There’s no doubt that pubs are a crucial part of British culture, so buying an existing pub can be a great way to earn income, but only if you manage it effectively. The profitability of your pub will depend on several factors; size, uniqueness, location, operating style and running costs will have the most impact.
It’s also important to remember that there are three ways to run a pub: through a freehold, leasehold, or tenancy. A freehold will be the best option if you’re looking for autonomy and flexibility.
Nonetheless, most successful pub owners can expect a net profit of 20-25% of their turnover, and this will significantly increase with dedication, efficient management, and a judicious budgeting.
Top reasons to buy a pub
Running a pub isn’t for everyone. It’s not an easy business to run, so it’s important that you’re prepared for challenges, but also exciting rewards! Here are the top reasons why you should buy a pub.
Avoid a tedious 9 – 5 desk job
As a pub owner, every day will be different. If sitting at a desk all day is something you don’t want to do, then running a pub might be the right fit for you.
Depending on how involved you want to be, a lot of your day will consist of talking to customers and staff, improving your operations, dealing with unexpected situations (both good and bad), and scheduling activities.
Everyday might not be filled with excitement, but you will certainly have moments worth remembering!
Opportunity to offer a unique experience
Remaining relevant is imperative to running a successful pub. Buying an existing pub – particularly a freehold – means you have the opportunity to offer a compelling environment where people can connect, socialise, watch a game of football or join a karaoke night.
Most people don’t want a dark, gloomy environment, so it’s crucial that you adapt to customer needs and give them something to remember and keep coming back to.
Having this responsibility is an exciting challenge, especially for those with an energetic personality, great managerial skills, and a passion for keeping people happy.
Opportunities for investment
Over the years, small pubs have seen considerable investment, particularly those with gifted owners, innovative approaches, and well-run establishments. If you can offer a concept that customers choose over their own homes, you’ll be one step closer to harnessing this opportunity.
Of course, there are still significant challenges that pub owners experience, but there is improved market confidence, and operators and investors have capital to invest in the right opportunity. So, make sure it’s yours!
Advice on choosing the right pub
While buying an existing pub does have many advantages, it’s crucial that you prepare for challenges. Obstacles like inflationary pressures, long working hours, anti-social behaviour, and quiet days will present themselves.
That’s why it’s important that you choose the right pub and understand the process of buying a business before you pursue your business venture. When choosing a pub to purchase, always consider:
It’s location and local demographic
What type of property you’re purchasing (freehold, leasehold, tenancy)
Licences and permits
Accuracy of accounts
The pub’s existing employees
The physical condition of fixtures and fittings
While owning a pub is not for the faint-hearted, it can certainly be a rewarding process. We encourage you to put your best foot forward, and we wish you every success on your new business journey!
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