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Three Points to Consider Before Opening a Coffee Shop

There is a lot more to running a coffee shop than meets the eye. On the surface, it’s important to know what kind of experience your customers will have – trendy, stylish, relaxed, highly polished, it’s up to you. But dig a little deeper and you’ll soon find that there is a lot more to consider. Here are some useful steps to take before embarking on finding the perfect coffee blend.

1. Research, research, research. Firstly, start by going to as many coffee shops as you can. Talk to the owners, order different coffees and meals, go in on different days, listen to the music, check out the decor and review the signage. Aside from noting down all the things you really like and want to implement in your own coffee shop, write down all the things you don’t like. This will start to shape a list of do’s and don’ts as well as other things to starting researching.

After you have consumed your body weight in coffee and visited more coffee shops than you care to mention, get stuck into some reading. There are so many great resources available, both online and in hardcopy. Many forums and blogs will give you an insight into how coffee shop owners started out and ultimately how they became successful. Write down a list of questions and post them on Q&A websites. You’ll be amazed at the great feedback you receive from participants.

2. Create a sound business plan. Don’t just write about all the great ideas you have – it’s important to be realistic. Write down all your goals and objectives, financial and otherwise. Also note down the vision you have for the coffee shop, the clientele it will attract and what kind of profits and losses you will experience. If you are unsure on where to start, go back to the internet and research basic business plans. Having this documentation in place will save you many stresses in the future.

To avoid being overwhelmed by the process, take the planning in a two-step approach. In the initial stages, write out all the things you wish to achieve (e.g. the business plan) then after this, develop an action plan. Put down important dates in your diary and also when things need to be completed by. This will allow you to keep on top of your tasks and make sure you hit important dates in your timeline.

3. Legal Advice. Don’t second guess anything to do with the legalities of your business. If you do, you could be up for huge fines and all types of drama and stress. If you haven’t consulted a business lawyer before, this is another opportunity to do some research. Jump online to find out who is reputable in your area. Don’t skimp on this part – it might cost a bit up front, but will be sure to save you dollars and heartache in the long run. If you don’t understand something your lawyer is trying to explain to you, or something doesn’t seem right, get a second opinion.

Finally, develop a risk mitigation strategy. Figure out some worst case scenarios that could stop your business from making money. Pose every possible question to yourself and put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What will happen if someone sues you? What will happen if the shop burns down? What happens if a staff member hurts themselves at work? These are the types of questions you should be thinking about to avoid being unprepared for such unfortunate situations.

Café Ideas is a family owned Australian business that supplies Catering Equipment & Commerical Fridges to Cafes & Businesses.

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Three Points to Consider Before Opening a Coffee Shop
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