Is Your Family Supportive Of Your Pub Tenancy Dream?

run a pub, pub tenancy, start up business
Written by: Pub Partners Team
Date added: Mon, 31/07/2017 - 10:00

Taking on a pub tenancy or lease is more than just a personal decision, a fulfilment of your dream.  It will also have an impact on your family’s or partner’s lives, depending on what your circumstances are. Therefore you need everyone on board to make sure that your new venture is a success.

Bear in mind that what you are planning is a lifestyle change.  You may be becoming self-employed for the first time, running your own business with all the financial implications that involves. You may be changing your living accommodation. There will be more demands on your time than if you were an employee, and this will impact on your family life.  If your family are not fully supportive it can result in problems within your personal relationships as well as problems for individual family members. 

They have lives of their own too.

Seek the support of your family from the beginning. They need to know about your pub dream, and why it appeals so much to you. Get them interested and excited about the opportunity and you’ll find it much easier to start a business when you know they’re behind you.

Discuss your plans as early as possible in the process with your family. Talk about what it means to you and point out the implications for them such as moving house, moving to another area, finding new schools and even jobs. Explain that key elements of your life will change. 

If your family have been used to you working on a 9 to 5 basis, they will need to understand the changes that this will mean. You will have to work some evenings and weekends and even over traditional holiday periods such as Christmas or Easter.  They will need to be aware that they may not see you quite as much, certainly in the beginning while you are setting up the business.

On the other hand, they may see a lot more of you than they did previously! This is obviously a huge bonus allowing you to spend more time with your family – being more involved in their lives. If you’re planning to run a pub with your partner you’ll also be spending a lot more time together, working alongside each other. This may sound like the perfect scenario to you, but it can take some adjustment if you’ve never worked together before.

Running A Pub As A Family Business

A pub tenancy or lease provides a great opportunity for couples or a family to build a business together. Many of our licensees are family businesses; some are husbands and wives, others are brothers or sisters, parents and offspring, and sometimes an extended family is involved.

Nigel Williams runs the Bell at Bearsted, Kent. He first took on the pub while his partner Andrea continued to work in her job in London. However, their plan is to run several pubs in the area together, and as the business develops Andrea will become more involved and eventually leave her fulltime job.

In Farnham, Surrey, a family company consisting of three siblings, their mother and their partners, has taken on the lease of the Fox Inn. They already have other business interests in property and construction, and the pub forms part of their leisure division. They plan to expand the family business to include more pubs in the future.

Andrew MacMillan of The Swan in Long Melford, set out to create a family business by taking on the pub. He initially entered the pub business because his son was a chef, and wanted to open his own restaurant.  Success in one pub led to the creation of a small chain of pubs, and a decision by Andrew’s other two children to join the family business.

All these family businesses are running smoothly because everyone involved is committed to making the pub and business a success. They also all understand what’s involved in running a pub and small business, and how this may affect their family life and relationships.

Talk It Through

You have to be completely honest from the beginning about the potential impact on everyone’s lives. Find out what their worries are, and seek to answer those concerns. Throughout the process, you need to constantly demonstrate that you are bearing those worries in mind and you want to make it work for them.

Children and partners face the biggest upheaval at times like this.  Children may have to change schools and your plans may come at an awkward time in their education. They may have to move house, which is yet more upheaval changing familiar surroundings and friends for new ones.  It can be very upsetting for children of any age.

A partner may have a job to consider. If you’re looking for a pub with accommodation you need to consider that after a long day at work, they’ll be coming home to your place of work and this can take some adjusting.

If you’re hoping that your partner will get involved in the business you’ll need to work out exactly how this will work. Will they be juggling two jobs, returning from work to do a shift in the bar? Or will they running the bar with you, sharing responsibilities and the workload? Is running a pub their dream too?

Go over the finances with your partner and make sure that they are fully aware of the implications. Even if they are not going to be directly involved in the business, it will have an effect on them.

Keeping your family fully informed of progress throughout the application process and the search for a potential pub will help them to become more supportive of your plans. They will feel a part of the process, and know that their concerns are not being overlooked especially if you take them to see every pub that you plan to view. 

Not only that, you will need someone to bounce ideas off and discuss the various options you may have. Your family are ideally placed to get involved in this. They know you better than anyone else and may have some great suggestions and ideas to help you create an exciting pub business.

Talking, discussing and exploring the opportunities will help ensure that you have the full support of all members of your family as you embark on your new venture.  With everyone’s support, you will be well placed to make a success of your new pub.