Following a lifelong dream or just looking for a change of career? Starting and running your own bar in your town or city can be a fun and viable business option for many people. It can also bring about a good turn of profit. In 2014, a study showed that the US alcohol industry was responsible for $245 billion’s worth of economic impact on the country. But it’s not all just serving beer and enjoying a tasty payslip – running a bar involves a lot of hard work. Plus, the online image of your bar is now as important as the place itself. If you want your bar to stand out in an already saturated market, follow the online marketing tips below.
Plan your social media strategy
Decide from the word go who is going to be running your social media accounts. Ideally, this would be one or two people from the management side of things, but don’t forget your ‘people on the ground’. There’s nothing better than real-time updates from your bar on social media, so get your staff involved. However, you need to be pretty ruthless with this. Stress the importance of good spelling and a professional photo. If you have members of staff who can’t uphold these values, hand the baton over to someone else. Remember, your staff are also your salespeople. Whether these be head office salespeople (if you’re a bar group) or simply your bar staff, make sure they know how to sell to a savvy, online audience. Sales enablement services can help focus your sales staff and thus help increase revenue.
Set up a professional website
Your website is how you present your business to the world, so make sure you get it right. In this day and age it is no longer essential to spend a fortune on a professional website designer. Website builders such as Squarespace, Wix or WordPress allow you to use templates to easily create your dream page. Also consider using landing pages rather than a traditional website. This will give your website a more modern, sleek look, and is often easier for the customer to navigate. Stick to a basic colour theme and if you have HD pictures of your products, consider using them as a backdrop.
Give your business a friendly, engaging online voice. If someone gives you a good review (be it on Facebook or Tripadvisor) thank them and tell them you hope to see them again. Likewise, if you have a complaint, make sure to answer it promptly and responsibly. Even if you think the complainant is just a picky customer (and there’s plenty of those about!) remain professional and try to resolve the issue. Much of your bar’s reputation is now built online, so do all you can to keep the peace.
Engage with local online media
There are plenty of online guides for towns and cities available these days. If you have the funds (and the guts) run a press night where you invite local online journalists and bloggers for some freebies. It will be stressful and tiring, but the glowing reviews and subsequent custom will be worth it!by