When you seek funding to open a bar, a written proposal helps convince lenders that your business is a worthwhile investment. Many banks will make their initial funding decisions solely on the strength of the proposal. As you develop your business proposal, consider how you can appeal to the interests of the lender.
Although the executive summary comes first in a business proposal, don't take this on until after you complete all of the research and writing for the rest of the content. Often, the strength of the executive summary determines whether the lender moves your proposal on to the next level or rejects it immediately. Write the summary to give a basic overview of each section in the proposal, using your strongest conclusions and data. Include a statement of the amount you are requesting for the bar so lenders have an immediate sense of the risk involved.
Describe your bar business. Include information about the types of drinks you will offer, whether you will serve food, and the type of atmosphere you want to create. Talk about the bar's main selling point, such as a special offering of beers on tap, an on-site microbrewery, or special themed nights designed to attract different types of people. Explain where you intend to set up the business and describe the expertise of your management.
Because bars tend to have a high level of competition, the market analysis section should convince readers that your bar would be viable in its geographic location. Talk about competitors, and explain the need your business will fill. If you are proposing a classy cocktail lounge, for example, you might note that all bars within a 10-mile radius are geared towards a college audience or are biker bars. Research your potential customers and use demographic information, published statistics, and results of surveys to convince the lender that your business will have a steady customer base.
The budget section should lay out your specific financial needs. Create a line-item budget that explains the money you will need to build a new building, add bar facilities to an existing space, hire bartenders and managers, pay vendors, hire a marketing firm, buy stools and furniture, and purchase barware and an initial stock of liquor. Include the cost of securing liquor licenses and permits that are required in your city.
Reassure lenders that your bar will be a success by explaining how you will promote it to potential customers. You might mention a plan to hire a marketing firm, for example, or use the expertise of management. Lay out a basic marketing plan that covers the first year of operations, and talk about special events, theme evenings, ladies' nights, or drink promotions designed to get customers in the door.