A rental hall, also known as a banquet hall or reception hall, is a social hall that is leased to host a variety of social functions including weddings, fundraisers, church benefits, family reunions, award ceremonies for corporations, professional seminars and other events. You might be thinking of starting a banquet hall business and looking for banquet halls for sale. However, there are some steps you need to follow to become a banquet-hall owner. While you run your own rental hall, be prepared to offer other services to your customers, such as referrals for services closely related to yours including live entertainment, event planning and management and catering services.
The Research Phase
The first step is to ensure there's a need for a rental hall in the community where you wish to do business. There are certain places where you can't go wrong with a reception hall. For example, halls for rent in Los Angeles County and halls for rent in San Fernando Valley always get customers year-round. You can find this out by conducting a feasibility study of the area. Be sure to closely analyze your competition as part of the study. You should collect all the promotional material you can from these businesses to know how they market their brand, for example, their themes, colors, menus, event services, rental prices, occupancy limits and square footage of the venue.
Once you have evaluated your competition, you need to find a niche in which your rental hall business can differentiate itself and prosper. There is wide variation in rental halls and what they offer. Some primarily host weddings while others focus mainly on corporate clients. Depending on the type of clients you want to target, you should start building business relationships with related vendors. For example, if you intend to cater to weddings, you should form business relationships with event planners, DJs, caterers and the like.
Banquet Halls for Sale
The next step is to find the rental halls for sale in your area that suit your needs. There are many ways to do this. One of them is to consult with a real estate agent. Another is to check on Craigslist online, and yet another is to look at the classifieds in newspapers. Consulting with a real estate agent is your best bet because this is their business and they will likely get you the best deals. When you hear about a rental hall that’s up for sale, try to find out as much as you can about it, including the following information:
- The number of rooms and their sizes.
- The average business the rental hall gets.
- The average bills the rental hall incurs.
- The number of bathrooms.
- The size of the parking lot.
- Are tables and chairs included, or are they rented separately?
Find out about Registration and Licensing
To find out about registrations and licensing, the procedure will vary by the jurisdiction you’re in, whether parish, county or state. The best thing is to consult legal counsel about the relevant regulatory requirements in your jurisdiction for a reception hall. One of the things you will expect to be a constant wherever you are is frequent visits from a health inspector pertaining to such things as food, liquor, kitchen conditions, occupancy limits and bathroom facilities.
Create a Business Plan
Once you have information about the startup and operating costs for the rental hall, the next step is to create a business plan that covers all the costs that you expect to field in the course of the business. These will include mortgages, running expenses such as wages, utilities and taxes, and also advertising costs. You can easily get a business plan template from the United States Small Business Administration’s website.
Securing financing is the next step and it's dependent on a lot of factors. You have a few options here, including loans, your own capital and gifts and investments from friends, family and private investors. You’ll have to find the financing option that works best for you.
Start the Business
The final steps in owning a banquet hall are decorating the hall, hiring staff and purchasing or leasing the furnishings and equipment. You should also consider hiring a banquet hall manager to run the place for you and deal directly with clients. If you can afford it, hiring an interior designer offers the most professional finishing touch to your hall. A designer with large-venue decorating expertise will create a theme for your hall that is easily adapted to your clients' needs.
Nicky is a business writer with nearly two decades of hands-on and publishing experience. She's been published in several business publications, including The Employment Times and Business Idea Factory. She also studied business in college.