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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    2

    Start-up consulting costs

    Hello all! I discovered this site a few weeks ago but never got around to joining until today; this is my inaugural post! I am very interested in starting my own drive-thru espresso stand here in beautiful sunny Florida. I can''t even begin to estimate the amount of time I have spent researching the specialty coffee business and I am about to start working on a business plan.

    That being said, through reading various materials on things to do before you dive into business, it has come to my attention that many people recommend hiring a consultant for essentially all parts of the business BEFORE ever opening the doors. These include attorneys, accountants, architects, insurance agents, designers, HR specialists, as well as various coffee industry consultants.

    My question is basically if you experienced owners agree with these statements. I agree that ideally it would be a wise investment, but considering all the other start up costs (equipment, building, software, etc.) I am just not sure.

    Any tips?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    St Augustine Fl
    Posts
    157
    Yep. Do it. Bluesky consultants inc. Check her out. You will be glad you did.
    "the great coffee caper...."

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    MASS.
    Posts
    704
    Hi HotCups, Welcome to Coffeeforums!

    It's always a good idea to have a well rounded attorney and a knowledgeable accountant on your team. If you've had good experiences with them in other areas, keep them on your side and they will be there for you whenever you need advice. I've had bad experiences with an array of business consultants and various building inspectors, but have never called upon them a second time. Ditch them.

    As far as your budgeting goes, many professionals will offer free advice and even free initial consulting. Seek them out and learn as much from them as you can. Take detailed notes, their free advice can save you thousands down the road.

    Keep asking questions in this forum. There are many members here who are experienced in running cafes and drive thrus and could probably recommend to you some industry consultants in your area.
    Advertising URL in your signature line was removed by your favorite Moderator.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    17

    I'm not so sure...

    I have mixed feelings about the whole consultant thing. We didn't have one and launched 5 weeks after deciding that it was a good idea. Did me make mistakes? As one of our VP candidates might say, "Yeah, you betcha we did." Still, we opened on a shoestring and consultants etc were not a possibility. We hired an attorney to incorporate us, though you can do that online pretty cheap. We hired an accountant, though in the early days there wasn't a lot to account for. I think it depends on the operator. If you're smart and understand the tools you need to use, I think you can proceed and call in the accountants and so forth after you begin to have a little cash flow. I think you can probably get a lot of questions answered right here. Are you building a drive through from scratch? The building and all?
    That would make a difference in terms of design and layout, but I think you can be consulted right out of the ability to survive if you don't have deep pockets. And we sure didn't.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    2
    Yes, the plan (as it stands now, you know how business plans are ever-evolving) is to lease land along a major road and put the drive thru stand on it. We'd pay for power and water hookups to be installed in the property. I am planning on consulting with a commercial real estate pro for that part for sure, just because i think in the long run it would be much more efficient. I worked for a developer before and there is so much red tape to sift through in real estate it's almost impossible if you don't have lots and lots of time to devote to it. I guess I was talking about lawyers, accountants and just general business consultants.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Crystal Lake, Illinois
    Posts
    19
    A good consultant should save you more than they cost and over time make you a lot of money.

    I will tell you that the land owner should pay for the hookups, that type of thing is a major improvement to the property. You need to pursue it as your business will open the door to further opportunities on the property.
    Success is measured by how you impact those around you.

 

 

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