You might be looking around noticing that just about everyone loves a good cup of coffee.
Not only is it delicious and great for getting you going in the mornings, coffee is good for you too in moderation. Coffee is packed with antioxidants and nutrients your body needs so don’t fall for the bad press that it’s harmful.
It also seems like practically every street corner has a new coffee shop or café shop on it and maybe you’ve toyed with the idea of getting in on this business venture.
If so, there are a handful of key factors you need to consider before undertaking such a project. If you’re seriously considering opening up a café shop or coffee bar, we’ve got some handy hints for you to help you make the very most of this endeavor and maximize your chances of success…
1. Is Owning A Café Shop Right For You?
Many people think they know what it takes to run a business but unfortunately, they are often sorely mistaken.
There is so much that goes into launching and running a business, whether it be a café shop or a clothing boutique, and most people don’t have the first idea where to begin.
As the business owner, the life of your café shop lives and dies with you and the decisions you make. You will constantly be consumed with your employees, suppliers, recipes, taxes, bills, updates, cleaning, and on and on. There will forever be something to worry about and important decisions to be made.
There will be insane amounts of paperwork to be done to handle all of these things you must accomplish.
There will be tight months where you won’t be able to make ends meet and months of plenty where you will be doing wonderfully. The classic cycle of feast and famine.
There will be failures, and successes, and sometimes long stretches of nothing in between.
You will need to make incredible sacrifices when it comes to time and money if you want to build your café shop and keep your business thriving.
If you think you can handle these challenges, you might be up to the task of owning a café shop. Don’t let this put you off but be aware front and center that it’s not always plain sailing nor is it a walk in the park.
2. You Need To Make Sure Your Finances Are In Order
To start this café shop you’re dreaming of, you’ll need fairly deep pockets.
You want to go into this with your eyes wide open so there are as few surprises as possible along the way…
Make sure your personal finances are in order. You’ll struggle badly starting and running a café shop if you can’t keep the lights or gas on at home. Before you go through the process of building a business from scratch, make sure your four walls are standing high at home.
Once your personal finances are looking strong, it’s time to take a look at the financials for the café shop of your dreams…
Determine what your goals are and build your business plan from there.
Figure out how much money you will need to get there and get advice from an accountant or a bank on how best to achieve these goals.
3. You Need To Be A Spy
Okay, so no secret spy cams or hidden spy weapons in your shoes! No, what we mean is that you need to scout out your future competition to get a feel for what the business is like.
Pop into your local cafés and coffee shops on a regular basis. Peek at what seems to be working for them, what sets them apart from everyone else. Is it their unique product? Great seating? Good music and atmosphere? Everyone excels at something… find out what it is and replicate it.
While you’re at it, find out what your competitors are not so good at. Is their customer service lacking? Are their prices too high? Maybe they’re not in the best location.
Whatever you notice – good and bad – about these other cafés and coffee shops, take it to heart. These are all things that can help you run your business better.
4. You Need To Find A Great Location
Obviously, location is crucial.
You want someplace that gets a plenty of foot traffic in the mornings.
You need to be aware that you will pay a premium price for a premium location, though. Be willing to move a few storefronts down from your ideal spot if it means you can afford to stay open. If your coffee is worth it, people will walk a few doors down.
5. You Need To Know As Much As You Can About Coffee
If you are not a coffee geek, now is the time you ought to become one…
What do you know about the different roasts? Which beans are best? Do you know your latte from your macchiato?
Learn as much as you can about coffee. Read all the books you can, speak with growers and suppliers and everyone you can about the subject.
Get training from qualified baristas so you know what you are going to be doing and you can do it to the best of your ability.
First and last, make sure you’re an expert in what you are selling.
6. You Need To Make GOOD Coffee
Pretty much anyone can make a mediocre cup of coffee.
You need to make sure you make a truly first-rate cup of coffee so customers won’t be able to resist coming back for more.
Many people start up a café and totally overlook the importance of the drink itself.
7. You Need To Do It Consistently
Not only do you need to make a great cup of coffee, but you need to be able to make that same cup of coffee on Tuesdays at 6 am and Fridays at 3pm.
You have to be consistent or customers won’t return.
8. You Need To Select The Best Coffee Maker Machine
One sure thing you can do to help guarantee consistency is to choose the best coffee maker machine you can find.
This will help to make sure each cup of coffee that’s handed across your counter is uniform and tastes the way it is supposed to day after day.
Consistently tasty coffee marks you as a legitimate coffee maker who knows their craft and it’s this very consistency that will turn your customers into regulars.
9. You Need To Find (And Keep) Good Employees
You need to find employees that are just as passionate about coffee as you are.
Good employees can be hard to get hold of but keep digging because enthusiastic, knowledgeable staff are worth their weight in gold.
Customer service is paramount in any industry and doubly so when it concerns food and drink.
Set an example to your employees. Show up early, work hard, never stop smiling. Encourage your employees to come to you with new ideas, whether it’s the idea for a new drink or some input concerning the way things are done in general.
Make sure your team is truly a team. This can help keep everyone motivated to do their very best for the café and the customers.
10. You Need To Learn How To Handle Unhappy Customers
Sometimes, you’ll get unhappy customers. They might simply not like their drink or it could be something else entirely. Determine how you will fix the situation and make sure your team knows what the plan is in the event of dissatisfaction.
There is an absolute guarantee that you will have awful customers. You need to learn how you will handle them. Keep that smile as long as you can but don’t put your team or other customers in a hard spot to accommodate someone who is being totally unreasonable.
You will have to make tough calls sometimes but you should decide from the start what you will do about troublemakers so everyone is on the same page.
11. You Need To Learn How To Handle Great Customers
On the plus side, you’ll also have an abundance of absolutely amazing customers!
Decide how you will keep their business…
Will you offer loyalty cards? Special perks? Monthly deals?
It is key to keep your good customers happy as they will be your repeat business and will likely send new business your way.
This is not an exhaustive list of things that need to be taken into account when you consider opening a coffee shop but we hope these tips have given you some insight into what it takes to open a coffee café shop.
Thanks for reading, and good luck in your café shop endeavors!