It's the dream of many Australians to leave the hustle and bustle of city life and buy a quaint and profitable country pub to run. It appeals to many different demographics, from young couples who want to work for themselves to older people who are looking for an active retirement. The key to success is finding the right pub that will suit your lifestyle and your capabilities. Here are three important things to consider before beginning the search for your new pub.
1. Location, location, location!
Like any business purchase, buying a pub involves finding the right location as well as the right pub. You'll need to find an area that both appeals to you as a place to live and set down roots in as well as an area that has enough people to sustain a profitable business.
For many people, this means buying a pub in a well-known tourist area that profits from the seasonal influx of visitors. For others, it may mean a rural location that services a large number of small villages and farming communities.
2. To renovate or not to renovate?
It may seem tempting to find a pub that is in need of renovation and restoration in order to minimise your initial outlay and build value for your new business. This is certainly a possibility, particularly for pubs that are heritage buildings and full of potential charm and character.
However, renovating can also be a financial gamble that you may want to avoid taking. Unlike residential properties, renovation doesn't directly correlate with increased value for commercial properties. The costs involved plus the loss of revenue while work takes place will all need to be recouped from your pub's profits, which may take months or even years.
It's also worth considering why the pub has become rundown. It may be because the business hasn't been profitable enough to provide the funds required. This could be due to poor management, or it could be due to declining trade because of the demographics of the people living in the area.
3. Is big really better?
Pubs come in many different shapes and sizes. It's important to figure out what size you can realistically manage before making a purchase. A large pub with multiple bars and dining rooms may seem like a more profitable option, but it will also involve significantly larger overheads and will require you to hire multiple staff members to keep it running smoothly.
For some people, this may not be a problem, and they may enjoy the busy atmosphere and the challenge of managing a team. If this sounds overwhelming, then a smaller pub which can be run by yourself and your partner with only a few extra staff members may be a better option.
Contact hotel brokers to learn about whether there are any pubs for sale that meet your requirements.