How to Research Local Bar Competition

magglassKnowing how to research local competition is essential for any bar owner looking to create a bar business plan.  Owning and operating a nightclub or bar is not one big party, though people on the outside may think it is.  Staying one step up on your competition can be a serious challenge, but certainly not impossible.  The only way your bar management techniques will help you thrive after opening a bar, though, is if you understand what your successful competitors are doing.  This involves understanding who their client base is, where they market themselves and what aspects influence their choices.

Understanding your competition is important in any business, but concerning the bar and nightclub industry, it is essential for your success after opening a bar.  The very first step you need to take is to gain a true understanding of the local bar scene.  Capturing market share is only possible if you grasp the local industry.  This literally means sitting down and writing out a list of local bars along with their business information.  The yellow pages are a great way to conduct this search.

Next, you need to understand where the competition’s customers come from.  What is your opponent’s bar management strategy?  Do they rely heavily on marketing or is word-of-mouth more effective?  Alternatively, think in the opposite direction.  What is your competition failing to do that you could utilize to give you the upper hand?  As a bar owner, you need to understand that differentiation is the way to get noticed.  Picking out every aspect of a bar business plan of a competitor and copying it verbatim will not allow you to stand out and get noticed at all.  Morphing and altering it into your own bar business plan is the key to successful bar management.

You are an entrepreneur, whether you have thought about it in those terms before or not.  Opening a bar is a business venture that takes time and research to be successful.  Some of your research, in addition to identifying general information about your competitors and who their client base is, should involve discovering how their location affects their decision-making.  If they have a corner location, how does that affect their marketing techniques as opposed to a bar that is set far off from main traffic?  As a bar owner, you can greatly benefit from researching your local competition.

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