Just like anything in life, before you commit yourself to a new business venture, it is important to make sure that you are well educated on the market and prepared for positive and negative hurdles that you might come across on the way when starting your own coffee shop.
On average a coffee shop will take around 6 months to begin to generate a steady profit, so if you are looking to make some quick wins, this most likely not the opportunity you should be pursuing.
Creating a strong business plan is imperative as it provides your company with a sense of direction as well as allowing you to see the viability of your new venture. There are various other benefits of constructing a business plan, for example; allowing a greater understanding of your market, ultimately allowing you to tailor your decision making process to suit the markets needs. It also helps maintain a strong focus on the set objectives, whilst ensuring clarity throughout the process of starting a business.
In order to succeed when starting a coffee shop, relationships must be built to ensure good reviews both online and through word of mouth – which will help when looking to build a loyal customer stream. Bare in mind, this applies to suppliers as well – when it comes to suppliers they should be considered and treated as part of your team.
There is no sugar coating it, the nature of the industry is competitive. Customers have a much greater purchase power due to the low-risk nature of the purchase and the ability to switch to substitutes with ease. In order to prevent this, a fair but profitable pricing strategy is needed alongside a comprehensive marketing strategy.
Developing a strong marketing strategy should be a priority when opening a small coffee shop as it will be your main communication channel with consumers. There should be a strong focus on reaching, engaging and converting consumers.
Market research is an essential piece of the puzzle when starting any business, but with strong levels of competition being widespread within this industry it is important to gain a clear insight into how your coffee shop will be received and will help identify your target audiences.
Patience is a key attribute of any business owner, but particularly within this industry due to the length of time it takes to make a profit on your initial investment.
Flexibility is needed particularly with the number of working hours your new business will take up. In order for your business to succeed you will need to work more hours than a typical 9-5 day especially in the early months of trading. Friendly and being approachable is the hospitality industry is a must have quality, not only for the benefit of your customers (and their reviews) but also for your staff and suppliers. Create a fun, happy environment, and keep any stress in the office. When you are not happy your staff will pick up on it and then will change the whole atmosphere of the cafe. Also……
Happy staff = Happy customers!
Passionate for everything to do with coffee, without passion, optimism (and a lot of hard work) the business will not succeed. Full stop. With approximately 96% of startups failing within the first 5 years, it is important to remain within the 4% that succeed. Think about what your USP (unique selling point) is.
Commitment is needed in order to ensure business success.
Leadership abilities as a business owner is vital. You should possess the capabilities to delegate and prioritise. This will be needed when opening a coffee shop, as you will still be finding your feet in the first few months, change processes, training staff, and of course before even opening the doors of your establishment, be planning the opening of the business. When creating your processes, it should offer guidance to employees and be able to solve any workplace problems with ease before it escalates.
With a startup business you will need someone onboard who is able to deal and manage your finances professionally – don’t skimp on this as you will be kicking yourself when the books don’t balance.
It goes without saying – understand your product. When picking which coffee to choose, taste isn’t the only concern, although it is of great significance it is also important to understand where it came from and the processes embedded throughout the supply chain.
It’s so important to recruit the right people to work in your coffee shop – it is a big decision to make as the type of individuals working for you will have a large impact on the way your business operates. So what sort of people should you look to recruit and why? Make sure they are ‘high quality staff’. Remember you only get one chance at a first impression – the baristas are the face of the company and it is important to get it right. Advice – don’t rush the recruitment process. Get candidates in for a trial hour or so, get to know them, what makes them tick, who they are outside of work etc.
Now lastly, become a marketing geek. Make sure you keep on top of the latest marketing trends – this is key to any business as there are always news trends coming up. If you are not on social media, do you even exist? We live in a digital world – it’s time to embrace it. You can get reviews, likes, comments, shares and engagement from consumers. And eventually start doing little incentives to keep those loyal customers loyal.
Using Google Analytics will help you get an insight into bounce rates and session time. This information will help you to optimise your website for your target audiences.
Stay positive, stay committed and stay passionate.
We have teamed up with Bibium, who has educated us on their beans that are sourced ethically, roasted locally and priced fairly, and they have even opened our eyes in the world of coffee machines.
Right time to step out of your comfort zone and make your dreams become a reality.