How to start a successful Coffee Shop
If “coffee is love” is your motto and if you possess excellent entrepreneurial skills, you should think about starting a coffee shop. However, love and skills won’t be enough – you need a lot more effort to achieve success in this business. That’s why we decided to show you the exact guidelines on how to create a successful coffee shop business.
Get necessary permits and licenses
Registering your local business with the government has to be the very first step. The whole process is not precisely the same in every country or state. But, usually, you need to provide some of the necessary documents, and afterward, a government employee will examine your space. If you fulfill all the requirements, in the end, the government will give you the permit that allows you to operate your coffee shop.
Location and rent
There are multiple reasons why it is essential to find the right place for your coffee shop. First of all, it has to attract different types of customers. You want business people who will come to drink their cup before going to work, but also students who wish to read books, surf the web, or make new friends. However, to achieve such a goal, you have to pick the right location. It has to be close to, at least, one or two colleges, and if possible, close to a few companies.
Visibility is another crucial factor. If people have issues finding your shop, they will find another one instead. Ideally, your location will be highly visible on a busy street, with a lot of parking slots in front of it. And finally, you have to consider the renting price. Having an excellent location will cost you; there is no doubt. Therefore, calculate your budget, determine your possibilities, and choose the location based on the resources you have.
If you want to have an excellent coffee shop, you will have to spend a lot of money on the equipment. Therefore, save a lot of space in your budget for this segment – there’s just no other way. Some of the basics are espresso machines, drip coffeemakers, refrigerators, freezers, blenders, and toasters. But, the complete list is much longer. A modern coffee business requires you to have an excellent POS system for a cafe with a lot of features and functions.
Besides that, you’ll need an advanced security system, as well as shelving and storage systems. It is pretty clear that the price for all this stuff will be super high. However, there are second-hand options if your budget is not big enough.
Keeping your customers and making them loyal suggests that your shop is truly a fantastic place. But how to become so great? The atmosphere is the first requirement, and the second is the product variety. There is no way you’ll make all customers happy with a few espresso combinations and regular tea. A variety of coffee, tea, snacks, and cookies is mandatory if you want to keep different types of customers. All of them have will some individual requests, and you should do everything you can to fulfill their wishes. Such an attitude will make them come to your shop regularly, and most importantly, it is the best way to defeat your competitors.
For instance, if your competitors also have a great variety of coffee in their offer, try to make a difference with snacks. Some of the most popular snacks that go well with coffee or tea are muffins, croissants, cookies, and bagels. At first, it might seem that you’re spending more money, but in the long run, you will have a massive benefit because customers will recognize and appreciate your decision to serve a cookie with a cup of coffee. That is the primary example of how to make them loyal.
A pleasant customer service
In the food and drinks industry, excellent customer service is essential – your employees are the mirror of a successful business. Almost every customer will rate your coffee based on their experience with your customer service. Depending on the type of space, you can either choose counter or table service.
Counter service is the most common since it minimizes labor costs, and it is a lot easier to handle busy periods this way. On the other hand, table service is slower, and it works better when customers like to spend more time in your shop. Also, it is a good option if you want to serve full meals as well.
Implement the loyalty program
Having a loyalty card program can be super helpful in building a massive customer base. Everyone likes having a free coffee or tea after six, seven, or ten purchases. This method is useful because it encourages people to come to your shop more often and spend more money.
Also, it might be a crucial point for customers on why to choose your location over your competitors’. And finally, loyalty cards are good for promotion. Print your business name and logo on it and make it suitable for wallets or purses. You never know who might see that and come to your shop soon.
Promotion is a must
Marketing and advertising of your coffee shop require both offline and online efforts. We already mentioned printing your name and logo on loyalty cards, but there is a lot more. Investing in your storefront is always a good idea; it has to look great. Also, you can occasionally organize quizzes, free coffee classes, and workshops. And then comes the online part. In the coffee business, it is vital to contact Instagram influencers and food bloggers, but also local radio and TV stations to spread the word about your shop.
Social media is another perfect tool for engagement, especially Instagram. Regular posts, with appropriate coffee hashtags and descriptions, can help you grow massively. And finally, your website has to include all valuable information and details. Many customers won’t even bother visiting your shop unless they visit your site first, and find out everything they want to know. Also, take care of the design and SEO (choose the right keywords).
Nowadays, everyone likes surfing through the web while drinking their coffee, especially those who come alone. Therefore, having a reliable, fast, and free Wi-Fi has to be on your priority list. Try to imagine how many customers you can lose just because you don’t have good internet. Even if you are trying to create a social atmosphere where people can meet, you should still care about those who don’t want to socialize with others.
There are some examples where coffee shop owners decided to ban laptops and tablets in order to create a more exciting atmosphere. But, we do not suggest such a move. Those who want to socialize will find the way to do it anyways. So, try to create a place where both sides can have a good time.
To have success with your coffee shop business, it is vital to take care of all the steps that we mentioned in this article. However, these are basic, essential things, but you should also think about other details that have the potential to make your coffee shop unique.