Starting a coffee shop, or any other type of coffee business is a great way to earn a living in an interesting industry while also actively participating in your surrounding community.
The three main ways most entrepreneurs start coffee shops are:
Starting a coffee shop business from scratch
Opening a coffee shop franchise
Buying an existing coffee shop business
Inspired by coffee professionals, our guides will steer you through the necessary steps to make your coffee dreams real, from picking a location to buying equipment, sourcing beans, hiring baristas, choosing a POS system, forming an actual company, and everything in between.
Steps to Start a Coffee Shop Business
Research and Make a Coffee Shop Business Plan
A strong coffee shop business plan is a good first step towards building a profitable company. A business plan should have enough structure to give you firm footing, but enough flexibility to allow for growth as it is an ever-changing document. You’ll also want to know the type of coffee shop business to open, like a traditional coffee shop, a coffee roaster, a mobile coffee cart, or other types of businesses, as well as how much everything will cost to start.
Also important to this planning stage is how to do research and find connections in the industry. Networking will always get you further than some Google searches when it comes to valuable information that will help you succeed. The next things we discuss are the costs to start your business and what essential items go into your budget. We wrap it up with a resource for starting your business plan.
Find a Target Market and Define Brand
The next step in starting your coffee business is developing your marketing and brand strategies. In this guide, we focus on who makes your business successful: your customers and yourself. Your customers should be at the heart of your marketing strategy, especially because your business will bring in different types of customers. Ask yourself what they need and desire from your establishment.
Categorize your customers into specific target markets. Do you operate your business near a university? Expect students wanting a place to study or socialize. Do you operate in a residential area? Parents might want to stop in for a quick coffee on their morning route.
When you think of these people as you develop a marketing strategy, think of how best to reach out to them. As helpful, successful coffee owners discuss what worked for their marketing, they highlight the importance of creating engaging social media for your business.
Take Care Of Day-to-Day Operations
Ever wonder what it looks like to run a coffee business day-to-day? It includes a lot of work hours. If you want your business to be popular, you need to commit.
All of the technology and equipment your business uses will likely need regular maintenance in order to keep your sales flowing. This means you’re going to need to be ready for problems on a daily basis. Watch our guide to listen to how coffee entrepreneurs put themselves in the right mindset for being an efficient problem-solver.
You’ll also learn some tips for balancing work and play as they try to set a healthy example for staff. As busy as you’ll be owning a business, you (and your hardworking employees) should take the time to relax. Since you’re probably going to be on your feet a lot, it’s important to do things like stretching or yoga so you can be your best self every day.