The real lab of research, development and disruptive nightclub concepts
Welcome to nightclubbiz.com!
nightclubbiz.com is targeted at a 'reading audience'. Discussed here (in casual format) is a more modern, philosophical approach to capturing today's, higher profit nightclub demographics. Conversely, we'll discuss the many approaches and ideas that do not /have not worked in a very long time.
And surprise... The high nightclub failure rate may not be for the reasons you were originally led to believe ;) Fair warning... If yet another, watered down 10-step guide on how to start a nightclub is what you're looking for, I don't think you'll find nightclubbiz.com terribly interesting :/
The creation of high performance /high cash flow nightclub product is.... emm.... A tad more involved.
This is a true learn about the nightclub business site ;)
Nightclub consulting services
Nightclub consulting services are here. I've completed 16,000 live consultations since 1995, but...
You should read though this document first. It does a good job of articulating my experience, background and approach to social entertainment and whether I would be a good fit with what it is you want to accomplish.
I want information on nightclub startup costs, leasing, business plans, executive summaries, and nightclub investors
See the Free Nightclub Information kit... It's a document, which outlines most of the costs associated with starting a new nightclub, and or how to calculate them.
Please... Remember that you will need a concept to associate with your nightclub and that figuring out leasing costs, space requirements, staffing costs and so on is the SUPER EASY part of this equation.
Have a look at the Free Nightclub Information Kit here, but take the some to read through this main page as well.
What do you mean by philosophical approach?
Fundamental versus philosophical...
Fundamentally speaking, most anyone knows you need sound, lights, liquor, staffing, DJ's, etc to start a nightclub. Philosophically speaking, how do we approach today's increasingly complex social entertainment consumer at the social, emotional and intellectual level? The nightclub business is about 10% fundamental, operational procedure, and 90% philosophical understanding and approach ;)
It's the people business and there is nothing simple about it!
A real book on the nightclub business...
More like my next chapter...
In this segment, we dive deep into the real anatomy of social entertainment. How do we draw those higher profit demographics? How do we break 2, 5, or 7-million in annual revenue? How do we shake the horrible disease of (empty nightclubs) until midnight or 1:00 AM? Why do bars, pubs and a number of venues (outside of nightclubs) pack well before 9:00 PM? And how about those ultra high cash flow singles demographics? Why can't nightclubs so much as scratch the surface of this market?
What are the different types of nightclub operations models?
This is something that is presently in transition. My advice to all of you is to keep a close eye on this facet...
--> Applicable mainly to operations targeted at a 19, to 24 aged demographic
Here is what you need to know...
Nightclubs are traditionally driven by music, DJ's, a hodgepodge of gimmicks /promotions, with the primary income source being liquor product.
But that might be changing...
If you're watching carefully, a number of larger nightclubs are charging exceptionally high entry fees, and it would appear their primary source of their revenue is indeed door charge, with liquor sales being secondary... I am talking fees ranging from $20, to as high as $50 to get in the door.
The reasons for this should be fairly obvious...
1) A number of city's are are fed up with the antics and complaints resulting from nightclub districts, so they're imposing highly restrictive liquor laws
2) These particular demographics will often consume prior to arriving at a club.
So the solution for these clubs is to make their money off door charge. For example, if a 700 person capacity club can turn over at least twice in 5-hours, that is total throughout of 1,400 souls at say... $30 a head... For a grand total of $42,000. Even if the club did modest liquor sales of say $6,000, a $48,000 night is very possible --gross sales of course.
Don't get a boner just yet...
Justifying a $30 or $50 door charge means... You'd better be able to deliver $30 or $50 worth of fun, or... You'll end up on Yelp with a lot of pissed off patrons who claim you're not worth 10 cents to get in the door, and... You'll be sitting on ice in under 90-days. Think it through...
DJ's DJ's DJ's!!!! Is this the solution?
Maybe, maybe not... DJ's are a lot like live bands. 1 out of every 7 might draw and MIGHT justify a high door charge. Use your heads... Everyone and his great Grandmother is now a DJ. You'd be lucky if less than .5% of DJ's could actually draw AND make you money. Keep in mind, the general public is NOT stupid!
The answer is concepts that pack a real punch, rather than bootstrapping it on a night, to night basis.
Why do people go to nightclubs?
Simple question with a seemingly obvious answer, yet 8 out of 10 will almost always get this one wrong. People partake in social entertainment venues, such as nightclubs (for the most part) to facilitate the primary objectives of... Meeting new people, mingling, discovering a soul mate, finding a marriage partner, searching for their destiny, or just plain seeking out some good old casual sex.
So what is a nightclubs purpose?
The answer should be self evident...It is a nightclubs job to make it AS EASY as theoretically possible for participants to achieve the above objectives!! And this brings us to the problem... The majority of operators believe these social objectives will simply occur naturally.
As in... Hey man... I let these people into the club... Now it's up to them to make their own fun!
No actually, it's not... YOU need to create, manage and sustain an atmosphere, which is conducive to fun. It's your job to ensure the final result is new social interactions that are occurring with relative ease.
More on this later, but here's a hint... You don't achieve this with a basic compliment of drone-like staff, comprised of friends and family... You need a real crew of well trained actors who keep that atmosphere running hot.
Your product must result in exceptionally high odds of romantic or intimate outcomes among patrons.
Why would that be important?
Because it's the product people pay big money for and... If you're consistent in maintaining the type of social atmosphere that results in a high ratio of social encounters, not only do you procure a higher profit audience, but one that is loyal to you week after week.
The nightclub business is a HUGE people game and YOU need to know how to set the stage, complete with the right players to facilitate it.
So you mean a meet /meat market?
Get it thorough your heads... ALL nightclubs are a meet market at some level or another. Why the hell do you supposed people assume the burden of showing up, standing in line, arranging transportation, and paying $5, $10, or $15 a drink? They could buy that same liquor for pennies on the dollar at the local 7-11 and party at home. So again... Why would they pay upwards of 600% more for the same beverage? Wrap your mind around that one for a bit....
People DO want to meet and likely, more than you'll ever know... Are they going to plaster on their heads... HEY... I'M LONELY or HORNY and want to meet someone? Of course not, but this is the glimmer of hope on the minds of most people partaking in nightclub entertainment, and it's also this hope that keeps them coming back ;) Facilitate this objective in any way... You have friends and loyal customers for life. It really is that simple...
You're sounding crude
That was not my intent. I deal in facts and reality -not PC utter nonsense... Humans and most notably (single humans) engage socially to meet other humans with a moderate, to high degree of desire for intimate engagement...
How about this whole 'The place to be seen thing'?
That is an entirely different demographic, from a different temporal plane -one I will not touch with a 10-foot pole. Staring at a bag of birdseed would be more interesting than having to spend more than 3-minutes in one of these clubs. This demographic is not looking for a party -they're seeking a means of bolstering a false sense of importance. They want to be validated... Ugh.
I'm not saying they are bad people... They can't help it if they suffer from profound insecurity. Nevertheless, this false sense of glamour often compels novice operators to invest huge $$$ to attract this lovely audience. Big mistake... On the list of high liability nightclub demographics, this one ranks second. No thanks...
What is the nightclub failure rate and how is it defined?
Estimates are between 50 and 75%, but it's subjective... Nightclub failure is not always defined by absolute closure... It's also defined by poor attendance, low spending audiences, marginal cash flow performance, appearing in the Monday morning headlines, and barely being able to sustain one, to two nights of profitable business, which of course... Speaks for a number of present nightclubs.
One really good way to get a basic feel for this is to look around your local nightclub area... How many nightclubs do you see packed and profitable two or three nights a week? How many sit there empty until midnight or later? How many have closed? When was the last time you observed multiple nightclubs in your local district packed up by 10:00 PM with lineups?
I should mention that.... Nightclubs, no matter how poorly they're performing can usually generate enough income to keep the doors open, however this does not qualify as successful or profitable...
What do you mean by high cash flow or profitable?
I mean... You're not running a Kentucky Fried Chicken... You're open 3, to 4 hours night --> x 2 or 3 nights a week and... Generating in excess of $25,000 a week gross in a 3,500 sf space (for example). If you are squeaking by on say 10k, 5K or less a week, that falls into the category of 'marginal performance'. So a failure? It's subjective...
Really now people... You DO NOT assume the burden and high liability of a nightclub investment for boutique style cash flow performance!
So you're stating these nightclub revenues as fact?
No... There is no state or national agency that publicly releases nightclub monthly income statements, so I'm basing this particular statement on opinion and personal experience.
How much money can I really make in the nightclub business?
Many expect a generic answer to this question. For example, if I open X type of nightclub, play Y type of music and use X type of promotions, how much money can I make?
Doesn't work that way...
What you need to understand is, there is a positive correlation between cash flow and your grasp /interpretation of a social demographic in a given marketplace.
The somewhat more complicated part...
A market is not going to tell you what they WANT or what they're ready for. It is YOU (through interpreting the data correctly) whom must determine what this is.
Are you getting it?
This is what the nightclub business is REALLY all about. It is being or... Becoming an expert reader of people or more importantly social groups.
So what happens if I just go the music and DJ's route?
Then you're limiting your product offering to a single attribute, while canceling out the many other facets necessary to optimize everything from the stature of audience you'll attract, traffic flow, loyalty and above all... Cash flow performance.
OK really... How much money can nightclubs make?
We need to speak in ballparks /guestimates here...
In terms of gross sales, anywhere from $3,000, upwards to $60,000 a night or more in exceptionally large mega clubs. The average (guesstimated) gross income for a nightclub would be somewhere north of $7,500 a night and keep in mind... This average is based on the 10% actually making money.
The question most of you should really be asking is... How do I make money in the nightclub business? After all, there are a whole lot of nightclubs that make very little money and a larger bunch that go completely broke.
The truth is... A nightclub is in fact a gold mine
A gold mine with an astronomically high failure rate LOL. . . All joking aside though...
Contrary to what you may hear, there is no shortage of consumer cash for blazing hot product
Unequivocally... The cash is ALWAYS there for groundbreaking social entertainment experiences. The problem is... Most of you do not know how to create them... This is largely the result of a peripheral fixation on DJ's, promos and woofers, when in actuality... You should be immersing yourselves in the science of people, statistics, social relationships and evaluating the historically high singles rates.
Finally... Understanding how this knowledge can translate into premium audiences and searing profits.
Therefore... It is you that needs to become the real nightclub expert
Your ability to acquire a well beyond elementary grasp of your social entertainment consumer will determine concept, direction, product, success and ultimately... Profitability.
What does the nightclub industry really need to survive?
In short, a better understanding of people... Original thinkers... With original ideas... And coherent approaches to creating Immersive social experiences. That's where the money is...
But where do we find new ideas /nightclub concepts?
They don't ship in a box with a red bow... You don't find them glaring at you on a website... They're hatched through creative thinking, brainstorming and even focus groups. The realm of possibilities for social entertainment concepts are theoretically infinite.
The nightclub industries largest enemy is a linear thinking /stuck in the past mindset
Rather than study the endless, potential social demographics of today, and... Create concepts that appeal to these many demographics, far too many operators are trapped in a pseudo reality of dark rooms and freaky social atmospheres, largely driven by hacks of 1980's style operational philosophies.
Whatever man... I'm gonna smash them with woofers, blind them with lights, and drown them in booze
It is truly amazing HOW THICK this industry can be sometimes... This approach has failed to succeed with the (broader level masses) since the late 80's lolol Yet... So many nightclubs hopelessly continue to proceed with numerous variants of this retarded model. Here is a concept. Has it ever occurred to you that... Before you cook up your 5-star nightclub cuisine, it might... Just MIGHT be a wise idea to gain some understanding of your potential demographics?
Nah, I don't need to research... I follow nightclub trends... Gotta it all figured out
Translated... What you're really saying is that you don't know shit... Nightclub trends are worth their weight in dog turds. Seriously now...
For the intellectually lazy... Nightclub trends provide an illusionary sense of having a grip of what the (broad level spectrum) of social entertainment consumers really want. Have you any idea of just how challenging it is to interpret the social characteristics of a single marketplace, given its unique and complex nature? Nightclub trends are premised on logic that is inherently flawed. They suggest that what works in one market will, (through blind assumption) work in all markets.
This foolishly presumes that all nightclub demographics are pretty much the same across the nation or world for that matter.
Think for a moment... How could this possibly make sense?
A wise man once said...
Two percent of the people think... Three percent of the people think they think... And ninety-five percent of the people would rather die than think.
~ George Bernard Shaw
But trends are what magazines, websites, and experts keep fixating on!
Yes, they're such original thinkers... So let's have a good look at the premise of these so-called trends:
Anecdotes, which are framed in a way to appear as HEY LOOK... This is the cool new thing EVERYONE is doing! Quick, get on it... You're going to miss out!!!
Wow... A magazine or website made the claim so it must be true! OMG!
Let's learn how to think people...
Grand assertions such as this should invoke questions such as.... Can you provide statistical studies? Polling results of any sort? Peer reviewed research or observations? Do you have any evidence (beyond anecdotal) to validate the assertion that these so-called nightclub trends really provide an accurate snapshot of the social entertainment consumer?
Of course not and why? Because someone pulled that out of their ass...
The entire premise of nightclub trends and generic promos are based on a logical fallacy, termed the 'bandwagon effect' -a claim based on the assumption that the opinion of the majority is always valid: everyone is doing it, so you should too!
It's really dangerous stuff because many new startups will invest a great deal of faith into trends, rather than rock solid research. Six months after opening, they're calling me...
You want a real nightclub trend? One that will rock?
Figure out what does it for your specific audience and what it is they find fun, interesting, musically entertaining and socially engaging. That is your job as an entertainment provider and yes... It requires contemplation, observation and using your brain a little.
It's true... The nightclub business is premised on a great deal of blind assumption
In most cases... There is little research conducted... Zero statistical analysis... Zero fact finding study's... And consequently, very little understanding of the majority of markets they embark upon... This is why they end up with nutty, low spending audiences and generally empty in under a year...
You're over complicating the nightclub business!!
Am I ruining your fun? LOL
You want it simple? Ok... Location, DJ's, sound systems, bouncers, and promos... Is that easy enough for you? Oh yeah... And you need to learn elementary math and bookkeeping skills. Now... With this infinite wisdom... Run off into the sunset and go make your millions!
All joking aside though...
The nightclub business IS complicated...
You're entering into the vast, deep sea of sociology where you'll be expected as a (pro entertainment operator) to accommodate MANY different people with MANY different social demands. These people come in MANY shapes, sizes, ages, attitudes and cultures... In each social group is a unique combination of UNDERLYING needs. The road to cash flow is reliant on your ability to figure out what those needs are ;)
But I just want to bang woofers God damit!
I know.. I like doing that too :) Seriously, you'll have plenty of opportunity to immerse yourself in sound, lights and music, however your toys will be a lot more fun with a crowd and the profits to complement them.
And now you understand the nightclubbiz.com take on things...
Question everything... Assume nothing... Challenge conventional wisdom... Question the herd... Trust no opinion or statement unless it's backed with facts, clear logic or intellect... nightclubbiz.com is largely focused on the real science of social entertainment. Yes it TRULY is a science!
It's all about finding that magic formula, which combines people with concept. I am here for serious players who want to push a nightclub investment to the absolute maximum and I will not lie... It does take some real thinking!
And now for some genuine honesty... No need to read any further if:
I am not saying any of the above is necessarily bad... Just that I can no longer facilitate it :/
Wait... What happened to the professional looking website?
Nah... That's so not me. So I changed it back to text.
Let's do the really basic stuff first...
Ok... So it's likely you've observed endless mentions of things like location, business plans, sound systems, pour costs, liquor inventory, operating margins and so on...
It's all trivial at this point...
It's utterly useless information without a solid , underlying concept to back it with.
And the underlying concept is most often confused with...
An elementary grasp of peripheral attributes, such as decor, lights, sound and DJ's. Fun stuff but NOT a concept.
So why is there such a problem with nightclub concepts?
They require considerable amounts of thinking, vision and gut -something that appears to be a problem for a number of nightclub operators.
Make sure you understand...
Your underlying concept will be responsible for 80% of your cash flow --Your DJ's, lights and music will play an incremental part of that -not the soul reason why people are there, or... Why they commit to your venue week after week.
Which brings us to the real problem...
Much of our present nightclub industry continues trapped in the harbor of dark rooms, thrashing woofers and consequently... Limiting themselves to very tiny segments of today's, broader level demographics.
Yeah but, not all nightclubs are like that!!
Well... They are in some variation or another. Some more, some less perhaps, but fundamentally speaking, the same. For example, the core product offering in the majority of cases, is centered around the DJ, a promo, or a specific music style. Now repeat after me... THAT is NOT a concept.
It does not even qualify as a product, thus the majority of nightclubs have (in actuality) transformed into DJ Event Stages and the (here one night, gone the next) audiences associated with them.
DJ Event Stage versus nightclub
The differences should be evident, but here's a quick mention just in case. DJ Event Stages are exactly that... Virtually all focus is centered on DJ's... Little focus on demographic target, concept or vision... The entire model is based on a night-to-night, here and now moment... The majority of events are solely focused on DJ's and their associated music.
Therefore, these types of venues are more appropriately termed DJ Event Clubs because in terms of product offering, it's DJ's, DJ's, and more DJ's... In my opinion, these rooms can be an exercise in futility...
You'll spend 90% of your money and resources trying to fill the room with yet another transient group of people (DJ groupies).
Similar to a cult of personality, they follow their leader anywhere he/she goes. So in the majority of cases, you can't view these groupies as prospective future, high spending customers. They follow the DJ around like puppies and thus it's really... (Rent-a-DJ --- Rent-a-audience) for the night and dole out big $$$$
So this is bad?
Not bad... Just that... There is a disproportionate number of DJ Event Stages. How many more do we need? How about the LARGER, more profitable demographics being ignored?
So DJ's are not the most important thing?
It's not a question of whether DJ's are important or not -it's more an issue of how they're being utilized...
Ideally speaking, DJ's should be viewed as a component of the much larger social entertainment experience. Hedging the fate of your entire investment on DJ's is comparable to hedging the fate of your restaurant on the cook.
Nightclubs have a hard time understanding the bigger picture...
Listen up... The architecture of a highly profitable social experience is multi faceted. It hinges on a multitude of many small things you need to get just right and most nightclubs do not! They figure... I'll just hand over the club to promoters and DJ's... Make tons of cash... And be done with it! First of all, that rarely happens and secondly... That is NOT a nightclub operator -It's a caretaker!
If you're eyeballing nightclub investments, which churn out annual revenue of 5-million or more over a 3-year period, you'd better have a little more on your brain than DJ's... Start thinking like a real entertainment provider, rather than the imaginary sense of being one.
Is the nightclub buisness easy money?
If you know what you're doing YES and you can have a whole pile of fun doing it. If not... It may be the biggest mistake you've ever made ):
Remember Ice Las Vegas?
This was a nightclub reality TV show titled, The Club (filmed on location) at a club called Ice Las Vegas. Really nice looking build... The show does an OH SO WONDERFUL JOB of demonstrating what happens when you soak 10-million into a club... Have zero clue of what you're doing... Zero vision... No plan... No concept...
Hire super kewl promoters from LA... $25,000 a night DJ's... Spend like drunken sailors... And allow everyone, including your pet gerbil to run with the show.
Why most reality nightclub TV shows suck donkey nuts...
The Club was the only series worth watching -from an educational point of view anyway...
As for the other ones... 95% of the time, there is little, if ANYTHING remotely related to the REALITY of operating a nightclub at all! In general, it is some reality TV producers acid trip induced reality of life in a nightclub operation. Observe how the entire emphasis is focused on attitude... A false sense of importance... An illusory sense of prestige... A fictitious sense of being a boss...
And even funnier, the emphasis on certain crew /casts whom have accomplished NOTHING, while they parade around like superstars. And to think a number of people that watch these fiction based antics actually believe they have a grip on the real life nightclub business! Trust me... You WILL wake up from that dream...
Thinking of opening in a nightclub district?
I will never understand the reasoning behind this...
Seriously... Why would anyone want to be in one of these? Who would want to share their traffic, social atmosphere and profits with their neighbors? UGH... That's like sipping from a community drinking glass!
In a number of cases, the district encompasses a circuit of low-spenders and or (very young people), that in most cases, hop from club to club. Here's the really great part... They go out with say, $30 to spend. So... Peter's club gets $10... Paul's club gets $10... And when they finally make it to your nightclub... You might get the remaining $10. Shakes head... That is so demeaning!!
You and your neighbors all play the same silly music; use the same predictable DJ's, use the same promoters, and we SHARE like one big happy family. Can we all hold hands and sing Kumbaya too? lol
You give up control...
Forget about premium door charge /drink prices...
Your fellow nightclub neighbors, Peter, Paul and Kleetus establish these prices, so don't get any ideas about raising yours... Even if you're ambitious and work really hard to create a superior experience, you're wasting your time... The nightclub district audiences will almost ALWAYS gravitate to the club with FREE door charge and the CHEAPEST drinks.
So in most cases... You're Immersed in thrifty shopper heaven. Why not simply drop your nightclub in the nearest Wal-Mart?
And if a price war, vandalism or violence breaks out in the district?
Class case scenario, Kleetus your neighbor starts a price war... It attracts droves of undesirables... Violence and alcohol related abuses skyrocket... And after crushing pressure from the public and local law enforcement, the city kills the district or introduces super restrictive crowd, noise, loitering and liquor laws.
But Wait... You were playing by the rules!... Sorry sucker, your investment is toast... The city could care less about who instigated it... It's called political outrage and the city will do whatever is necessary to quell it... So think twice about districts. One most recent example of this can be observed in the article: Sydney lockout laws a 'sledgehammer' to nightlife.
Nightclub district equals --> Predetermined demographic
A couple of problems here... First, the district is (as a whole) is targeting a common demographic, which means all of you are reaching for the same piece of pie... The second problem is that IF you were to offer up a product capable of attracting (a higher end demographic), you've just nullified yourself... Demographic B will not enter an environment largely populated by demographic A.
Yeah but some nightclubs are really successful in districts
Granted, but they're the exception -not the rule. Generally they've been there for a very long time; are well capitalized... And dug in deep. You want to hedge your bets against that? Go right ahead...
So if not nightclub districts, then where?
I only do standalone locations... They can be in a strip mall, street corner, but preferably... A fully private location with parking. I WILL NOT tolerate neighbors! Just too many unnecessary liabilities. I have no interest in a sharing my traffic... It has to be my location, my concept and my indigenous following...
Yeah but a nightclub needs to be in a busy location
Utter nonsense... The claim is premised on the idea that people visit nightclubs on the merit of convenience and similar to seeking out the nearest variety store to buy a loaf of bread... It ALSO presumes that the quality of nightclub experience is universally the same, so on this blind premise... People will visit the nightclub that is conveniently located to them.
Not so... The shoppers seeking out a hot entertainment experience will travel up to 15, to 20-minutes from their home locations and often more. What should be abundantly evident to all of you, is that HOT nightclub social experiences are the 1% exception and NOT the 99% rule. This makes premium social experiences a HIGHLY sought after commodity in ALL marketplaces!
If you are the 1% in ANY given market, you will draw from MILES around.
Yeah but how about drinking and driving?
The effects of DUI are grossly over exaggerated and often used as an excuse for marginal traffic flow, when in actually it's the (result of shit product). There are numerous drinking establishments and drinking related events outside of nightclubs and life seems to be going forward for them.
The effects of stricter DUI laws peaked in the late 80's when they were first introduced... Since this time, (most responsible people) utilize numerous options, such as Taxi's, Uber, designated drivers, shuttles and so on as a means of transportation.
ALSO bear in mind that much of the reckless alcohol related behavior can be attributed to the stature of demographic a number of clubs just LOVE to attract ;) The real truth is, nightclubs are experts in seeking ways to rationalize their endless failings...
New nightclub operators do have a choice though...
As a new nightclub operator, you may enter this complacent harbor where you'll enjoy... Marginal profits, higher liabilities and the true essence of mediocrity. Alternatively.... You can grow a set of balls and sail out to sea where new demographics, new ideas and very lucrative opportunities are just waiting to be discovered.
Do nightclubs actually understand the product they're supposed to be selling?
One does wonder... Even as we speak, what are they doing? They're still trying to sell DJ's, woofers and childish gimmicks, rather than ideas, concepts and super kewl social experiences.
Do you understand the basic, underlying science of social entertainment?
Broken down, it's a composite mix of social behavior, sociology and behavioral science. You don't need formal degrees in these study's, but understanding them at a basic level can greatly assist in realizing your core objectives as a social entertainment operator.
Allow me to reiterate...
Beyond music, lighting and DJ's, your real objectives are to elicit a multitude of behavioral and social responses among a targeted social demographic group. There are a number of variables here -many of which need to be fine tuned to the unique characteristics of (the target audience). Getting these just right can be the difference between a modestly performing nightclub, and a highly disruptive entry into the marketplace.
What's the net result?
If you get the formula just right, you are now providing experiences, fun, memories and Immersive levels of social engagement. Congratulations... You have a real product and the loyal, high profit following to complement it.
And this is what people pay for...
Experiences, memories and a deep sense of social belonging. They pay for atmospheres rich in fun, romance, sex and a warm sense of social comfort. They're not going to pay you $50, to $300 a night and return week after week to hear DJ Wally Woofer Banger bash their brains out.
Wow that sounds really complicated... Does it really affect nightclub revenue that much?
Product that can engage an audience at the social level can be the difference between a $3,500 and... Upwards of $15,000 night (gross revenue) in a room of 300 people plus.
It can be the difference between people showing up at 9:30 PM or 12:00 midnight... It can be the difference between a party that gets off the ground by 10:30 PM or 1:00 AM. It can be the difference between 1-night a week or 3, to 4 nights a week of profitable business.
15K? Woah... ARE YOU SERIOUS?!!!
Of course I'm serious... That is on the high side, but very possible... The math should not be that difficult to process. 300 people capacity... Even with an uber conservative turnover rate of say 35%, that's a total throughput of about 400 people, spending about $36.50 each. That might be including or not including a door charge. The net is a little more difficult to calculate, since it's largely dependent on what your labor and liquor costs are, which vary considerably based on state, province or country for that matter.
So this means I need a super big nightclub startup budget!!!!
It does not mean that at all. Capital does not equate to concept...
Look... A while back, I accepted a management consultant gig in a club with little more than 300k dumped into it, in a market of 28,000 people...
Was one of the most profitable clubs I ever worked. Had a rock solid, 4-night week. There's no real mystery to it... We identified a money demographic --> Created the concept to attract them --> Invested considerable resources into creating an experience /brand that was consistant week, after week.
Here's the funny part
When you deviate outside of the herd, you get the typical (AHAHAH THAT WILL NEVER WORK)... You'll NEVER attract that demographic LOL, from the other sheep and lemmings. Shrugs... Guess who had the last laugh? I can't emphasize enough people... You need to be a self thinker to have a hope and prayer in this business. If you're susceptible to others making up your mind for you, just forget about the nightclub business right now.
Yeah but the very nature of nightclubs is here today... Gone tomorrow
No... That is the way you people create them. You load up the club with sound, lights, frivolous gimmicks, topped off with a model that consists of little more than short term blitz... That's cheap, shit fuel... You have no concept... You serve NO meaningful social purpose!
You'll be limping down the road in a little under 6-months... The problem is NOT the nightclubs -It's the operators disconnect with the larger social masses and thus the absence of ideas and concepts to attract them.
So we don't need a BIG gigantic space?
Nope... I mean, theoretically... If your market can support a 20,000 sf facility great, but size has nothing to do with success, although I personally prefer spaces of 3,000, to 6,000 sf. The real magic is identifying the right audience, creating the concept, and securing their loyalty week after week.
Well if it's that easy, why don't more nightclubs do this?
I never said it was easy...
The problem is... Most entertainment operators cannot wrap their minds around the difference between the (actual physical nightclub) and the intangible social experience they need to associate with it. Much of the (intangible social experience) is often confused or even replaced with multi million dollar decor schemes, lame hype, DJ's, and a general approach to social entertainment, which appears to have originated from an adolescent mind.
Ok but... Don't social experiences occur naturally in a nightclub?
Yes and no. Much of what occurs socially in a nightclub is reliant on the environment you've created... Your astute understanding of your target demographic... And the ability of your underlying concept to stimulate a fun, sexy, highly social atmosphere.
Sadly... This is something MANY nightclubs abysmally fail the grade at. People WANT TO MEET other people and they want YOU and your atmosphere to make that easy for them! Have a really good look... Most nightclub atmospheres are actually crude, intimidating, obnoxious, anti social, null, void and filled to the brim with phony baloney... This is why 90% of the big money singles demographics avoid them like the plague.
Yeah but not everyone goes to a nightclub to meet people
No they do not... So let's have a real good look at those clubs... The people they attract... And the types of activities they're engaged in. You want that? You think you can make money on that? Be my guest...
Yes but... There is still a market for woofer banging rooms and freaky social atmospheres
Sure there is... And similarly, a market for greasy food as well. There has and always will be, but... Would you go as far as assuming this cuisine accurately reflects the demands of today's broader level restaurant consumer?
And this is why the nightclub failure rate is so high
Many so-called nightclub operators have no real concept, target or vision. They haven't invested an iota of research into their demographic breakdown by numbers, class, income or socioeconomic status. The business model or vision so to speak, is largely premised on... Hit... Miss... And copy whatever everyone else is doing. Oy vey...
Where is the real money in nightclubs?
Let's begin by where it's not... It's not drug induced zombie party's with thrashing woofers and epileptic light shows... You need to create an atmosphere with purpose and it better be a social purpose. The 2017 social entertainment marketplace is gargantuan with an expansive range of demographics -many of which are VERY lucrative.
Look beyond traditional, low spending, late night audiences
Here are some clues...
Wake up nightclub business!
The landscape has changed... The opportunities endless... And the prospects for high cash flow never better. THINK BIG... THINK BIGGER... THINK CONCEPTS.... The industry as a whole seriously needs to GROW the F UP!
And here we have the Baby Boomer demographics, which again... The nightclub industry is utterly oblivious to. Here is a quick synopsis...
WTF!!! Older people?
Hold on a second though...
Boomers represent 44% of the US population, and their buying power is considerable: as of now, theyre projected to hold 70% of US disposable income and buy 49% of total consumer-packaged goods. Those aged 50 and older spend nearly $7 billion per year online.
One in 10 baby boomers were divorced in the early 1990s, a rate that has more than doubled since then, according to a 2012 study by the Department of Sociology at Bowling Green State University.
Think about it...
The above demographic groups have cash /disposable income /credit cards and they SPEND!
So why in God's name would anyone bother with the nickel and dime 4 percenters? Yeah... Really kewl, thankless people that spend next to NOTHING and then shit on you the next day on a site like Yelp. You want somma dat?
But nightclubs are for young, low spending audiences
Many nightclub operators are such linear thinkers... They proceed in a straight, conventional, idealistic straight line and could never imagine deviating from it lol... Really though... This is the utter drivel you've been indoctrinated with... The dogma that the sheep blindly believe and yes... The nightclub business is 80% premised on dogma...
In 2017, the nightclub industry should be be capturing ( 25% rather than 4%) of today's social entertainment consumer. The failure rate should be about 15%, rather than almost 80% AND a sizable number of 2017 nightclubs should be securing lucrative audiences of 30, to 50 years of age, which is WHERE THE MONEY IS!
Instead, many nightclubs continue to crash and burn, while learning absolutely nothing from their litany of mistakes. But then again... This is a business where a sizable number of the participants are more interested in looking kewl, than actually making money lol
Yeah but people over 25 don't go out anymore
With divorce and separation rates averaging over 50% in many markets? LOL Are you seriously kidding me?
It not that they won't go out... It's the shitty ass atmospheres you people keep offering up. It's like a beans and wieners restaurant complaining that... No one spends any more than $5 on average. If you want money spenders, forgo your beans and wieners and start serving up some REAL cuisine!
But seriously... Is there still money in the nightclub business?
Of course there is... Demand for 'quality' social entertainment has never been higher and if that were not the case, you would not observe the rapid proliferation of general bars, blues bars, grunge bars, karaoke bars, live entertainment bars, comedy bars, interactive murder mystery themes and numerous other social venues (outside of nightclubs) that sustain VERY consistent followings of PROFITABLE consumers.
So how about the DJ's, booze, woofers and all the really kewl stuff?
Just forget about all that for right now... Ok, please?
They're small nuts and bolts details, which represent a VERY small part of the broader level equation. They're peripheral attributes and should be viewed as such. Don't believe me? Better take another glance at that nightclub failure rate there Amigo...
Nobody spends HUGE money over a sustained period of time for DJ's, lights and woofers. It's like trying to sell the market a nothing burger. You might get away with it a few times... You are NOT building a sustainable, multi million dollar business model on it.
I'm not your general purpose nightclub consultant... I'm interested in assisting clients with the real heavy lifting, which is identifying the most profitable demographic and then working with them on formulating /developing the concept to capture it.
I achieve most of this thorough conceptual brainstorming -one-to-one, or as a group. So... I assume the role of lead conceptual developer, consultant and group facilitator (if conceptualizing is carried out with multiple partners).
Approaching a new marketplace is like trying to decode a jigsaw puzzle, in that each city, town or district encompasses a vast combination of unique demographics -many of which you did not even know existed. Therefore, I like to harness the collective power of multiple minds in the brainstorming sessions when, or if possible.
The trick is perception...
The discovery process is one thing, but accurately interpreting the findings can be entirely another. Let's say we've identified multiple targets... Which one is the most advantageous, lowest liability and most profitable?
Let's minimize our liability
The nightclub industry has a horrible habit of pursuing PROVEN, high liability audiences. You will not attract investors this way... Get smart and let some other idiot pursue those crowds... 90% of the problems in nightclubs are NOT because they inherently attract those people, but because nightclub operators are insistent on creating atmospheres that draw them like a magnet! Think like a business person -not a punk...
The good news and the bad...
If you get the above parts right, you may unlock the combination to success and many millions in revenue could be yours. If you do not... You may end up like 75% of botched nightclub attempts.
And this is why you work with me
Can I 100% guarantee you'll get it right? Well of course not...
But due to spending my entire life immersed in social entertainment analysis and development, I can increase your odds of success substantially. I don't BS, exaggerate or deceive people...
I don't do this for the money...
I do it because I'm addicted to it. For me, there is nothing more provocative than cracking the mysteries of a new marketplace or... Dissecting a failed nightclub for the purpose of correcting it.
Dramatically increase your odds of procuring a nightclub investor
Investors are interested in solid plans, concepts and viable approaches to an entertainment marketplace. They're not interested in yet another boilerplate, nightclub business plan with plugged in numbers and grandiose cash flow projections. That is the work of a 12-year old... Ideas are sold on the merit of the concept -not business plans of fiction.
What are nightclub investors really looking for?
Investors are interested (first and foremost) in your ability to demonstrate that A), you've identified a truly profitable demographic and B), you've not only developed the concept necessary to capture it, but posses or can procure the operational means necessary to successfully carry it out.
Well, when do I need a nightclub business plan then?
When you're actually asked for one...
How much money does it take to start a nightclub?
$50,00, to 10-million. Average cost to start a nightclub is in the neighborhood of $300,000, to $500,000 range.
Starting a nightclub for under $100,000
Not a wise idea for a host of reasons... Procuring investors will be difficult for capital requests of this size, as it's hardly worth the trouble. If you insist on starting a nightclub for under $100,000, consider friends, family and a line of credit as your funding sources.
Recommended nightclub capital requirement
$300,000 minimum. Raise 100K of your own and leverage it to raise the additional 200K for example.
You need SOME of your own cash before you sit down at the table... It is VERY unlikely ANYONE is going to provide you 100% unsecured funding, otherwise known as a 100% unsecured cash loan. Not gonna happen...
But investors are no longer investing in nightclubs!!!
Sure they will... You people need to start pitching concepts that actually make sense and that actually make money, rather than the dog doodoo, junk nightclub proposals I've seen (most notably throughout the past 5-years).
You need to convince a lender that you are not opening yet another moronic dance club, in some nightclub district that will sit idle until midnight, and then... Fill with drug induced zombies that (outside of door charge), don't spend a dime. And of course, the added bonus of a potential drug bust... Violent incidents... Endless visits from the local police force... Noise complaints..
Embarrassing headlines... And threatening phone calls from city officials... Gee, I wonder why investors will no longer touch these types of offerings with a 10-foot pole? Do raise your hand if you know the answer...
With a super high failure rate... How do I convince nightclub investors to fund me?
Ideally speaking? AVOID pitching an offering that appears as the stereotypical nightclub, such as the example mentioned in the above paragraph. The problem with many nightclub investment pitches, is they fail to articulate a meaningful vision, or direction for that matter. This is why the majority fail to make the sell.
How do you work with clients?
It's really up to them in terms of where they want to take the consult. The first consult generally touches on everything from the consideration of opening a nightclub, to numerous (sub discussions) on a variety of issues -largely determined by the ones most important to the client.
If we get to the point of approaching a marketplace, this is where I like to begin...
What I won't do...
I won't handhold you through the obvious facets of a nightclub operation... Numerous other nightclub related sites already do a wonderful job of playing the role of Captain Obvious... Why would you pay for that for?
What I will do...
- Work with you in developing out of the box social entertainment concepts.
- We'll work together in identifying your potential target demographics. Once we determine a target, we can begin brainstorming approaches, ideas and concepts to facilitate this demographic.
- And of course, I work you to get it implemented, funded, operational and profitable.
- Guide you though the myriad of twists, turns and potential gotcha's that many startups blow right by at 90 MPH.
- I can't quite read the future, but... My ability to anticipate future events on the premise of instinct is exceptionally refined -especially in social atmospheres /marketplaces.
- I will disagree with you and vehemently so if I feel it's necessary, but provide lucid, intelligent, well thought out justifications.
- You want a nightclub in a can? Most of the other sites offer exactly that.
- You want a serious shot at a profitable nightclub, you work with me.
You never mentioned your experience with staffing, management, lights, music, DJ's, etc.
Endless... Potentially infinite. That is the super easy part boys and girls... No one loves the nuts and bolts of a nightclub startup more than I do... Lights, sound gear, AC units, power requirements, building codes, staffing, DJ's, music selection, yeah I LOVE IT! But discipline is key here...
If you fixate too much on the nuts and bolts aspects of the club BEFORE determining a concept.... You end up off the road and in the weeds. Concept THEN nuts and bolts.
Help! I have a failing nightclub!
Same rule applies... If you're looking for advice, such as... You need more gimmicks, 40-year old promotions and this new trend everyone is using... You PAY the other sites for penis class advice like that. You want to problem-solve a failed nightclub, based on a true, forensic breakdown of what has actually gone wrong and brainstorm objective, viable approaches to recovery... You work with me.
Remember... Very few problems /failures in this business are EVER SOLVED with Scotch Tape, thumbtacks, promos and gimmicks.
Get the difference?
One throws generic bags of tricks and fairy dust at your problems -I identify the actual problem and solve it...
Try a live brainstorming session with me
Limited time offer --> $49.95 when paying with bitcoin
Contact me here with questions or a purchase request
More misc questions and answers
Can you be a little clearer on the payment options?
You simply contact me with the payment method you'd like to use. I will send you a direct payment request. All major credit cards and Paypal are accepted for my fee of $69.95. I recently started accepting bitcoin as well (very nice for international clients) and a limited time offer of $49.95 for those of you wanting to pay by bitcoin.
All you need to do is tell me what payment option you'll like to use.
How many nightclubs have you owned, consulted, etc?
Hundreds! Thousands? 10's of thousands? LOL
This is always a funny question because the resulting claims are always arbitrary and more importantly, absent of any means to verify them. Perhaps the most outlandish claim I've encountered was a nightclub consultant claiming he's owned /consulted over 300 nightclubs!
Uh... You'd need to be alive for like 400 years, give or take? LOL... Ok so here is the the real problem... Listen up y'all...
Without attaching names, locations, proof of ownership, monthly income statements, P&L's, and tax returns to all of these wonderful success stories, well... They're just that... Stories. I am not saying they didn't happen, but in the absence of factual, verifiable evidence, how do we qualify them?
Do number of owned /consulted clubs really mean anything?
For all intents and purposes, no...
Similar to art for example, we don't qualify renowned artists based on the shear volume of paintings they've completed, but rather their ability to emotionally move people; be it one painting or one hundred. Similarly, creating truly, high performance nightclub concepts is a composite mix of science, art and abstract reasoning skills. It is NOT a cookie-cutter, linear, or a fundamentally routine process.
I know of many that will argue that HEY!!!! I know someone that claims they owned and consulted 500 nightclubs, so OBVIOUSLY they MUST be an expert.
In case it's not obvious, the above assumption is based on circular reasoning...
Because... It could also mean they've operated 500 shitty nightclubs. It could also be that they rely on a cookie-cutter operational philosophy. It could also be complete BS. It's like saying... I've been driving a car for 30 years, so on this premise... Well OF COURSE I'd qualify to race in the Indianapolis 500!
Therefore... (#of nightclubs owned) really has very little to do with creative thinking, inductive reasoning, or abstract reasoning aptitude, which are the entry level skills necessary to creatively brainstorm in this arena. I am not entirely discounting hands-on experience -just pointing out that it is by no means an (automatic qualifier) of anything, really.
WAIT! You said you've completed 16,000 live consults to date!
Yes I did...
But I did NOT frame it in a manner, which leads the reader to believe I have (consulted 16,000 nightclubs). To assert this claim would be disingenuous and intellectually dishonest...
The bulk of those consults stem from a broad range of general inquiries on nightclub investments... Others that need help with a specific issue... And current nightclub operators seeking perspective, again... On a single issue. The truth is... Less than 10% of my live consults result in (full blown) consulting gigs, with a duration of six months or more.
This is largely because very few startups will successfully secure the funding requirement, and the vast amount of startups and current nightclubs are not even aware of nightclub consulting services. So... (# of consulted /owned nightclubs) is, in actuality, a subjective term that is frequently misused as a means of over inflating ones scope of social entertainment intelligence.
So I have addressed the question of background differently
Rather than bombard you with endless success stories, buzz terms and claims that are (impossible to verify), I talk about what I do and how I approach the social entertainment landscape in extended detail.
Why is this website so plain and unprofessional looking?
It's not unprofessional looking... I am sending a very clear message and it's this: I am targeting a client demographic serious about developing high performance nightclub concepts. That is who I want... That is who I work best with.
I am not interested in those seeking a way to open a nightclub in 10-steps or less, or that want everything for free... I can't help those people and besides... There are sufficient numbers of other nightclub websites that more than adequately facilitate this group.
It's no different than... Why do we enforce a dress code?... Avoid certain types of music?... Charge a high cover... Never offer cheap drinks? Because our nightclub is targeting a specific demographic, while discouraging certain other ones ;)
Why are you now using a Gmail address?
I gave up on domain based mail... Gmail now makes it almost impossible to send to them, without complying with an endless litany of requirements. And 30% of my replies to gmail users were landing in the junk folder.
I found a BIG glaring typographical, grammatical or structural error!
Yeah... That happens when you create documents of this size and are continuously editing them. If it's really bad, send it to the above address and I'll correct it.
You said things I disagree with!!!
Yes that's possible. The truth is, the nightclub business is 90% philosophical approach. The remaining 10% would be obvious fundamentals most of us agree on. The nightclub industry is not like real-estate or financial markets where we are guided by well documented, indisputable facts, statistics and real-time performance reports.
Much of what is claimed in our industry is generally anecdotal in nature and therefore subject to debate, perspective and personal experience. Some of the claims are downright outlandish, while others (just on the merit of logical reasoning) make sense. Therefore, good deductive and abstract reasoning skills are helpful in separating claims or philosophies that make sense, and others that (in many cases) are the embodiment of idiocy.
What if I really like what you do and want you to be a part of my business venture?
Then you'll take me on as your CVO (Chief Visionary Officer) See what that is here. Or in a management consultant capacity, or... Just use my services à la carte. At very least, it means I may speak to you once... And at most, it means you, myself and your team will be working closely together. Most can determine if I am a good fit for their project within the initial consultation.
What if I don't like you?
So...? Lot's of people don't like me. What do I look like? Freddy the friend maker? lol
All jokes aside... Hopefully, you get something out of this site or a live consultation. If not, I'll refund your fee. The idea here is to make it easy for new or existing nightclub operators to access my services with zero retainer fees or ambiguous, complicated, long term commitments.
You sound like you work only with large nightclub startups
Sometimes... But the majority of new startups, or distressed nightclubs I work with are small, to medium class operations. Large 20k, 30k, or 50k sf clubs represent a tiny percentage of our industry and corporate backed nightclubs are even more rare.
What if I want to call you on a normal landline or cell number
What'sApp or iTalk is better because it goes through your local WiFi or cell data system. It's pure VOIP... It's just WAY more reliable and crystal clear. I can't stand using the cellular system... It's unreliable, shitty sounding and insecure.
What is the primary objective of nightclubbiz.com?
First and foremost to work with like-minded individuals interested in creating highly disruptive nightclub concepts, rather than yet... Another dull, boring, pedantic woofer slamming, null brained atmosphere. If it's my club... I don't share my traffic, nights or profits with anyone. If I enter a market, what's mine is mine... I shoot to win... I target an audience and I take it captive.
Let the other clubs fight to capture their minuscule share of modest spenders, bread crumbs, nickels and the odd bone thrown to them. I am not doing that.
So you're saying you can create concepts that will disrupt any nightclub market?
Not quite... While 90% of markets encompass untapped, multiple, higher dollar demographics, there are a few that do not.
We term these, 'null' marketplaces. Although few and far between, it basically means that due to a less than stellar economic climate, the consumer and thus potential does not exist for high profit nightclub concepts. To avoid wasting time and money, I assist clients in ruling out certain districts or markets quickly. There is absolutely no point in entering a market devoid of disposable income.
There's a bit of navigating to do here... Some markets look ripe for a high performance entertainment offering, but careful... Some things are not as they appear :/ And this is EXACTLY why you work with me... These are the icebergs I help you navigate around.
What else do you do?
Rarely a moment of the day goes by when I'm not contemplating or studying something nightclub related. If not, I am engrossed in news, politics, geo politics, international affairs, foreign policy and philosophy. I bet I sound really boring for a nightclub geek lol
I host the DJ Dave Live show...
This started out as a virtual nightclub experiment and got real traction with the female audience. As of now, the DJ Dave Live Show attracts females tuned in from 44 different countries. There are a few voice samples from the show posted as well... The 'Romantic Intro' does a fairly good job of explaining the DJ Dave Live show, but... Males might not want to listen to that lol
WTF?! Slow Jams?
How many times must I repeat it... Whether I am directly entertaining, or in custody of a nightclub operation, I attack markets and audiences that no one else can or will... How many entertainers do you know that can capture an 86% female audience and maintain their undivided attention for 4-hours or more on Internet radio of all things!?
How about get them hot... Steamy... And highly aroused? How about make them laugh? In theory... If I were to transfer this product and audience into a physical nightclub, I'd likely generate more revenue in a night than the combined total of you on the block.
All jokes aside... The DJ Dave Live Show concept should be obvious to you... It's a mix of romance, eroticism and sensuality. The concept (in this case) is packaged up and presented in a way that accommodates the more intimate desires of a female audience, using a select combo of music and talk. You don't make money by trying to fit in with the sheep...
And THIS is what I do!
I am a social entertainment geek....
I identify premium demographics and custom create experiences designed to attract them.
The lab of ideas, experiments and trial runs...
I am continuously seeking ways to better understand socioeconomic Groups (well outside of conventional nightclub demographics), while experimenting with concepts to appeal to them -not just in the physical nightclub, but now in the Virtual Nightclub as well.
One research and development project, I've been leading for 5-years examines the viability of Virtual Nightclubs / virtual social atmospheres. Have a look: http://immersivelabsgroup.com/
What is your political stripe?
Not liberal, nor conservative... That is far too confining for me. I am an objectivist. In short, it means I exist in a realm where facts, reality and logical reasoning take precedent over emotion, doctrine, political correctness or convention.
I am an INTJ. You can learn a great deal about me here.
More questions? Contact me here