Your budget may be tight, but it is still possible to open a Nightclub on a Dime. This can be accomplished by negotiating a beneficial lease, finding an old nightclub space, creating an illusion, doing it yourself or by taking on partners and the right marketing.
Negotiate a Beneficial Lease
Negotiating your lease is one of the most important parts of Opening a Nightclub on a Dime. Find a Landlord who is willing to work with you. You can try to propose half price rent for 3 months, 6 months, or even free rent for that time frame. You could put a big portion of the rent on the back end of the lease, as opposed to paying it the first year.
Find an Old Nightclub Space
If you are working with a shoe string budget I would advise searching for an old nightclub space that closed down as opposed to building a new nightclub. You can accomplish this by going out in the City you wish to open the nightclub and finding out which clubs are vacant or on the verge of closing. You can also look at ads on Craig’s List, Loop Net, and other nightclub for lease sites. I would definitely suggest leasing a built out nightclub space as opposed to buying a business. The built out space, could be a nightclub who lost their lease or failed to make it at that location.
Create an Illusion
Since the majority of the build out has been done, it’s now time to put the finishing touches on the space. Use smoke and mirrors to make your nightclub look great. A fresh coat of paint could go a long way. Pictures, a local artist creating a mirage on a wall, black lights, gadgets that create visuals and different types of fabric can all help to enhance the space at a reasonable price. You can also take a trip to the Salvation Army and pick up furniture that can be refurbished. Your goal is to make your nightclub look like you spent a lot of money on it, but you really didn’t. Create an illusion!
Do it yourself or take on Partners
If you are an experienced Operator or Marketer you could potentially be the sole investor and operating partner for your nightclub. If you have some money to invest but are not familiar with the nightlife business, search for an experienced General Manager and Marketing Director. Come up with a strategic payment plan. Make them owners of the business. Give them points and hand them the keys. Keep your expenses low and give them an opportunity to own a nightclub. They will take the good and the bad with you.
Market on a Dime
Considering you’re on a budget, booking expensive Celebrities, Reality Stars or DJ’s may be out of reach. It’s time to get creative and create theme parties. Fun concepts that cost little or no money to put on will keep your nightclub fresh. Theme parties and concepts such as Mardi Gras, Beach Party, Wet T-Shirt Contest, White Party, Black Out Party and Movie premier parties could work wonders. Have your staff market on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Use independent promotional groups to takeover certain nights at your venue. The promoters would of course work on a percentage basis. This will keep your marketing costs down and your promoters will have to produce if they want to make money.