Opening a coffee shop isn’t as simple as it seems, which you have probably realised by now. It takes a lot of time, research, capital and knowledge. Many entrepreneurs know that it’s a business model that brings joy and excitement to both the owners and their guests. Owning a café isn’t all about profits – a coffee shop is a place where people wake up in the morning and relax in the afternoon after a bad day at work. Bringing people together, sharing their stories and socializing is what makes this business a fulfilling hobby, rather than a boring job. Now that you’ve decided you’d like to be the owner of such a place, the question is: where do you start? Worry no more, you’re covered – here is a list of things to consider before opening a café.
Do your research
The most important thing when starting any kind of entrepreneurial adventure is to come up with a business plan. This involves calculating your finances, networking, researching the market, getting to know your potential customers and coming up with a concept. What’s more, it’s a good idea to look for an experienced accountant, project manager and marketer to help you get a head start. If you didn’t major in business, running your accounts and managing your finances might become a headache. Other than that, you should consider talking to some owners in the hospitality industry, just so you can get some first-hand advice.
Choose the right location
When it comes to a café, the location is one of its most important features. People who visit you will most probably be the ones that live in the neighbourhood, within walking distance of your café. Having this in mind, you should look for a place where there are a lot of residential buildings close by. This will draw the guests to your coffee shop every morning, when they’re getting ready to start the day. Moreover, remember that this is the place where you will be spending a lot of free time too, so try to pick a location that is not too far away from your home.
Design the interior
Deciding on the interior is the fun part of all of this. Always try to find some good-looking, charming and quality, yet cheap furniture. When choosing the right furnishing, keep in mind that it should complement the interior’s image and motives, as well as the theme you are trying to establish. Bear in mind that the furniture will be worn out soon enough since, hopefully, you will have many guests using it every day. You should consider hiring a professional interior designer or an architect, even though the concept and ideas should be your own. Furthermore, always stay within the budget – you don’t want to go overboard with expensive chandeliers if you have limited funds. In order to come up with the best environment for your customers, think of their needs, hobbies, culture and preferences.
Market your café
Even if you’re counting on your neighbours visiting every day, it’s not a bad idea for many other people to know that your café exists. Advertising will bring more customers and the word about good coffee and pleasant atmosphere will spread fast. Establish your online and social media presence, work on your website or hire a marketing agency to do it for you. It is important to have an active marketing campaign since it shows your customers that you are dependable and professional.
In conclusion: good atmosphere, polite staff, good location and delicious coffee is what will make your café stand out. It is also a good idea for the owner to be often present, in order to welcome the guests and get to know them. This will make them feel appreciated, relaxed and happy to recommend the place to their friends and family.