Mobile Mixologist: Mobile Mixologist is a lucrative career.
With reported average earnings statistically greater than a majority of college level graduates.
Because alcohol sales remain stable even in a tough economy, mixologist is often referred to as a recession-proof career.
For these reasons, the Mobile Mixologist business is competitive.
Some bartenders opt to improve their marketability and increase their incomes by starting a mixologist service business.
You don’t have to have a college degree in business to get started in your own mobile mixologist venture.
But you do need to be prepared to invest your skills, your time and some money into making your business successful.
Start by reading these steps for how to start a mixologist service business.
I like this idea a lot and am even considering doing it!
I have been to a lot of parties and weddings lately and noticed that having an “open bar” is getting rather popular.
In other words you can pay for someone to set up a small wet bar and distribute drinks to the party guests.
I know your thinking, NO WAY! Stay with me on this one.
I’ve seen small open bars get paid as much as $3000.00 for 4-5 hours of work! PLUS you get tips! O.K. you say, how do I get started?
1. Choose a Great Business Name
This is important because once you start advertising and work of mouth gets around.
You’ll have a hard time changing the name.
Something catchy or fun.
Or just go for something basic like AAA Mobile Mixologist Business.
It doesn’t matter, as long as you like it and potential clients and customers can remember it. (for more great ideas for starting your own business.)
2. Learn as much as you can.
There are several ways in which you can educate yourself in preparation for a successful bartending business venture.
- Schooling. Enroll in a bartending school, if you haven’t already.
- On the job training. Get a bartending job. Additionally, any hand-on experience you can accrue in the fields of customer service or hospitality is helpful.
- Business. You will need to understand the basics of running a small business, including accounting, bookkeeping, marketing and customer service. Take a couple of business classes at the local community college or business resource center, or check out some library books on the subject.
- Others’ experiences. You can learn a lot by speaking with other people who operate similar traveling bartender businesses. Use a phone book and make some calls.
3. Formulate a business plan.
Put it down on paper. It should cover everything about your business, including start-up capital, business expenses and projected income, personnel needs and marketing plan.
4. Licenses for a Business (Liquor, Catering, Business)
Be sure to see if you need a state license and a tax ID number. You more than likely will – do not skip this important step. You will also need to find out what the rules are or what licenses you need for serving liqueur. Contact your local alcohol beverage board to see what exactly you might need for the city/state you live in. You will probably need certification as well – so remember there is more to this than just saying “I’m open for business”. Alcohol can have serious liabilities. Cover your bases.
5. Supplies Mobile Bartender Business Started:
You’re going to need to either build a small bar or buy one from a furniture outlet. You can pick one up pretty cheap, check your local classifieds to see if someone might be selling one. You might check eBay too because there are cool, all in one bars that you can buy that can be broke down easily when the event is over. Going to start with a lot of equipment, think about what you’ll be hauling it all in. You’ll need some kind of trailer or large van. You’ll also need bottle openers, glasses, napkins, garnish supplies etc. Really think about WHAT need to get started and not what you want. You can always build on your business later.
6. Mixing Drinks and What to Wear
If you are not familiar with mixing drinks I recommend buying a book on it. You don’t need to know EVERY drink out there, just the basics. Once you have learned the basic drinks you can go out and slowly start purchasing your alcohol. This can be a little expensive at first, but you can always require a deposit from the client so you can purchase the alcohol up front. And remember, like i said earlier ANY business needs a license.
Once you have your license (and any bartending classes taken) squared away, wouldn’t a nice uniform look fantastic? I recommend wearing what the occasion calls for! If it is formal wear a cute altered tux of your choice. Get creative! You will get a lot more business from other guests attending the party if you look good!
7. Getting the Word Out About YOUR Mobile Bartender Business
Now for advertising. I recommend the phone book and classified ads (even though they are old fashioned!). A nice web-page would work too – and these days, if you don’t have a website… well, it just seems like you’re not really current . Go around to party and wedding shops and ask if you can leave a display of your business cards. I can say that this market is really small and you probably don’t have a lot of competition.
And do not forget the mighty power of social media. Create a business Facebook page for sure. Consider Twitter as well. And – Instagram. You’ll want to show all your gorgeous drink creations on your Instagram. Or even just some fun behind-the-scenes images of life as a mobile bartender.
This type of work is usually done on the weekends. Wouldn’t earning $1000.00 to $3000.00 in one weekend be wonderful?
8. Invest in bartending business supplies.
You do not have to get anything fancy, but you will need the following basics for starters:
- Portable bar. These come in a variety of sizes and styles, and at a wide range of price points.
- Business cards. You can purchase expensive cards from a print shop or make your own. The point is to get your name out there.
- Bartending tools. Speed pours, bottle openers, wine keys, coolers and garnish trays.
- A uniform. This is not a necessity, but is a good way to present a professional appearance to customers.
9. Create marketing materials.
Business cards, flyers and postcards are good start-up basics.
10. Market your traveling bartender service.
Be creative, and implement each and every avenue of marketing you possibly can.
- Place free ads on online classifieds sites.
- Purchase advertising blocks in local newspapers.
- Approach the people in charge of booking events at local venues and leave business cards with them.
- Call party planners, disc jockeys, caterers and other event professionals. Explain your bartending service business and ask for referrals.
- Search classifieds for people seeking a traveling bartender for their parties.
- Keep a running list of every professional you have spoken with in the hopes of getting referrals so that you can follow-up with them every couple of weeks and leave more business cards, if necessary.
- If buying or transporting a portable bar is not an option in the beginning, look into renting one, or ask clients if they have a table you could set up.