Monthly Archives: June 2016

Five Tips on How to Start a Coffee Shop

Do you love coffee shops? And do you ever wish you could hang out in your favorite one all day long — and get paid for it too? If so, read on to find out the best way to do just that.

Sure, you could be a barista in your local coffee shop. But they don’t get paid much. So why not own the coffee shop yourself?

It’s quite an undertaking, but it’s also one of the hottest business models around.

Here are five tips to get you started:

1) Explore your market

Do you know your market? Different coffee shops appeal to different people. But overall, if you create a comfortable yet classy place for people to hang out in, and if you provide superb coffee and customer service, along with free internet access, you’ve got a winning combo that will appeal to almost any target market.

But there’s one area where your market will determine your success: price. Make sure your market can handle what you plan to charge — or make adjustments accordingly.

2) Check out your competition

Be very familiar with all the other coffee shops in your area and make sure that you’ll be able to meet and beat them in their offerings. You want to make sure your coffee is great. You also need to find something where you excel. Maybe you provide cookies to die for. Maybe it’s your soups, the fantastic live music, or the cushy sofas.

3) Poll your potential customers

Ask people in those competing places what they like about them — and what would have to happen to make them like them even better.

Next, ask them what might lure them to the competition. Is it the coffee? Is it the variety of fancy drinks? Is it the ambience? The friendly baristas? Or maybe the food? It could even be the reading materials that you provide free of charge.

4) What are the opening times of the competition

Maybe you can beat them by being open when the others close? Then again, be sure there’s a ready market at those times, or else you’ll be paying for your employees to be all by their lonesome selves. Maybe there’s a reason why the others are closed at those times.

5) Create a solid step-by-step business plan

Even before you actually decide to open a coffee shop, make sure you know what’s involved and it’s really what you want to do. The best way to go about that is to educate yourself about exactly what you’d be getting yourself into and start working on your business plan.

And when you’re shopping for a how to start your coffee shop guide or a coffee shop business plan, be sure to get one from someone who actually does what you want to do. What I mean by that is to make sure they actually have a successful business of the exact kind you’re looking to start.

Discount and Low Cost Shopping

If you look beyond the big name stores, it is surprising what you will find. The recession has seen a surge in low cost budget shops. Once were the favorite of people on low incomes and pensioners are now attracting middle class shoppers who are deserting the big name stores.

These no frills stores may have a limited range of goods but the quality is amazingly good. The savings you will make means that it is certainly worth the time and effort to find out these bargains. These budget stores can afford to keep their prices low as they don’t carry every make and size like the larger big brand stores.

When buying electrical goods, don’t always just buy the cheapest. You need to take energy efficiency into account too. A cheap washing machine or freezer could eat up the value of its cheaper price in energy costs as well as a repair bill – if it’s unreliable. Use the guides available in magazines and on the internet for information or ask in store for the energy information on the product you want to buy. With energy prices on the increase, even if you save money of the purchase, in the long run by paying for a more efficient model now that uses less power will pay for itself.

When buying electrical items such as washing machines and fridges choose the color white. Any other color will make the item cost more and after all, it will do the same thing.

Look out for bargains such as shop-damaged goods. You may find a very cheap shirt – that only has a button missing or a top that has been pulled over someone’s head and had makeup smudged over it. If you can get a good enough discount – then bag yourself a bargain.

Watch Shopping Guide

Shopping for watches on the Internet, while enjoyable can be difficult for a number of reasons. Two main reasons are that there are an overwhelming number of watches available and you don’t get to see them and feel them before you click that buy button. However, with some basic knowledge on wrist watches, you will be able to browse through more choices in less time and significantly increase your chance of finding the watch that you want.

Watches 101

Before you shop for your next watch, be it a Citizen watch or an Invicta watch or any watch for that matter, it is a good idea to know how watches are classified. Watches are generally classified as either quartz watches or mechanical watches. Mechanical watches are further broken down to automatic watches (automatic winding) and manual wind watches. Mechanical watches consist of all mechanical components and hence the name mechanical watches. Mechanical watches do not need battery. Quartz watches do need battery. Quartz watches gets their name from the quartz crystal that is in use in the movement.

There are inherent advantages and disadvantages with both quartz and mechanical watches. Quartz watches are more accurate and less expensive than similar mechanical watches. However, you do have to change the battery every few years, which will incur additional cost and inconvenience. Mechanical watches are less accurate. They are heavier and usually cost more than similar quartz watches. However, mechanical watches are view as more than just timepieces; they are pieces of art. They are canvases where watchmakers showcase their creativity and skills. Even a simple mechanical watch can have over 100 parts in them compare to just a few dozen in quartz watches. It is not difficult to see that it takes far more expertise to put a mechanical watch together. Knowing whether you want a quartz watch or a mechanical watch will help you filter out a significant number of choices.

Watches are further classified into smaller categories based on their functions or complications. Examples of popular complications are chronograph, perpetual calendar, and moon phase.

What is popular now?

Currently, chronograph watches, diamond watches, dive watches, and watches with large face are some of most popular watches available on the market. Chronograph watches are watches with a stop watch feature built in. Most people buy chronograph watches for the look, few actually use the function. Diamonds can really add some sparkles to watches. Diamond is one of the most popular precious stones, so it is no surprise that diamond watches are popular. Dive watches are popular because they are often rugged looking and convey a sense of durability, not to mention the fact that they have high water resistance. Large face watches are popular partly because many celebrities are wearing them and also because it is easier to tell time with them.

What to look for?

Once you determine whether you want a quartz watch or a mechanical watch and the kind of complications you want it to have, it is time to look at some materials.

Case materials:

Popular watch materials for watch cases are stainless steel and titanium. Stainless steel and titanium are good because and they are durable. Titanium is lighter than stainless steel, but much stronger. However, it has a duller look compares to stainless steel. Titanium tends to be a little more expensive than stainless steel.

Crystal materials:

Sapphire crystals and mineral crystals are recommended for most watches. Sapphire crystal is much harder than mineral crystal and is a lot more scratch resistant than mineral crystal. They are obviously more expensive than mineral crystals. Materials to avoid are glass and acrylic. They are found in many low end watches.

Watch band materials:

There are a wide variety of watch band materials ranging from stainless steel to eel skin. Which material works best for your watch is determined by your taste and your intended use for that watch. If you are active and will be getting the watch wet often, then you will want to go with either a metal bracelet of some sort or a rubber strap as they are easy to clean and maintain. It is not recommended for any type of leather strap to be submerged in water as it can deteriorate the quality of the band.

Tips to getting the right watch the first time!

Read the descriptions including all the specifications of all the watches you are interested in carefully. As a watch dealer, very often I see customers returning a watch simply because it was too big or too small. If only they had read the descriptions and the specs carefully, they won’t have to waste money on shipping and create extra work and inconvenience for themselves and others. If you are unsure whether a watch will be too big or too small for you, measure your wrist and know its approximate size. Remember you can always call the vendor and ask for additional help. It sure beats making an unnecessary trip to the post office.

Learn these basics about watches and you will soon discover that you can spend less time and browse through more watches, so you may find the one that best fits your taste and your style of life.