Yes, I'm from Texas. My name is Angela. I'm 24 and a student of anthropology, but like many students across the nation, I'm questioning the value of a $50,000 diploma. I went to college because it was "the next step," but I'm running nowhere fast (but my student loans don't seem to slow down).
I'm unsatisfied with where I'm going. I'm tired of colleges running their institutions like a circus contest, instead of focusing on, drumroll please... education. I'm considering entrepreneurship in the bar industry, which is rocking in my college town, but lacking some factors I believe I can provide.
I've always had an adventurous, independent spirit (you can thank my mother), but a strong, old-fashioned work ethic (again, due to my mother). I've always be good at bars, live music, dance floors, and general romping shenanigans. My friends call me the Overlord of Goodtimes, because I instigate and manage the nightly fun. :P
I believe I can find a more satisfying future in the hard work and independence of owning a bar. I'm stubborn with my goals, but flexible in getting there. Let me tell you a little bit about the bar's atmosphere and target demographic:
1) My college town is growing fast. It's right next to Austin, TX, which if you don't know already, is thriving with live music (which leaks over to my town.)
a) Good god, my town needs MORE live music. Everyone's craving it but we can't get enough.
b) The bars that do have it are either cramped and stuffy, or over-the-top and fluffed up (and expensive).
2) I want to target the rock-and-roll and honky tonk crowd (which we do well in Texas). I want live music, pool tournaments, roping tournaments (mostly non-professional customers having fun and looking silly). Maybe some group dance lessons.
3) I want a chill, relaxing environment from open - 10, and then an active, romping environment from 10 - close (with a damn good dance floor and band stage).
Somebody please dispense upon me words of wisdom. Anything and everything helps, but please don't mind if I offer a few suggestions.
1) Encouragements and/or warnings.
2) How the heck do I start this up?
a) Money. Money. Money. Even in a slagging economy, the alcohol industry remains strong, however, banks are much more scrutinizing with startup loans.
i) How much should I save up to lay down right away, with the loan?
b) Good online resources for drafting up a business plan to acquire that elusive start up loan.
c) Good techniques for that "priceless" advertising: word of mouth.
d) I don't know about other states, but Texas is a nation of regulars. We are proud of our bars that have been around 20, 30, 50+ years. We just love em! Myself included. So: how can a brand-spankin' new bar compete with this inherent pride?
e) Tips on managing. From what I've read, a good employee team can make or break a bar. I don't think finding employees will be a problem in my college town... but what are some tell-tale signs to discern the good from the bad... from the downright ugly employees?
f) Anything else will help. This is a daunting, but very exciting, task.
Thank you so much for reading this post, which is probably too long. (The Overlord of Goodtimes can get a little chatty). I appreciate your input, and wish you all the best on your own dreams! Don't let the economy drag you down with it, we're still the US. We're still independent, stubborn, and full of dreams (and microbrews).
- Looking For My Own Road, TX