Coffee Success

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Opening a Coffee Shop

Yes. Opening a specialty coffee business still a great idea, even in this economy.

The demand for great specialty coffee is growing every day.

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The right location for my coffee shop

Areas near universities and where you find a lot of walking traffic is best. Your location considerations will, of course, depend upon your concept. You will need a different type of location for an upscale, sit-down coffee bar than you would for a cart or drive-thru operation. One factor common to all desirable locations, however, is the proximity of a large population of potential coffee drinkers. Your business needs to be in a convenient location for customers; on their way to work in the morning or around the corner from a university.

Projected costs to opening a coffee business

  • Popup Shop: Depending on the size and your menu, average costs are between $25,000-$75,000.
  • Coffee Cart: Average cost is between $20,000-$25,000.
  • Kiosk: Depending on the size and your menu, average costs are between $25,000-$75,000.
  • Drive Thru: We have heard of entrepreneurs who have opened very small units for less than $35,000. A large drive-thru can cost between $80,000-$200,000.
  • Sit-Down: Average cost of a 1,200 sq. ft. coffee bar is between $200,000 to $375,000.

 

    Obtaining financing

    Today, the best way to start a coffee shop is to self finance through savings or family partnerships. 

    If you need to find financing elsewhere, you will need to convince your lending institution that you can be successful and that you possess the expertise alone or collectively, to ensure profitability. The best way to do this is with a stellar business plan.

    No matter how you finance your business, you should write up a business plan to ensure that you work through all aspects of your business idea in detail. Focus on exactly what you are trying to achieve, precisely where you want to go, and exactly how you plan to get there. Detail the many expenses involved in opening your business, the projected sales and monthly expenses of actual operation, and the volume of business you will need to generate to be profitable. You should understand all of the financial aspects of your proposed business before approaching a lender.

    The best Barista training

    It is best to have an expert train your staff to ensure they understand the fundamentals of beverage preparation and learn to make a consistent drink every time. Independent Barista training programs are generally better and more comprehensive.

    Competing with the large coffee chain operations

    A big competitive advantage these days is to simply be an independent business and not a chain. 

    Offer more unique coffees and consider a brand that has some kind of brand mystique and can supply you with the best coffees available in the world. Nothing can compete with being the best and serving the best. Quality products and service are where the  independent business can really compete against the chains. 

    You can also take more care in hiring your employees than the chains and assure they know how to prepare the best drinks. Another thing that big chain executives don't do is to interact with customers each day and gain a feeling for the pulse of the community. There is no way they can offer the personal touch that you can as a local independent owner. This is your biggest competitive edge, so take advantage of it.

    Ideas to make into my existing coffee shop business more exciting to customers and profitable?

    Have a great cup of coffee and try to step outside your business and look at it from the outside. Analyze your current business situation and think about ways to improve your operation's structure, efficiency and profits. Then, make your new ideas happen. Do it!

    Repeating the last answer: Another competitive advantage these days is to simply be an independent business and not a chain. Offer more unique coffees and consider a brand that has some kind of brand mystique and can supply you with the best coffees available in the world. Nothing can compete with being the best and serving the best. 

    Once you implement changes; talk with your local university journalists and online media. Get the word out about the new and more awesome things you are doing now.


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    Fresh roasted coffees and fire roasted artisan coffees and gourmet coffee blends. 

    The best, unique coffees and blends you have ever tasted. 

    Nothing can compete with being the best and serving the best. Offer your customers coffee Adventure. In a Cup and they will keep coming back and tell their friends through conversation, email, facebook, twitter and flicker images.

    Learn More about our Wholesale Program >

    Contact us today about our wholesale programs: LostEmpireCoffee@gmail.com