What follows is a list of guidelines that may reduce the risks of a start-up business.

  • Get experience in bar or bistro management, preferably in the type of restaurant you would like to start. Obviously, that will not always be possible or easy, but at least gain some experience working in that type of bar or bistro, even if not as the manager. Experience is not the only way to learn, although it is one of the most practical ones. Combine experience with formal course work and participate in industry trade groups to give yourself the best chance of success.
  • Plan ahead. Entrepreneurs tend to pride themselves on their good instincts and ability to make difficult decisions quickly. However, this must be tempered with foresight and careful planning. Always make your decisions based upon facts and not hunches. Additionally, a business plan is inexpensive insurance against aimlessness. Prepare your business plan ahead of time. It will help you effectively focus on the important aspects of the business.
  • Create a supportive network of family and friends. During the start-up period, you will be devoting countless hours to your new business. And your family is bound to miss you. However, if they express support and encouragement to you, you are more likely to continue working hard and therefore, more likely to succeed.
  • Plan on becoming very tired but needing to still persevere. Its part of the bar or bistro business. Long hours are common, especially at the beginning. Although you will feel like giving up many times, stay committed to the business, follow your business plan and your business will benefit in the long run.
  • Perform tasks that are your strengths and interests, because they will keep you fulfilled and engaged in the process. One of the main reasons to go into business for yourself is so you can do what you enjoy. So if you dislike numbers and do not like the monotony of bookkeeping, hire a bookkeeper and accountant right away.
  • Never be too proud to quit. If the idea doesn’t feel quite right, don’t stay at it because you are stubborn and refuse to quit. You may be able to modify some of your start-up plans and/or switch businesses, but do not let pride get in your way. Be prepared to abandon your idea if the facts tell you it makes sense not to continue. Keep in mind there’s a difference between persistence and pigheadedness. It is far better to quit an idea sooner than later if it is bound to fail eventually.

As with any business, a bar or bistro business does not come with any magic shortcuts that guarantee success and profit. However, you may be able to increase your chances of success if you follow the guidelines presented here.