Although opening a small coffee shop has a certain idea, excitement, and enthusiasm behind it, you need to think about it like a business. In other developments, the case is doomed. You will have to think through every step even before the moment of opening to shine among numerous competitors, stand out, and, therefore, be a profitable establishment.
Planning and Research
There will be quite a few items on the to-do list before opening a coffee shop: from choosing a location to finding suppliers. However, it will have to be done. Don’t leave a single step to chance, or it will become the Achilles heel of your business. To turn a great idea into a success story, you should start with planning and market research.
Mandatory points that should be considered
To achieve success, you should decide on the following points already at the time of planning:
- Create a business plan, outlining your goals, strategies, and financial projections in this document. In the Harvard Business Review, you will find excellent and effective recommendations for creating a business plan.
- Decide on the initial financing for the purchase of equipment, consumables, rent, and repair of the premises and the first marketing activities.
- Choose a location, taking into account the flow of potential customers. That’s why a small coffee shop needs to be visible and located near businesses, parking lots, organizations, high foot traffic, etc.
The last point is to come up with an apt name — unique and well-remembered.
Equipment and Supplies
You need quality equipment and consumables to prepare delicious coffee and create a pleasant atmosphere to which guests will want to return again and again. Basic supplies to get started:
- Coffee maker
- Grinders for coffee beans
- Cups and other dishes
- Consumables for preparing takeaway coffee (paper cups, lids, tubes, etc.)
- Quality coffee beans, milk, sugar, and other ingredients
It is also essential to maintain equipment and supplies to ensure they remain in good condition. Choosing for a good brand of machine is also something the shop owner must highly consider. This ensures the quality and the durability of the equipment, making it a good investment for the business. Today, many believe that the Fellow Ode Gen 2 is the hottest filter coffee grinder in the market. Compared to its predecessor, it went through vast of improvements in terms of performance and appearance, making it an excellent choice for both personal and business use.
Sales management is also another factor that must be considered. Modern businesses, whether big or small are now adapting to the latest technology to make their shop more efficient and productive. The use of barcode scanners and POS machines, for instance, will make all financial works relatively faster compared to traditional cash registers and payment systems.
Hiring and Training Staff
Great staff is your asset. Take care of training and motivating employees so that they help you create a cozy atmosphere in the coffee shop every day. The quality of customer service and the coffee experience of the staff can significantly affect customer satisfaction and business success. However, each employee will have their role and a specific list of duties.
- Baristas are responsible for preparing and serving coffee drinks. They should know about coffee, be able to use different brewing methods, and have excellent customer service skills. They should take a sincere and dedicated interest in the business, for example, by reading information at the National Coffee Association USA.
- Managers ensure the day-to-day operations of the coffee shop, including inventory management, scheduling, training, and customer service.
- You need an accountant to handle the financial affairs of the coffee shop, pay salaries, be responsible for paying taxes, etc.
The task of finding people who are dedicated to your work and your business is one of the most difficult tasks. But if you can handle it, success will not have to wait long.
Choosing a POS System
A point-of-sale (POS) system is a combination of hardware and software that allows businesses to process transactions and manage various aspects of their operations.
A user-friendly POS system can help speed up transactions, reduce errors, and increase customer satisfaction. It should have an intuitive interface that is easy to navigate, and it should be easy to customize to the specific needs of the coffee shop. Since this topic requires a lot of attention, go here for additional info.
Marketing and Promotion
It is too late to start marketing activities on opening day. Start advertising and warm the interest of potential customers long before the start. To attract customers, you can use all available channels. This is described in great detail in Toast. Here are the key ideas:
- Presence on social networks: Instagram, TikTok, Facebook. Use these platforms to showcase your café’s atmosphere, menu, and specials. Incentivize your followers to create live content by tagging your pages so that as many people as possible learn about your brand.
- Hold book clubs or game nights; collaborate with local artists or musicians.
- Collaborate with other companies. For example, agree on a partnership with a local bakery to offer fragrant, delicious pastries with coffee.
- Come up with an interesting loyalty program: offer regular customers discounts, free drinks, and gifts.
And don’t stay away from social events: support for animal rights activists and participation in charity events. All this will have a positive effect on both customer loyalty and sales.
It seems that the to-do list is too long. However, it is planning, research, and control that allows you to keep the competition behind you. Be realistic and goal-oriented and think through everything: hiring staff, choosing equipment, and other things. And stay tuned every day — only this will help you succeed.