Running a nightclub, just like running any other hospitality business, requires strategy and foresight. You need to work ahead. Decide who you want your customers to be, figure out how to bring them in, and anticipate their needs and desires so they will want to return. All of this combines in the art and science of nightclub business planning.
1. Define Success
When you run a night club, you want to create a place where people want to come and have fun. But is this your goal? Ultimately, you function to make profits. When you focus on increasing revenue and profit margins, your nightclub business planning picture becomes clearer. You want to reach new customers and retain current customers, and you want your costs to serve as investments that foster revenue growth. You want to create ambitious but reachable profit targets and set your design and marketing approaches to achieve them.
When you analyze your target market, you can start to identify opportunities. Hire people who will relate well to your customers, and find ways within your budget to retain them. Organize your music, your furnishings, and your bar offerings around trends that speak to your customer base. With every purchase and every marketing plan, keep your focus on how your decisions affect you from a business perspective. Creating the right atmosphere matters, but as a means to an end, rather than the end itself.
2. Use Social Media Marketing
One of the most important steps to take in your nightclub marketing plan is to leverage social media opportunities for your club. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, Google+, and the like all command large audiences, particularly among the millennials who likely comprise much of your target market. Some of your posts should promote your club, but a majority should actually consist of useful, interesting, or funny posts that get people’s attention. All of these should be relevant to your brand, but posting strictly promotional content will make people lose attention quickly.
The power of your social media lies in its networking and outreach potential. Give your customers content that they want to not only see, but share with their online contacts. A funny video, a bar tip, or the occasional club promotional offer can provide information that will spread out among both current and potential customers. Further, watch comments on your posts; these give valuable insight into the mindset of your customers, and with that, the ability to respond to them. The posts you create cost very little, but provide simultaneously powerful exposure and personal connections. They serve as an integral part of your nightclub business planning.
3. Plan for Change
The most successful nightclubs stay current. What may have seemed new and exciting six months ago can quickly fade into the mundane for a trendsetting clientele. Since those individuals tend to lead the way for others, it is essential that your nightclub business planning includes plans to renovate and remodel. The industry moves constantly, and if you stand still, you will quickly fall behind.
An essential part of your nightclub business planning, then, is to create and build a fund for change over time. As your profits grow, reinvest in your club. When you remain attuned to your customers and give yourself the ability to respond to their needs, you create not only an exciting business in the present, but the ability to keep that business exciting to customers–and viable to you–well into the future.