How to Write a Business Plan for a Wine Bar

by Devra Gartenstein; Updated September 26, 2017
A wine bar should be a cozy gathering place.

A wine bar is a gathering place as well as a place to sample the work of artisan winemakers. A business plan for a wine bar should include a strategy for creating an intimate, sophisticated atmosphere as well as a robust wine list with both familiar and unusual selections. In addition, a wine bar business plan should demonstrate a solid grasp of entrepreneurial fundamentals such as identifying and reaching a target market and managing the financial end of the company's operations.

Write a description of your vision of your wine bar. Provide an account of your credentials for owning and operating a wine bar, as well as those of any of your partners. Include a picture of the atmosphere you plan to create, providing concrete details about decor, lighting, types of seating and styles of music you will be playing. Provide information about your target market, including age group, income level and gender. Choose a wine list that will appeal to this clientele, with a price range appropriate to the demographic. Include selections tailored to subdemographics, such as locally produced wines for the ecologically conscious wine drinkers and Barolos for foodies.

Develop a marketing plan for your wine bar, detailing strategies for reaching your target market, such as advertising in food and wine magazines, and entertainment based periodicals tailored to the particular demographic you intend to attract. Provide specifics about how much money you will spend on advertising, the type of ads it will buy for you and how you will allocate it over time. Include information about the marketing potential of your physical location, such as proximity to restaurants and concert venues, and describe a strategy for attracting potential customers visiting the neighborhood. Describe promotional events you will plan such as wine tastings, live music and featured vintners.

Provide detailed financial information to support your wine bar business plan. Prepare a balance sheet listing your personal assets and liabilities, and also the business' assets and liabilities if you have already begun to operate. Prepare income statement projections for several years demonstrating the revenue you anticipate generating, and listing your categories of expected expenses. Subtract your projected expenses from your projected revenue to calculate your projected income. Prepare a cash flow projection by creating a spreadsheet devoting columns to each month of the year and listing your categories of available capital and outgoing expenses in the left hand margin. Fill in the amounts you anticipate earning and spending, and subtract the expenses from the capital to calculate your available cash month by month.

About the Author

Devra Gartenstein is an omnivore who has published several vegan cookbooks. She has owned and run small food businesses for 30 years.

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