility. If you’re looking to attract tourists, parking is less of a problem because they’re likely to call a cab or use Uber, for example. However, tourists are less likely to become loyal customers.
Moreover, you must also check the zoning restrictions—will you be able to open a bar in a certain location? And last but not least, consider the rent and utility costs—will you be able to afford them with the kind of customers you’re going to attract?
Design Your Bar
Your bar’s style is a key factor. People tend to go out for the atmosphere and to interact or socialize, so choosing the right music, interior, and furniture is pretty important.
Once choosing your bar design, ensure everything is complimentary. For example, you can’t open an Irish pub and play top-50 music hits of the year. Everything must be in sync—the music, the style, the atmosphere.
You can use Pinterest for some unique concepts and ideas, or if you can afford it, the best would be to hire a professional interior designer.
Starting and running a bar is no easy feat. Whether you’ve been in the bar industry for so long you want to become your own boss, or it’s just been your life dream to become a bar business owner, use these steps to help you open your dream place.