If something’s telling you your bar isn’t working, you’re probably right: failing businesses don’t appear out nowhere, they come with red flags. Is not easy to know when something is working and when something isn’t, but that knowledge can help you be more aware of how your bar is doing before is too late. Here are some warning signs that you need to pay attention to, and how to recover from them:
You Have No Idea Where the Money Is
Money is not just what comes in through the register. It’s also inventory, salaries, equipment, furniture and more. Sometimes, defining what’s profitable or what isn’t might come from a $0.05 difference for every dollar the place takes in. You need to keep track of everything that comes in or out your business: supply purchasing, inventory use, salaries, quality of the service, specifications of products, food or drinks sent back, everything.
If you don’t know why your business is making the amount it makes or where the original capital went, is a huge red flag. This doesn’t mean you have to have a lot of money in the bank, especially if your bar is only starting, but keeping track of finances is the only way to know if the investment made in the business is actually paying off and how to make it grow.
A Really High Client Turnover
Standards exist for a reason, and that reason is the one that keeps the clients coming. One or two things hanging doesn’t necessarily mean there’s trouble, cutting quality can’t never be a move: when prices remain the same but walls are peeling off, drinks have gotten dull and the customer service falls down, then clients leave.
If this is the case of your bar, then something’s happening and you need to act quickly. Sometimes it has nothing to do with money issues but with a bad management, so owners can’t leave it all to the employees. Staff of Entrepreneur Media recommend managers to visit their places as customers and see how everything is working out from a client’s perspective, and always encourage staff to make drinks and recipes according to the bar’s standards.
No One’s Talking About You
Nobody knows you, and no matter how many improvements you make, if nobody is coming is because they are not showing. Sometimes this might be just a miscommunication matter (for which you can consider including a publicist or a marketing expert in your team), but maybe is just because your bar isn’t doing that great and people notice that.
One of the main reasons you need people talking about your place is, of course, to spread the word about your business and make it grow, but you also need to listen to what they’re saying so you know what the customers need. Location, other businesses around, age and preferences of the people around your bar need to be the main thing you consider in your marketing plan.
All of these items don’t imply your bar is going down forever, but apathy, and failure to act when you do notice red flags, might beat you and become the main reason for failure. If you see a problem developing, take it over right away before it gets bigger and is too late to handle it.