Following a year of unexpected upheaval for small business owners, to start a small business may seem unthinkable. You’ve endured a year of new routines, rules, and adaptations. It’s tempting to want to hold off on your dream until a more reasonable time presents itself. Don’t. It may be surprising, but we have reason to believe now is a great time to start a small business.
In 2010, Harvard Business Review launched a yearlong analysis of successful corporate strategies during the 1980 crisis, the 1990 slowdown, and the 2000 bust. They found that companies with a “specific combination of defensive and offensive moves [have] the highest probability—37%—of breaking away from the pack.” Essentially, a small business that proceeds with courage and nimbleness can find success following a global economic downturn.
Hear us out on the following benefits of opening a coffee shop (or other endeavor) in the months after a recession. (We should know. Texas Coffee School was born in the middle of the Great Recession.)
The recession offers your small business several advantages.
You’re not crazy if you want to start a small business or in 2021. In fact, according to Forbes, an economic downturn can offer startups certain benefits. You may have access to funding, grants, or loans that are made available to incentivize small business owners. In some cases, retail space might be more available. And of course, there are many talented baristas and managers (or other employees) seeking meaningful work.
Some experts even say hardship can bring wisdom and team loyalty. (Both can have positive longterm consequences for your business.) Enduring a setback for your business means you can learn from any mistakes and optimize your plan for the future. When you and your employees experience adversity together, you are more likely to have group affinity and low turnover. The more bought-in your employees are, the more your small business benefits from their loyalty and work ethic.
Lastly, a recession offers your small business a chance to stand out above the rest. Locals take note of when small businesses open and close. They may be more likely to direct their money to a local business during known economic hardship. You can reciprocate by engaging with the community, remembering loyal customers’ names, and advocating for fellow small businesses!
A small business brings fulfillment.
After a year of potential low morale and job disruption, starting a small business can be just what you need for a new sense of direction. Coffeepreneur® Taylor Gardner founded The Garden Foundation to help adults with disabilities find vocational skills–including selling coffee! “The fact that I get to wake up every day and do what I love doing–and that just happens to impact people’s lives and families (and my little sister) in the most positive way–is just the best thing in the world for me,” she shares.
Tadd Overstreet, owner of Stylus and Crate, echoes the sentiment. “[Starting the coffee shop has been] a labor of love,” he says. “It wasn’t designed to replace income or anything like that. It was designed to meet me at that point in life when I wanted to give back in some way. Down to our roasters who source all the way to our farm relationships, to mentoring kids on how to run businesses, that’s what’s been more important to me.”
At Texas Coffee School, we encourage small business owners to identify their why. Anybody can have a product or service–brewing coffee, mowing lawns, or running a nonprofit. But why you do what you do is your differentiating factor. This is why people will line up at your counter everyday. Acting on your passion will bring greater fulfillment for you and drive customers to be loyal to your business.
You can find financial success.
It is crucial to us to set our students up for success–now and in the future. Our students walk out of our classroom armed with coffee and business strategies (like choosing the right location, creating a great floor plan, and buying the best equipment for their coffee shop.) More importantly, though, we teach our students to create a coffee shop concept with a unique selling proposition (and, aligned to their own fulfillment) that can stand the test of time.
In addition, we teach all our Coffeepreneurs® about the power of a five-year financial plan. By accumulating all of your business costs (rent, insurance, equipment, soft goods, buildout estimate), you can create a financial plan and projections. Our 3-Day Coffee Business Master Class walks you through how to put together your five-year financial plan spreadsheet to collectively take into account all your financial data points to figure out your total start-up investment budget, your annual projected sales, five-year growth, return on investment timeline, and more. Starting a small business should never be a guessing game–you can plan for the financial success you need.
As Warren Buffett once advised investors, “Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.” Hesitation from other small businesses means more customer dollars for you. Don’t miss this chance to introduce your business to the market.
Our Former Students Are Proof
Sure, there’s a lot of data backing up our opinion that recessions a good times to open small businesses. But none of that data would mean anything if our students weren’t finding success–even in the hardest years. So, don’t take it from us. Take it from them. Here’s a note from Tadd Overstreet, owner of Stylus and Crate.
Tadd Overstreet, Stylus and Crate
“I hope this note finds you well and that this pandemic is finally coming to an end. I wanted to share with you that our shop, Stylus & Crate, was the Peoples Choice Winner for ‘Best New Coffee House’ in Denver by the readers of Westword. It has been a long and challenging year for all of us, and it means so much to have the people you serve vote for you and recognize you for your efforts.
It goes with out saying that the foundation that you provided at Texas Coffee School was a big reason for our success, not just to survive opening in the middle of a pandemic, but to thriving in the market we serve. For that, I am very grateful! What was more of a curiosity or exploratory mission when I first took you class, it turned out to be the best investment I could have made and was the perfect platform to build from to bring Stylus & Crate to life.”
Start Your Small Business with Texas Coffee School
If starting a coffee shop business is on your horizon, join us for a 3-Day Coffee Business Master Class for a launch pad into your post-pandemic small business success!