Owning a nightclub often is seen as a glamorous occupation, where club owners spend their lives at one long party, tuned into the music scene and hanging out with the hippest crowd as they socialize for a living. While there certainly are perquisites to club ownership, there is also an enormous amount of knowledge and hard work involved. Are you up to the challenge? Read on to discover some of the necessary steps to owning your own nightclub.
Step 1: Learn the Business Work at a nightclub in several different positions; ideally, spend some time as a manager. There are aspects of running a club that no patron can pick up from frequenting a club – regardless of how much time she spends in one! Pay attention to the specifics – handling vendors, instructing security, negotiating with talent (band or DJ), setting prices, etc.
Step 2: Choose your Theme/Decor Select the theme and décor of your nightclub. Do you want a techno club, with pulsing lights and an outrageous sound system? Is a retro club more what you had in mind, with a house band? Maybe you want to open an intimate jazz nightclub. Choose a name and design a décor that reflects your theme.
Step 3: Check the Demographics Your theme must match local demographics for your nightclub to succeed. Visit your local chamber of commerce and get a copy of the demographics for your area. If the majority of residents in your area are senior citizens, a techno club with guest DJs is not going to flourish! Consider population density and the age and socio-economic status of residents when evaluating a potential neighborhood. If your area cannot support your chosen theme, change either your theme or your locality.
Step 4: Write a Business Plan Outline your business strategy, analyze the local market conditions, work out what your startup costs will be and set your prices. Present your business plan to investors and lenders to obtain financing.
Step 5: Find the Ideal Location The right location can make or break your nightclub. Make certain that a nightclub would be welcome in the area, and that a liquor license is available. Find out how many nightclubs and bars are nearby. While there can be an advantage to opening a location in a well-known entertainment district, too much competition can make it impossible to build a large clientele.
Step 6: Plan a Perfect Layout Do you want an outdoor deck to give overheated dancers a place to cool down? Are you looking for room for an extensive dance floor with a DJ station or band stage, segregated VIP areas, and a dedicated karaoke space, or are you planning a smaller, more intimate venue? Be patient and keep looking until you find a location that fits your needs.
Step 7: Pay Your Dues Newcomers to the nightclub industry often overlook paying royalties. If there is any music played in your nightclub (can a nightclub exist without music?) you must pay a licensing fee. ASCAP and BMI are the two main companies involved; contact both before you open for business. There are some exemptions available for food service and drinking establishments, so check to see if your business is eligible.
Step 8: Lights, Music, Action! Lighting and sound systems are essential parts of a nightclub. Purchase an intelligent lighting system with a variety of lights – a full set of RGB flood lights, strobes, scanners, and even a few high end lasers (if they fit in your budget) that can be programmed to change for different songs/beats. Have a technician design your sound system to produce a balanced, blanketed sound for your club.
Step 9: Choose Pinnacle’s Nightclub Software The right point of sale system can help ensure your nightclub is success. Pinnacle Hospitality Systems’ POSitouch nightclub POS is specially designed with rolling minimum drinking age shown on screens and 55 menu items on one screen with check on display – the most available in the industry. Pinnacle’s nightclub software solutions speed service by consolidating like items to give bartenders a quick count of items on the check and offers left or right handed screens for quick bartenders’ access. Contact Pinnacle today at 800-771-7100 to find out the many ways that Pinnacle’s nightclub management software can help you find your own nightclub success!