The fact that a bar is such a common and proven business in the United States does not mean that a business plan is not needed. On the contrary, it means that a plan is more necessary than ever to show that you’ve found the right opportunity for a new bar to carve out its stake and that you have what it takes to succeed against the entrenched competition. Furthermore, most investors and lenders will not consider giving you money before seeing a business plan.
Although not presented in this format, your bar business plan is essentially a document that details the Who, What, Where, When, How, and Why of the opportunity.
The “Who” of the plan includes who the customers are, who the founders and management are, who the competitors are, and who key partners will be. Show your understanding of the who through statistics, detailed bios, and descriptions that make it clear that you have done your research and had conversations with the other parties whenever possible.
The “What” of the plan is the clear description of the type of business and the services that will be offered. It should be clear from the company description what experience a visitor to your bar would expect.
The “Where” of the plan should explain the location you have chosen or options you are looking at. You must show evidence that suitable locations will either become available or are already available.
The “When” of the plan refers to expectations of when key milestones will be reached. Furthermore, the financial plan and projections are primarily descriptions of when revenues will begin, when profit will be achieved, and when debt will be repaid or dividends distributed, all in spreadsheet format.
The “How” of the plan is the marketing and operations sections. The marketing plan shows what tactics you will use to bring in customers. The operations plan shows that you understand what it will take to serve those customers and to support that service will all of the logistical and administrative functions needed.
The business plan covers “Why” first through the story of why you and/or the other founders are interested in opening the bar. Your drive to succeed with the bar business is extremely important for investors to see. Next you are making the link between who the customers are and what you offer by showing why they will prefer your bar and keep coming back. Finally, the entirety of the plan and its financials go towards convincing investors of why they should put their money into your bar.
Want more tips? Here’s a related article: How to Open a Bar.
Don’t forget to read on to learn about how to format a business plan.
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