Imagine being the founder of a successful coffee shop recognized for its quality taste, authentic standards, and contribution to the appeal of its community. If you dream of opening your coffee shop but need help figuring out where to start, this article is definitely for you. Starting any new business involves uncertainty, risk, doubt, or fear. A coffee shop is no exception to this rule. However, the dream of owning a coffee shop can become a profitable reality by using the steps and tools necessary for success. Research and planning are necessary for any business. The following list of 20 steps provides insight, order, and direction on how to start a coffee shop.
A coffee shop can be done with the following 20 steps. The quality of time spent on each step determines the overall quality of your coffee shop foundation. Stay grounded and take your time.
20 Steps To Launch A Coffee-Shop
- Visualize the perfect coffee shop: Visualizing your perfect coffee shop is the most important step when you officially launch a coffee shop. To a skeptic of this strategy, this wastes precious time. Further investigation will prove that visualization is essential.
- Write your business plan: Writing a business plan is as important as following a road map for directions. If you need to know where you are and where you want to go, how are you going to get there and overcome all the obstacles? A business plan has answers.
- Find the right place: The location of a coffee shop is another vital element that can determine the overall success of your coffee shop. In addition to researching carts and kiosks, or renting space with another reputable business, do local market research.
- Hire an accountant: As a coffee shop owner, your duties will take up most of your time and attention, leaving you with no extra time to wear the other hats associated with running a business. Hire experts to do your work to save yourself any extra stress or mistakes.
- Obtain the necessary documents, licenses, and permits: When you get to this point, it’s time to write it all down formally. Check with your city/state for specific laws and regulations regarding required licenses and vendor licenses to conduct your business. It can also include a food handler’s license.
- Research on the coffee industry: While a coffee shop is known for providing peace, tranquility, and a place to conduct casual business, the coffee industry is serious. It must be respected by learning to dose, dispense and calibrate to industry standards.
- Set high standards: Understanding coffee industry standards gives insight into setting your standards for how to run your coffee shop. This standard is maintained by leading by example and training your employees to create a unified brand standard.
- Find the best suppliers: Finding the best suppliers, especially for your coffee shop, takes a lot of time and attention. Do you want to source your products locally or contact international suppliers? Find a source that is willing to follow your company’s mission and budget.
- Source of commercial equipment: Now, it’s time to find the right source to buy, rent, or lease your business equipment. You don’t need to invest in the latest technology with all the bells and whistles, but you do need reliable commercial quality that you can count on.
- Shop everything around: An important step to be aware of when looking for different suppliers in purchasing. Shopping around allows you to learn more about every aspect of the coffee shop industry, not to mention high-quality products at the best prices.
- Create a floor plan: Creating a cohesive floor plan is critical to the flow and organization of your customer experience. You want to invest quality time considering their transaction order and every detail that goes into purchasing and preparing each customer’s order.
- Design of internal/external aspects: This step allows you to “espresso” your uniqueness to the coffee shop industry. The design of the interior and exterior aspects of your shop provides an aesthetic message to your customers about who you are as a coffee brand and the quality and standard they can depend on.
- Get local help for financing: It doesn’t matter if you want to open a small or simple coffee shop, cart, or kiosk; you will still incur startup costs. Communicating with the community is a great way to get others involved in your brand development, creating allies and a support team.
- Save money for your expenses: In determining the total cost of running a coffee shop, paying staff, and other expenses, it’s important to remember to save for your living expenses. It may take some time before you can make a decent profit.
- Creating a menu: Finally, it’s time to stir up the frozen espresso mixes! Create a menu that is unique to your coffee shop but in line with the price and standards of the coffee industry. In addition to creating a variety of unique blends, incorporate traditional coffee drinks.
- Start marketing before opening: You’re almost ready to open your coffee shop; there are just a few more important details to cover, like letting people know you’re opening! It is vital to your opening day sales that you start marketing before opening day.
- Network: Networking is one of the greatest resources a new business has. Attending events, happy hours, meet and greets, and even simply telling everyone about your awesome new coffee shop and opening day is worth the time.
- Hire slowly: The hiring process is one of those steps that should be taken very slowly and seriously. Your staff represents your expansion and the brand you are building. You must take the time to hire friendly people who are skilled, consistent, and willing to meet coffee standards.
- Positive attitude: To guarantee the positive atmosphere of your coffee shop, you must set an example. Owning a business takes work. The tide is inevitable. What is required is to overcome the obstacles and challenges that arise by maintaining a positive attitude.
- Open your coffee shop: When you reach this stage, it’s time to celebrate your victories! Value the achievement of taking your vision and bringing it to fruition. If every step is followed diligently, your opening day will be a huge success, and that’s just the beginning.
To simplify the process, these 20 steps can be divided into four steps or progressions on start a coffee shop.
The Basic Stages of Entrepreneurship
The first five stages are essential to starting a business, regardless of the entrepreneur’s chosen industry. This level requires a lot of time and attention just thinking about the concept of the coffee shop and the realities it will include. This level requires serious thinking rather than daydreaming. It involves heavy research and even a bit of soul-searching. At this stage, be sure to:
- Consider all the factors applied to the business. Think about the risk, time, money, and energy involved. Discuss with everyone in your life that starting a coffee shop is impressive. It includes your family, loved ones, friends, and even pets. Be realistic when visualizing the possibilities of your dream.
- Be practical when writing a business plan. While dreaming big and extravagant is encouraged, it’s also in your best interest to be successful as you write your business plan, stick to a financial budget, research the market, threats, and opportunities, and ask questions when you feel uncertain.
- Take care of all legal and administrative issues. To formalize your coffee shop, hire licenses, permits, and experts to cover all your bases. Starting a business is hard work. Building a business as efficiently as possible will reduce the burdens you may face later.
During the early stages of entrepreneurship, many people get discouraged and give up on their dream of owning their own business, or in your case, a coffee shop. The world is full of opposites, and it can be as simple as the bitterness of drinking bad coffee. If you are not afraid of the possibility of creating your coffee shop in the first five steps of the business, success in realizing this dream may be waiting for you!
Coffee Business – At this point
we know you mean business, but do you mean coffee business? Most people walking the planet claim to love coffee, but that doesn’t qualify them to own a coffee shop business. Having an entrepreneurial mindset is one thing. Being a professional in the coffee industry is another thing. Do your research on coffee’s history, development, and science to ensure your coffee shop represents the industry with integrity and influence. At this point, keep in mind the following:
There is nothing wrong with having high standards. Establishing high standards in your business creates a quality of integrity that any coffee lover can immediately smell. Building your coffee shop to meet industry standards will earn respect and loyalty from your customers and other coffee brands.
Be sure to choose quality. Unless you want to learn how to roast your coffee beans, research your options for a quality supplier. It is highly recommended that you link with your suppliers. You could partner with a local roaster, who can teach you about the science behind great taste, or rent equipment.
Take your time shopping around. Whether it’s supplying napkins and utensils, or shopping for a commercial-quality coffee grinder, be sure to shop around. Don’t settle for the first thing that comes to you. Research customer reviews and read deals and alternatives. Eliminate any unnecessary setup costs.
As a professional in the industry, it would be disrespectful to learn less than you can about the industry. Learning as much as you can about the coffee industry will allow you to make more informed decisions about the layout and design of your coffee shop. Earning customer loyalty and respect is important, but earning the respect of other coffee professionals is a next-level success. Build a brand that other brands can be proud of.
Coffee Shop Development
Now that you’ve done all your research signed your papers, and formalized everything, it’s time to put your knowledge into action. It is where your coffee shop comes alive with its unique concept. Logo design, color schemes, floor layout, interior and exterior decorating aspects, and menu creation are some of the most exciting parts of building a coffee business. Be intentional and practical at this stage to ensure the effectiveness and clarity of your brand. Key elements to remember:
- Efficiency is critical to your success. When designing your coffee shop layout, you want to make the best use of your real estate, furniture, and outdoor space. Create a smooth layout for your customer experience. Also, make sure your shop sign is visible and legible.
- Ask your community to support you. People like the idea of supporting local businesses. Community involvement can alleviate some of the burdens of startup costs. Setting up the shop and buying equipment, supplies, and merchandise, not to mention your expenses, will quickly start to add up.
- Create your menu carefully. The coffee menu is special in that you want to add unique variety while maintaining the tradition of some classic coffee options. Eliminate special seasonal flavors or foods, and include non-coffee alternatives. Bonus tip: align your pricing with coffee industry standards!
Developing your coffee shop is an exciting time when you can bring your brand to life. Consider each aspect of this step from multiple perspectives, including finances, the customer’s perspective, and the overall best interests of your coffee shop’s success. Pay attention to the details, but watch the big picture. Keep your mission statement and business plan handy to help keep your goals on track and your coffee ambitions alive.
On the other hand of Start a Coffee Shop, a coffee shop franchise involves opening a coffee shop under an established brand with a proven business model. The franchisor provides support, training, and ongoing assistance in exchange for a percentage of the profits. This approach can be less risky than starting a coffee shop from scratch since you are working with a proven business model, but it can also limit your creativity and independence as a business owner.
the choice between coffee shop development and coffee shop franchise depends on your personality, goals, and resources. Both approaches have their pros and cons, so it’s important to do your research and choose the one that aligns with your vision for your coffee business.
Countdown to Takeoff
You’ve reached the final lap in about a mile. You are one-quarter away from your finish line. At this point, you’ve essentially launched a business, created your coffee brand, secured a location, and set up a shop. Now, it’s time to get people involved. This is the time of your life when the network will be your best friend. From hiring a top-notch employee, to simply letting people know you exist and plan to open soon, this is the stage of your coffee shop startup that you must prepare to take off. Here are a few tips for success:
- Start your marketing strategy as soon as possible. It’s always early enough to start marketing your coffee shop. In fact, the biggest mistake you can make is not marketing early. You want to tell everyone you know and don’t know about your coffee shop and give customers major incentives on opening day.
- Choose your staff slowly and wisely. Spending time hiring a permanent team at your coffee shop is okay. From talented baristas to friendly cashiers, you want to hire people who can meet your company’s standards while adding to the brand’s dynamic. If someone doesn’t fit your mold, letting people go is okay.
- No matter what, be optimistic. While it’s important to be realistic and practical when starting a business, it’s just as important, if not more so, to be optimistic. Choosing to believe that you can achieve this dream is half the battle. A positive mindset reveals solutions to any problem.
As you check these final steps off your list, these are the moment’s dreams. They are made of… the moments when you can sit back and smell the coffee roasting. Devote this time as much as you can to networking and promoting your coffee shop so that people in the community know about it. Monitor your staff to ensure you hire the right people to represent your brand. You are responsible for creating a positive work environment. This plan has been a while in the making, and if followed correctly, along with a strong marketing strategy, these 20 steps can lead you to a successful coffee shop opening.
To Sum up
Launching a marketing plan that will attract the attention of potential coffee shop customers is easier than ever. With multiple platforms to advertise your coffee shop, you should easily find a strategy that fits your budget, timeline, and capabilities while still reaching your target market. With the advancement of technology and social media, online business advertising is the biggest advantage we have today. Using these tools is a powerful way to gain a loyal customer base. Things to keep in mind when creating an online marketing strategy include the following:
- Keep your branding consistent across social platforms – Creating your brand’s online identity requires a clean and consistent design so your coffee brand is easily recognizable. Create a unified aesthetic using brand-specific colors, fonts, and logos. Know your message and always be consistent for effective delivery to the customer.
- Integrate video into your marketing strategy – Creating an engaging video campaign can be as simple as going live on Facebook from behind the scenes of your coffee shop building. The video has been proven to be a remarkable tool that captures customers’ attention and creates transparency for your brand, driving loyalty and a strong following.
- Let the professionals do what they do best – advertising is critical to success. So if you’re not confident in knowing the best approach to marketing your coffee shop at any point in your business journey, consult the experts. Investing in a dynamic marketing strategy can be well worth your investment and help offset your startup costs.
The dream of owning a coffee shop can become a reality. With a little quality time, dedication, research, planning, and proper execution, you can turn your dream from an idea into an established business. It has been done over a thousand times, so you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Try to follow these 20 steps perfectly, launch a powerful marketing campaign and instill your passion for coffee to create your unique taste of coffee shop success. A community of coffee lovers is waiting for you to open up, so take a deep breath and let the fun caffeinated journey begin!