Having had a lifetime interest in all-things-coffee may be your inspiration for wanting to open a coffee shop of your own. But, having an interest in coffee alone is not enough: you also need to build your new venture upon a foundation of solid business principles.
When undertaking any type of business venture, it is smart to start with a solid coffee shop business plan. Opening a coffee shop is no different. A well executed coffee shop business plan accomplishes three things:
- It provides you, the business owner, with an opportunity to lay everything out on the table in order to get a clear view into how the business will be set up, what is required to get things going, and what may still be missing from your current plans.
- Once you have detailed out your coffee shop business plan you will have a much clearer understanding of the coffee shop start up costs and the amount of capital you will need to launch your new business.
- It can give potential investors, partners, and vendors a view into the heart of how your new business will be structured, and it can help you land investment and/or loan capital.
RESOURCE: Click to learn more tips from our Coffee Business Class for Start-Ups
If you are interested in creating a coffee shop business plan in 2018, here are 7 essential elements to include (be sure to get the point across efficiently. Revise it many times so it does not run on. In other words, get your point across quickly, clearly, and efficiently)
- Executive summary: This introductory section of your business plan should take up no more than two pages. It should highlight the most essential elements of your plan. Put a bit of salesmanship into the executive summary: remember, some of those who read it may be potential investors. Your goal in this section is to inform the reader – while at the same time encouraging them to finish reading the rest of the plan.
- Company summary: In the company summary section of your coffee shop business plan, feature a nuts-and-bolts description of your company. Include all of the facts, such as proposed name of the coffee shop, the owner’s or owners’ names, and any information that describes events that led up to the idea for the business.
- Management team overview: The credibility of a new business always hinges upon the credibility of its management team. The goal of this section of your plan should be to impress upon the reader the trustworthiness and credibility of your team. Include information on the background and experience of each member, and highlight their main accomplishments in this (or related) businesses up to this point in their careers.
- Product and customer targeting strategy: Every coffee shop serves a slightly different group of people. Are you going after the commuter crowd? Book-loving, lounging types? Stay-at-home moms? Write out the details of how your choice of a target market will influence your choice of products. Be sure to list out how your products will differ from those of other competing coffee shops in the area.
- Store design ideas, equipment choices and overall ambiance: In this section, write in detail about the theme you are going for in your new venture. For example, will it be ultra-modern, contemporary, old-fashioned, European, bohemian, etc.? Describe the type of customer you will be targeting (see above) and weave that into your ideas about the design and overall ambiance of your coffee shop. One of the biggest factors to consider is your choice of equipment; the wrong equipment can really look out of place if it does not fit in with your intended ambiance.
- Proposed location and market analysis: Successful coffee shop owners know that location is especially important in this business. Your coffee shop will need to be located near a major thoroughfare, business park, residential area or shopping center. Propose a handful of specific proposed locations for your new business. Also, do some research into factors such as market size of the area and the area’s projected growth over the next 5 to 10 years.
- Financial plan: A successful business start up is one that is able to ramp up sales fairly quickly, with the goal of bringing in more revenue than it requires to keep the business running. In other words: it needs to be able to turn a profit. Sit down with a good spreadsheet software program and make educated guesses about items such as number of customers per day, average profit per sale, and the amount of each overhead (or fixed) expense. Then, write up your results in this section.
Hint: if you are numbers-challenged, that’s okay: Just write out your assumptions and then seek a financial consultant for help. Often times you can find a finance professor at a local college that can consult for very little. You also might consider professional coffee business consulting.
Take these 7 essential elements into account as you put together your coffee shop business plan.
Coffee Shop Start Up Cost in 2018:
You may be wondering “How much does it cost to start a coffee shop business in 2018?” Well, there is a range depending on the style of coffee shop, your concept, your location and other variables. But for some perspective we’ve compiled a basic guide based on our real client coffee shop start up costs in 2018.
- Mobile Coffee Cart: $25,000 to $35,000
- Fixed Coffee Kiosk: $25,000 to $75,000
- Coffee Truck: $70,000 to $125,000
- Parking Lot Drive-Thru Shack: $70,000 to $175,000
- Traditional Sit-Down 1,200 sq. ft. Coffee Shop: $200,000 to $375,000
- Small Cafe Style Restaurant Coffee Shop Hybrid: $350,000 to $650,000
Need help writing your coffee shop business plan? At Texas Coffee School, we offer a comprehensive 3-day coffee business class for start-ups, and coffee business consulting that can get you well on your way to launching your own independent coffee shop business.