Category Archives: Planning

Can you really Make Money by Opening a Pub?

Pubs and bars can be real cash cows if you know how to plan and manage the business properly. Some people will make money and others will lose, what will you be?


Unfortunately, just like the majority of small businesses, most of the pubs that open will fail within the first few years of business.

However, for the few that get the formula right, a pub business can generate a steady income over many years to come.

So, the answer would be yes, you can make money by starting a pub IF you are the minority that have the knowledge, experience and expertise to run a pub efficiently.

In order to open a money making pub, you should have a very detailed business plan, an experienced team, a suitable location and a lot of luck.

There are many things that can be planned for, and also many issues that you cannot predict. By having a good plan, you can address the common problems from your business system and let the experienced team handle ad-hoc matters that arise in the day to day operations.

Try to focus on your pub’s business plan and financial projections in as much detail as possible as it will be your road map once the business starts. Take your time to plan well and thoroughly.

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Experience is Essential when Starting a Pub

A lot of pubs are started and operated by owners that do not have experience in business, in running a pub or both. This can be a recipe for disaster unless the problem is acknowledged and addressed.

Family Pubs

For example, there are pubs that are family owned and operated with the owners actually living on the premises above the pub. In these cases, if the pub is successful, the family will have found the right formula to run the business efficiently.

However, in many family-run pubs, the business is usually not as good as it could be because of the lack of business experience for marketing, cost control or various other management areas.

Another common problem is that family operated pubs sometimes stick to outdated methods that worked in the past, but are not so appealing in today’s market. Change and innovation is sadly lacking in pubs that have not evolved with the times.

Joint Ventures

Pubs started by a few friends who feel that it’s a good idea to own a bar usually fail miserably as they do not have experience in opening a pub or running a bar.

Having business experience from another industry is a head start to understanding the requirements of managing a bar but it may not be enough to fully understand the inner workings of a pub.

An Experienced Team

One of the best ways to gain direct experience in starting and running a pub effectively is to learn from someone who has years of experience in operating successful pubs. There will be many tricks of the trade that you can be taught rather than learning the hard way.

If you’re one of these inexperienced owners, try to surround yourself with good, experienced managers and staff to assist in the startup.

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The Concept and Location for your Pub or Bar

Any pub or bar needs to be clear about its concept, market, customers and unique offerings in order to have a well thought out business plan.

Are you looking to start a traditional pub, a modern bar or some sort of a mix between the two? Is it a family friendly pub or more of a nightclub with loud music? Will you offer food or just snacks, will there be any form of live entertainment or any special attractions?

A lot of these questions will help you define your concept before opening a pub.

Once you’ve decided on your concept, the next step is to identify a suitable location. The location is one of the most important factors in establishing a successful bar or pub. Take your time in assessing as many options as possible and do not rush into confirming any property. Remember, once you’ve chosen the location and invested money into renovating it, you’ll be stuck there, so think carefully.

If you’ve found something you like, write down a list of all the positive and negative things about the prospective property. Next, do a detailed examination of all the negative factors and where possible, identify all the costs involved in rectifying the problems.

Once you’ve got a monetary evaluation of the issues and still feel that the positives outweigh the negatives, note it as a shortlisted option.

If you do this for all the properties you’re considering for your new pub, and then compare each of the shortlisted choices against each other, you’ll get a lot of insight into all the relative benefits and setbacks.

Most of all, it will force you to really think deeper and understand more about what’s involved in your new business.

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