Write an executive summary outlining your business plan’s main points to get things started. This gives the reader an idea of the key points you will be highlighted throughout your plan.
Your vision for the bar is key. What do you envision? A sports bar with plenty of patrons watching the big game or a speakeasy with craft cocktails? Each bar caters to different types of clients — be specific about yours.
Next, you must create a mission statement that identifies the key elements of your bar’s success. Your mission is a description of the values and characteristics of your company that highlights what sets your bar apart from other bars.
This statement will influence everyone who does business with your company. You can use your mission to help you identify the areas you should be focusing on to attract customers and outperform the competition.
Description of the company
Your company description is the “who,” “what, where, when, and why” of what you do. The most important elements of your bar include the theme, concept, location and target market. This section should include the most important details of your business to investors and stakeholders.
Be sure to describe the location and design of your bar. Is there parking available? Is there parking nearby? You want your bar to be easily accessible. Design should encourage loyalty and engage customers.
Investors want to see that you are knowledgeable about the market and industry. A market analysis will help you determine what success looks like by compiling industry insights and customer information.
Begin with a service industry analysis, then dig deeper into the specific industry segmentation. You should also compare trends and forecasts for your market if you own a sports bar, cocktail bar, wine bar or nightclub.
Next, explain your market segmentation and target customers. Then tell them why they will like your bar. A customer profile describes the ideal client you can use later to help you develop a marketing strategy. It doesn’t mean that you should exclude people from your market, but it can help you focus your marketing efforts.
Analyze your competition. What are the local bars? How do they compare? Are there bigger bars that could take your customers?
Finally, create a SWOT analysis of your bar. Discuss the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your bar. You can determine your competitive advantages and plan to capitalize on them by running a SWOT analysis.
Menu and product line
Customers (and investors) will be attracted to what you have on your menu. You can list everything on your menu, including cocktails, liquor, mixers, garnishes and other add-ons.
Emotions play a large role in purchasing decisions. This is why it is important to name drinks and include the correct type of descriptions in your marketing plan. These descriptions should be written carefully so that you convey the right message.
Next, let’s discuss product sourcing and where it comes from. Some bars pride themselves on having 100+ beers available, so be sure to define your claim to fame. You might also consider sourcing locally as this may be appealing to certain customer segments.
Once you have decided what you want to source, you need to plan how you will manage your products. To optimize your daily operations and reduce spending, it is essential to create inventory management software.
Write down your competition comparisons to other bars in your area. Is your beer selection the same as all other bars in the area? Is your establishment the only one offering craft cocktails? You can diversify your menu and gain a competitive edge by keeping track of your competition.
Your marketing strategy is the section in your business plan that describes your overall strategy to attract, retain, and find customers. This section will provide you with the information you need:
- A positioning statement should include information about your target market and how you want them to perceive your brand.
- Pricing strategy Without pricing your drinks correctly, it is nearly impossible to open a successful bar. Add up the cost of the ingredient to calculate your price. Next, determine a pour cost percentage or profit margin that you want. The cost of the ingredients is multiplied by the target pour price to determine the price. This is your price. The best target pour costs for beer are 20 percent, liquor at 14 percent, and wine at 22 percent.
- Promotion strategy for pre-opening: Explain whether you will have a soft opening, a pop-up before opening or a grand opening and how you plan to execute it. Please make sure you describe how it will generate buzz.
- Marketing Programs: Once your bar is open, you must encourage regular customers to return and entice them to try your bar. This includes email, social media, paid ads, and PR. You should also consider the type of promotions and events that attract customers. Many options are available in the industry, including guest bartending, happy hours and reverse happy hours.
Indicate the type of entity that you intend to use for the bar. This information is crucial when you file your tax return. If you have any questions, consult a lawyer to help you choose the best business entity for yourself.
While a sole proprietorship gives you the freedom to run your business, you are also responsible for all company debts. Partnerships can help reduce the amount of work involved in opening a bar. However, partners can be held legally responsible for their actions and those of their partners. An LLC protects you from personal liability, but the company cannot go public.
Next, you will need to outline the foundations of your organizational structure. What is your personnel plan, and who is on your management team? How many bartenders, backs and other staff are you requiring to get started? This information is necessary to provide a picture of your payroll costs.
Let’s talk about financials last. It is essential to have a financial plan to outline the sales goals for your business. The financial plan section contains information about startup costs and a breakeven analysis.
The startup costs for a bar are expenses incurred in the initial stages of your business. The type of bar will have different startup costs. The highest costs for dive bars are the cost of seating and real estate. The biggest startup expense for a cocktail bar is its interior design.
It can be hard to raise funds for your bar. It is important to think through your options and create a plan. Are you able to finance it yourself? Are you looking to find investors? Are you eligible to apply for a small-business loan? When you start your business, there are many funding options available.
Next, calculate how much revenue is needed to break even. This includes all fixed and variable costs for starting and operating your bar. Discuss your profit and loss projections, how much cash flow you require, and how to manage a balance sheet. A profit loss analysis is a financial report summarising the revenue, expenses, and costs for a particular period (usually a fiscal quarter or year).
Tips for planning a bar business
Tips for a sports bar business plan
- Maximize indoor and outdoor viewing space: Customers don’t want to be disappointed when they arrive and discover they can’t view the game they were hoping to see. When planning your location and investing in equipment (TVs, cable subscriptions), remember to prioritize sports fans’ experience on game day.
- Choose your atmosphere: Do you prefer a loud atmosphere or a more peaceful escape? Are you targeting all sports fans? Or a particular fanbase? A strong understanding of your customer base is key to success.
- Make a sports-specific marketing strategy: Look at the coming calendar and plan for the slow and busier times. What promotions can be run on quiet nights to stand out in a crowd at big events?
Tips for wine bar business plans
- Locate distributors: Your relationships with distributors and importers can make or break your wine business. Identify the key partnerships and the best way to set up your business.
- Make food investments. There are pros, cons and ways to make your wine bar more appealing. You can also change your approach as you go. Wine bars have found ways to lower costs and increase their reach by partnering with local restaurants and food trucks.
- Multi-hyphenate opportunities are worth considering: Wine bars can be a great way to branch out into retail and personal care if you have the right space and expertise.
Tips for starting a cocktail bar
- Be specific. A generic bar can have difficulty breaking through. It is important to clearly understand the space’s look and feel, target audience, price ranges and unique value propositions.
- Look at the competition: What’s missing in your community, and what will attract customers to your particular business? Look at the success stories of successful bars in your area and city. What are the best places to replicate these bars? And what can you do to fill in the gaps?
- Make a staffing plan. Long waits for drinks can make it difficult to build customer loyalty. It would help if you planned how to staff your space appropriately. Also, consider QR code ordering so customers can remain at their tables while waiting for their drinks.
Tips for a brewery business plan
- Identify what makes your brewery stand apart: Understanding your appeal and edge in a competitive market is crucial. Do you make your beer? Are you looking for a space that can accommodate large groups? Are there any potential breweries in the area?
- Look for partnerships: Many great breweries in the country have weekly partnerships. These mashups can help you build momentum quickly, from restaurant residencies in your space to beer launches to one-off pop-ups.
- Consider self-serve options. Customers are increasingly looking for flexible ordering and payment methods. QR codes are great for breweries. However, it would help if you also considered other options, such as ordering ahead for pickup and allowing customers to pour their beer at a fixed price for a certain time.