Opening a nightclub or a late-night venue is an exciting prospect.
For many, it is a dream business, filled with fun, socialising and is a profession that is never boring. While it may seem like a perfect venture, opening a nightclub can be challenging, and there are many things to consider. While you are providing enjoyment and fun to your guests, the long hours, unruly customers and managing a business can be stressful. If you are opening a nightclub, here are some of the main things that you need to consider to make your venture a success.
What you need to consider when opening a nightclub
- Your Audience
When you open a nightclub, you need to consider the audience that you want to attract and whether your venture will be profitable. Market research is invaluable to ensure that you are catering to the demand and understand the best fit for your nightclub.
Assessing the age, occupation, drinking habits and financial situation of your target market will help you when it comes to positioning your bar. It can also be insightful when thinking of events to hold and special nights to run.
You should also consider your competitors.
It is well worth knowing why they are popular and what their weaknesses are. With this, you can find your opportunities and your nightclub can offer something that your competitors don’t. Make sure to assess the pricing points, style and décor as well as the general vibe and customers.
It is also worthwhile checking out the local promotions and events and whether you can tap into that market or join forces with local bars to make your nightclub a follow-on venue.
- Your Costs
Opening a nightclub requires a great deal of capital to begin with before you even open your doors. Make sure that you have a thorough business plan with a detailed review of the finances. Many people only consider the stock and the cost of the rent or refurbishment required, however, there are many more costs involved.
Staffing, security and equipment are integral to your business while other costs will include insurance. Nightclubs are typically high-risk due to alcohol consumption, and coverage is, therefore, critical for protecting your business, staff and customers. Insurance will also be needed to cover employers’ liability as well as contents insurance, stock insurance and event insurance.
Remember also to consider capital to absorb unexpected costs such as equipment breaking, signage, health and safety requirements and more advertising and marketing than you may expect.
- Your licence
Before you begin your venture, you need to apply for your licence.
This is an intense process, and there can be many pitfalls along the journey. If you want to sell alcohol, then you will need authorisation from your local council. You will need a premises licences as well as a personal licence. Applying for a licence will have a fee, so make sure that you factor this into your costs.
Your application will be assessed by bodies such as the police and responsible authorities such as environmental health, the local health board and trading standards as well members of the council. Your application will either be accepted or rejected. The council have a right to grant your application and modifying some of the conditions, reject one or more of your activities or reject the request altogether. You have a right to appeal against any objections at a magistrate’s court.
If your licence is approved, you will have to abide by the terms stipulated in the licence, including the times that you are permitted to sell alcohol, for example. Remember that you may need to apply for additional licences to cover special events that your nightclub holds. Always make sure to abide by licence conditions or your nightclub may be closed down for failure to comply.
Your staff are vital to your business and will require ongoing and regular training. Not only will your staff need training and development in relation to health and safety and safe working, but management may also need training in aspects of business management.
While you may know how to run a nightclub, there may be aspects that you need training for such as bookkeeping, accounting, marketing, DJing or even cocktail making.
The success of your nightclub will primarily come down to the service that customers receive. By keeping your staff trained in delivering an exceptional experience, you can make sure that customers keep returning and you continue to make a profit.