Is now the right time to start your coffee shop business? The world around us is changing rapidly. Entrepreneurs and business owners are pivoting, adapting, and fighting to keep their doors open. Opening a coffee shop right now might seem crazy, but could it also be true that your business idea is exactly what the world needs?
Call us optimists, but we like to think so.
Change drives us to create innovative businesses.
One of our foundations at Texas Coffee School is innovation. We do not teach our students how to imitate the coffee shop down the street. Instead, we challenge our students to create coffee shop concepts, user experiences, menus, and aesthetics that haven’t been done before.
There is no better time to be innovative than in the middle of change. Major shifts reveal to us what people really need and care about–that’s why coffee shop culture is constantly evolving. When working digitally started to have its moment, we saw coffee shops turn into remote workspaces. When consumers became more ethically conscious, fair trade and sustainably grown coffees became more accessible.
Right now, coffee shops are creating innovative responses to health, safety, to-go options, delivery and mobile options, outdoor spaces, digital presence, and new ways to build community. Opening a business as a response to a changing world can uniquely position your coffee shop. Rather than having to adapt your entire existing business model, you can create something perfectly suited to the new times.
Some of the most high profile companies in America were born as a result of culture changes or recessions. Uber, Venmo, Microsoft, and Disney were all born in past economic downturns. This New York Times article shares two reasons why challenging times can be the best time to start a business.
“One is, there is less competition for resources. The second reason is that whatever changes we face, positive or negative, bring up new customer needs. And customer needs are at the core of any business.”
Resources may be more available to you.
Speaking of resources, it’s important to consider what you may have access to right now. Look into loans and grants available to small businesses and startups. It may be a good time to negotiate a great lease deal. There are many talented people with specialty coffee industry experience looking for new opportunities. Perhaps there are freelancers taking new opportunities to help you build a powerful brand or develop a website.
Starting your business right now could be a win-win. If you’re thoughtful about creating a concept that is in demand and aligned to the times, you may also be able to provide needed opportunities and partnerships for people in your community.
Entrepreneur.com agrees. “If you can make the case that your business model helps to solve a problem and can put people to work, then you might be able to attract investors looking to help reignite the success of small businesses worldwide.”
We speak from experience.
We admit we may be biased. Texas Coffee School was born in the middle of the “Great Recession.” If you’ve ever heard our founder Tom tell his story, you might know that he was unemployed and at rock bottom when he walked into a coffee shop to spend his last three dollars on a cappuccino. As he watched the barista make a mess out of it, and asked if anyone ever helped the coffee shop with barista training, latte art, or coffee cupping.
Over ten years later, we’re still filling our classroom with coffee shop owners, managers, employees, and coffee enthusiasts who want to learn those skills. We understand how powerful it can be to start a business from the ground up, especially when it’s an idea you’re truly passionate about, based on the needs and wants of your customers. Our experience as well as the success of hundreds of our students who have opened coffee shops all over the world is what has taught us to be optimistic and hopeful about entrepreneurship. And honestly, that optimism is what keeps us going.
There will never be a perfect time to start a business.
Opening a coffee shop will always involve risk. We would never advise our students to do it blindly. If you are considering starting a coffee shop, it’s paramount you have a solid concept, a thorough business plan, and a viable idea.
But, we also know that fear is the reason most businesses are never opened. If you’re waiting for conditions to be perfect, you might be waiting forever. Instead of thinking “I CAN’T start a coffee shop business right now because…” maybe it’s time to start thinking “HOW CAN I?””
Looking for support to start your coffee shop business?
We offer our Coffeepreneur® 3-Day Coffee Business Master Class as a step-by-step guide to opening a coffee shop in a classroom experience. We also offer our Coffeepreneur® 1-Day Live Online Business Class, How to Open a Coffee Shop for those who would prefer to access the class from home.