Have you heard about the new nightclub in town – the one everyone’s talking about? You hear stories such as this all the time and you’re especially going to hear about the one that has great design.
Let’s face it, in the U.S., people have an insatiable thirst for the 'latest and greatest'. If you’re a nightclub or bar owner, this is what you’re up against. You may have loyal customers, but customer loyalty comes with a price tag. Regardless of whether yours is the new club or the old one, you still have to create an edge over the competition or your customers will leave you. The problem is that many nightclub and bar owners are guilty at squeezing every nickel out of their profits and not reinvesting, which can lead to disastrous results, not the least of which is the ability to remain competitive and relevant. Reinvesting in your strip club, nightclub or bar can be the key to securing greater profits and long-term success, and this begins with periodic design.
How Design Can Help Your Bar, Stripclub or Nightclub Reach a New Demographic
When you invest in design, your bar, stripclub or nightclub can most likely count on reaching a new demographic. It’s like saying ‘Here we are, check-out our new club!’ Have you ever noticed how often major U.S. brands boast about “New and Improved” in their advertising campaigns? Why do you think they do this? They do this because they need a hook for reinforcing their brand. But don’t be naïve; if your marketing message is to tell the public that you have something new and improved, you better have it. The feedback I always receive from design clients, upon completion of their projects, is of the new customers they are attracting. This makes sense if you think about it. Once the word gets out that something new and great is going on at your club, this is likely to catch the attention of new clientele.
How Small Nightclubs Can Learn From Big City Clubs
Which businesses make it a mission to reinvest? No doubt, there are many examples of large companies who have enjoyed market dominance through successful reinvesting. Google and Apple have maintained dominance in the highly competitive technology sector through dilligent reinvesting. The nightlife business, whether it is a strip club, nightclub or bar, is as competitive as any. Eat or be eaten. In some cities, the lifespan of a nightclub can be anywhere from 1-4 years. Why is this? Competition. As I mentioned earlier, people are fickle. These factors apply pressure to club owners. Yet, in spite of this, some clubs continue to stand the test of time, even in the most competitive markets. How do they do it? Reinvestment. Consider the case of the Excalibur nightclub in Chicago; this club, which opened in 1989 as the largest non-hotel entertainment facility in Chicago, is still running. At the end of 2012, the owner decided to reinvest $3M and do a total makeover and re-branding! Upon completion of the makeover, the club re-opened under a new name (“The Castle”) and now contains three boutique nightclubs and many other features. At the end of 2014, the owner will have enjoyed 25 years of continuous operation in one of the highest rent districts in the U.S.! You can believe that, along the way, this owner had to continually reinvest in order to stave-off the competition. The owners of many successful strip clubs, nightclubs and bars have followed this same pattern and enjoyed similar benefits. I personally happen to know a few.
Why Nightclubs and Bars Shouldn't Rest on Past Success
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that the strip club, nightclub or bar you own, the one that has enjoyed some measure of success will remain relevant indefinitely. Continuous success is not self-perpetuating. Successful nightclub ownership is an ever-moving target that requires careful planning and continuous reinvesting. To cite the old axiom: it takes money to make money. As an owner, the money a club can generate can sometimes be intoxicating. I’ve been inside some counting rooms and seen it. I've also seen some owners who scoff at the idea of spending any money on anything but their bad habits. If you squeeze all the cash out of your business it may be too late to react to new competition when necessary. But do you really ever want to be be in the position of worrying about your competition? Be a leader, not a follower! Keep your eye on the horizon and think about how you can continue your success, so you can place pressure on the competition. Make them feel the heat. Work with your CPA to create an annual budget that sets aside some of your money toward improvements.
How Design Can Create New Revenue Streams for Nightclubs
One of our clients called a couple of years ago and wanted to explore the viability of adding a new champagne room. The room, which included a private bar (as shown in the photo above), was the owner’s attempt to add a new revenue stream. This particular client has made periodic improvements to his club, in an attempt to maintain “top-of-mind” marketing to his clients. To the credit of the owner who makes it a point to reinvest periodically, the room was an immediate success.
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