Coffee Shop Business Plan: How to Choose What’s On the Menu

Wednesday, January 14, 2015 2 comments


Creating Your Coffee Shop Business Plan



When laying out the plans for how you’re going to run your coffee shop, don’t forget to include a rough draft of what your menu will look like. You may think you can decide on that later or just offer some cookies and muffins as extra options to your customers but putting a little more thought into it can have a very positive effect on the success of your business. Including an idea of your food and drink options in your coffee shop business plan will allow you to better visualize the type of shop you’re going to open and give you the chance to be more prepared.
Product Quality

Offer your customers cheap, low quality products and more often than not, they’ll be able to tell the difference. A lot of research should go into the products you choose and you should taste everything for yourself. Once you’ve found brands you’re happy with, don’t hesitate in getting second opinions from the other coffee connoisseurs you know. While you want to offer high quality coffee, you don’t want to be overpaying for something that doesn’t taste any different than a cheaper brand. Shop around and be sure you’re getting the best quality while maintaining great value.

While keeping quality and pricing in mind when creating your coffee shop business plan, be open to suggestions and product changes once your shop has finally opened. Getting staff and customer opinions can keep your patrons satisfied by giving them the products they’re looking for. Being stubborn in your choices could drive some customers away and reduce your profits.
Targeting Your Market

Know the market you’ll be serving before setting your coffee shop menu in stone. If your store is in an area that shoppers are likely to want to stop in for snacks or you have an office building nearby that will likely give you a lunch time rush, plan your menu accordingly.




For an upscale area, it may be more important to pay attention the name of the brands you’re using. High quality gourmet coffee could be an essential part of your menu. If you have a lot of high school students coming through, offering more frappes or iced drinks may better suit them.

Coffee Shop Business Planning: Preparing Your Menu

Tuesday, December 23, 2014 1 comments

Coffee Shop Business Planning: Preparing Your Menu


Unless you’re planning to serve just coffee in your coffee shop, you’re going to need to prepare your menu. With a coffee shop business you have a lot of flexibility because if you choose to you can serve only coffee or you can turn your store into a mini coffee based restaurant. Before you open take some time to decide the main theme of your menu and it will be much easier to make the smaller adjustments as you go.

Drink Variety

Being in the coffee shop business, drinks are your main product. With so much more out there than just coffee, you can have a huge menu by offering beverages alone.

For your hot beverages you’ll be providing different size, flavor, and roast options. You’ll also have to decide what kind of extras you’ll have available such as whipped toppings, flavor shots, and artificial sweeteners. Even when it comes to milk and creams, you have different percentages of milk fat you can make available to your customers.

Cold drinks are always a fun and refreshing choice for your patrons, especially in the warmer months when a hot coffee may not be as appealing to some people. Brewing your own flavored iced teas and coffees might be a nice addition to your menu and frappes can be a tasty treat all year round.

Baked Goods

With a nice hot cup coffee, a freshly baked cinnamon bun might be just what your customer was craving. Offering a selection of cookies, muffins, pies, and other sweet treats will not only please your customer’s taste buds, it will add an undeniable level of visual appeal when displayed alluringly at your counter. Even if you don’t want to bake it all yourself, pre-made snacks are an equally delicious option.

Bigger Meals

Ready made wraps and sandwiches or freshly made soups are an excellent choice for your hungrier customers. You can have a few things pre-packaged and easy to grab or you can decide to offer full breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. Even having one hot meal a day on your menu might be an option for you. Whether you keep it simple or get really creative with your menu, offering at least a few food choices can really add to your coffee shop.


Once you decide what kind of menu you’ll have you can add and remove smaller details to make it perfect as you go. Your menu may even change from season to season. What you serve will be a reflection of the type of coffee shop you have so be sure to put some thought into it and stay open to customer and employee feedback to get it just right.

Create a Relaxing Atmosphere for Your Coffee Shop Business

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 1 comments

Create a Relaxing Atmosphere for Your Coffee Shop Business Decor



Planning Your Coffee Shop Business Decor

Although people may go to their favorite coffee shop for a variety of reasons, the coffee shop decor sets the tone for their visit. They may choose to socialize with friends, work on a laptop, grab a quick coffee to go, or just to sit and relax. The ambiance your shop offers can affect the number of customers who are drawn into your shop. If someone is looking for a quiet and cozy place to read a book with their fresh cup of cocoa or study with a hot latte, there are a few factors to keep in mind in order to make your shop the right place for them.


Choosing Your Color Scheme


If you’d like to give your coffee shop business a quiet and calming personality, sticking to a muted or earthy color scheme could help you out. A shop with stark, sterile whites or bright and festive blues, reds, and yellows may not give your business the right setting for relaxation. Shades that are darker or paler are a good place to start, but keeping everything in your shop to a hue that’s easy on the eyes will have the biggest effect on your atmosphere. Also, sticking to one general theme can be less visually hectic.


Comfortable Furniture

For a lounge type of design, the kind of furniture you decide on will be very important. You will probably want to keep a few standard tables and chair sets as an option, but focusing on couches, armchairs, and coffee tables will put the easy going ambiance on the right path. Comfort will be a priority, so try sticking to soft furniture rather than anything too stiff.


Lighting Techniques

Dimmer lighting has always been a key factor in setting a mood. Your baristas will still need a well-lit workspace and you may want to keep a few areas brighter for your customers who would like to work while they relax, but playing around with your lighting effects can have a huge impact on the feel of your coffee shop.


Coffee Shop Aroma

Inviting aromas have always had a major affect on people, and the scent of rich coffee and baked goods are no exception. Adding to the natural scent of your coffee shop without creating an overpowering fragrance will not only lure people in, but could increase sales from your pastry display. Whether you have an oven on site to make freshly baked goods or you add some artificial air fresheners to your shop, appealing to all of your customers five senses will perfect your ambiance.

Putting a general theme together can create a unified atmosphere in your coffee shop. It may not always be possible to maintain a bright business-like atmosphere while nourishing a warm and cozy feel at the same time, but choosing a theme and sticking to it may give your coffee shop a better overall mood and décor.

Don't just follow any business plan. Learn expert tips and strategies to start and operate a successful coffee shop business.

To Franchise or not To Franchise?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 3 comments


Should I Consider A Coffee Shop Franchise?


Looking into a coffee shop franchise may be an option for you if you want to get into the coffee business. There are a few things to think about if this is an opportunity you decide to take.

Support

In running a coffee shop franchise, you will never be alone. The franchise company wants you to succeed because they’re invested in your shop too. You’ll have the chance to see how an established shop runs then your franchise coach will come to your store to get you set up as well.

Training

If you’re new to the coffee shop business, the training a franchise company could be invaluable. They will educate you on the products you will be selling, ordering supplies, and how to manage your staff. This could be a huge benefit for you if you have no previous coffee shop experience.

Name

A coffee shop franchise might already have a name people recognize. This could be excellent in encouraging more customer flow, or you could find it bothersome that you don’t have the freedom to create your own name for your shop.

Start up money

The amount of money you will need up front for a coffee shop franchise could be a deterrent for you. You will need quite a bit of start up money, and you will have additional expenses later on. It may be less expensive to open your own shop if you decide the support from a franchise may not be worth the cost.

Regulations

Unless you have no interest in decision independence and personal creativity that come with owning your own shop, you may consider the regulations imposed by a franchise company a downfall. Your shop will have to look and run the same as the others in the franchise and there will be rules and regulations you’ll need to follow. Of course, each company is different and will vary in what they expect from you. If one franchise company doesn’t appeal to you, it could still be worth it to look into a few more.


A coffee shop franchise has benefits for both parties involved as you have the support of an established company while they get a percentage of the profits from your particular store. This may be a perfect opportunity for you if the guidelines of the franchise company suit your specific needs.

Can I afford To Start A Coffee Shop Business?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014 1 comments

Can I afford To Start A Coffee Shop Business?



It’s a big decision to start a coffee shop business and there will be a lot of things you’ll need to consider. Start up costs are a big concern for most people and it’s important to be aware of how much you’ll be paying out before dipping your toes in deep water.

Location:

Leasing your property will be one of your biggest fees. While this may be an unavoidable cost, it doesn’t mean you can’t save money on it. A smart negotiation of your lease could get your coffee shop business started off in the right direction.

Equipment:

The equipment in your shop will be key to your success. High quality machines that produce excellent espresso and won’t break down on you could be what makes or breaks your new coffee shop business. You don’t want to try to save money by purchasing low quality equipment that will disappoint you later so look for the best deals and ask manufacturers about free products or machines they can supply you.

Atmosphere:

The atmosphere of your coffee shop will be determined by your interior design scheme. Just like furnishing your house, this doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor, but you just need to take the time to shop around and find the right pieces for the right price. Don’t forget that you can always add to your décor later once your coffee shop business has become more established.

Other Factors To Consider:

The smaller things can be easy to overlook when you start a coffee shop, but they can certainly add up. You’ll need coffee mugs, a company logo, business cards, and so on. Your supplies can be restocked as needed once you’ve opened, but you’ll need to get your initial inventory in place for your start up.


Deals can be done with other local businesses to get some of your products for free or at a discount. Advertising might be offered though your coffee shop business as a service you’ll provide, or perhaps another business may advertise for you for something in return. If you decide you want to start a coffee shop it doesn’t have to cost as much as you might think. Don’t be afraid to ask for the best deals on your all your purchases and negotiate whenever you can to get your coffee shop business started for a lot less than you would expect.

Coffee Shop Business Mistakes

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 0 comments

5 Coffee Shop Business Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)



Do you want to avoid the coffee shop business mistakes that many new coffee shop owners make?


Now that you’ve decided to go ahead with the idea of owning your own coffee shop, you are ready to start outlining your coffee shop business plan, right?

Even those who have worked as an employee in the coffee industry or have other experience that may help them on their new entrepreneurial quest, still have to have a clear cut idea of what they are doing and what direction they are going in with their new venture.

Coffee Shop Business Mistakes


Here are 5 important mistakes to avoid when planning your new coffee shop business:

Mistake Number 1: Choosing A Bad Location



Even if manage to you get everything else perfectly right the first time around, setting up your coffee shop in a bad location will destroy any chances of being profitable and staying in business long term.

Be sure to research the area and be certain that there is enough demand for your products and that the location has enough of the right demographic passing through.

Mistake Number 2: Having Insufficient Capital


One of the biggest mistakes new coffee shop business owners make is underestimating the start up costs as well as the capital needed to keep them afloat for the first few months until the business catches up and starts to turn a profit. Be sure to research and plan your coffee shop business well before you start.

Mistake Number 3: Poor Quality Products


Another coffee shop business no-no is to sell poor quality products. You would think that this one would be common sense, but you would be surprised what people do when they start thinking about money and profit. Selling bad coffee and other items in your shop may work for you in the short term allowing you to turn a quicker profit on the cheap items you buy wholesale, but you will never build repeat customers – the lifeblood of a new coffee shop business.

Mistake Number 4: Poor Customer Service


Customer service is the glue that bonds you and your customers. You could have the best coffee in town, but if your customer service stinks, then you’ll never have a line up.  You absolutely need friendly staff who love to socialize and are naturally friendly to the public. Your staff also needs to be trained to take their customer service, speed, and quality control very, very seriously.

Customers often start their work day in the morning at their favorite coffee shop. How long do you think they will continue starting their day with poor customer service and a grumpy server? Don’t make this mistake with your new coffee shop business!

Mistake Number 5: Lack Of Marketing


Are you the only coffee shop in your town or city? Didn’t think so. So, that means you are going to have to have a marketing plan. Sometimes new coffee shop owners are under the impression that when the open their door, customers will come flying in automatically. It won’t happen unless you are promoting your new coffee shop business through the local media channels that reach out to your demographic on a regular basis.


It takes more than just an idea to get started. It takes solid planning and it takes ACTION!

Coffee Shop Business Plan

Monday, November 17, 2014 2 comments

Brewing Up Your Coffee Shop Business Plan




Before setting out to open your coffee shop or mobile coffee business, it’s important to start with a coffee shop business plan. But don’t worry, if the thought of creating a business plan makes your head spin, there are templates and existing business models available to help you with your planning. The most common elements to these business plans may include an executive summary, a list of your objectives, keys to your success, and your mission statement.

Your Executive Summary


Your executive summary will be a definition of your coffee shop. The type of coffee shop you intend to start, the customers you will be targeting, and the means by which you will be serving these customers will all be part of your summary. Included will also be your financial plans, such as where you will obtain your financing and what kind of projections you will expect. Square footage of your shop, location, layout, and many other shop specifics should all be included, depending on which aspects will be most important to your coffee shop business plan.
Your Objectives

The purpose of creating a list of objectives is to keep you focused on what your main goals are. This list may include your expected profit margin, the atmosphere you intend to create, customer service expectations, and your product focus. These objectives should be written down as a guideline to keep your coffee shop business plan on the right track. It will be important to maintain flexibility with your goals as markets and economies change, but keeping sight of your original goals is a proven step to a successful business.


Keys Yo Your Success


Keys to your success will be a composition of the details and steps you believe will make your business thrive. Examples of this may be the level of customer service your staff adheres to, the most effective marketing strategies to use, or the superior quality of product you choose. This list will be tailored to the type of coffee shop you plan to establish.


Your Mission Statement


Creating a mission statement will be a more personal and introspective aspect of your coffee shop business plan. Unlike your list of objectives, you will have a chance to set down the less concrete hopes you will have for your business. These may be anything from how you will affect your customer’s lives to the impact your coffee shop will have on the environment. Your mission statement is meant to guide the actions of your business.

Whether you create it as a risk assessment for a business loan, a guideline for investors, or a map to success for yourself, your coffee shop business plan will be an invaluable asset as you begin your endeavor as a business owner. Remember, if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!

Don't just follow any business plan. Learn expert tips and strategies to start and operate a successful coffee shop business.