If you own a nightclub, the growth and the profitability of the business goes beyond branding and location – your style of management is very essential to the success of the nightclub. A nightclub that is badly managed will sooner than later close shop, which is why owners of nightclubs always go the extra mile to ensure that they get it right when it comes to managing the business.

A nightclub is a place where people converge to socialize, dance, drink, smoke, meet strangers and meet up with friends. Such arena can be prone to crime and other vices if not properly managed. In essence, managing a nightclub requires extra skills when compared to managing other types of businesses.

How to Manage and Grow your Nightclub in 20 Steps

1. Enforce Discipline

The first step when it comes to successfully managing a nightclub is to ensure that every employee carries out their job functions as clearly stipulated in the employee’s handbook. One of the major signs that a business is not being managed properly is lack of discipline amongst employees.

When discipline is not enforced at the early stages of building the business, the employees will tilt towards handling assigned tasks with levity because they know that there is no consequence to their actions. In order to effectively manage your nightclub business, when any of your staff members breach company’s policies or display any form of indiscipline, if you have to issue them a query, suspension or even a termination of their appointment, do it.

2. Impose Team Spirit

Another effective management tip that you need to adopt if you want to manage a night club business is to impose team spirit amongst all your employees; every member of the workforce should be able to work as one. The acronym TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) truly fits into the basic requirement for effectively managing any business successfully. Just make sure you encourage any activity that will promote team spirit amongst your employees.

3. Never Compromise Excellence

One major tip you need if indeed you want to effectively manage a nightclub business, is never compromise excellence at any stage of your business. Excellence in terms of services and products is what will make your nightclub attract new customers, retain old customers and of course keep the business growing.

Excellence in this regard should go beyond the uniform and dressing of your employees. It should include top-notch services, highly secured and safe environment, clean and hygienic facility and above all good ambience and music. Trust me, people will always be willing to pay premium for excellence.

4. Enforce Accountability Across Board

Another strategy that you would need if indeed you want to effectively manage your nightclub business is to ensure that you enforce accountability across board in your company. Make it clear that everybody including you as the head of the business is expected to be accountable to the whole team. Nobody is expected to do things and just get away with it.

If any employee is running late to work or won’t be able to make it to work on time, they should make it a point of duty to call their supervisor or manager and inform him / her on – time. This will enable the management to make adequate provision to re-assign someone else to the work station.

5. Keep Your Menu Updated Regularly

As the manager of a nightclub, the success of your management style will be tested by the results you produce and a favorable result is the profitability of the business. In essence, you must do stuffs that will help you sell out your stock and part of what you need to do to make this happen is to keep your menu updated.

You don’t need to stick to same brand of drinks, cigars and foods et al; you should keep tap with the trends and be proactive when it comes to stocking your bar with high-selling drinks, tobaccos and other stuffs that you serve in your nightclub.

6. Mingle and Build Relationships with Customers

One of the ways you will know a good manager is not how they relate with their employees but how they relate with their customers. So, if you want to effectively manage your nightclub, you should be willing to go out of your way to mingle and build relationship with your customers. When you have a relationship with your customer, it will be easier for you to check up on them when you have not seen them in a while.

Different types of people visit nightclubs including weird people, which is why you should up your tolerance and interpersonal skills. You can also encourage your employees to take the time to talk with customers and learn their names – having a personal relationship with people is what’s going to build up your list of regular patrons.

7. Hire Qualified Workers

Another tip you would need if indeed you want to effectively manage your nightclub business is to ensure that you hire qualified workers. The truth is that if you have qualified employees manning various positions in your nightclub, you will find it easier to manage them; they will know what is expected of them and how to get things done.

With that, you can be rest assured that you have a successful nightclub business. Your employees are the first people your customers meet when they walk into your nightclub.

So, make sure you only hire employees who are enthusiastic about their job and have a great attitude. Also look for team players who have a good work ethic, who are willing to go that extra mile for your customers. Having your employees reflect the positive atmosphere of your nightclub goes a long way in building up regular customers.

8. Adopt International Best Practices

When it comes to successfully managing any type of business, there is international best practices to follow. So, if you want to effectively manage your nightclub business, then you must ensure that you adopt international best practices.

You can always review journals or publications that will bring you up to speed and also read bestselling nightclub and bar management books to stay informed. There are numerous books written by managers, owners, and experts that are filled with tips and advice on how to manage nightclubs and bars.

9. Have a Fair Tip Policy for Employees

When it comes to a nightclub or the hospitality industry in general, tips are usually allowed and most employees rely on their tips to pay some of their bills. If you don’t want some staff members who are not in positions to receive tips to be disgruntled, then you must come up with a fair tip policy for all employees (security guards, cleaners, servers, bartenders, and kitchen staff); a fair way to distribute tips among all your staff.

It must be done in such a way that the person that directly receives the tip will not feel cheated. Most importantly, make it a point of duty to educate your staff about reporting and submitting any tip they receive during the course of carrying out their duty.

10. Operate Open Door Policy

Another tip that you need to adopt if indeed you want to effectively manage your nightclub business is to operate an open door policy; you should keep your doors open for suggestions from members of your team (your employees) and your clients.

With that in place, you will be able to get suggestions that will help you manage your nightclub business effectively. You are not expected to use all the suggestions that you receive. What is expected from you is to screen and vet the suggestions that you get and only make use of the ones that suits your business or style of management.

11. Attend Related Refresher Courses

To be on the top of your game in terms of managing your nightclub business effectively, you should be able to attend refresher courses on management. You should be willing to invest in management courses and bartender training. When you expose yourself to the right trainings and courses, you will stay current with the latest trends. You will be able to understand your customers and what they want when they visit your nightclub.

12. Reward Excellence

If you want to get people to carry out assigned tasks with an open heart and pay attention to details, ensure that you reward excellence This is one management tip you need to adopt if indeed you want to effectively manage your nightclub business.

Rewarding excellence might not be massive and expensive. It could be recognizing an employee, celebrating an employee or giving out tokens in form of appreciation to an employee that goes the extra mile to get things done for the organization.

13. Have Regular Meetings with Your Workers

Having regular meetings with your workers is yet another tip you would need if you want to effectively manage your nightclub business. Part of what you need to do is to ensure that you create time for office meetings; a time where challenges, feedbacks, projections and relevant issues are discussed. This is the time to educate your staff on any new procedures and reinforce current bar policies.

Meetings can also be a good time for team building – get everyone on the same page with a positive work attitude, emphasizing the value that each employee brings to the team. The meetings could be daily, once in a week, twice a week or once in a month. The bottom line is that there should be consistent meetings in your organization.

14. Restructure Your Cash Handling Policies and Procedures

Another important tip that you would need if you want to effectively manage your nightclub is to ensure you restructure your cash handling policies and procedures in such a way as to eliminate any loopholes. It must focus on accountability, trustworthy staff, and having the right procedures in place.

Apart from inventory management, cash management is another key area that must not be handled with levity. Decide who can handle cash, limiting access to people you can trust, like your head bartender or floor supervisor.

Choose more than one person to handle cash – this way there’s a system of accountability in place. Have two or three employees in charge of all cash handling. This keeps them accountable. Once you come up with policies for cash handling, make sure that you implement them and that all your staff understands the procedures.

15. Choose the Right Nightclub Management Software

You will quite agree that the advent of technology as it relates to software apps has made life easier for humanity and one of the ways to make managing your nightclub easier and effective is to choose the right nightclub management software to run the business.

A good nightclub management software will help you stay on top of every aspect of managing your nightclub such as from ordering to inventory to employee work schedules. You will be able to automate some of these processes and operate more efficiently.

An effective nightclub management software will help you produce reports to track your sales and taxes. It will help you simplify the process of employee scheduling and running of roaster, it will help you accept payments with debit and credit cards, it will help you automate your inventory management and above all, it will help you track employee hours and monitor productivity.

Please note that for a nightclub, the most popular and versatile management software is a POS system (point of sale), which can integrate many of the above processes into one software app. Other features of your POS include order and table management, integration with CRM software (customer relationship management), and menu setup.

16. Prevent Wastages and Theft

An important attribute that a good nightclub manager ought to possess is the ability to prevent theft in the club. No nightclub manager wants to think about it, but in reality, stealing is a regular occurrence in nightclubs – bartenders and servers over-pouring, stealing product, and giving away free drinks and food to their friends and family members.

Wastages and theft can negatively drive up your costs and lower your profits. Which why a good manager should know how to prevent wastages and theft in the nightclub.

They can achieve this by regularly checking tabs and routinely reconciling cash drawers. You can also prevent theft and wastages by installing security cameras and investing in video recognition software that compares your security footage with your POS data.

17. Effectively Manage Alcohol Related Safety Issues

Another effective management tip when it comes to managing a nightclub is to effectively manage alcohol related safety issues. Unfortunately, in nightclubs, alcohol flows freely and alcohol service is a risky business.

Your employees should also be trained to handle alcohol-related safety issues, not just the safety of customers who have consumed too much alcohol, but to protect your nightclub from fines, imprisonment, loss of liquor license, increased insurance costs, and even losing your business. You should also avoid serving alcohol to minors or visibly intoxicated patron, because if you do, you will face criminal charges and you will be made to pay fines.

18. Manage Your Inventory Carefully

Managing a nightclub effectively covers managing your inventory effectively and you must make sure that your bar is well stocked at all times. This includes everything from liquor to bar napkins to food that comes out of the kitchen.

Make it compulsory to carry out a weekly inventory of all items in your bar, except for liquor, which should be inventoried daily. When conducting your liquor inventory, you should adopt a workable system and stick to it. Consistency is going to ensure that the amounts are right each time, without room for error.

If you’re not doing liquor inventory yourself, train your head bartender how to use the right method. You need to know exactly what you have behind the bar and on your shelves. Not enough of an item and you risk having to tell customers that you can’t make that drink for them.

Please note that carrying out daily liquor inventory will help you notice when your inventory and sales are not matching up. It will point to the fact that your bartenders are over-pouring or giving away free drinks. With daily inventory you will be able to determine when and how much product is missing and what you need to do to plug such loopholes.

19. Review Your Management Styles Annually

Reviewing your management styles annually is yet another tip you would need to effectively manage your nightclub business. The truth is that, no matter the management style that you adopt, it is highly important to at least review the method to see how effective it is, and if it indeed suits your personality et al.

Part of what you need to do is to go on a retreat with some of your key management staff and then critically examine your management methods to know how far it fared and if indeed you need to continue with the method or opt for another management method.

20. Put Systems and Process in Place That Make Your Business Run on Autopilot

It is now trendy to find corporate organizations and even medium to smaller businesses running on autopilot. When a business run on autopilot, it means that the business needs little or no supervision in other to achieve results. But before you can attain this height, you would need to deliberately document all the processes involved in carrying out your services.

As a matter of fact, there might be need to hire experts of help you put systems and processes in place that will make your nightclub business run on autopilot. The truth is that running a nightclub business on autopilot is one of the best tips when it comes to effectively managing the business.

In conclusion, no business becomes successful if effective management systems are not put in place. The above management tips can be adopted by anyone who is managing a nightclub business or any other business no matter the industry that your business belongs to. These are tips that have been proven to deliver excellent results year in year out and it can work for your nightclub business as well.

Joy Nwokoro