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Creating a business plan

Getting Started

All the best pub businesses have a great business plan

When you have a plan, you know exactly what you want to achieve, how you’re going to go about it, and where you want to take the business. In fact, a solid plan is your secret weapon in making your pub a success.

A business plan helps you ask the important questions from the very beginning, iron out any issues, consider the playing field and find the opportunities. It will help make you a better entrepreneur – and forge your own path – so you can protect your vision and make your business stronger.

Why is your business plan so important and what should you consider?

Your business plan isn’t just a road map for the way forward, it’s a great tool that enables you to take time to research every element of what could affect your business. We tend to think of it as planning your business around the place (that the pub is located in), the people (that you hope to attract), and the pub itself. And if you start thinking about your vision for the pub in this way, creating a plan will be relatively straightforward when the time comes.

It mitigates unnecessary risks and helps you understand the lay of the land. Maybe you’ve been so focused on your own idea that you’ve not clocked there’s a lack of great entertainment options mid-week that you could capitalise on? Or maybe the opportunity really lies in a good pub offering great drinks, no frills? Or perhaps there’s a reason people don’t want (yet) another Mexican-themed pub with food? Evaluating the context really helps to focus your efforts and ensure your flair, insight and spirit shines through.

The business plan will also allow you to set realistic financial projections and targets. Not only will this help you assess whether pub business will meet your expectations on reward, it also allows you to assess how you are tracking towards your targets, once you are up and running.

Finally, by having your plan clearly set out it makes it much easier to share your vision for the pub with your team and your business partners so everyone can understands what you are trying to achieve and the steps to get there.

Here are ten areas we recommend considering as part of your business plan:

  1. Local demographics and target customers
  2. Leisure markets in the area
  3. Competitor analysis
  4. Your proposition for the pub
  5. The physical environment
  6. Food and drinks offers
  7. Sustainability opportunities
  8. Marketing your pub
  9. Entertainment potential and plans
  10. Short-, medium- and long-term targets

What information do I need to prepare a business plan?

Under the Pubs Code, there is certain information that we must provide you before you start preparing your business plan. This is called Schedule 1 information and includes such things as a copy of the premises licence for your pub and any conditions, a shadow Profit & Loss report, showing the assumptions we have made in setting the rent, a Schedule of Condition, showing the current state of the property and a list of any works we propose to do. Full details of what we will provide can be found in the Working with Star document.

How can we help you create a business plan?

One of the best things about working in partnership with Star Pubs are the insights we provide using a combination of data and our breadth and depth of experience to give you a competitive edge.

We will provide you with a straightforward business plan template, and if you need it, a template profit & loss spreadsheet to help you plan your financials.

Under the pubs code you are advised to seek independent professional advice such as business, legal, property and rental valuation advice. As a minimum we require you to seek advice from a Licenced Trade Accountant on your business plan. To help, we have a panel of advisors that you can use. But of course you are free to use your own.

You also get four months’ free introductory BII Membership, where you can get more help with your business plan by accessing a raft of useful resources.

What are the next steps?

Let your personality, energy and ability shine through and start thinking about and creating your business plan today. Find a pub to apply for, or get in touch with the Recruitment team to start your journey and discover how your skills, enthusiasm and ambition matches ours.

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