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  • Post last modified:August 9, 2022

From busy students to always on-the-go employees, many people stop in a coffee shop for a caffeine fix every day. It’s no wonder why a coffee business has become one of the popular businesses many entrepreneurs are interested in venturing into. It’s also a business you can start if you have the resources and the skills to do so.

If you’re interested in this line of business, here is a helpful list to help you get started with your coffee shop and guide you through this journey.

Formulate Your Business Plan

A good business always comes prepared. Before you start with anything, you’ll first need to formulate and create your business plan. Just as you would do with starting a new hotel business, a coffee shop needs a clearly formulated business plan as well.

The business plan is a formal document that you must write. It contains a description and overview of your business, among other stuff. 

Additionally, a business plan also presents the short-term and long-term goals of your coffee shop, methods on how to achieve them, and the timeframe for achieving them. You can consider the business plan as the core and foundation of your coffee shop. 

You can also take this time to establish your vision and how you will develop your business. In other words, a business plan can serve as your road map for running and growing your shop.

Finalize the List of Equipment You Will Need

After you’ve done your business plan, you should now know what other things you’ll need to run your coffee shop. Here is a list of essential equipment you can look into to give you a brief idea of what you’ll need.

  • POS system. To run a business, you’ll need to have good point of sale systems to help you with your inventory and monitor your profits. 
  • Automatic Drip Coffee Makers. Since you’re in a coffee business, a considerable percentage of your shop’s sale surrounds coffee. That’s why you’ll need an automatic drip coffee maker to help you produce several daily orders.
  • Espresso Machine. Aside from a drip machine, you’ll also need an espresso machine to make an espresso. It heightens the unique taste of the drip coffee and makes the product stronger and has a richer flavor. 
  • Ovens and Toasters. Most coffee shops offer a selection of foods that go well with a coffee and serve them hot. If you’re considering doing the same, you should consider getting ovens and toasters.
  • Refrigerators and Freezers. To keep your food and other dairy products fresh, you’ll need a fridge and a freezer to store them. It would also be a good idea to have refrigerated display cases to present the foods you offer.

Find the Best Suppliers

When starting a business, you’ll need suppliers to provide the ingredients to produce your products. Finding the best supplier would be vital to running a successful business. For a coffee shop, you’ll need to be connected with coffee or coffee beans suppliers, fresh produce, dairies, and pastries. 

It will also help if you know someone that can supply you with packages such as cups, napkins, coffee stirrers, teapots, and the like. You can start by looking for wholesalers and manufacturers in your area or attending industry events and exhibitions. You can also try inquiring about other businesses in a similar industry to help you.

Create Your Menu

To attract customers, you must create a menu that would entice them. It is also one of the factors that would keep customer retention and get new visitors. In doing so, you must be aware of the trends and how frequently they can change. Consider them as you decide on the food options, your signature dish, and the entire menu. 

In creating your menu, it would help if you have a target audience you can focus on. With this, you can research their interests and what’s currently popular among them. If you’re planning to attract teenagers, a menu with considerable sweet selections can be a good choice. 

However, if you also want to cater to more people, you can prepare a considerable number of options from different categories like gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan. Still, you must ensure that it’s profitable and won’t cause too much loss.

Pricing

To gain profit and receive return-of-investment, you must pay more attention to pricing what you offer. If you’re setting prices on your menu, you first need to calculate your total cost and see the total of each item on your menu.

Other people utilize the Gross Profit Model, where you try to calculate the total goods that are sold and have 80% gross profit on your sales. Keep in mind that 80% includes the rent, utilities, and other bills. After that, you calculate how you can distribute the profit margin so that you’ll know how much is the pure profit. Then, you can have a price range based on your cost.

What you’ll do next is to add value. You can try adding value depending on the coffee itself, whether it’s a house specialty, locally roasted, etc. The thing about pricing is that sometimes low value is perceived as low quality since customers are willing to pay for an excellent product.

Decide on a Location

Another essential factor you need to consider is the location of your coffee shop. The site will help you determine the customers you want to attract. 

If you’re located in a busy business district, it would be best to focus on attracting employees on their way to work or returning home after a long day. At the same time, it would be hard to attract students if you opened your business far away from schools and universities. 

Moreover, keep in mind the preferences in taste may also vary significantly. So, you should keep the location and your target customers when considering your menu.

Not only that but also think about the number of people that pass by the street. You must consider if many people can find your shop as a startup. Though you can continuously improve your marketing strategy, walk-ins and passersby also help increase sales and promote your coffee shop.

Hire the Right People

You’ll need a reliable staff who can operate your coffee shop well. As the shop owner, you can list the qualities you are looking for in a person and the skills they should possess. 

Some owners argue that you can teach skills, so they focus more on finding a reliable staff with a pleasing personality. Nonetheless, what matters most is the type of people you want to work with.

Hiring them is one thing, but retaining them is different. Keeping your staff could be one of your biggest hurdles. As you establish your coffee shop, you must also prepare different motivation strategies and systems to help your employee retention.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, it would also depend on your strategy and performance in the long run since you’re likely to be in a different situation than when you first opened your shop. Nonetheless, the list above should help you start your own coffee shop!