How To Open A Bar

Here’s everything you’ll want to know when opening your bar!

Research & Refine your Business Idea

Some people just love the kinds of environments that bars can provide. Whether it’s a standard small town bar, a barcade or a sports bar, people like to create these environments to provide a nice space for customers and make some money in the process.

If you’re interested in opening your own bar, then you’ll need to decide what kind of bar you want to open. There really are a wide variety, including brewpubs, neighborhood bars, barcades, specialty bars, sports bars, clubs and more.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to think about how you want to design your bar. Often, people will base the design of a bar on a theme. This just allows you to create a unique environment for customers, as well as a space that may represent something important to you.

It’s worth taking a look at how many bars in your area are similar to your idea. This can give you an idea for the kind of demand and saturation that may be out there for what you want to build.

Liquor Licensing

One of the most important aspects of owning a bar is going to be obtaining a liquor license. The process of obtaining this can be a little different based on where you’re opening the bar. Consequently, it’s a good idea to check your local liquor laws, and obtain your license accordingly.

There are also different permits that your employees may need due to serving alcohol and/or food. Understanding what permits and licenses will be needed ensures that your establishment is functioning within the legal boundaries.

Company Setup

You’ll also need to decide what kind of business you’re running. There are a few choices including sole proprietorship, LLC and more. You may find that a bar falls right into one of these choices. It’s important that you make the choice that is ideal for your business.

Creating your Business Website

Some may think that creating a website for a bar may not be all that helpful, but it can actually be quite a useful tool for gaining business, interacting with customers and even selling some bar-related merchandise.

Most often, customers or potential customers may come to the website looking for information on the hours your bar is open, the regular menu and any events that may be scheduled to take place at the bar.

Having this information so freely available can be a great way to allow customers to get what they need in an extremely easy way. Making things as easy as possible on customers can help greatly for your business.

In addition, you can have an online store featuring merchandise with your bar’s logo on it. That way, fans of the bar can purchase items that display their appreciation of it. It’s just another easy way to bring in a little more income.

A website can also be a very easy thing to make. There are plenty of sites like Squarespace and Wix that make it a very simple process, making them worth checking out!

Setting up a website isn’t as hard as it may sound, in-fact, many hosting providers have tailored their service around small businesses who may not be tech savvy. We suggest going with BlueHost to host your website, they’re service is simple and easy to use/setup and they’re currently offering 60% off hosting, including free domain registration.

Additionally, creating a blog on your website is also a great way to attract organic traffic and expand your business. Checkout our full guide on the best and easiest way to setup a WordPress blog here.

Get Ideas for your bar business name!

Marketing Your Business

Marketing is going to be a tool worth using to the best of your abilities when it comes to running a bar. After all, people can’t come to your bar if they don’t know it exists!

There are several kinds of marketing that you can utilize to help bring a great deal of attention to your bar. If you can, it’s best to use them all, but at the very least make sure to use as many as you can.

Your Website

As mentioned earlier, your website is a key base point for information on your bar that may entice customers to come in for a visit. In addition, using some SEO keywords can help to get your website a little more traffic. These keywords are very easy to find through tools like the Google Keyword Planner.

Print Ads

While digital marketing is a huge part of marketing 0verall, it still doesn’t hurt to have some advertisements in the real world. You may choose to purchase billboards, make use of advertisements on buses, or make use of newspaper ads. It’s entirely up to you!

Social Media

Social media is a fantastic way to communicate with customers and potential customers alike. The majority of people these days are on social media, so having as many different kinds of social media profiles as possible can help those who like your bar to follow any updates, information or pictures you may want to share.

Digital Marketing

In modern times, digital marketing is one of the most common ways to market a business. You can make use of pay-per-click ads, place ads on popular websites and blogs, social media pages or other popular locations on the internet where the advertisement is likely to be seen by many other people.

Setting Goals and KPI’s

A KPI is an indicator that lets you know how close you are to reaching certain goals for your business. The goals that are used for each kind of business can be a bit different, but there are some basic ones that may be used much more often, such as sales and the profit you get from them overall.

Some others might include the number of customers you get on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. This can give you an idea of how popular your bar is, though it can be a tricky thing to keep track of in an exact way.

If your business website is a large aspect of your bar, then tracking the traffic there can be much easier, and it can let you know how many people are at least interested enough to check out the site.

Don’t forget to try our bar business name generator!

Plan your Finances

Getting the kind of money that is required for opening a bar isn’t typically an easy thing, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. There are a wide variety of funding options that you can try out.

You can talk to friends and family about your vision and see if they will be willing to invest in it. Furthermore, you could seek out a crowd funding option like GoFundMe or Kickstarter.

Another option is getting a loan from a bank. With this option, just be careful to make sure you get the best interest rate possible and payments that you’re happy with.

With all of these options, it’s a good idea to really consider all of the start up costs that may need to be covered, including things like repairs and maintenance.

It’s also a great idea to have a bank account for your business that is entirely separate from your regular funds.

Adopt an Entrepreneurial Mindset

There can be a lot of ups and downs when it comes to starting up any kind of business. Consequently, it’s worth remembering that there will be obstacles and struggles as you’re stabilizing the income coming in from your bar.

It’s normal for any business to have some issues, especially when it’s just starting out. Because of that, you’ll need to be able to learn and change with the environment around you.

To meet the challenges, there has to be a lot of learning that takes place. Customers are frequently changing, and your business will need to change as well to meet the demands.

Other things to consider when starting your bar

Legal Requirements: 

You’re going to need to make sure that you complete all the needed paperwork for opening up a bar before you get going. As mentioned earlier, selecting the kind of business you’re running is also going to be helpful for completing taxes correctly.

When you’re choosing your name, you’ll also need to make sure it isn’t one that is already in use.

That said, one of the most important aspects is keeping a handle on licenses and permits required for serving alcohol as well as food if you decide to do both.

Accounting & Bookkeeping: 

For a bar, bookkeeping is going to be a highly important tool. With this, you can keep tabs on profit, expenses, pay for your employees and just about everything that is related to the funds used for the business.

When it comes to something like a bar, having a regular employee who keeps track of the accounting is going to be a great asset. However, you can opt to look into using a freelancer as well if it’s a situation that you’re more comfortable with. Upwork is a fantastic site for finding freelancers.

Hiring Employees:

In a bar you’ll surely need employees to make sure that customers are being handled well and getting everything they require for a happy experience.

As a result, knowing about hiring practices, creating a positive work space and making sure employees are having their needs met is extremely important. It makes for happy employees, who then create the best possible experience for everyone who walks in. Make sure you’re well versed on legal information about employees!

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