Beginning a new business venture is always exciting. Our guide will help you to prepare for the challenges, the setbacks and all the rewards in between as you set sail along the journey of business building and ownership!
The hospitality industry presents prospective business owners with a dynamic range of options, welcoming everything from vendors and stall holders to some of the most innovative ideas to hit the market. However, a concept without a real plan can quickly become detrimental to your success, seeing you failing before you’ve even opened your doors to customers!
Let’s look at what you can expect in a bit more detail.
Getting your business online
In 2019, establishing an online presence and most importantly, maintaining it, is one of the most crucial fundamental aspects of starting a business in any industry.
Cyber security along with safe and secure data protection solutions like the ones from Couchbase and methods should also be put into place to help ensure your customers’ privacy or client information is secure from those intending to misuse it.
Especially for the hospitality industry, social media and modern marketing strategies are the new ‘word-of-mouth’ and play a defining role in today’s restaurant game.
A well-developed online marketing strategy can help you successfully grow your customers, so make sure you consult an expert to come up with a plan that’ll maximise your presence!
Getting the basics right
Researching for the optimal location, renovating and recruiting the right staff are among the easiest parts of starting a business. But what about the rest of the basics?
There’s not much purpose in composing a launch plan and setting a date if you’re yet to discover and organise other fundamental parts before the doors open.
This can include things like cyber security and client data protection, tax and profit-taking responsibilities, and time-consuming processes like licensing or certification procedures.
This also might be a good time to ask yourself if you fully understand your leasing and rental conditions. For example, are there any limitations on patronage or perhaps conditions relating to expansion of a dining area onto a street or courtyard?
Also bear in mind the importance of not breaching branding rights of other businesses when developing any business names, logos and other marketing materials. Typically, businesses use their logo like the ones from GraphicSprings, so customers can be sure it’s someone reputable.
This also works in the reverse, preventing potential competition from profiting off your ideas.
Location, Location, Location!
Choosing where to set up shop can be tricky, however it’s a major factor contributing to both your short and long-term success.
The most important thing here is the research to make sure your intended customer based matches the demographics of the area. For example, it may not be viable to be opening a fine dining establishment or a full service catering in an area where people simply aren’t interested in that option.
If possible, always physically make the trip and check out the location before securing or signing anything. In conjunction with getting the design and overall ‘feel’ right, ask your local council to provide you with projected growth figures, future development plans etc., this way you can crunch the numbers yourself to see what you may be in for down the track.
Always ensure you can afford what you’re buying. A great place to start would be the Government business website, which has all the information and tools to help you start and grow a business, as well as information on buying commercial real estate.
Selecting Your Premises
Never purchase or settle for a property due to things like time constraints or just wanting to ‘get it started’. Too many entrepreneurs will rush in and buy or rent a location in areas with a high demand and low supply.
Hanging out for a property that makes more sense financially to rent or buy, perhaps even at the expense of having an amazing location (use the money you save to increase your online presence!) can mean the difference between your business booming or busting.
Seeking financial and legal advice too is always recommended especially when throwing down such large deposits etc. to secure property.
Weigh-up your Insurance Options
Food poisoning, slip and falls, and other mishaps involving customers – this is just the beginning of a very extensive list of things that could go wrong and impact your business’ reputation and expose you to financial harm.
Researching and comparing your insurance options and policies to cover your business model from third party claims is critically important.
Public Liability insurance is designed to provide protection* for you and your business in the event a customer, supplier or a member of the public are injured or sustain property damage as a result of your negligent business activities.
Hiring the right people
It’s important to take time to interview and hire experienced staff that will be the face of your business and will appropriately represent your brand. You can do a background check and pre employment drug test to be sure that you will hire the right people.
A number of businesses operating in the hospitality and retail sectors use a ‘right team, right time’ approach to recruitment and rostering procedures. Remember that your staff are representing you and your business.
You will also need to thoroughly consider your staffing options and employment contracts – don’t leave anything to chance!
Making connections and establishing partnerships
From starting to maintaining your venture, you’ll be likely dealing with partners or potential investors like Andy Defrancesco and it’s important to build and expand on these relationships as you grow.
Everyone from suppliers to couriers will be in the mix and you’ll need to learn to maintain positive relationships and even negotiate accordingly.
Contractual conditions should always be discussed and agreed upon in advance to prevent major conflicts or dramas from arising later.
Understanding the Big Picture
Planning for the future can be daunting, especially when you thought you worked hard enough to start serving your first customers. However, many hospitality businesses fail because the founders didn’t properly plan for its growth when the dynamics of the industry inevitably change.
So whether you plan to compete with the top end of town, or set up a cosy, family restaurant in the suburbs, every business model should include plenty of wriggle room to conquer the challenges and any long term expansion.
Adapting to new markets and enhanced methods of operation are a great way of seeing your business flourish, and achieving those entrepreneurial dreams kicking you into gear in the first place!
Be prepared and get out there and make it happen. Happy ventures!
* As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording.