Running a coffee shop is something that many people dream of. The freedom of being your own boss is appealing, but there’s something about owning a coffee shop that has an extra appeal. Chatting with customers while surrounded by the delicious smells of the food and drink certainly makes owning a café a romantic idea.
Everyone loves heading to a coffee shop for something tasty to eat and drink, so there is no shortage of demand for café businesses. However, to make your business a success and grab a slice of this lucrative market, you will need to put together a strong business plan. Transforming your ideas from a vague notion of running a business, through to creating a solid plan takes a lot of thought. The planning process is an exciting time, as you start to build on your ideas, and see your dreams begin to take shape. Here are some of the things that you will need to think about to make a success of your coffee shop business:
Know Your Style
To attract passing trade, your café will need to look as appealing as possible to entice people. This means that you need to get the ‘look’ right. Creating a style for your business is a fun task, and allows you to get your imagination working. Creating a distinctive style is a good idea so that people can identify your café from competing businesses in the area.
Creating a distinctive style doesn’t mean that you need to have a theme (unless you want to). It is more about making the appearance cohesive. The décor should reflect the brand that you are trying to create. It should also be designed to appeal to the types of customers you are hoping to attract.
Find Your Niche
Wander along most streets, and you will see at least a couple of coffee shops along the way. Each of these establishments will be vying to attract the most customers, so you will need to be prepared to face some stiff opposition.
To stand out from all the other cafés out there, you are going to need to find your niche and then work with it to create your brand. In marketing terms, your niche is your unique selling proposition, aka your USP. Once you have your USP, you can capitalize on it to set your business apart from your competitors.
Every coffee shop you wander past claims to sell ‘the best coffee in town.’ To stand out from these businesses, you need to create a new offering that they don’t. Your specialty could be incredible cakes that draw crowds to your windows to drool over. Alternatively, you could add in a juice bar area to your business so that you expand your offering way beyond just coffee. A juice bar works well as the colors of the fruit, vegetables, and juices are attractive to look at, so it will add to the look of your café. By serving juices and fresh shots such as a ginger shot you can reach customers that don’t drink coffee regularly and prefer nutritious drinks.
A unique offering will help to expand your customer base and cater to a broader range of clientele.
Perfect Your Layout
The layout of your coffee shop is one of those small considerations that makes a huge difference. Not only does your layout impact the appearance of the café, but it also affects your profits too.
If your coffee shop doesn’t have enough tables, then you are going to miss out on a lot of customers. On the flip side, if you have too many tables and the place looks crowded with furniture, customers will find this a turn off. Think about how you spend time in coffee shops; you probably meet friends to catch up with them, or you may visit them so that you can work on your laptop in different surroundings. Either way, these things are going to be a lot less enjoyable if you are crammed in and unable to work quietly or chat with your friend without customers around you hear.
Configuring your layout to help you get the best use of your space is something that may take a little while. Try to observe how customers use your space and use that as a way to figure out what works best.
Starting a new business is always an exciting time, and hopefully, these ideas have helped to inspire you with further plans for your new venture.