In recent years, the coffee industry has grown exponentially. As the demand for coffee has increased, so has the availability of coffee shops. With us all leading busy, fast paced lives, the availability of coffee, for many people, is a necessity. Business owners and entrepreneurs may be eyeing this trend closely: looking to involve themselves in this growing industry and make their mark. If you have no barista experience or have never owned a coffee shop however, starting a coffee business can be challenging. Thankfully, we are here to help. Today we are going to offer some basic, practical advice on how to start a coffee shop. Here is cacao nibs.
Starting a Coffee Business: The Basics
Advice on how to start a coffee shop is hugely varied, as there is a lot to take in and, ultimately, do. Working up from the ground floor is never easy, but it will pay dividends in the long run. There is a huge, life altering sense of accomplishment to be had from starting a business from nothing and it being a success. In order to create a successful business however, you first need to complete a few fundamental steps. The advice listed below should be considered carefully when starting a coffee business.
- Find Your USP
Finding your USP (unique selling point) is, admittedly, tricky. In a saturated market with so much competition, it can be difficult to offer a product or service that is totally unique. Whilst it will require a lot of time and research to find your USP, it is worth doing before anything commences. If you open a coffee shop and offer the exact same as your competitors, why are customers going to visit your store?
Simply put, they can get the same service somewhere else. Whilst you may get a few stragglers, it is unlikely that you will be able to generate a high volume of new and returning customers. If, however, you offer a unique spin on the coffee game, you put yourself in the best position to attract customers and turn a profit. Whether it is a specialty coffee or bean, you cater to a particular area of the market or you involve live music in your shop, you must find something that sets you apart.
- Location Matters
Anyone that is looking to start in the hospitality industry will know that location matters. We cannot stress enough how important location is. Truthfully, it can make or break your coffee shop. A coffee shop that is tucked away and is not visible by anyone or is located in a bad part of town is unlikely to see a huge amount of customers. Ideally, you need to find a location close to foot traffic as well as other businesses and amenities. This is unlikely to be cheap, but starting any business and trying to make it a success is not cheap.
- Your Shop
The look and feel of your shop is important. This falls into the segment about USP also. You want your shop to stand out: not to be a carbon copy of every other coffee business around it. The front of your store is important, as this will attract passersby. Lots of glass is nice as it shows transparency and gives viewers a taste of the interior. A bold sign with a good logo is important too for brand recognition. On the inside, your shop should be vibrant, warm and inviting. Coffee shops tend to be more intimate and relaxed than bars and restaurants. This is a space where customers can go to unwind or catch up with friends. Your design scheme should reflect this.
- Sort The Legal Side
As with any business, owning a coffee shop demands attention to be paid to the legal side of the business. Before you serve your first cup of coffee, it is important to have a business plan prepared. This should encapsulate your aims and aspirations, as well as your budget and competitor/ supplier research. When the business is off the ground, you need to consider things such as HRMC, corporation tax, registering for VAT, comprehensive insurance. These are but a few examples, and truthfully there are many more legal aspects to consider in order to open a legitimate business.
- Build an Experienced Team
Your team will help you keep you afloat and the key to any successful business is a hard working team. No one can turn a business into a success on their own: it is a collective effort. If you are wondering how to start a coffee shop, we encourage you to source some good baristas. Making good coffee is an art in itself, and requires both skill and experience to get it right. Having the right team around you who you can rely on will help you go from strength to strength.
Today we have provided a few basic tips on how to start a coffee shop. This is only designed as a basic guide to give you some pointers. If you are serious about starting a business, it may be helpful to reach out to a business consultant or someone with some experience in the field.