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.