Write an executive summary that outlines the main points of your business plan to get things started. This gives the reader an idea of your project’s focus throughout.
Your vision for the bar is key. What do you envision? A sports bar with patrons watching the big game or a speakeasy with craft cocktails? Each bar caters to different types of clients — be specific about yours.
Description of the company
Your company description is the “who,” “what, when, where and why” of your company. The most important elements of your bar include the theme, concept, location and target market. This section should consist of 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 or cocktail bar, wine bar, nightclub, or wine bar.
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 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 descriptions in your marketing plan. These descriptions should be written carefully so that you convey the right message.
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: This 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 ingredients 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 per cent, liquor is 14 per cent, and wine is 22 per cent.
- Promotion strategy for pre-opening: Explain whether you will have a soft opening, a pop up before beginning 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 will attract customers. There are many options available in the industry, including guest bartending, happy hours and reverse happy hours.
- Website Your online presence is the final piece in your marketing strategy. 44% of respondents to our survey said that a website was extremely or very important when they decided to start a business. Include screenshots of your website, and tell customers what they can find on it.
- Your social media presence should be used as an extension to your website. Customers expect the same information from a business’s Facebook pages as its website. Social media can enhance your website and show off your personality.
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 accountable for their actions and those of their partners. An LLC protects you from personal liability, but the company cannot go public.
Let’s talk about financials last. It is essential to have a financial plan to outline its sales goals. 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. This is why 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.
Tips for planning a bar business
Tips for a sports bar business plan
- Maximize indoor and outdoor viewing space: Customers don’t want to arrive and find that they can’t view the game they were hoping to see. Prioritize the sports fan experience during game days when you plan your location and equipment investments (TVs, cable subscribers).
- 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: The relationships you have 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 have a clear understanding of 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 be best if you planned how to staff your space appropriately. Also, consider QR code ordering so that customers can remain at their tables while they wait for their drinks.