Coffee Shop Business: Tips for Starting

It is estimated that people worldwide consume approximately 2.5 billion cups of coffee daily. Coffee and other similar shops have proven to withstand instability in markets, which can reduce the uncertainty associated with running a small business. If you are passionate about coffee and entrepreneurship, consider opening a coffee shop.

Choose a Concept

If you’re planning to open a cafe, it’s important to start thinking about the concept of your coffee shop. The concept is the central idea that ties everything in your cafe together. A well-developed concept can help your business stand out from other coffee shops nearby and give you a competitive advantage. For example, you can emphasize a low acid coffee in the concept of your business.

Conduct Research

It’s advisable to conduct comprehensive research before considering opening a cafe. This research can help you determine if there is a demand for a coffee shop in your area if you can compete with established businesses, and if you can afford to own a commercial business in your chosen location.

Ensure you focus on competitor research and note if the coffee shops in the area are franchises or independent. Independent coffee shops may need help to compete with established chains and other independent coffee shops.

Find a Source for Your Coffee Beans

If you want to run a good coffee shop, it’s crucial to serve high-quality coffee, so you must find a reliable source of coffee beans. Most coffee shops buy their coffee beans in bulk from a coffee roaster. When searching for a roaster to provide your coffee beans, be sure to be specific.


Write a Business Plan

A well-defined business plan ensures success in any food service operation. Your business plan will enable you to finalize your concept, plan your ownership structure, project your finances, create your menu, and conduct competitive research. Besides guiding you in managing your business, a coffee shop business plan is essential when seeking funding for your café.

Get Startup Capital

It’s important to secure startup capital. Since opening a coffee shop can be expensive, you must have enough funding to cover all the necessary equipment and supplies. It would help if you also thought that most new coffee shops take 6-12 months to become profitable, so your initial funding should be able to cover operational expenses until your business can generate sufficient income.

Find a Commercial Space

It’s crucial to find the perfect commercial space for your cafe. The right location can guarantee a consistent influx of customers. While considering different spaces, make sure to conduct a location analysis.

Get Permits and Licenses

Before selling to the public, you’ll need several permits and licenses for your new coffee shop. It’s essential to check with your local government about the necessary paperwork and how to obtain them, as the requirements may vary by city and state. Also, remember that waiting for permit approval will take time, so plan and allow yourself enough time to avoid delays.

Order Equipment and Hire Staff

To succeed, cafes and coffee shops need high-quality coffee equipment. Necessary equipment might differ between establishments, but every cafe needs a few crucial pieces.

It’s crucial to hire staff that provides excellent customer service. When considering job applicants, think about the level of experience you prefer. Also, consider your management style and decide if you want to provide training to new staff or hire experienced baristas.

Author: Sasha Pavlovich