Coffee shops have become really popular, both in big cities and small towns. They have gradually become the most sought after type of business, in the whole restaurant industry. Therefore, opening a Coffee Shop is potentially an excellent business venture, as positive returns are very likely.
Small towns have their own intricacies and peculiarities, which make them different from the cities, in various ways. Thus, opening a coffee shop in a small town is a challenge on its own. However, there are also many similarities.
To be successful in this endeavor, it is absolutely necessary for you to come up with a comprehensive fool-proof plan. There are numerous things to consider, and it can seem very daunting and overwhelming. That is why we have compiled the following guide, which will prove to be invaluable to you. Before you dive in though, check out “How Much Does it Cost to Start a Coffee Shop” to find out your budget for the start of the coffee shop.
Prepare a Solid Business Plan
This is the first thing you should do in the whole process, as it will lay the foundation for all future steps. Considering the small-town setting, you should try to find a unique niche for the coffee shop, that will attract most of the town’s residents. To aid you in this process, you can interview your friends, families, neighbors and other town mates.
A lot of importance should be stressed about being unique. Your business plan should ensure that your shop has some special characteristics, that make it different from all the other coffee shops in town.
Overall, your business plan should contain the following core components. First and foremost, you need to reiterate how and why your coffee shop will stand out from the others. You also need to look into finances and make an estimate of the total money required. Moreover, you also need to formulate your marketing plan and make a vision for the future of the coffee shop. Need some tips to execute that marketing plan for your shop? Check out “6 Ways to Promote Your Local Coffee Shop” for more.
Money is needed to kick-start any business, and initial funding can make or break your whole project. First of all, you should reach out to your friends and family, and ask them if they’re interested in investing in your coffee shop. For this to happen successfully, you need to present them with a solid and convincing project.
If you cannot secure funding from your family and friends, you should look into local loans. A good type of loan to look into is an SBA-backed one. Furthermore, a local bank or local union should also be an option.
It starts to get a little complicated when talking about finances right? Check out “Why Opening a Coffee Shop is Harder than You Think” for tips on not getting overwhelmed when starting your venture.
Learn as Much as You Can About Coffee
Even if you consider yourself a great coffee enthusiast, it is likely that you still do not know a lot about it. The world of coffee is really wide and diverse, and as someone who wants to open a coffee shop, you should learn about it as much as possible. The more you know about coffee, the more you will be aware of its intricacies, thus you will be more qualified to start a business in this domain.
Check out Coffee Sesh, educating the coffee community on ways to better enjoy their favorite cup of coffee. From roasting techniques to brewing techniques & everything in between!
Immerse Yourself in the Industry
You should view other coffee shop owners as your colleagues, and not just your rivals, and also network with them. It is imperative that you stay well acquainted with the coffee industry, and its trends. You can do this by signing up for coffee periodicals, and attending trade shows.
Stay Aware of the Laws and Regulations
Starting a coffee shop can lead to unforeseen bad circumstances if you neglect the laws and regulations of your town. These can include paying taxes, and buying extra equipment, in order to satisfy codes and safety regulations.
These laws vary from town to town, so you should make it your duty to study the relevant laws of your town, well beforehand. In fact, laws also vary within different areas in a town. For example, the tax rates can be different in different areas of your region. Hence, you should also take this into consideration before selecting the location of your coffee shop. Take a look at “5 Tips When Starting a Coffee Shop” for more tips before beginning.
Need somewhere to share your coffee shop struggles and see how your other owner colleagues are doing? Become a part of our exclusive Facebook Group, Food Service Brand Builders— a space dedicated for cafe, restaurant, and food service business owners to share helpful tips and experiences of owning a small business.
Hire Qualified Employees
Employees have a huge impact on the success of any business, and coffee shops are no different. You need to make sure that you hire the most qualified employees for the job. This can be a hard thing to do, considering the lack of employee networks in small towns, but there is still a way.
You can start by putting in ads for the available job positions, in independent magazines and local newspapers. You can also post ads in your local workforce center’s website and on Craigslist. Don’t forget to look for potential employees in your immediate friends and family, as you can normally rely on them.
Find the Right Location
The location of your coffee shop is pivotal to its success. It is ideal if it is in or near the center of the town. That way more and more people will have easy access to it, as the commute will be less. Remember the golden rule that the greater convenience your potential customers have, the greater chance they’ll visit your shop.
Promote the Coffee Shop
Word gets across rather quickly in small towns. Therefore, with proper promotion and marketing, your coffee shop can become really popular in town. The marketing power of social media, in today’s day and age, should not be neglected.
A good promotion idea is to organize a free coffee shop social, for the town’s residents. You can keep game stalls at the event for fun, and also put up flyers containing information on the shop. Go to “8 Things You Should Know Before Opening a Coffee Shop” and see other ways to promote your coffee shop.
This is the most important tip, and it is what will ultimately bring all your efforts together. Obstacles are bound to come in your way, but if you keep a positive attitude, you will overcome them gracefully. Being an entrepreneur is definitely not an easy task, and the hardships can be elevated if things are not going your way. However, with the right spirit of optimism, you can keep on moving forward, overcoming any challenges on your way. See it as a marathon, and not as a short-sprint.
Thank you for reading with us today! Let us know in the comments below how your experience is going in starting your own coffee shop. Be sure to also check out “4 Tips for Managing a Coffee Shop” for a guide on managing your shop with success.