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    7 Replies Latest reply on Dec 27, 2007 4:38 AM by agrim1

    Looking for sales data by industry

    agrim1 Newbie
      I am putting together a business plan to start a new bar in a northern suburb of Chicago. I am having trouble finding reliable data to backup my sales prediction. Would anyone know of any reliable sources where I can find some sales data by industry and by geographic location for a Bar / Tavern? Free or resonably prices sources would be preferred.

      Thank you
        • Re: Looking for sales data by industry
          CorpCons08 Ranger
          Can you provide us with some more details on this project?
          Do you have a background in the bar/tavern industry?
          What resources do you have available to you for this project?
          Are you going to have a business partner or are you doing this alone?
          How familiar are you with the Chicago area?

            • Re: Looking for sales data by industry
              agrim1 Newbie
              I am familiar with the Chicago area, I have been here for a few years, my wife grew up here. We are doing this by ourselves, at present we do not have a partner. Although I do not have an experience in this industry, we have some unique ideas. I just need some help with sales data for bars in this geographic location.
                • Re: Looking for sales data by industry
                  Lighthouse24 Ranger

                  Most cities have a Tavern Owner's Association or trade group, but I don't see one in my directory for Chicago (that's amazing since it there are probably more great little bars there than almost any other city in the country!). The most reliable data for the specific area you're planning for will be the alcohol suppliers and distributors with whom you'd be doing business -- because it's truly in their best interest to help you plan and estimate sales accurately.

                  Perhaps surprisingly, the tobacco industry also has a wealth of data on tavern revenues, and much of that data has been published on the web -- because they are trying to show how smoking bans that are being instituted throughout the nation are driving liquor sales down and bars out of business. I'm not sure how relevant that data would be for you . . . it's just another source/idea.

                  Hope this helps. Best wishes.
              • Re: Looking for sales data by industry
                LUCKIEST Guide
                agrim, I am a SCORE Counselor, who can help you with your business plan.
                I know a lot about Chicago and how bars operate. You can email me at " "
                Hope the following help, LUCKIEST
                h3. 6 Steps to Small Business Success

                1. Start Smart
                2. Plan Ahead
                3. Set up Systems
                4. Seek out Sales
                5. Aim for Growth
                6. Leverage Opportunities



                1. Start Smart.
                Identify a niche. Don't compete to be the lowest cost provider. Look
                for what makes your product or service unique and adds a special value
                for the client and charge for that value. Every business has many
                facets. Start with what you know and like; start a business that has
                meaning to you. Keep in mind that we don't know what the future holds,
                many of the jobs and businesses of tomorrow don't exist today. You can
                create your own success.


                Now is the time to dream. To start smart, you should like the idea of
                the business. The way to earn a good income and build wealth is by
                serving clients well, making their life better in some way-it's more
                than filling a need in the marketplace. To succeed you want to test the
                idea to make sure your potential clients like the idea too. Test your

                2. Plan Ahead.
                People often ask me why bother with a business plan? Look at the
                lottery as an example. You may get lucky and get the winning ticket,
                but the odds are against you when you rely on random chance. I'm a risk
                taker...but not that much, minimize the risk of going into business and
                maximize your potential for success. Take the time to write a plan of
                how you get from point A to point B. A plan gives you a clear future
                focus and increases your chances of success.


                The first rule of a start-up is put some of your own money in the
                business. As the owner you must be willing to capitalize the business.
                The second rule is put as little of your own money as possible in the
                business. Prepare your plan and look for funding for your business from
                multiple sources, which can include a business loan or business line of


                Don't go it alone. Plan ahead now to build your team. Your team may
                include a CPA and an attorney that you work with as needed. Add a
                mentor from your industry and get a SCORE mentor to help you plan for
                success. No one has all the answers. You get more ideas and information
                by building a success, support team that can help you plan ahead.

                3. Set up Systems.
                The most basic system every business should have is a good financial
                system. Ask yourself how am I going to generate enough income to
                support myself and my family. Begin here. Put together a personal
                budget, so you know what it costs you to live. Now, you can move on to
                the business budget and sales planning, so you can see how many sales
                you need to break even and make a profit. The start-up expense plan,
                operating budget and your accounting software are vital to your



                4. Seek out Sales.
                The daunting question is how do you go about seeking out your first
                sale. Recognize that since you don't have a big ad budget to be seen by
                everyone, you need to target a niche and get connected in your market
                community, be it local, regional or national. You need other people
                selling for you-not employees-goodwill referrals. Get out and talk to
                as many people as you can. Join organizations that would have clients
                for your product or service. Become a visible part of your market, and
                then ask for the sale. You begin the sales process with people that you
                know. Yes, it's okay to start with friends and family as your first
                customers, and then broaden from there.



                5. Aim for Growth.
                The basic tenant of creating a company is that you own the company. You
                are not just creating a job for yourself. It's less risk and less
                investment to get a job. Building a business is creating a company that
                is more than the job itself. Think about the future. How large do you
                want the company to be in terms of sales, net profit and employees?
                Your answer to each of these questions will influence how you grow.
                There are varying costs and profits associated with growth. It's
                important to make a deliberate choice early about how you want to grow
                your company.


                6. Leverage Opportunities.
                Good luck. Good fortune. Good timing. All play a part in business. As a
                business owner, be very clear about your core focus for the business
                and how it serves clients. Your core business is what pays the bills.
                Then, as an entrepreneur you are about opportunity. When you see a
                potential opportunity or stroke of luck measure it against your core
                business focus. Good fortune is great, when it matches your vision for
                the business. Always consider if a good opportunity is the right fit
                for your business. If something looks great, but it's not in sync with
                your long-term plan and budget, think carefully before committing your
                company's resources.
                • Re: Looking for sales data by industry
                  Emptypckts Newbie

                  Have you contacted your local suppliers to find out what other taverns in the Chicago suburbs are buying? This method may cost you a few lunches, but is well worth it. You say you have background in this type of business. So if Joe's Tavern buys X number of cases of beer every week. And X number of bottles of spirits and you should know how many shots are in a standard bottle. This should give you the data you need for your plan. And state in the plan that the numbers are from the local suppliers. Because a business plan is hypothetical no one expects hard data for sales forecasting.

                  When you invite the sales person out to lunch, tell them that it is just a get together so that you will know each other because and what products they offer. And that you will be a customer of their's soon. Then just pick their brains over lunch. Heck they may even pick up the tab.
                  Best wishes,