At one time or another almost every aspiring businessman thinks they would like to open a coffee shop in the future. Usually someone is able to talk them out of it, but sometimes you find someone that is so committed to entering this highly competitive business that there is no stopping them. However, it often seems that few of these coffee visionaries consider what it actually takes to operate a successful coffee shop business. Many new coffee shop owners seem to obsess over things like the quality of the coffee they will be serving and the interior design of their store. While these are clearly important considerations, they’re only part of the business equation. As a matter of fact, many business owners and industry expert stress that things like pricing, menu planning, marketing and proper training can be just as important.
If you are thinking about starting your own coffee shop business, we have compiled a list of must-know tips from business owners, so you can be aware with the information you need to succeed in this business.
1. Create a good business plan
One of the first important steps you will take when opening your coffee shop business is to create a good business plan. This step spells out exactly what your business is, defines your customer base, exploring competitors, how it will be profitable, plans for growth and provides contingency plan and troubleshooting strategies to help achieving your goals.
2. Take the time to find the right location
To be successful, you’ll need a good location for your coffee shop business. You need something located in a place where people already gathered and a space that’s favorable to your goals. However, finding this perfect place won’t happen overnight, so you might want to research about the people and establishments nearby.
3. Create a solid floor plan
A floor plan is very important for a coffee shop business. You want your customers to have space to form a line, a seating area that is comfortable and employees to have the things they need within reach to quickly make a coffee.
4. Save money for your own expenses
Aside from the startup costs, don’t forget that all your time and energy will be spent on your new coffee business, a business that probably won’t be profitable in around 6 months. So, plan ahead of time. Make sure you set aside enough money to cover your personal necessities for at least 6 months.
5. Shop around for everything
Most of your time will be utilized in the planning and funding steps. While you work out finances, keep a list or spreadsheet of all the things you will need and compare prices. Get at least two prices for every product you buy to ensure you are getting a good deal. Take advantage of the internet and look for the best prices on your kitchen equipment and business furniture such as comfy chairs, coffee makers, coffee vending machine and espresso machines.
6. Start marketing before you open
If you start marketing the day you open your store, you are already behind. On opening day, you want people to be excited to come in. To do that, you need to start your marketing plan several months before you open your store. You need to continually network your business to maintain a connection to your area and to attract more customers.
7. Don’t just focus on the interior Design
Of course, you will stress over every small detail of your shop, from what paintings hang on the wall to the color of the walls, however, you shouldn’t neglect the outside design of your shop. You should also pay attention to the signage, landscaping, and exterior appearance because that is the first thing people will see. Some people decide whether or not to come in based on their first impression of the establishment, so you should also consider the exterior design.
By beautifying up your store, you will start to create a buzz in your area. People will start to wonder about your new shop. Everything you can do to attract the attention to your coffee shop can serve as a marketing tool for your business.