As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you may have had your best ideas discussing your business projects over a cup of coffee at your local coffee shop. Noticing the throng of people milling in and out and the busy cash register, you may have wondered if you should open up your own coffee shop.
Here are answers to three of the most frequently asked questions about how to go about opening up a coffee shop.
Q 1: Is this a good business?
A: Coffee shops are a popular alternative to staying at home or going to work. They create the right atmosphere for people who want to get out of the house or who want to take a break from the office. Coffee shops can be stimulating for people who are tired and relaxing for people who are stressed.
Since each coffee cup is relatively inexpensive, the business thrives on a high volume of sales. For a coffee shop to do well, it must have its own ambiance and cater to a target market. For instance, if the coffee shop is in a college town, then it should have a playful atmosphere and if it is in a downtown business area, it should have a conservative atmosphere.
Q 2: How much does it cost?
A: Startup costs for your own coffee shop are around $250,000.
If you don’t want to design your own shop, then it might be better to get a franchise.
Here is the price range for top coffee franchises:
- The costs for a franchise from Bad Ass Coffee ranges from $227K to $326K.
- The costs for a franchise from Biggby Coffee ranges from $220.5K to $390.1K.
- The costs for a franchise from The Coffee Beanery ranges from $62.4K to $545K.
- The costs for a franchise from Dunn Bros Coffee ranges from $128.2K to $466.1K.
- The costs for a franchise from Gloria Jean's Coffees ranges from $278.6K to $673.7K
- The costs for a franchise from Scooter's Coffeehouse ranges from $50.5K to $457K.
Q 3: What are the most important features?
A: The most important features are finding the most suitable location, creating the most appealing design, using the best equipment, training people correctly, and having a real passion for selecting coffee.
The most suitable location is usually in a place with the right demographics, like a neighborhood where people are going to work or college in the morning.
The most appealing design should include decor, music, furniture, the area behind the bar and the area where customers find a seat. The best designs are those that have a theme or suggest a lifestyle choice. Customers buy the experience, not just the coffee.
Using the best equipment ranges from the best coffee brewing equipment to the quality of your WiFi connection. A solid Internet connection cannot be overstated. Many people come to coffee shops just to be able to access their email.
Other equipment to invest in includes POS hardware for point of sale transactions and mPOS for mobile transactions. If you don't think this is important, take note of the fact that 51% of U.S. consumers surveyed stated that they believe traditional cash registers are outdated. Further, 45% of businesses surveyed said mPOS could improve cash flow as it would allow them to get paid quicker.
Training people correctly starts with hiring enthusiastic people, showing them exactly how to make coffee, and showing them how to provide quality customer service. Hiring unmotivated people who are unwilling to learn the skills necessary to please customers is enough to ruin a business.
Having a real passion for selecting coffee is essential for success, because understanding how to select, brew, and serve good coffee is a science in itself.
It takes a lot of thought and effort to blend a perfect cup of coffee–and the same goes for opening up a coffee shop with the right blend of mood-setting and coffee flavor to make customers feel at ease.