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  • New start up

    Hi all

    Let me introduce myself, my name is Alfie, and I am a 19 year old that finished college in the summer of 2018. I’ve always had this dream of owning my own line of businesses, specifically within the hospitality industry.

    I have spotted an opportunity in my local area for a cafe/cocktail bar that I believe would take off fairly quickly. My long term goal with this bar would be to expand as quickly as possible, and to build a reputable and reliable brand.

    I feel as though I’m a little stuck. I have this great idea and can imagine what it would be like, the ambiance of the location, the target market etc. However, I’m struggling to make my idea become a reality.

    Is there any advice that anyone here would be able to give someone like me?

    I really appreciate you taking the time to read this message and I hope to hear back soon!

    All the best,

    LinkedIn -

  • #2
    Hi Alfie, thanks for your post!

    It's great that you're motivated to get your business started. I think the best thing to do to start with would be to understand for certain what demand there is for the business you would like to start, your cafe/cocktail bar. Have you done much market research so far to help identify demand? Here's a helpful source of info from to help you understand the ins and outs of how to conduct market research.
    Once you've established what demand there is for the product or service you're offering, you can go to the next stage with some confidence that there will be customers, so its a pretty important starting point.

    I hope this has been helpful, please feel free to come back with any more questions

    Katherine Hurst


    • #3
      Hi Alfie,

      Having a good idea is a great start, but it's worth remembering that's not enough to build a business on.

      The key next step is to validate your idea. Start with people you know and run it by them - what's their response? That's still not enough to build a business on. The people closest to us will generally be positive and supportive - what we need is hard data to validate the idea.

      So, start thinking about local competitors - what similar bars are there? There are different types of competitors - local bars (you'll be competing for general footfall), and similar bars (that may be further away, but appeal to the same customers). Shortlist some key competitors and start looking at their businesses. Are they making money (check Companies House for their accounts)? What are their customers say about them (social media, online reviews, etc)? How does your idea stand out from them (i.e. how will your business be positioned in relation to theirs)?

      Start writing all this stuff up. It can be tough - it will certainly be demoralising as you are basically trying to find problems with your initial idea. The tough part is learning to change that initial idea or let it go entirely. Most businesses don't end up looking like that initial idea. They evolve because the people behind them do their homework and their idea evolves with what they learn.

      As you put this stuff into a business plan, you'll move towards getting an idea of how much this is likely to cost you, etc. That's the direction of travel you want to go in - next step is to consider funding - how will you go about it? Bank loan? Business partner? Something else? All those things will require a good business plan and a reasonably validated idea.

      How far have you come since you first posted?
      Working with pets (and their humans!) for almost a decade now.

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      • #4
        I strongly agree with the posts above me. You should do some market research to see if there's enough customer demand in your target city because you want the odds in your favor. If the market is over-saturated, you risk spending a lot of money with a slim chance of success.

        If you don't want to do the research yourself, there are market research firms not far from you like Synairgen, TSE, and White Crow Research that can do it for you. I paid to have the research done and it helped me choose a good location. I hired someone instead of doing it myself because I wanted to make sure I didn't miss anything.

        I used to work under a general contractor, and I decided that I wanted to break off and start my own company. My specialty was roofing, so I figured I'd start there. But there was a ton of other roofers in the area, so I had market research done in the 3 closest cities to me to determine if there was enough demand. Afterwards, I had a clear picture of the business landscape and it was easy to make the decision to move forward because 1 of the cities stuck out from the group. I started out by myself, made a website -, and posted ads on Craigslist to get my first customers. One year in, I had earned enough money to be able to afford more help, so I hired contractors with other specialties to expand my line of services. Today, we're doing really well, but I credit a lot of that to the initial research. I can't overstate the importance of doing your due diligence up front.