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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

Alcohol trends. National and regional alcohol suppliers keep records of how their product fits into the market. Your potential suppliers can provide valuable information about your customers and what they like to drink. Generally, they are glad to help. If you do your research and have a successful bar, your suppliers will profit, too.

Other important statistics. Visit your local public or university library. Many libraries have business departments that have a wealth of information about demographics, income levels and spending trends.

• *Lifestyle trends.* Call the lifestyle and entertainment editors at your local newspaper and regional magazines, as well as the advertising and marketing departments of local radio stations. They can give you information about your competitors and tell you more about the establishments that have been successful in the area.

• Your customers and the competition.* You can discover a ton of information about your customers using internet resources. Besides general demographics, you can surf the web for information about other bars in the area. Pop into chat areas and newsgroups to find out where the action is and which bars are the hot spots. (This is especially important for clubs!)

Using Your Research Effectively

Once you’ve compiled all your research, you can devise a concrete profile of your clientele. For example, you may decide your target customers are professionals between the ages of 30 and 50 who have incomes of more than $40,000 and like jazz music. Whatever you set as your target market will affect all the decisions you make from here on, so make sure you get it right!

Once you have your profile, you can develop your menu and bar inventory based on what your customers like. Look for trade magazines and industry associations that provide data on food and beverage spending patterns. The National Restaurant Association publishes the annual Restaurant Industry Operations Report, which details the performance of many eating and drinking establishments. It’s also available for select states. You can get a large chunk of this information from your suppliers as well.