If you’re like me, you begin each day with a cup of coffee. It’s not an improbable assumption, given that 68 percent of coffee drinkers (and I assume you’re one of them) have a cup within the first hour of waking up.
Whether you look at the numbers considering the opportunity, or the staggering competition, there’s no doubt about it—coffee is good business, and it has been good business for a long time.
With 100 million coffee drinkers in the U.S. alone, it’s no wonder the industry is booming. If you’ve been thinking of combining your love of coffee with your entrepreneurial spirit, there’s no better time to open a coffee shop.
Jack Wilson, owner of Radio Coffee and Beer in Austin, Texas, and Marc Renson, owner of Ambition Bistro in Schenectady, New York, stepped away from brewing and serving to offer these tips to prospective owners.
One of the first serious steps you’ll take toward opening your coffee shop is to create a business plan. This document spells out exactly what your business is, how it will be profitable, defines your customer base, explores competitors, plans for growth, and provides troubleshooting strategies should you need help achieving your goals.
But, go the lean planning route to start
Before you dive into creating a traditional business plan (which really you only need if you’re seeking funding from a bank), we recommend creating a one-page pitch. This will allow you to quickly validate your business idea as well as get a good sense of who your market is, how you’re going to reach them and how you’re going to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Many entrepreneurs turn to our business plan templates for guidance. Whether you’re starting a little coffee and internet café or a coffee house bistro, there’s a business plan template to suit your coffee shop needs.