In some towns coffee shops seem to have taken over the high street, this is an indication of how much people enjoy a coffee and a light snack while out in the town.
The good news is that, despite the number of coffee shops, many of them belong to big chains, there is always room for an independent café which offers a friendly and personal service.
But, the idea of opening your own cafe can seem a little daunting. Fortunately, it doesn’t need to be:
Find Your Niche
With so many cafes and coffee shops already in business, you need to be offering something special to entice customers away from the big brands. This may mean emphasizing organic products or creating a unique menu that will appeal to most people.
Study the cafes in your area and figure out what you can offer and do that is different, but better, than what the others are doing. This will help to make sure you have a viable business.
Create A Business Plan
You’ next step will be to create a complete plan showing all the likely expenses and income for the first year of business. You’ll need to have the money available to cover all the costs for the first year as this will help you to build your own trade and hopefully make a profit in your second year.
Your business plan can also be used to help you secure finance if you need it.
Pick Your Location
Once you’ve got a plan, finance and the right niche you’ll need to find the right location. Make sure this is a spot that will get passing trade, they will be essential at the start and help to build your reputation.
It’s worth waiting for the right location to appear because it can make a huge difference to the success of your business.
With a location and funding secured you’ll also need to file all the necessary forms to register your company and start trading legally.
Get Equipment & Supplies
The next step is to source all the equipment you’ll need to prepare food, serve it and keep the place clean. Don’t forget things like PPE clothing, tables, chairs, and even sanitary products. They are so easy to overlook!
Shop around, you may get a discount from some suppliers and this will help your budget for the first year.
Consider Menu Options
With the equipment and location sorted you need a menu, this will be important when promoting the business and help you define what ingredients need to be bought.
The menu must be distinctive enough to stand out from competitors, but also appealing enough to hit the mainstream customer. It can be a difficult balance, so don’t be afraid to change it after you’ve opened.
You’re nearly ready to open which means you need to consider what staff if any, that you need. Hiring staff can be time-consuming but it is important to get the right ones. The service they offer your customers will help to ensure people provide repeat business; you really do only get one chance to make a first impression.
Finally, as you’re getting ready to open you need to make sure people know about you.
If you have a social media presence this may be helpful in advertising the café. You should also advertise everywhere you can in the local area and even consider a leaflet drop around local homes.
Don’t forget to add an enticement to get people in on the first day!