Contractors Success Story – How I bought a country pub, and how you can (2)

Contractors Success Story
Contractors Success Story

Contractors Success Story

We got this contractors success story when Steve Marquis wrote asking us to unsubscribe him because he left the industry and now runs a pub. We asked him all about it and here‘s what he told us.

Pubs Sell Quickly

It was incredible how fast pubs are bought and sold, no sooner were they on the market than they are sold! You really need some ready cash to purchase a pub.

We produced a draft business plan and raised the appropriate capital after we found the pub we were looking for and snapped it up. Then we were lucky. We got the details through an agencies web site before approval, so we got in early and got a result.

The purchase dragged on and we moved in to a virtually closed business. In many ways that was a perfect start! The only way was up and with a fiercely loyal group of regulars we have quickly recovered the wet trade. We are regularly beating previous turnover records.

Each day brings a new set of challenges. We started in the early days (seems like ages but its only 4.5 months) with very little operable equipment and have now replaced almost all of it. The primary concentration was on the quality of the product. folk will put up with the old decor if it is worth coming for the booze!

CAMRA Visits

I think we’ve succeeded as we have had good CAMRA visits ( and we had a wine tasting on the basis of letting the customers choose their wine list – 26 happily smashed customers and staff, free wine from the suppliers and an acceptable wine list to boot!

We are always looking for ideas to increase foot fall so we contacted the county council who provide recycling and got free glass and paper recycling into an unused space in the car park. This has had he added benefit of considerably reducing my trade waste bill and gives the lads a green excuse to come down for a pint!

Merchandising is an interesting part of the business, I like the subliminal and it seems to work well as people do seem to buy with their eyes.

We try and keep one evening and the following day clear a week for time off.

Succeeded Three Times

So far we have succeeded three times. Time off is quite rare as we try to work on developing the business and improve the property. Hours are overly long during this time too. It’s the same as the hump you get starting a major project and it will calm down later this year (I hope :).

Hours are longer but then I’m home every night. I see much more of the family because it involves all of us. I get to see the school efforts of my youngest as I’m not out of the country or too far away.

The money isn’t quite as good yet but that will improve. The only rat race I’m in is one of my own making. I’m tired (but I always was – and it should ease up) and happy (and latterly I usually wasn’t)!

If you think you might like to try it yourself, let me know and we can have a chat about it in more detail. There’s some good stuff to know on supplier management/negotiation that I’d sooner share in conversation. Also, there are several routes into the industry some of which you are best avoidto .


Contact Details

Steve Marquis

The Blue Bell Inn
Rhosesmor Road
Tel: 07010 700072
Fax: 07010 700073
Bar: 01352 780309
We can be found here –>

If you have managed to get out of the industry and now do something else, please tell us about it. We might be able to give you some free publicity.

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