13 secrets of cafe business plan

13 secrets of cafe business plan

1. Create a solid business plan

One of the first serious steps you’ll take toward opening your coffee shop is tocreate a business plan. This document spells out exactly what your business is, how it will be profitable, defines your customer base, explores competitors, plans for growth, and provides troubleshooting strategies should you need helpachieving your goals.

But, go the lean planning route to start

Before you dive into creating a traditional business plan (which really you only need if you’re seeking funding from a bank), we recommend creating a one-page pitch. This will allow you to quickly validate your business idea as well as get a good sense of who your market is, how you’re going to reach them and how you’re going to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

Many entrepreneurs turn to our business plan templates for guidance. Whether you’re starting a little coffee and internet café or a coffee house bistro, there’s abusiness plan template to suit your coffee shop needs.

2. Take the time to find the right building

To be successful, you need a good location for your coffee shop. You want something centrally located, a place where people already gather, and a space that’s conducive to your vision. Marc Renson, owner of Radio, Coffee and Beer, warns that finding this dream spot won’t happen overnight.

His team scoured city after city, scouting each location, even going so far as to count pedestrian traffic. He was in the market for a former restaurant, so he didn’t have to remodel everything from scratch. Finally, one day when he dropped his keys he noticed a tiny “for sale” sign in a former tavern window. After months of searching, he’d found his spot.

3. Create a floor plan

A solid floor plan is vital for a coffee shop. You want customers to have space to form a line, employees to have the materials they need within reach to quickly make coffee, and a seating area that’s comfortable. It will take some time to produce a good floor plan, Wilson says.

“Walk yourself through every scenario you can think of,” he says. “If you’re making coffee, what needs to be near you? If you’re a customer, what do you want in a seating area? Visualize everything you can and start putting those ideas down on paper.”

4. Hire an accountant

One of the best pieces of advice Wilson says he can offer a new coffee shop owner is to turn your books over to an accountant. Aside from taking valuable time away from the business, having a numbers expert works in your favor.

“You won’t be as hard on yourself as you sometimes might need to be,” Wilson says. “Plus, you will make assumptions that an accountant wouldn’t make.”

In reality, your accountant is really your small business consultant. Make sure you find someone who believes in and can help you accomplish your business goals.

5. Get local help for funding

Finding the startup funds for a coffee shop can be difficult. Renson suggeststalking with friends and family about investing in your coffee shop first. Present a solid business plan to them and ask them to invest in your business. If family isn’t an option, or if you need more cash than your family can provide, Renson suggests looking into local loan options. In some cases, local cities offer business assistance programs to offset costs. A local bank is also an option.

6. Save money for your own expenses

Aside from startup costs, don’t forget that all of your time and energy will be devoted to your new business, a business that probably won’t be profitable for around six months.

So, plan ahead. Renson suggests making sure you set aside enough money to cover your personal expenses for at least six months.

You will also want to familiarize yourself with the concept of cash flow, especially considering well over half of the businesses that fail were profitable when they went down, they just weren’t cash flow positive.

7. Shop around for everything

Most of your time will be spent in the planning and funding stages. While you work out finances, keep a list or spreadsheet of all the things you’ll need and compare prices.

Try to get at least two prices for every item you buy to ensure you’re getting a good deal. Use the internet to your advantage and look for the best prices on everything from comfy chairs to espresso machines.

8. Network your heart out

Having a hot location and brewing superior coffee will only get you so far. You need to network to maintain a connection to the area and to attract more customers, Renson says. Join the local chamber of commerce, a business association, or a local charity.

9. Start marketing before you open

If you start marketing the day you open, you’re already behind. On opening day, you want people excited to come in. To do that, you need to start marketing several months before you open. Affordable marketing options include:

  • Drop off free coffee to local businesses with a flyer that promotes opening day.
  • Set up and utilize several social media channels. It’s free advertising.
  • Give away coffee samples at a few local events before opening.
  • Try a small direct mail campaign that sends coupons to local residents.
  • Call everyone, including the media, to tell them about your plans to open the shop.

10. Don’t just focus on the interior of the building

Of course, you’ll stress over every little detail of your shop, from what paintings to hang on the wall to the POS system you’ll use, but Wilson says you shouldn’t neglect the outside of your shop.

“Pay attention to the landscaping, signage, and exterior appearance because that’s the first thing people see,” Wilson says. Some people decide whether or not to come in based on their first impression of the building, so make it count.

Plus, by spiffing up the building you’ll start to create a buzz in the community. People will start to wonder, who is setting up shop in there? Every little thing you can do to attract attention to your coffee shop can serve as a marketing tool.

11. Have a positive attitude

Like every business, you’ll face challenges to get your shop off the ground. Renson says keeping a positive attitude when things aren’t going your way is a must. Fake it if you have to. If you get in the habit of keeping an optimistic attitude, even if it’s less than genuine to start, you’ll eventually teach yourself to stay upbeat.

See Also: Will Having a Positive Attitude Really Help Me Be More Successful in Business?

12. Hire slowly

You need help manning the register, waiting on customers, and making drinks, but don’t hire too many people too fast. Renson suggests hiring a few friends, or neighbors who will volunteer to help you out for the first few weeks. Slowly, bring on staff.

Hiring trusted staff can be tough. No matter how well someone does in an interview, you don’t know how well he or she fits until they’re on the floor. Keep a close eye on the register, Renson suggests, and don’t be afraid to let people go if they are hurting the business.

13. Be demanding

It’s okay to set high standards for your employees, workflow, and workspace. That’s not to say that you should micromanage your employees, Wilson says, but you should “have a level of OCD when it comes to how your shop runs and looks.”

Starting a coffee shop is hard work, but for owners like Renson, owning a coffee shop is the equivalent of a living a dream. If your passion led you to open your own shop, please feel free to add to this list of tips to help others succeed in the industry.

A Kávézó Nyitás feltételei

A Kávézó Nyitás feltételei

Legelőször is felmerül a kérdés, hogy mik egy specialty kávézó nyitásának feltételei.

Erre néhány hazai tanácsadó cég teljesen jogosan a HACCP, NEBIH, ANTSZ engedélyeket kezdi el sorolni, amik valóban nélkülözhetetlen feltételei egy kávézó nyitásának.

Mi máshogy közelítjük meg a dolgot.

Természetesen tisztában vagyunk a fenti követelményrendszerrel, és segítünk benne a partnereinknek, de egy specialty kávézó nyitásának ahogyan mi látjuk vannak egyéb más feltételei:

  • szenvedély a kávé iránt
  • csapatjáték
  • bátorság, hogy elkezdjük
  • vizió, amit kávézónknak szeretnénk
  • törekvés a tökéletességre
  • akaraterő, hogy végig vigyük
  • designhoz való érzék
  • tőke (sajnos nem lehet figyelmen kívül hagyni)
  • üzleti terv…

Szeretünk alkotni. “Nem csak HACCP törvényekről van szó”.



10 steps: Opening Your Cafe

10 steps: Opening Your Cafe

Thinking about starting your own coffee shop? You’re not alone. Coffee shops are already incredibly popular. A variety of coffee franchises to challenge industry leader Starbucks are already available, but there’s no need to spend a huge amount of money on a franchise. You can launch your own independent coffee shop or cafe as well. Just take a look at the list of essential tips below.

10 Steps to Open a Coffee Shop

Secure the Right Equipment

Start by considering the kinds of products you want to offer for sale. The type of coffee you sell will determine the equipment that you need to have on hand. That list can include a cappuccino machine, drip coffee machines, press pots or French presses. Depending on your space and resources, you might even secure a variety of different items so that you can offer a larger variety of coffee beverages for sale when you open a coffee shop.

Choose a Space

Then you’ll need to find the right space to open a coffee shop. This can range from a full brick and mortar location to a small cart or truck. The smaller the space you have to work with, the less variety of beverages and food items you can realistically offer to customers. But if you have a full shop space, you can offer a full menu of different selections.

Find the Right Location

The location of your space can also play a major part in the success of your coffee shop. If you’re opting for a brick and mortar space, choosing one that’s in a downtown area or along a major thoroughfare can really increase your foot traffic. If you’re going with a cart or truck, you might choose to set up at local fairs or farmer’s markets. Or you could even set up a coffee space within a college, hospital, shopping center or office building.

Adhere to All Local Regulations

Different states and local governments have different regulations when it comes to zoning and local health department mandates. You’ll need to check in with your state and local governments to find what they require of coffee shops in the area where you want to open a coffee shop.

Research the Competition

You’ll also need to take a look at the other businesses that sell coffee in the area. Don’t just look at actual coffee shops, but also consider diners, carts and any other business that might compete with you. Then look at the prices and offerings to see if it’s an environment where you’ll be able to compete. That doesn’t necessarily mean that your products need to be cheaper than everyone else’s, but if your products are much more expensive you should at least offer something that customers can’t get on every other cornerwhen you open a coffee shop.

Hire Some Staff

Depending on the size and offerings of your business, you may need to hire some staff to help you serve customers and run the day-to-day operations. The amount of staff you’ll need will depend on your budget, the area where you want to set up, the amount of products you plan to serve and your hours. If you’re running a small cart with just regular old coffee, you may be able to do it yourself. But if you’re starting a shop with a full line of coffee products and other food items in a high traffic area, you’ll likely need a larger team.

Source Specialty Items

You may be able to get away with selling regular old wholesale coffee to some customers. But more and more people are becoming aware of the differences in quality among coffee suppliers. That means they’re getting picky about where their coffee comes from. So it can be beneficial to find a specialty blend or reputable roaster that more sophisticated coffee buyers will appreciate. You can even create your ownsignature blends to help your products really stand out from the competition.

Think About Food Items

It’s not a necessity, but a lot of coffee shops find it beneficial to sell some sweets or other food items to go along with the coffee. If that’s a part of your business plan, you’ll need to also consider the equipment that you’ll need to make those food items. You also may need to adhere to some additional regulations in order to serve food to customers safely.

Furnish Your Space

If you have the space, you can also set up some places for your customers to sit and relax in your coffee shop. Invest in some couches, chairs and tables to make it a comfortable environment for people. And maybe even offer free WiFi to attract connected customers.

Market Your New Business

Once you have all the essentials in place, it’s time to market your new coffee shop. Even if you’ve set up shop in a high traffic area, your business could benefit from some additional marketing activities. At the very least, you can set up a website and social media presence to make it easy for online customers to find and communicate with your business. You might also consider local ads or sponsoring local events.