So You Want to Open a Coffee Shop?

Today it seems that everyone has gone crazy for coffee. Coffee’s continuing popularity can be seen from the millions of commuters who seem to have a Styrofoam coffee cup stuck to their hands. So it would seem to be a safe bet that opening your own coffee shop is a sure-fire money making venture. But wait…

But before you collect your coffee maker and take out a lease on a quaint corner retail spot, you may want to take a moment to consider what it really takes to start a successful coffee shop.

Of course, the first requirement for a potential coffee shop owner is to have the passion for coffee. Sure, any top graduate from a business school who has more passion for business than coffee can put up opening coffee shop, but it is often the personal touch of a coffee fanatic that can spell the difference among customers.

It is important to remember, however, that a coffee shop business does not run on passion alone. It seems that a best shop owner is one who is both passionate over coffee and a hardy dose of business acumen. One critical step, before you begin, is to have a solid and well thought out business plan.

A plan will help you clearly chart your business’s profitability for you and your investor. It will also explain why you want to have your own shop and where you want to go. Your plan will also help identify your possible market and their needs. A good business plan should be extremely thorough. Remember you may need financial assistance to fund inventory, equipment and marketing. And, if you can’t convince the bank why you need a loan and how you are going to pay for it, your coffee shop business will be toast from the beginning.

Once your business plan is completed, you need to turn from strategy and financial issues to functional aesthetic considerations. What are you going to do with all that money when you have no idea what a coffee shop should look like? A coffee shop can’t just be any place or any room. At this point, it’s a great idea to secure the help of an architect or someone with restaurant design on your team. Without such an expert on your side, you may have to study and think up the physical placement of your furniture and equipment yourself. You should consider such things as counter placement, dimensions and space allotment for your equipment. It may help to do some research and to observe successful coffee.

The next step after securing the financial and physical aspect of your coffee shop business is to kick your lust for coffee “up a notch”. Don’t be an absentee owner. Get yourself elbow deep into the details of everything about coffee. As the resident connoisseur you shouldn’t just love the taste of coffee; you should also be an expert in coffee beans, roasting recipes, and unique coffee products. Your diligence will rub off on your employees and attract customers in droves.

The road to the opening and success of your coffee shop is not an easy one. However, with careful planning, a can-do attitude, and most of all – your passion, the road to success can be an enjoyable and prosperous one.



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