The bar industry remains one of the most enticing industries for budding entrepreneurs.
An area where risk-taking and creative thinking thrive, we've seen the development of an endless amount of bar concepts - from karaoke bars, to craft beer bars and jazzy cocktail bars.
Whether you want to open a grungy dive bar or a traditional pub, our list of guides to start a bar will tell you everything you need to know about turning your dream venture into a reality.
The essential steps when opening a bar
Taking over a bar
When entering the bar industry, you have two main options: to build a bar business up from the ground or takeover an existing one.
Taking over a bar is an excellent alternative to creating a bar business from scratch, as there are many factors (including an already devoted clan of customers) that lower the risks exposed to brand new businesses.
This isn't to say, however, that the process of buying a bar is any less complicated. In fact, you'll have to analyse a lot of data, including the layout, nearby competition and previous financial performance of the bar you're considering taking over.
To guide you through the steps required to make your bar takeover a success, check out our guide on how to take over a bar and, if money's a bit tight, our article on how to take over a bar with no money.
Writing the business plan for a bar
A very important step in opening your bar will be, of course, developing your business plan. This will enable you to present your idea to potential investors and convince them that the business can be profitable.
To help you along the way, we have written this guide on writing the business plan for a bar.
A key part of any business plan is the financial forecast. The financial forecast will enable you to not only review all the budget necessary for the launch of your bar but also get a clear idea as to its potential profitability.
Creating a financial forecast for a bar can be tricky, as you'll need to identify the specific costs related to the operation of a bar business and calculate them as accurately as possible. To help you along the way, we've highlighted our top four tips for creating the financial forecast of a bar.
Keen to see an example of what a business plan of a bar should look like? Then check out our bar business plan template to get some inspiration while writing your own.
Picking the right bar concept for you
Traditional bar concepts
Craft beer bars
With 45% of bar-goers happy to pay more for genuine craft beer, it's fair to say that the craft beer bar market is booming.
With over 2,000 breweries now in the UK, however, competition is tough - so organisation is key when it comes to giving your craft beer business the best chance of success.
From writing the marketing plan to helping you define your concept, we take you through each stage of building a craft beer business in our guide to opening a craft beer bar.
Another classic concept in the world of bars is, of course, the wine bar. With wine taking precedence as the most popular alcoholic drink in the UK (a 2019 YouGov survey found that 81% of 2,000 participants had drunk wine in the past year, compared with 79% for beer or spirits), the wine bar market is an attractive area for entrepreneurs.
When opening a wine bar, however, the need to stand out from the crowd and offer an innovative concept to customers is essential. To take you through each stage of opening a wine bar, we've written an extensive guide that you can check out here.
Tapas bars have been a real craze in the UK for a few years now. The steps involved in opening a tapas bar are very similar to that of launching a restaurant, so careful planning is essential.
From studying the rules and regulations related to running a food business to securing funding to make it come alive, the road to opening a tapas bar is long - and with a few obstacles along the way. Learn more about the essential steps in our guide to launching a tapas bar.
More unusual bar concepts
While juice bars attract a heavy influx of customers in certain places (such as beach resorts), they mightn't be particularly popular in, say, the middle of the city centre. That's why carrying out market research is essential for those hoping to launch a juice bar.
Market research will help you identify where the highest demand for juice bars is coming from, enabling you to pick a location that'll propel your business to success. Besides choosing a location, however, you'll also need to (among other things) pick your juice bar's legal form and write a business plan to secure funding. Find out more by reading the key steps to opening a juice bar.
Would you like to explore the possibility of opening a shisha bar but not sure whether your business will lift off?
To find out more about the shisha bar market and the stages involved in setting up a shisha bar, read our article on how to start a shisha bar.
Are you into video games? If so, you might feel passionate about providing a space where video game enthusiasts can come together to play and observe fellow gamers in their respective competitions.
If you're seriously considering opening an eSports bar, you're in the right place, as in our guide on how to opening an eSports bar, you'll find out everything you need to know about turning your passion into a profitable business.
If you'd like some inspiration to help you set out the vision for your eSports bar, check out our ready-made eSports bar business plan template.
This is not, of course, an exhaustive list - as there are countless concepts to choose from when deciding what kind of bar to open. To help you in this search, read our article that explores 17 different bar concepts to pick the one best suited to you and your ambitions.
We hope that our guides to start a bar will help you get a kick start in the hospitality sector.
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