Last Updated on October 2, 2016 by Tim
Cafes and coffee shops are all the rage these days. They’ve become so popular and it’s no wonder – the coffee industry is incredibly diverse and the vast majority of people enjoy a cup of coffee, at least occasionally. Unlike a restaurant, a café is constantly open and serves food and drinks any time of the day. Anyone, from business associates, to friends, to families can enjoy their meal or favorite coffee in a café. If this is the type of business you’d like to invest in, here are a few tips to ensure your success.
Starting a Cafe Business
1. Learn everything you can about coffee
Turn yourself into an expert. The highlight of a café is often the coffee and it’s one of the first things a diner will look for. Read books, research on the internet, learn from others and attend training classes.
2. Formulate your business plan
A good business plan states clearly the purpose and nature of your business, your goals, your target market, and explains the source and method of profit. It should also include your plans for the future, as well as outline strategies for solving potential problems. In short, this business plan provides you with the vision and direction for your company.
3. Carefully choose the right location
You will need to spend time and effort going around and asking for advice before you decide on the area where you wish to set up your business. The actual location of your business will also need research and analysis. Is it easy for your target market to find? Do many people frequent the area?
4. Design the layout of your interior and exterior
Aside from decorating the café to showcase your vision and appeal to your target market, consider your customer’s needs and preferences. Take into account as well the day-to-day activities in the café and arrange your furniture and equipment accordingly.
5. Look for talented and dedicated workers
Be meticulous with your hiring process and carefully select employees you can trust. You don’t need to hire too many staff. Just make sure that they possess more than just skills, they should also have the right attitude. Share your passion and knowledge with them.
6. Seek various means for funding
Looking for people willing to invest in your business can be especially challenging. Be resourceful and reach out to as many potential sources of funding as you can. Aside from your acquaintances, you can also try and get loans from banks or check for any programs in your city that assist entrepreneurs.
7. Carefully manage your personal and business expenses
While you’re waiting for your business to start bringing in profit, keep a tight rein on your other expenses. Make sure that before you start the business, you’ve already reserved some funds for your own needs and any unforeseen needs of the business.
8. Find the best suppliers
Create a list of all the resources you need, the suppliers you can get them from and their current prices. This is hugely important as costs can rise quickly. Even just the coffee machines can cost well over $10,000, so it pays to know where to get equipment and products at the best prices. Once again, research is very important before you finalize your deals with your chosen supplier.
9. Connect with other businesses and organizations in your area
When you join groups for entrepreneurs like yourself, you can learn from other businesses. Meeting other business owners will also give you a chance to establish partnerships with any of them. Participating in local events will also get your name out in the market.
10. Promote your business ahead of time
A few months before your opening day, you need to start getting word out about your new café to get people interested. Aim to have as many people as possible show up on your opening day. Utilize traditional print media, take part in local events, and of course, market via social media.
11. Have a cheerful, winning attitude
Expect some setbacks but don’t let this get you down. Stay focused and flexible. Concentrate only on things within your control and work out any issues whenever you can. Maintaining a positive outlook will also influence your employees to do the same.
Starting a café or coffee shop business is not as easy as it seems but these tips should make things easier for you. With effort, time and patience, you can turn your small business into one that can last and which consistently rakes in profit.