A comedy club can be a lucrative business venture as watching live comedians is a favorite pastime of many, but it also takes a lot of work to make it successful.
Today, you’ll have to work even harder. Not only have the endless options for online entertainment had an impact on comedy clubs over the last decade, but the COVID-19 pandemic had an even greater one, as Variety reported not long after it began.
Of course, that’s not to say it isn’t doable. Increases the odds of running a successful comedy club by following these tips.
Know Your Competition
Before turning that dream of running a comedy club into a reality, start by visiting comedy clubs in your area to observe the comedians, the ambiance, scope out trends, and get an idea of prices for things like tickets, drinks, and food.
This will help you decide on pricing as you’ll need to keep your competition in mind when doing so as well as to consider policies on cancellations. The primary thing to remember is that it’s essential to stay current and provide a local hotspot that people will want to visit.
Understand the Costs
You’ll need a well-thought-out plan that includes all of your costs, from the start-up costs such as leasing the space, equipment, etc. to ongoing expenses. You’ll have staff that needs to be paid, licensing fees, and many other expenses, including the acts themselves. Individual talent varies greatly when it comes to charges but some have estimated that you’ll spend about 40 percent of your budget on the comedians themselves.
Quality talent is the biggest revenue producer so you don’t want to go too cheap. While booking agencies are an option, they also add to the cost as they take a slice from the talent’s pay, but by using an app to book a comedian with 5-star reviews you can find value and savings.
As they say, location is everything. Leasing or buying a space next to other entertainment venues like restaurants, bars, and clubs, is a great way to drive business.
You’ll also want to ensure that the venue is central, supported by good transportation links and that there is plenty of parking available. No matter how beautiful the building is, you won’t sell enough tickets if it’s difficult to get there and find a place to park.
A Website and Social Media
No business can go without a website – even your sister’s backyard wedding has one and it’s never been easier to create one yourself. Ideally, it should be search engine optimized so that people can find it easily, but the main things to include are basic contact information and directions, an event calendar with upcoming shows, performer biographies, and ticket prices. You should also provide a way for people to purchase tickets online. If you’ll be serving food, include a menu too.
Be sure to create social media pages as it’s one of the best tools for marketing a comedy club successfully. Use Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to keep followers in the loop sharing news about upcoming performers, specials, and other announcements. It’s also a great way to interact with fans and even run contests that can help create a buzz about your venue, providing an incentive for people to check it out.
Optimize Your Revenue Stream
Serving food is really a must as it helps to optimize your revenue stream while your customers can be entertained while dining all in one location. It’s really a win-win situation.
You might also sell t-shirts and other items with your club’s logo on it.
Create an Anti-Heckling Policy
If you want to attract and keep quality comedians you must have an anti-heckling policy that’s visible throughout the club, on your website, and announced before every show.
Never let hecklers run free as it ruins the comedian’s set and a good time for your other customers.