5 signs you should run a pub

Have you had other people saying ‘you should run a pub?’ Or do you privately think you could make a much better job than some pub landlords you’ve come across? If this has put the idea of running a pub in your mind, this post is for you!

Could You Run A Pub?

#1: Ready For A New Challenge

Like a challenge? Then running a pub will definitely appeal because this is one of the most challenging and exciting environments in which you can operate a business.  It is without doubt, one of the biggest most rewarding ways of running a business in the hospitality industry. You are in control of your own destiny, and the level of success that the pub engenders is totally up to you.

Running a pub gives you lots of autonomy. It will be up to you to identify ways to bring in trade, create new marketing initiatives, choose beers, create a food offer and run special events. You will be responsible for every aspect of the day-to-day work of the pub from running financial projections, managing staff and dealing with customers. In return, you have the opportunity of developing a business that offers long term growth. 

Sound exciting? The pub business could be for you!

#2: Have Energy And Enthusiasm

Energy and enthusiasm are definitely needed!  You need to be able to cope with everything that happens from unexpected disasters such as pipe bursting in the middle of winter, to an unexpected influx of customers. 

Staying energetic and enthusiastic when faced with a sudden influx of students on a pub crawl can be hard. I was talking to a pub landlord in Norwich recently who told me that they had been approached by the local Student Union about whether a small group could come in one evening. Expecting a group of just 15, 300 turned up. With queues stretching out of the door and down the street it required a lot of energy to cope with the level of orders, motivate staff, ensure there was enough glasses and then deal with the problems of litter left outside immediately afterwards. 

Pub landlords need to be ready to motivate your staff, keep them enthusiastic even when chaos is occurring all around you.  By constantly setting an example of never failing good humour and enthusiasm, the pub staff will be encouraged to follow suit even when feet hurt after a long shift.

Have you got boundless energy and enthusiasm that you can channel into your business?

#3: Capital In Place

If you’re serious about taking on a pub you’ll need capital. Plan ahead and have your capital ready for investment. This shows you are confident, well prepared and very serious about your new business. 

Preparations should be made as soon as you start thinking about the business potential of running a pub.  Investigate what the likely costs would be, and identify your source of funding. Take a close look at your financial responsibilities and work out what you can afford. 

Talk to your investors if you are planning to seek help from family members.  If you are going to fund it by selling your house, get valuations immediately.  Bear in mind that it can take a while to sell a house, as chains can be broken at the last minute leaving you in the lurch.  Unexpected bridging loans can prove very expensive if you have to use one to cover the gap between the sale and taking on the pub. 

Find out more about the capital needed to take on a pub tenancy in this post here.

#4: Love Giving People A Great Time

Running a pub can be really worthwhile if you love giving people a great experience.  Pub landlords need to be very sociable, and enjoy being with other people whether you personally like them or not! 

This is a career for you if you have a desire to see your customers happy and contented, wanting to come back and use your pub again. You will be able to create a friendly, welcoming atmosphere that will appeal to a wide range of people and pick up on the little details that can make a great difference to enjoyment levels such as ensuring tables are cleared promptly. 

No matter how many or how few customers are in the bar at a time, the standards of service and quality have to be identical. These are customers who have made the effort to come out to your pub for a few hours, and deserve to have a friendly experience.

Are you an expert at putting a smile on your face and being the perfect host?

#5: Want To Be Your Own Boss

Running a pub is a great way to set up a business.  If you are the type of person who likes to be in control, who wants a challenge, wants to be responsible for his own actions and does not like being constantly supervised, then this is for you. 

Multi-tasking is essential, you need to be able to juggle more than one task at a time.  As your own boss, you will have to constantly keep an eye on financial profit and loss on a daily basis, taking responsibility for all aspects of the business.  It will also require you to be good at organizing people, taking charge and taking the initiative rather than sitting back and leaving it to others to deal with emergencies or business details. 

As your own boss, you will be setting your own targets and have the task of matching them, or preferably beating them!

Being your own boss also means being prepared to take risks.  Self employment means you have no safety net behind. Your earnings reflect the effort you put into the business.  Running your own business means that you can lose money as well as gain it. 

For most people, the pleasure of having their own business running a pub means that they are more likely to succeed as they are taking over an existing business with an existing clientele rather than developing something from scratch.