Coffee is a delicacy that’ll never get out of style because many people love it. The consumption of coffee has a tendency to steadily and consistently grow and thus makes it a lucrative venture to pursue. The beauty of this business is that offers many remarkable coffee blends and associated food products that you don’t typically find in homes. This therefore means that as much as people might make coffee at home they would still prefer uniquely-made coffee from coffee outlets. It’s also a common trend for people to meet-up for a business meeting or a date over coffee. So a coffee shop business is definitely a worthy undertaking that wields huge prospects.

Market Research

Coffee consumption trends tend to be very location-specific and highly segmented. There are even possible scenarios where introducing the idea of a coffee shop will be a very new idea to the target market in question. This all means that extensive research must be done to ascertain that a steady stream of customer inflows will be guaranteed. So I’ve already highlighted that you might find yourself being the very first player to enter a particular market of which that would be fortunate. Essentially you would set the tone and condition the market in ways you choose since you won’t be having competition. This, however, mustn’t fool you into not conducting thorough market research.

It’s very possible that after setting up a coffee shop you can fail to get substantial customer inflows so be diligent in research. In the event that there are competitors already operational then you must closely examine them to draw insights. Find out what products or services they’re offering, operating hours, niching approaches, marketing strategies, operating hours and pricing regimes, amongst other characteristics. As always you must study the target market to have an idea of their average income levels and coffee consumption habits.

In terms of the coffee consumptions you mustn’t just focus on that alone. Have a sense of what people are now big on eating especially when taking coffee. That can help inform your product and service ranges. The other thing to consider is that most people nowadays are very particular and conscious about what to eat. This is premised on people’s endeavours to eat healthy so you must get insights on these issues during your market research.

Make Sure You Have A Comprehensive Coffee Shop Business Plan

The failure to plan is the beginning of business failure. The coffee shop business plan must be clear and succinct enough to give your potential partners, clients and investors an overview of what your objectives are. At the same time, it must be detailed enough to explain the nuances of the business that you propose. At the very minimum you need to have the following included:

  1. The mission, vision and operational strategy
  2. Market Analysis And Customer Segmentation
  3. A business case showing that the business is financial viable and sustainable
  4. A marketing and customer care plan
  5. An organizational chart and human resource policy
  6. A three-year expansion outlook
  7. A risk and rewards Analysis

Location And Premises

The coffee shop will usually be segmented i.e. customer sitting area, working area for the baristas, storage area and so on. Thoughtful considerations must be made to ensure that aesthetic value blends seamlessly with ergonomic aspects. Staff and customers must be able to move around without any inconveniences either way. So when coming up with the layout of the coffee shop ensure that the look and feel aspects are symbiotic.

Equipment

If you want to run a cutting-edge coffee shop then there’s a wide range of specialized equipment that you’ll need. In fact it’s said that your equipment plays a major role in how your coffee shop will perform. You’ll require things like drip coffee makers (preferably automatic ones), espresso machines, coffee grinders, freezers, refrigerators, storage containers, ovens, toasters, cooking and baking gadgets plus utensils and blenders, amongst other equipment. Where applicable filters may be needed for regulating water content. This is because it has been found out that water that has extremely high contents of minerals tends to cause damage to equipment. It’ll also be necessary to have cold counter displays or just basic display platforms or containers. So there’s a significant amount of money that’ll be required to purchase these equipment. Some of them will have to be more than one to ensure smooth service once customers get in-store. Obviously tables, chairs, countertops, plates, saucers, spoons, cups, glasses and so on will be needed.

Products

There are some basic things borne out of several studies across the world that you must know. For instance, the major highlight of virtually any coffee shop is coffee or coffee-based beverages. The lesser highlight is several other types of beverages and wide ranges of foods. A study of other players or your competitors can significantly inform on you on what products or services are popular. Your menu line up is central to how much customer inflows you’ll realize so thoroughly research on this. Some of the popular offerings here are lattes, espressos, cappuccinos, tea and different types of coffee (gourmet, flavoured, iced or specialties). There are other accompanying treats that can be included such as bread, cakes, cookies, sandwiches, pastries, salads, beverages, blended drinks (e.g. smoothies).

Staff And Management

Having expert baristas is vital for you to guarantee the production of high quality coffee. This must be your long term goal to have exceptional baristas working in your coffee shop. However, as you start off you might not focus on that but rather getting passionate and driven staff with hospitality and catering experience. The number of staff needed will depend on the size and range of services or products you offer. Waiters and/or waitresses plus cashiers will be needed – they must be passionate about customer care and service. One thing is for sure, quite a substantial number of staff will be needed moving forward. Management size again depends on size of operations but to keep human resource costs low you can do management with family members.

Bear in mind that regular purchases of ingredients and other stock items plus salaries constitute some of significant costs in this business. So you must be very frugal and prudent in how you manage your finances. Invest lots of time and effort in marketing your business especially on the internet and social media. Your pricing models are also critically important. Ensure that there are high standards of hygiene and aesthetic appeal for your coffee shop.