Private clubs are typically paid, membership-driven businesses. They provide a recreational outlet for those who can afford the membership. Examples include country clubs, swim clubs, dining establishments and athletic clubs. Starting a private club should follow the same basic process and considerations as starting any business, starting with a well-researched and documented business plan.
- Create a business plan
The business plan serves as a fluid road map to success. It is also be the presentation shown to sources of venture and working capital. Start by describing the business and its services in depth, including the personality of the club. Next, describe how you intend to deliver those services. Include staffing, inventory and equipment. In-depth research and information regarding location options, competition and the club's promotional plan are key. Potential investors want to see revenue and expense projections over a 3- to 5-year span as well as the details on how you plan to spend their investments. Create an executive summary highlighting the salient points to put at the front of the presentation.
- Search for investors
Search the Internet for hospitality industry venture capital to locate viable options for capital in exchange for a piece of the club. Traditional loans from banks and credit unions are also possible but can be difficult to obtain.
- Execute the business plan
Once you have the capital you need, begin to execute your plan. Start by securing the location and equipment. While setting up the private club, begin searching for and interviewing employees up to 2 months prior to the grand opening.
- Opening the private club
Invite associates, friends, family and others for a soft opening. This is a trial run to work out the kinks so that the club's true grand opening is flawless.