Given the growing demand for specialty coffee, the opportunity to enter this business is wide open. But that doesn’t mean the turnover isn’t high. It takes hard work, luck, and a great business model to succeed. Here are 5 secrets to creating a successful coffee shop:
Commitment. According to Espresso 101, you’ll need anywhere from $20,000 to $375,000 to open your coffee business, depending on the type. Fox Small Business claims you’ll spend about 80 to 90 hours a week working to earn your payroll. If you’re still determined, think about how far into the future you’d like to remain in the business. Can you see yourself growing the coffee shop through the next decade? Now that’s a commitment.
Concept. Your concept differentiates you from the vast competition, permeating everything from the coffee shop’s layout and design, including furniture and décor, to the type of music that you play. Will you attract a family-friendly crowd, providing comfortable sofas, a selection of children’s books along with the magazines, and kid-friendly entertainment on weekends? Or will you attract busy students and freelancers who’ll depend on your WiFi and a quiet space to work?When you’ve got your concept down, it’s time to come up with your business name. Work with a graphic designer or marketing firm to create a logo with a unique graphic for your sign, cups, and business cards.
Location. Invariably, it’s the initial morning cup o’ joe that seems most critical, the one that jump-starts the day for so many. That said, your location must be accessible during the a.m. commute, with enough parking to be a convenient destination spot.Once you’ve found a potential space, research it thoroughly before signing the lease. Spend several hours scoping your spot for foot traffic. Also, investigate the location’s history. What business stood there previously? Was it a coffee shop, and if so, why didn’t it succeed?
Passion. A passion for coffee should really take the #1 spot. Whether you specialize in drip coffee or espresso, having a quality product is essential for success in this business, and it’s your responsibility to know your stuff. A Serious Eats article recommends anyone thinking of starting a coffee shop get good training from more than one place, as well as Barista Guild of America certification. As the owner, you should be the best barista in the house. That means you not only love the look, smell, and taste of coffee, you’ve also studied the business, attended trade shows, and subscribe to multiple industry periodicals.
Staffing. Your team may include a professional consulting company to advise you through start-up, a dependable payroll company, and a coffee roaster that you’ve selectively chosen. Last but not least are your baristas, who will provide the personal attention that distinguish independent coffee shops from the bigger chains. Train yours to know the fundamentals of preparing a consistent beverage, then presenting it to thirsty customers like a work of art.
In the morning, when coffee drinkers are rushing to get to work on time, an iPad POS designed specifically for cafes ensures greater speed and efficiency. No one wants to wait in a long line, regardless of the time of day. By sending orders wirelessly to your kitchen and automatically to barista screens, and enabling customers to request their orders online, Revel’s software will have your coffee shop running at top productivity, sort of like your customers after a cup of your strongest coffee.