Alejandro Mullins

A Step-by-Step Career Guide for Aspiring Bar Owners

a person standing in a bar
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Owning a bar is one of those things that people assume isn’t that hard. If you want to own a business and love the bar’s atmosphere, do you think you’d be perfect at running a bar? Many people who have opened bars will have little training, education, or preparation and have a somewhat flourishing business. However, enjoying the bar scene and wanting to own a business are not the foundations of success.

If you want a career as a successful bar owner, you need to take steps to prepare yourself for the business. Here is a step-by-step guide to owning your bar.

Step 1: Work in a bar.


There is a significant difference between going to a bar and working in a bar. If you think you want to own a bar one day, you need to start with working in one. You need to know the different drink options and be able to talk to people about what they may like. Even when talking about beer, there is a subculture that you need to understand. You should understand beer style, flavor, hop flavor ranges, low hop bitterness, flavorless lager, strong flavors, American light lager, aroma, light lager, and different brewers. You should know the best way to serve different beers and what to suggest if patrons tell you a general flavor they enjoy. Understanding beers will allow you to see what you are getting into as a bar owner, what to buy, and what to have on tap. You’ll also have a better understanding of your clientele.

Step 2: Get educated.


Getting a bachelor’s degree in business will give you the educational foundation to understand how a business works, what a financial analyst does for the business, marketing, and how to create an effective business plan. You also learn things about human resources, real estate, business loans, profits, and soft skills that will benefit you as a business owner. If you cannot complete a bachelor’s degree for any reason, focus on taking core classes that will help you in your future business. Take classes on basic business accounting, management, inventory and ordering, and marketing. Choose courses that will directly translate to the bar business and benefit you the most.

Step 3: Create a business plan.


The business plan is the blueprint for your business. It will include your vision, short- and long-term goals, your proposed budget, funding sources, estimates, vendor information, contractor information, potential real estate, sample contracts, and other documents. The more detailed your business plan is, the more helpful it will be when you execute it. The more research you do ahead of time, the better prepared you will be once you get started. Additionally, suppose you are pursuing a business loan or investors. In that case, a detailed business plan will demonstrate the amount of thought and effort you’re putting into the venture, and it will help you get the funding you need.

Step 4: Follow through on your plan.


Sometimes people spend so much time planning what they want to do that they don’t take steps to make their dream become a reality. They get stuck in the planning stage, convinced they aren’t ready to move forward yet. They are always waiting for the perfect time. The final, critical step to becoming a successful business owner is to start the business. Use your experience, education, and planning to launch a highly successful bar that fulfills everything you envisioned for your future business.

Starting a business can be an intimidating goal, but it is also highly feasible. Millions of people have pursued their dreams of owning a business and have found success. Don’t fear failure or let the fear of success stop you from pursuing your dreams.

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Alejandro Mullins