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Chasing Visions: How to Start a Nightclub

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Imagine getting paid to throw parties featuring your favorite artists. You’d have one helluva lifestyle owning a club, that’s for sure, but it’s easier said than done.

In this article, you’ll learn how to start a nightclub (the proper way).

You’ll get an overview of starting a nightclub from its setup to its promotion. You’ll also find great resources to continue exploring this business opportunity. So, let’s get on the floor a bust a move into the nightlife industry.

How to Start a Nightclub and Party like a Rockstar: The Club Business in 5 Steps

Opening a nightclub is pretty straightforward of its size. You’ll clear the paperwork, set up the venue, book talent, and attract patrons. It’s everything between that you’ll need to get right — so consider this your club primer.

1. Do Your Research

Your research involves learning the local demand and potential. It also involves scoping the competition, using what’s missing to be unique.

Include this on your research to-do list:

  • Finding inspiration in well-known hot spots like Reign club or Berghain
  • Seeking out dingy locations in college towns and derelict areas

When visiting locations, people watch and see how club employees interact with patrons. Use the feedback to form your ideas and set a unique value proposition you’ll use in its later promotions.

2. Create a Business Plan and Seek Investors

Clubbing may seem like it’s all drinks, dancing, and music, but you’re starting a business. Business ideas call for business plans, letting you factor how it’s run.

A business plan will include:

  • Who manages what role
  • The business’s purpose
  • How it’ll do marketing and sales
  • Estimates of its finances

Your plan becomes the leverage you need when applying for business loans.

Seek investors like existing nightclub owners or others in the space. Check local business groups for funding opportunities, too. Or, browse online funding platforms to compare investment opportunities and terms.

3. Prep the Location and Hire Staff

Getting equipment is the step following property rental or ownership. A nightclub is a bar with booming sound systems, so start with what you know. Reflect on your days clubbing as a start but return to your research for finishing touches.

You’ll likely want to include (but not limited to):

  • Refrigerators and freezers
  • Draft stations and shelving
  • Sound systems and monitors
  • DJ equipment and lighting
  • Seating, tables, and booths

Use the setup time to secure your liquor license and begin hiring staff. These individuals should include bartender, bouncers, ticketing, and security. You’ll also want the backend talent to handle accounting.

4. Book the Talent

Club nights aren’t poppin’ without great talent and an amazing headliner. Open the club with a bang by budgeting for the best DJ or artist you can. 

Where can you find nightclub talent? Try:

  • Open roll calls on social media
  • Talent booking services

The talent is worth their weight in drink sales as they attract the crowds. Add in drink specials and you’ll have the club at max capacity!

5. Promote It Like Crazy

Opening a nightclub puts you against a ton of different entertainment options. You need to use marketing and advertising to get people through the door. 

Try these marketing tactics:

  • Free cover charge or ticket giveaways
  • Flyer distribution around campuses and other venues
  • Cross-promotions with artist/DJ labels

Before long, regulars will promote on your behalf through word-of-mouth. If you overcome the “hump” of starting a nightclub, you’ll rarely need to do promotion.

Ready to Become a Nightclub Owner?

Do know that exploring how to start a nightclub is not all fun and games. A club, like other ventures, is still a business that needs management and savviness. Learn everything you can to improve your odds of going big in the nightclub industry.

Expand your business knowledge: See our business section for helpful guides.

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