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Tips For Making Your New Bar A Big Success

24/07/2018 There are a number of strategies and tactics that are proven true and you can use it to turn your new bar into a big success. Know more about these tactics in this article.

Having a great idea for a new bar concept is just the beginning – you also need to follow through with the right tactics and strategy to get you through the initial start-up phase. The good news is that there are a number of tried-and-true tactics that you can use to take a bar from concept to profit. The tips below can help guide you in opening up a new bar and making it a success.

Tip #1: Pick the right team

It’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to start a new bar with your friends. The only problem here is that running a real business is a lot different than hanging out with your buddies on a Friday night. A business needs a unique mix of talents, skills and experiences in order to thrive and survive, so you’re actually better off choosing talented individuals who might not already be one of your friends. If you’re great at marketing and promotions, for example, you’ll want to make sure that you have people on your team who are great at running the numbers and coming up with long-term strategic planning.

Tip #2: Create a business plan

The process of creating a business plan is invaluable because it will help you to fine-tune your thinking and revise many of your initial assumptions. For example, once you start calculating how much you are paying in rent, and how much you are paying in salaries, you will be very much aware of how much volume you are going to need to do every night just to break even. And it will impact everything else that you do – such as launching a brand-new marketing strategy. You will quickly see why guerilla marketing tactics and social media are so popular – they cost next to nothing compared to traditional marketing channels.

Tip #3: Keep a close eye on the numbers

Yes, the major reason why you launched a new bar was probably not to spend long nights running the numbers. You’d probably much prefer to be behind the bar, or at least, hanging out with regular patrons of your business. However, keeping a close eye on the numbers is absolutely essential for the long-term success of your business.

For example, how much you are spending for the top-shelf spirits at your bar? Are you getting a good deal on the wines you are ordering from your distributor? What’s the average size of a tab at your bar? Could you get a better deal on your rent by signing a long-term lease? All of those questions are essential for determining how profitable you will be in the end.

Tip #4: Understand your funding options

At the outset, you might be funding the launch of the bar entirely with your own savings, or perhaps with a mix of credit card debt as well. However, that is probably not the best long-term strategy. Most new establishments don’t even begin to show signs of profitability until the first 12 months have passed. In fact, restaurants and bars are notorious for going out of business within the first year – especially in hyper-competitive markets where it might be difficult to attract new patrons (or hold on to old patrons once the initial “buzz” has faded).

That’s why it is so important to understand your funding options. However, just be aware that bringing in new investors means that you will have to give up some ownership in your company.  And once you have investors aboard, you will be pushed in the direction of becoming more profitable, even if it means changing some of your initial philosophy about what makes a great bar.

Tip #5: Be on-site as often as you can

You do not need to spend days and night behind the bar, but you do need to have a regular presence at the bar. That might sound obvious, but some proprietors are serial entrepreneurs, with a variety of businesses active at any time. For example, a bar owner might also be a cocktail consultant, a wine director, or a part owner of another business. Being on-site matters, though. It will give you insights into what’s working, and what’s not. And it will give you new ideas and inspirations for what you can offer at your bar that will make it truly unique and noteworthy. A random conversation with a patron about an exciting new wine region in Chile, for example, might lead to you adding a high-altitude Chilean wine to your wine menu.

Tip #6: Hire for passion and talent

The old adage is that “you can’t teach talent.” That’s why it’s always important to hire from a deep pool of talent. Always hire the most talented people that you can find, and make sure that they care as deeply about the business as you do. And this hiring approach should extend to everyone on your staff, not just to the people behind the bar. Thus, make sure that you are hiring the very best lawyer and the very best accountant as well. The money that they can save you will be well worth any premium they might charge you for their services.

Tip #7: Develop a long-term strategy

Your business plan should be a living, breathing document, not just something you created before launching in order to check off all the boxes. As a result, your business plan needs to grow and evolve over time. It’s helpful, for example, to create monthly, annual and quarter projections – and then see how close you are matching (or, better yet, exceeding) those projections. If you are consistently missing those projections for any reason, then it’s time to revisit your strategy. Something needs to change – whether it’s labour costs, fixed costs (i.e. rent) or product costs – and it’s up to you to find the optimal strategy to make that happen.

Using these tips described above, you will have the right tactics to take a bar from concept to profit. Opening a new bar is a big step, and these basic rules of the road can help you help make it successful.

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