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How to Start a Venue Business

How to Start a Venue Business

Owning a venue business opens a door to countless opportunities, but it also requires doing a lot of work, investing large sums of money, and dealing with tedious permits. However, it is also liberating, as you can tweak the space and use it and rent it for an astoundingly diverse range of events as you create new contacts and quality business connections. It is also a competitive market, so it is crucial to understand how to start up your venue business.

Opening it Requires a Lot of Work

First of all, you have to find a perfect space for your venue business. The most ideal variant of this is if you found a house with a big backyard that has high walls erected all around it. Furthermore, you will have to go through a mountain of paperwork when it comes to permits and licenses.

Liquor license, permits that specify the maximum legal capacity of people, security systems, etc., are all “obstacles” before you open properly, not to account for the fact you will have to take a large bank loan or outside investment as a startup. This should not dissuade you from your entrepreneurial efforts, but it is much better to know what you are in store for before the entire process begins. It puts you in the right frame of mind.

Legal Matters

All these licenses and permits put you in a particularly stressful spot – you have a responsibility to uphold the law and you are responsible for everything that happens in your venue. Noise disturbances, going over maximum capacity, sale of alcohol to minors – these violations can lead to hefty fines and revocation of the business permits. This is why it is crucial to keep everything on paper, especially short-term binding contracts with your clients and other groups.

Fully Operational

From the day one, your venue has to be fully operational. This means you have to be stocked with food and drinks, with appropriate staff ready to commit to their duties. This sort of business gives you amazing opportunities to create firm and lasting business connections and collaborations with, for example, catering business or several local bands. It is a form of entrepreneurial symbiosis as you help each other grow.


As a newly opened venue, you need to take advantage of every marketing aspect. You will have to create and place advertisements on radio stations, in local outlets, newspapers, and community websites, not to mention the use of posters, fliers, and mailings.

Thankfully, the rise of social media gives you an opportunity to do a lot of marketing “heavy lifting” yourself, and for free. Use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to promote your venue and raise awareness about your presence without spending a dime. It is a legitimate form of marketing every savvy entrepreneur uses.

Interior Design

If you want to cover the wide variety of events, you need to favor functionality over idiosyncrasy when it comes to interior design. For example, eclectic furniture with baroque wallpapers is not appealing to CEOs of a programming firm who are looking for a minimalist modern space to have their annual party. Instead, you should put your effort into covering a variety of elements you can offer instead of a specific design.

Here’s another example: A private yard with one of those contemporary fiberglass swimming pools for more exotic parties opens up a lot of opportunities. Having a dedicated area that can be shifted from a dining room into a dancing floor, with a lot of wiggle room for adding details, adds to the longevity and versatility of your venue business.

If you put in the time and effort, and respect the unwritten rules of startups, you are well on your way to establishing a reliable and solid venue business. Soon enough, your schedule will be filled with weddings, receptions, musical performances, flea markets, and other vibrant events. Your venue is an ever changing canvas onto which you and your clients paint the most diverse sort of “landscapes”. It is a perfect kind of business for entrepreneurs with creative flair.

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by Lillian Connors // Lillian is a senior business consultant and the co-editor at She's mainly focused on business optimization and sustainable growth. In her leisure time, she likes to lose herself in a good book or drink a couple of hoppy pale ales.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.