8 Things You Should Know Before Opening a Coffee Shop

If you’re like most of America, you start your day with a cup of joe. Ever thought about combining your love of coffee with a passion for business? If so, you’ve found yourself in the right place! The coffee industry is booming, so it’s no wonder why smaller coffee shops are popping up all over cities to compete with big-box competitors like Starbucks! Wondering what it takes to open your coffee shop? Look no further! Keep reading to hear 8 things you should know before opening up a coffee shop of your own! 

Do you know “How Much Does it Cost to Start a Coffee Shop” yet? Check it out by clicking on the link above.

outdoor cafe shop @thatgirlfleur

Opening a Coffee Shop 101

1. Business Plan

The start to any great business out there is always a well detailed and outlined business plan! A business plan is a set of documents that spell out what the business is all about! Found on these documents are detailed future objectives to even the specific strategies for how to achieve those objectives. Before creating your business, look at it from three different standpoints: marketing, financial, and operational. After the business plan is created, you’ll have a better sense of the achievability of your dream coffee shop. 

Also, be sure to read “Why Opening a Coffee Shop is Harder than You Think” for a detailed look at your coffee shop opening.

8 Things to Consider Before Opening a Coffee Shop
set up a business plan for your coffee shop

2. Location

Where will your coffee shop be? Who is your target market? If your target market is college students, think about having your location in high trafficked areas, such as the library or study space. If your target market is workers on their way into the office, try thinking about having your location be close and a convenient walking distance from many office buildings. Finding a location will not happen right away! It takes time and research. It always helps to be familiar with the area before deciding to place a business there, so we recommend spending some time in the area you want your business to be. The most important way to have a successful coffee shop is to make sure it’s centrally located! If an area is already exhausted with competition, chances are this is not the right place for your coffee shop.

8 Things to Consider Before Opening a Coffee Shop
location of coffee shop

3. Starting Capital

Finding the necessary funds to start your own coffee shop can sometimes be difficult, so it’s important that you have enough saved up from the start! Begin with looking at your own bank accounts. In most cases, new small businesses aren’t profitable for the first six months to a year, so it’s important to plan ahead. Make sure that you have enough money in your own pocket to survive after so much of your time, energy, and funds went into starting your coffee shop. 

Check out “5 Tips When Starting a Coffee Shop” for more info about key factors when starting your coffee shop.

8 Things to Consider Before Opening a Coffee Shop
need capital for cafe shop

4. The Coffee

Your whole business is primarily about one thing: your coffee! It’s important to choose to source your coffee from a place you not only like the flavor of, but feel that you can trust. Many customers absolutely LOVE seeing that the coffee that they’re enjoying is local, so browse around local coffee distributors to see if any of their brands will work best for you.

Most importantly, taste your coffee before selling it to your customers. That may sound like a no-brainer, but we still have to ensure we mention it! Have friends and family members try out the product before displaying it out in the world. Aside from your coffee, your coffee brand is also very important. Read about “6 Coffee Shop Branding Tips” to get your coffee brand going correctly.

8 Things to Consider Before Opening a Coffee Shop
coffee matters @tmdtd

5. Logo

We can not emphasize enough the importance a logo has on a business! The logo of a business is the first thing your customers see when they walk into your shop and the last thing they see as they take their finishing sip of your amazing coffee. Your logo is the face of your company, so it’s important that you put devoted thought into it. The logo is what customers pinpoint as the recognizing factor with your brand.

Take the logo as the cover of a book. We all know the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but come on; we all know everyone does. Make sure your logo is professional looking, aesthetically pleasing, and truly conveys what your brand is. For more on why a logo is important and some tips and tricks of designing one, check out our article 10 Things to Think About When Designing a Cafe Logo.”

8 Things to Consider Before Opening a Coffee Shop
cafe logo @25design.id

6. Floor plan

Having a vision in your head for what you imagine your dream coffee shop is great, but it’s not very practical when trying to describe it to others. We recommend using online software to design your floor plan so you can visualize what will actually be going into your space.

Finding this info reliable but thinking of opening a different kind of restaurant aside from a coffee shop? Check out “7 Things You Should Know Before Opening Restaurant” for tips on opening your next business.

Using online software allows you to play around with colors, textures and so much more! A huge benefit of this is having a detailed and mapped out floor plan to follow when actually putting those blueprints into a reality. If you’re artistic, doing this in Adobe Illustrator is great, but if you’re a little short of skills in the art department, there are plenty of softwares you can use to create a floor plan. A software that we recommend using is SmartDraw.  

8 Things to Consider Before Opening a Coffee Shop
inside of coffee shop

7. Marketing

Literally any single way there is to get your name out there, do it! Start your marketing even before you open for business! Create social media pages and begin posting what your up and coming business is all about to peak the interests of potential customers. Participate in pop-ups, making appearances at local festivals and farmers markets. Call your local news outlets to let them know that you’re ready to take the town by storm and how excited you are for everyone to try your coffee! Any way you can think of getting people excited for your brand, even before opening, assures for a great turnout for opening day!  

If money is tight, create an Instagram and Facebook account. Doing so is free and incredibly easy. Begin posting aesthetically pleasing shots of sample drinks or how the shop is coming together to get people interested and excited about your business. Maybe even begin with a give-away! Create a contest post saying that you’ll give away $50 worth of coffee to one lucky person, all they have to do is tag three friends below and make sure everyone is following you! Believe it or not, hundreds of comments will begin popping up in seconds, exposing more people to your brand.

Need a few more tips on starting your business? Click on “5 Tips for Branding a Small Business.

8 Things to Consider Before Opening a Coffee Shop
coffee shop counter

8. Patience

Starting a business is not an overnight process. It takes so much time, energy, and funds to get the ball rolling. Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends and family for support. Make sure you have a positive attitude throughout the entire process and most importantly, try to have fun! 

8 Things to Consider Before Opening a Coffee Shop
heart-shaped detail on coffee @dan_coffee_passion

Thank you for reading with us today, we hope that you found these 8 tips on what to think about before opening up a coffee shop helpful. For more tips and tricks on how to build a successful business, feel free to read our other step by step recommendations!

Also, check out more of our articles by going to our Brand My Cafe page. Or check out other content helpful for starting your coffee shop like “Things to Sell in a Coffee Shop Besides Coffee” or “How To Be A Barista 101

Brand My Cafe helps small & medium-sized businesses, cafes and foodservice brands grow their identity through custom coffee cups, coffee sleeves & more. Join our exclusive Facebook group Restaurant Brand Builders to brainstorm ideas with passionate other passionate owners!

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