Now I am not trying to talk you out of starting a hospitality venture, but think carefully before taking the step. Especially if you have never worked in the hospitality industry. It is hard work, long hours and physically (and mentally) challenging.
In a nut shell, that’s what I say to most of my clients, when I have the first meeting with someone who wants to open a venue.
Because it is better that you really think about what is driving you towards this kind of business. If you have thought about this and analysed it, then you and your venue are more likely to survive and succeed.
So where should you start?
The most important place to start when you are opening a business, in hospitality or any industry for that matter, is with yourself. How well do you know yourself? There is a very simple exercise that is used by companies and trainers alike. It is called a S.W.O.T. analysis, and stands for Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats. So let us walk you through the process. But for it to be helpful, you must be totally honest, as it is only for you to know anyway. Please be aware these are only guide questions, designed to get you on the right line of thinking. Write down the headings and start writing your answers.
- Looking at all aspects of your life, what would you say are your strong points?
- What skills do you do well?
- What parts of your personality work to your benefit?
- What skills or things do people compliment you on?
- What do your work colleagues come to you for and ask your advice on?
- What are your weak points?
- What things do you not feel confident doing?
- What do you know that you cannot do?
- What do you know you are bad at?
- What bad habits do you have?
- What do work colleagues and friends say that you are bad at?
- What skills do you have that could be up graded to a strength?
- What resources/networks do you have access to?
- What training courses are you able to do to develop a weak skill?
- What weaknesses could be developed into a strength?
- Do you want to develop them?
- Do you want to employ someone to cover these areas?
- What stops you from doing things?
- What makes you procrastinate?
- What do you feel scared of?
- What are your fears?
- Could any of your weaknesses turn into threats to your success?
- What personal traits could stand in the way of success?
Now you have a good understanding of yourself, you are ready to answer a few more questions in regards to opening your venue. They are about how you, and your business will work effectively together.
- Do you want to be an owner?
- Do you know someone in the industry who could run it?
- Do you want to manage it?
- What skills could you bring?
- Why do you want your own place?
- Are you an early bird or night owl?
- What commitments do you have?
- How much time can you commit to this?
- Have you talked to someone who works in a senior operations position? i.e. General Manager, Duty Manager, Head Chef
All of this will help you plan how to progress during the planning stage of your project. Hospitality is a hard industry to work in, but if you can work with it, it can be rewarding and fun.