A pool hall can quickly become a community gathering place where people blow off steam after a hard day. If you dream of starting a pool hall, a business plan can help your dreams become a reality. Your plan will give you measurable goals you can use to track your progress and will help you determine whether you're really ready to start a business.
Start with a specific description of the services you want to provide and the way in which you want to provide them. Simply stating you'll run a billiard hall isn't specific enough. Instead, consider whether you'll offer food, what you want the business to look like, who you want your clientele to be and what you want the vibe at your business to be. You might decide, for example, that you want to run a nighttime pool hall that caters to young people leaving dance clubs and that offers food and alcohol.
You'll need a strong understanding of the billiard hall market in your area, and you'll have to compare this market to your ideal pool hall. If there's already a pool hall catering to your chosen demographic, you might have to change locations or alter the services you offer. Consider the income and lifestyle of the people who live near your potential business, and outline what sorts of services customers might like.
Organization and Structure
You can't run a business if you don't know who's in charge. Sketch out the leadership structure of your business. For example, will you be the sole executive, or will you choose a board of directors? Address who has decision-making power over which issue. For example, does a bartender have discretion to offer a customer a free drink, or must that decision come from you or a manager? When you have to make a business decision such as whether to expand or seek a loan, who is in charge of deciding?
No business can survive without money. Create a budget addressing recurring expenses such as drinks and employee salaries as well as start-up expenses such as pool tables. Calculate how much money you'll need to make to break even. Address how long you think it will take you to become profitable, and outline funding sources -- such as a bank loan, an inheritance or a loan from a family member.
Marketing and Advertisements
Devise a realistic marketing plan that takes into account your budget constraints. Address how you'll market your business and whether you'll use any specific strategies. You might have a grand opening or open house or opt for indirect marketing tactics such as asking customers to write online reviews. A social media presence and blog can build interest in your billiard hall before opening -- particularly if your community doesn't already have a good billiard hall.
Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor's degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. He is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a 2009 CALI Legal Writing Award.