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How to Start a Jazz Club Business

Do you want to start a jazz club? If YES, here is a 20-step guide on how to open a jazz club business with no money or experience.

Please note that if you intend to start this type of business, it is advisable to first look at the existing laws and zonal regulations in the country or state you reside in to know what is expected of you. You also need to pay a visit to the regulatory bodies in your country to get all the information you need before you can legally open your jazz club.

You can start your jazz club business from a small town in the United States and if you are good at what you do when it comes to entertaining jazz lovers and others, it won’t be too long before your brand becomes nationally recognized.

Steps to Starting a Jazz Club Business

  1. Understand The Industry

A jazz club is a venue where the primary entertainment is the performance of live jazz music, although some jazz clubs primarily focus on the study and/or promotion of jazz-music. Jazz clubs are usually a type of nightclub or bar, which is licensed to sell alcoholic beverages.

Jazz club business falls under the nightclub and bar industry and this industry includes bars, taverns, pubs, lounges, nightclubs, jazz clubs, and other drinking places that primarily prepare and serve alcoholic beverages for immediate consumption.

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These establishments may also provide limited food services. In the United States of America, the industry generates over $27 billion annually from more than 64,385 night clubs and bars (jazz clubs inclusive) and the industry is responsible for the employment of over 414,155 people.

Experts project that the industry will grow at a 2.5 percent annual rate between 2014 and 2019. Please note that the nightclubs and bars industry in the United States has no major players with a market share of greater than 5 percent.

A recent report published by IBISWORLD shows that the Bars and Nightclubs industry in the United States has experienced growth over the five years to 2020, despite stagnation in 2017 and 2018. These dips were a result of shaky consumer confidence and changing consumer preferences, causing more people to drink at home rather than at bars or nightclubs.

However, industry revenue growth was strong in 2015 and 2016 and is expected to tick up 1.3 percent in 2019, reaching an estimated $26.6 billion.

Overall, industry revenue is expected to increase at an annualized rate of 2.5 percent in the five years to 2019 as per capita alcohol consumption and disposable income rise, permitting people to spend more of their pay at bars and nightclubs. Jazz club and bar operators have attempted to respond to changing preferences.

A close study of the jazz clubs line of business reveals that the barriers to entering the industry are moderate. Interestingly, operators in the Bars and Nightclubs industry are expected to benefit from a continued increase in household incomes and consumer spending over the next five years.

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Consumer spending is projected to grow. The industry will benefit from an improving economy, a steady unemployment rate and increased discretionary spending.

Additionally, per capita expenditure on alcohol is expected to increase steadily during the five-year period, particularly on premium beverages. The “premiumization” trend will continue to benefit industry operators as consistent overall economic growth bolsters disposable incomes.

Lastly it is important to state that as much as starting a jazz club business can be profitable and rewarding, the success of any new jazz club in the United States is not automatic. The chances of new jazz club to struggle within the first 6 months of launching can’t be ruled out.

As a matter of fact, it can take between two to five years before most night clubs and bars (jazz clubs inclusive) can recover their initial investment. In order words, just like loads of new businesses, the statistics for jazz bars do not favor the startups, you just have to have a long term investment plan if you intend starting your own jazz club business.

  1. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies

  • Demographics and Psychographics

The demographic and psychographics composition of those who visit jazz clubs is not restricted to only jazz lovers but also adults and families who would want to be entertained. There is a wide range of clienteles who visit and patronize jazz clubs for different purposes.

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In essence, the demographic composition cum target market for a jazz club is all encompassing; it is not restricted to any age group, gender, race, tribe or group of people. So, if you are looking towards defining the demographics for your jazz club business, then you should make it far reaching it should include all adults in your area of coverage, residence, travelers and tourists et al.

  1. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On

It is important to state that there are no niche ideas when it comes to jazz business because jazz club business is a niche idea in the Night and Bar industry but players in this line of business may decide to go beyond entertaining jazz lovers and visitors, to going ahead to make available, video game house, bowling alley, BBQ joint, food and drinks court, ice cream shop and enough parking space.

The Level of Competition in the Industry

Irrespective of the line of business you decide to invest in, you are still going to compete with others who are into same area of business and jazz club business is not an exemption. The level of competition in the Night and Bar industry to some extent depends largely on the location of the business, your niche area of operation and of course the capacity of your jazz facility.

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If you can successfully create a unique niche for your jazz club business, you are likely going to experience little or no competition. For instance, if you are the only jazz club business in your location that is operating 24 hours 7 days-a -week services, you can successfully monopolize the market for a long time before you start having competition.

It is important to also state that the competition in the jazz business is not restricted to competitions amongst jazz clubs but also you will be competing against all players in the entertainment and recreational industry with key focus or bars and nightclubs.

  1. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry

Here are some of the most popular jazz clubs (bars and nightclubs with niche in jazz also inclusive) in the United States of America;

  • Jazz Standard
  • Blue Note Jazz Club
  • Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro
  • Jazz Showcase
  • The Iridium
  • Blues Alley Club
  • Birdland Jazz Club
  • Smoke Jazz & Supper Club
  • Winter’s Jazz Club
  • Swing 46 Jazz and Supper Club
  • Wally’s Cafe Jazz Club
  • Showman’s Jazz Club
  • Andy’s Jazz Club & Restaurant
  • Fritzel’s European Jazz Pub
  • Grand Star Jazz Club
  • Parker Jazz Club
  • The Jazz Playhouse
  • Minton’s Playhouse
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Economic Analysis

When it comes to starting a business such as jazz club business, you just have to get your costing cum economic analysis right if your intention of building the business is to generate profits, grow the business and perhaps expand the business and start competing at national level and attracting clients from all across the globe.

When conducting costing and economic analysis for your jazz club business, you just have to critically examine these key factors; place, property, pricing, and promotion. As a matter of fact, you have to continue to review these key factors at regular interval while running your jazz club business.

As a jazz club business owner, you just have to have a proper grasp of your competitive landscape if indeed you want to maximize profits and be in the frontline of the industry.

It is important to note that security and facility maintenance cost are some of the most important factors contributing to the overall cost of running a jazz club business and should be considered as a major factor when carrying out your costing and economic analysis.

  1. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch

There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to choosing how you intend starting a business. Basically, you should be guided by your overall business vision and mission statement.

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Although there are very few jazz clubs that are into franchising, but if you are looking towards starting an jazz club business, it will pay you to start from the very scratch because you can hardly get the franchise of a jazz club business to buy.

Besides starting a jazz club business from the scratch is might be stressful initially but it is profitable and can run on autopilot when compared to other similar businesses.

With jazz club business, you should just try as much as possible to secure a good location, ensure that you update your jazz collections and jazz artists to meet with current demand and then leverage on every marketing tool within your disposal especially the internet when it comes to marketing your jazz club.

Please note that most of the big and successful jazz clubs around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success.

  1. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face

A common challenge is that many jazz clubs are subject to extreme revenue volatility throughout the year. Besides, if you decide to open your own jazz club today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established jazz clubs, bars and nightclubs and of course other players in the entertainment and recreational industry in your target market location.

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The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market by concentrating on a small community for the start. Some other threats and challenges that you are likely going to face when you start your jazz club are mature markets, bad economy (economy downturn), and stiff competition.

So also, unfavorable government policies, seasonal fluctuations, demographic/social factors, downturn in the economy which is likely going to affect consumer spending for leisure services such as jazz clubs and of course emergence of new competitors within the same location where yours is located.

There is hardly anything you can do as regards these threats and challenges other than to be optimistic that things will continue to work for your good.

  1. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)

Generally, you can either choose a general partnership, or limited liability company which is commonly called an LLC for your jazz club.

If your intention is to grow the business and welcome visitors from all across the United States of America, Canada and other countries of the world, then you should choose Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership. That is the most suitable legal entity that will cut it for you.

Over and beyond, in the jazz club industry LLCs are common and are recommended by all of our experts based on the scale of most jazz club businesses. When you form as an LLC, you’ll be getting a straightforward business structure that will protect you and separate your personal and business assets through what’s called the corporate veil.

  1. Choose a Catchy Business Name from the Ideas Below

Normally, when it comes to choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents.

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Typically, it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend operating from when naming their business. If you are considering starting your own jazz club business, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;

  • House of Judah® Jazz Club, Inc.
  • Lincoln Moore® Jazz Club and Bar, Inc.
  • Stan Vickers® Lincoln Moore® Jazz Club and Bar, Inc.
  • Dollar Moore™ Jazz Club and Company
  • Fun Zone® Lincoln Moore® Jazz Club and Bar, Inc.
  • Green Horizon® Lincoln Moore® Jazz Club and Bar, Inc.
  • Ivette Ramsey® Lincoln Moore® Jazz Club and Restaurant, LLC
  • Likeminded Connect® Lincoln Moore® Jazz Club and Bar, LLC
  • Dennis Whitewood® Lincoln Moore® Jazz Club and Pub, LLC
  • D Lucas® Lincoln Moore® Jazz Club and Bar, LLC.
  1. Discuss With an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You

In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policies that are required by the industry you want to operate from. Thus, it is imperative to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your business.

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Here are some of the basic insurance policies that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own jazz club business in the United States of America;

  • General insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Liability insurance
  • Risk Insurance
  • Workers compensation
  • Building/Property insurance
  • Overhead expense disability insurance
  • Business owner’s policy group insurance
  • Payment protection insurance

You can contact the following leading insurance companies in the United States of America to purchase the needed insurance policies for your jazz club business;

  • Allstate Insurance Group
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Progressive Insurance Group (PGR)
  • Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC)
  • New York Life Insurance Company
  • Lincoln National Life Insurance Company
  • MassMutual (Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company)
  • Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company
  1. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents

If you are considering starting your own jazz club business, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is so because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successful run the business without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.

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On the other hand, if you want to leverage on the business opportunities within the industry and also to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even operation concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection.

If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO. The final approval of your trademark is subjected to the review of attorneys as required by USPTO.

  1. Get the Necessary Professional Certification

When it comes to operating an jazz club business, you do not need to have any formal training or special certification before you can be allowed to open and operate a jazz club business in the United States of America. All you need is informal training that will expose you to the in and out of managing jazz club business and also effectively running the business.

On the other hand, if you come across any form of certification that can aid you to conduct your jazz club business, then by all mean try and pursue such certification.

  1. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate

It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations. If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hands of the law catch up with you. These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own business in the United States of America;

  • DBA
  • EIN
  • Business and liability insurance
  • Federal Tax Payer’s ID
  • State Permit
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Insurance Policy
  • Online Terms of Use (if you have a website)
  • Online Privacy Policy Document (basically for online payment portal)
  • Company Bylaws
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
  1. Raise the Needed Startup Capital

Starting a standard, secured and well – equipped jazz club business is capital intensive even if you choose to launch the business on a small scale and you only have a handful of full – time employees on your payroll. Leasing of a standard facility that can accommodate your customers and staff members and of course equipping the facility are part of what will consume a large chunk of your startup capital.

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In essence, if you choose to start the business on a small scale, you will still need to go source for fund to finance the business. No doubt when it comes to financing a business, one of the first things you should consider is to write a good business plan.

If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business. Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your jazz club business;

  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Applying for loan from your bank
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
  1. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business

Starting a jazz club business comes with its own challenges; it is a business that cannot be started in any location. As a matter of fact, you will need approval from local council and other regulating authorities in the city you intend opening your jazz club business.

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Generally, in business, it cannot be overemphasized that the location you chose to start your business is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where the demography consists of jazz enthusiasts and people with the require purchasing power, and lifestyle.

If you make the mistake of renting or leasing a facility for your jazz club business in a not too visible or hidden location simply because it is cheap, then you must be prepared to spend more in promoting the business. It is important to note that a business facility in good location does not come cheap hence you should be able to allocate enough fund for leasing/renting in your budget.

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If you are new to the dynamics of choosing a location for your jazz club business, then you should feel free to talk to a business consultant or a realtor who has a full grasp of the city and perhaps country you intend starting your business.

Most importantly, before choosing a location for your jazz club business, ensure that you first conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey. The possibility of you coming across similar business that just closed shop in the location you want to open yours can’t be ruled out.

Which is why it is very important to gather as much facts and figures before choosing a location to set – up your own jazz club business. Having said that, these are some of the cities in the United States of America where you can locate your jazz club business;

  • Los Angeles, California
  • New York City, New York
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Miami, Florida
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Washington, District of Columbia
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  1. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs

When starting a jazz club business, you will need sound system, musical instrument and gadgets et al. In setting up a small office for your jazz club business, you will need computer, printer, software apps, telephones, pager, photocopier, scanner, and fax machine.

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These machines, equipment, tools and instrument can be purchased as fairly used especially if you have limited finance to meet your budget.

When it comes to choosing between renting and leasing a facility for your jazz club business, the size of the facility you want to own, and your entire budget for the business should influence your choice. Besides, you will need a facility that is in serene environment, a facility that is big enough to accommodate the number of visitors and staff working for you.

As regards the number of employees that you are expected to kick start the business with, you need to consider your finance before making the decision.

Averagely, when it comes to starting a standard jazz club business on a large scale, you would need the services of the following professionals; Chief Operating Officer (you can occupy this position), Marketing and Sales Executive (Business Developer), Accountant, Disc Jockey, Human Resources and Admin Manager, Facility Manager, Attendants (Waiters and Waitress), Ticketers / Front Desk Officer, Security Guards or Bouncers and Cleaners.

Over and above, you would need a minimum of 10 to 20 key staff members to effectively run a medium scale but standard jazz club business

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The Service Delivery Process of the Business

The service delivery as it relates to jazz club business to a large extent depends on the organization and what they stand to achieve.

Basically, a jazz club business that is ready to welcome customers places gate fees and perhaps ticket fees. Before customers are allowed to come in, they are expected to pay gate fee or subscribe by paying membership fee for a period of time and, in most cases, they also pay to order drinks and food.

It is important to state that a jazz club business may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them efficiency and flexibility; the above stated business process is not cast on stone.

  1. Write a Marketing Plan Packed With ideas & Strategies

The fact that the entry barrier for starting a small – scale jazz club business is not too high means that there is bound to be more players in the industry no matter the location you choose to start yours. In essence, you must come up with a unique and fun filled facility if you must carve out a market for yourself within the available market in your community.

So, when you are drafting your marketing plans, make sure that you create a compelling company profile. Aside from your qualifications and experience, it is important to clearly state what you have been able to achieve in time past. This will help boost your chances in the market place when marketing your club. Here are some of the platforms you can utilize to market your jazz club business;

  • Introduce your jazz club business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to youth organizations, sport clubs, schools, corporate organizations, households and key stakeholders in and around the location where your jazz club business is located
  • Open your jazz club business services with a party so as to capture the attention of residents who are your first targets
  • Print out fliers and business cards and strategically drop them in offices, libraries, public facilities, airports and train stations et al.
  • Making your first impression count positively to those making use of your jazz club for the first time
  • Make use of attractive handbills to create awareness and also to give direction to your jazz club
  • Engage in roadshow in targeted communities from time to time to market your jazz club
  • Advertise your services in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
  • List your business and products on yellow pages ads (local directories)
  • Leverage on the internet to promote your jazz club business
  • Engage in direct marketing and sales
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth marketing (referrals)
  • Leverage on the internet to promote your jazz club business (when you blog regularly on key issues as it relates to your business, people who consider you an expert in the field)
  • Join local chambers of commerce and industries around you with the main aim of networking and marketing your jazz club business; you are likely going to get referrals from such networks.
  • Engage the services of marketing executives and business developers to carry out direct marketing for you
  1. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services 

One key factor that will help you offer your gate fees, membership fees or services at the right price is to ensure that you cut operational cost to the barest minimum and channel your efforts towards marketing and promoting your brand name.

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You can also try as much as possible to work with independent contractors and marketers; it will help you save cost of paying sales and marketing executives. So also, if you are able to secure business partnership as it relates to getting referrals, then you will be able to get the right pricing and of course maximize profits from your business.

  1. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win

The jazz club business may not be in a competitive industry, but you must come up with a unique and highly creative strategies to be able to outsmart your competitors in the industry.

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Part of what you need to do in order to stay competitive in the industry is to ensure that your facility is a state-of-the-art entertainment center with multiple attractions based around entertainment. In other to stay competitive in this industry, you must ensure that your clients are always comfortable (homely), secured and always ensure that you pay attention to details when carrying out your job.

The truth is that if there are fluctuations in the services you provide, customers can choose to shift allegiance and settle for other options available.

  1. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers

When it comes to business, no matter the industry that you choose to pitch your tent in, one of the easiest ways to increase customer retention and perhaps attract new customers is to produce results and satisfy your customers always.

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If your customers are satisfied with your facility and service delivery, they can hardly source for alternative service providers.

If your services and customer service fluctuate, you are likely going to struggle to get your customers retaining your services. Ensure that you offer your customers incentives if you want to retain them and of course continue to generate repeated sales from them and also to attract new customers.

Part of what you need to do to achieve this is to track progress, results or outputs with the aim of improving on them quickly as the case demands. When it comes to managing your customers and building a loyal clientele base, you should purchase a customized CRM software.

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With a customized CRM system, you can easily stay in touch with your clients (you can carry out quick surveys, you can introduce new products and prices to them without any hitch, you can felicitate with them on their birthdays and other anniversaries, you can keep track of their progress, you can send bulk sms and customized emails and above all, you can easily receive complaints and feedback from them).

  1. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity

If you are in business and you are not conscious about boosting you brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portrays your business to be.

One of the secrets of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend fortunes year in and year out to boost their brand awareness and to continue to communicate their corporate identity the way they want people to perceive them to be.

No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and brand boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand and create a corporate identity for your jazz club business;

  • Place adverts on both print (newspapers and entertainment magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community – based events
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your jazz club business
  • Install your billboards in strategic locations all around your city or state
  • Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted neighborhoods to create awareness of your jazz club business
  • Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
  • List your jazz club business in local directories / yellow pages
  • Advertise your jazz club business in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site
  • Position your Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where your jazz club business is located.
  • Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles are branded with your company logo.