Why Buying A Bar Can Be A Good Or A Bad Idea



A smart, capable guy who has never worked a single, solitary second in the restaurant industry buys himself a bar – and within six months he’s out of business. How does that happen? 

 

 

We like to use the classic bar example because it illustrates a really crucial point that all business buyers must consider. You really need to have some practical experience if you want to have hope for success. 

 

Why?

 

Getting handed the keys and walking in to run the business you now own is a daunting, uphill task. You have EVERYTHING to learn. How the business runs, what the standard operating procedures are, how to run payroll, how to keep the books, how to manage the staff, what contracts need to be fulfilled and renewed, how to fix equipment, how to keep on top of your licenses and permits, etc. – the list is incredibly long. 

 

What you don’t want to do to yourself is add learning an entirely new industry to the mix. You really need to know something about what a business like this is like, day to day. Otherwise you’ve just created an alarmingly steep learning curve for yourself. One that many, many failed business owners have been unable to overcome. 

 

We’ll go back to the bar example. The guy who bought the bar wasn’t necessarily bad at running a business, the issue was the type of business he bought.

 

Bars are fun when you patronize them, but many people mistakenly assume that owning a bar will be just as fun – particularly those people who have never worked in one. 

 

The hours are long and brutal because your day starts in the morning for deliveries and the like and then ends extremely late at night after last call and cleaning. The margins can be razor thin, you constantly have to monitor your staff as theft is easy, you have to stay on top of your inventory, employee turnover is high so training new staff is a constant (as is having to work the shifts yourself for said staff when they can’t or don’t show up), you have to watch for fake ids, overserved patrons, support your staff when it’s busy – all things a former bar employee would know. 

 

Lots of people leave their 9 to 5 jobs and buy a bar because they think owning a bar will allow them to make their own schedule, be able to attend their kid’s baseball games in the evenings and sit at their own bar having drinks with their favorite regulars a couple nights a week. See how vast the difference is between the dream and reality? That vast gap is the reason people fail. 

 

How do you keep this from happening to you? 

 

Buy a business in an industry where you have some practical experience. An accountant doesn’t have to buy an accounting firm, but they can buy a business that uses the practical skills they’ve acquired as an accountant. 

 

And if you really want to buy a bar, go spend a couple of months working in one first. Learn the ins and outs. See if you really want that life. If you do, fantastic. You can now use those skills and practical experience to make the purchase of a bar successful. 

 

Have you always wanted to own a particular type of business but hadn’t considered the importance of practical experience? Would you like to know what types of businesses could work for you with your specific set of practical experience? Ask us! Leave questions or comments for us here and we would be happy to help.

 

 

 

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com



Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

5111-E Ocean Blvd
Siesta Key, FL 34242

Michael Monnot

941.518.7138
Mike@InfinityBusinessBrokers.com

9040 Town Center Parkway
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202




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