The moment you’ve been waiting for is finally here: You’re ready to open your very own bar. What lies ahead of you may seem scary, but it’s also an opportunity that can open many doors for you. You can start your own bar and make the most out of it by following these steps.

Define Your Bar Goals

The first thing you’ll have to do is clearly define your goals. If you’re not sure what they are yet, try picking a few that seem pretty attainable. For example, you might want to open a friendly neighborhood bar that serves great food, has a well-stocked beer and wine list, and is a great place to meet friends. You may not be able to fully achieve all of these at once, but you can certainly make some small steps towards reaching them. The key is remembering your aspirations as you go so you don’t lose focus.

Get Your Finances Together

bar can take a lot of money to open. You’ll need to think about what types of liquor you plan to buy, how much you’ll be paying your employees, how much you’ll spend on glasses and other bar supplies, what food you’ll be serving (if any), and what types of tables and chairs you’d like to use. You probably have a few different options when it comes to funding your bar, but it’s important to think hard when choosing banks, lines of credit, investors, and so on. You also need to consider how much revenue you think you’ll bring in over time.

Understand Local Laws

One of the most important things to remember is that each city and state has different laws when it comes to the sale and service of alcohol. Keep in mind that bars are typically not allowed to be open past 2:00 AM, and city-specific laws may limit the hours a bar can operate. It’s also good to hire people who have the right certification, even if it isn’t legally required because these people will likely know how to avoid policy violations. In Texas, for example, a TABC license is a good indicator that a person understands the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code.

Opening a bar takes work and you might feel overwhelmed at times, but don’t let that stop you. If you keep at it, you can establish your dream bar and find success along the way.