Business Lesson 7 of 7: How to Get Started Today

This is the final lesson, part 7 of a 7 part series about how to start your own bar, restaurant, or nightclub business in Japan.

Lesson7 of 7: Bar, Restaurant, Nightclub – How to Get Started Today!

Opening a business in Japan can be hard work, but if you follow the laws of the land and do your homework, it can be a very rewarding and fruitful experience.

I’ve covered a lot in this course, and have introduced you to some specific steps you can take to get your restaurant up and running. In addition, I’ve given you links to resources to learn more about regulations and conditions in your target area.
Here is a review of the major topics I covered:

Conduct thorough market research on the area in which you wish to open your restaurant. Know your target market and your competition. Talk to other business owners in the area to get a feel for the business environment in general.

Since there are many different types of restaurants in Japan, decide which type is best for you to develop, considering your interests, competition, resources, and budget. Research and consider buying restaurant franchise.

Take the time and effort to construct a solid, well-researched business plan. Follow the outline provided in Lesson 3, and seek the help of financial experts to help you create your financial projections.

Complete the necessary paperwork covered in Lesson 2. Remember, most of these forms are written in Japanese, so find a translator to help you if necessary. Prepare carefully for the required inspections. Be proactive if learning exactly what the inspectors are looking for.

Hire management and sales people for your restaurant carefully, remembering that they are the face of your business. How they represent your store will be a very important aspect of its success. Write and distribute a press release announcing your Grand Opening.

Plan a “Friends and Family” event and conduct a “Soft Opening” to give your staff valuable practice. Constantly monitor your competition – before and after you open your store. Keep up with the latest trends in order to stay on top.

And one last, very important thing: never underestimate the value of winning local Japanese people as resources and supporters. They understand the climate and culture, and can be very valuable to you for advice and guidance. Listen carefully to what they have to say, and be open to adjusting your plans accordingly.

With the information, tips, and guidance covered in this course, you are now well-equipped to open a successful restaurant in Japan. I wish you much success in your new venture!

Here’s a quick look back on the 7 lesson business series so you can review what you may have missed.

Here are some books worth reading about opening a bar, restaurant, or nightclub.


3 thoughts on “Business Lesson 7 of 7: How to Get Started Today

  1. This series was great. Props on Hab doing the homework and really going in depth on every aspect of the subject. I enjoy learning about Japanese culture, but most people just ignore the business aspect of it because either they don’t think about it because it is second nature, or they don’t care about it. So this is a new take on this aspect of the Japanese culture that doesn’t seem to get seen a lot outside of the business community. I’m curious too about the guys that have their own businesses that aren’t based in Japan, like yourself. Such as how it works with taxes living in Japan, but not having income based in Japan. Things of that nature. So if an American married to a Japanese woman living in Japan had a website, could he then not file taxes for that income in Japan? Do you get taxed U. S. and Japan or your business gets taxed in U. S. but your portion as income taxed in Japan? an article on this aspect of it could be very interesting to anyone who liked this series too I think, just because it’s a interesting and unique situation that could help someone out there who may end up there, from a person with a unique and experienced perception.

    Thanks for the posts. They remain as interesting as ever.

    -Ryan H.

  2. I’m glad you enjoyed the series!

    As for taxes, you should consult a professional for the best advice. That’s the reason I haven’t written an article about it. My income is mainly from America, and it stays in U.S. banks, and I have no Japanese bank account. I file taxes in the U.S. just as if I was living there. It sounds confusing because I live abroad, but you can think of it as a person getting a salary from a US company and direct deposits to a US bank but he or she travels around the world. I do everything through an accountant in the U.S.

    I have no Japan income so I don’t pay taxes in Japan. I went to the government office where you pay and talked to them about it, they said there’s nothing to pay since I have not earned anything in Japan. I don’t do business in Japan, but when I do I will file that income in Japan as well as the U.S. (as foreign earned income).

    You can search Google for “U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad” and “foreign earned income” for more information.

  3. Thanks for the thorough article. I’ve started to look into opening my own restaurant and this has given me enough information to dig in deeper about things. A great jumping off point. I’m thankful I’ve made a lot of friends in Japan, and a couple want to help me get started and work for me. So I feel like I’ve already got a head start on it.

    Do you have any particular resources for trying to figure out what your potential profits are? That part confuses me for creating a business plan. I do understand this is important as the information you gather will also help in figuring out the prices and pay rate of staff. Because I have no business experience, I am thinking about hiring someone to help me do this.

    Thanks again for the wonderful article.

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