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How to Start a Bar/Club

How to Start a Bar/Club

Be the toast of the town, the life of the party--and a successful entrepreneur? Yep. You can have it all when you open a bar.

Entrepreneur Magazine

Beyond the traditional glass or bottle with a nice dinner, for many, wine is the drink of choice. In fact, women order wine more often than any other alcoholic beverage. Wine bars offer guests the opportunity to taste a variety of different kinds of wine and the ability to learn more about their qualities.

Specialty bars tend to stay small and intimate in size and are located in more sophisticated neighborhoods. The costs and revenues you can expect to find when opening a specialty bar depend mostly on the type of product you serve and your location.

• *Club.* Like the neighborhood bar, nightclubs can take on a number of different personalities. You can open a small cocktail lounge with a jukebox or a tinkling piano in the corner. A medium-sized club might look like a neighborhood bar during the lunchtime hours, then spring to life with a popular band at night. Or if you have a big enough budget, your club might be a large dance club where the most fashionable people and hippest celebrities hang out every weekend

Whichever path you take, you must be prepared to spend a great deal of time and money on promotion to create your “buzz.” Clubs can make plenty of money if they’re managed properly. Most successful clubs draw on a city population of 500,000 or more. If you’re in a small town or suburb, you may not have the customer base to open a large dance club. Market research is key.

The FBI has a department called the Behavioral Sciences Unit that creates profiles of criminals to help track them down. As a bar owner, you need to embark on the same kind of relentless detective work to profile your customers before you start investing large sums of money in your business. The majority of the research material you need is probably already available to you. You simply have to compile it. You can go about developing your customer profile in several different ways, then compare the results to determine your direction.

• *General demographics.* Contact your local chamber of commerce or SBA to find out about the age, gender, income level, marital status, and political and religious affiliations of your target market. Your bar’s concept may go in a totally different direction if you’re in a college town with a high percentage of young, single students than if you’re in a quiet, conservative suburb populated with families.