Most of us love coffee, but few of us ever think of turning our love into a means of financial support. We're more likely to think of joining the ranks of retail or real estate than we are of opening a coffee shop. But coffee shops are great first businesses. They're relatively easy to set up and to operate, and they tend to be profitable, because as we all know, everyone loves coffee! Here are some tips and things to consider if you're thinking of opening your own coffee shop.
Even a business as small as a coffee shop generally cannot become a reality without the assistance of a bank. You'll need to apply for a business loan that will help you buy your coffee making equipment and supplies, lease your premises, and renovate them to your tastes. In order to do so, you'll need a solid business plan. If you don't know much about business, you can start by taking a small business class at the local community center.
Location is key for any business. Your business needs to be located in an area where your target audience is, as well as easily accessible by many. In order to attract lots of customers, you'll want to find a space in an area with a lot of foot traffic. Being near other businesses will make it easy for them to buy your coffee during their breaks, and having a lot of students or young professionals around who need coffee to function can only help your bottom line.
One of the things you need to decide is whether you're going to leave the food end of things to an outside company or whether you want to dabble in it too. Most coffee shops at least sell a few types of pastries or baked goods in addition to every variety of coffee, but others have lunch menus as well. Consider the needs and wants of your potential clients and build your offerings to meet them.
It's those little extra touches that tempt people out of their home and to break loyalty to Starbucks or Tim Hortons. Offering free wi-fi in the shop is a must in today's computer culture. You'll also want newspapers to read, and possibly even a few board games to play and some entertainment a few nights a week.
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