Espresso Business Consultant?


New member
Feb 26, 2005
Seattle, WA
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What's a reasonable price to pay a company to help you get started in this business? I have been in business for years, but wanting to open another stand. I just need an estimated price. I am not looking to open for awhile. I've spoke with a few and here are prices they gave me:

$4000-$8000 Does this seem reasonable?
I'm afraid the figure you quoted doesn't have much meaning unless we know exactly what's included in that price. And if you're hirign a consultant for ANY kind of business venture you sure as heck had better have a good contract that stipulates exactly what they provide down to the most picayune details, i.e. who pays for what.... how much time you get before during and after the sale... just too much to cover in a simple discussion forum thread.

If someone expressed a desire to get into the coffee business and had not only no coffee background but also no retail experience and no food service background... a consultant would be helpful but only AFTER many other things, such as taking some seminars or classes on how to start and run a small business, attending Coffee fest, doing exhasutive on-line research etc.

IMHO if you're already in the coffee business and just looking to open another location.... I think a consultant would be overkill at worst or a poor investment at best. Just my opinion but I strongly beleieve in doing your own research and utilizing free or inexpensive options before spending precious capital on a consultant.

I be;ieve consultants can be valuable and helpful - I actually hope to work in that capacity eventually myself. That said.... before you hire onw do some serious research about not only their listed credentials but more important try to talk to people they provided services for (and not just the ones they use as listed references).
I'm afraid the figure you quoted doesn't have much meaning unless we know exactly what's included in that price.

Exactly! Thank you - I was waiting for somebody else to say this first: what are you getting for that figure?

Any funds that you set aside for a consultant should be viewed as an investment rather than an expense. If when speaking with your prospective consultant you are not confident that you can return the fees paid in either additional revenues and/or cost savings a few times over, by all means, invest that money somewhere else.

Who knows, maybe you've even spoken with me about your project, but if you are not confident that you can make or save money, regardless of the scale of figures involved, direct that capital somehwere else that will help your business.

Good luck with your expansion,

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I guess I did not state what I meant, sorry. The prices include start to finish. Helping pick a second location, letter of proposal, basiaccly getting started in the business etc.
This means you are already in the business, know and understand the coffee/espresso biz, are abel to do the shop layout/design and planning yourself and just need someone to scout locations, do the paperwork etc?

If that's all the consultant would do it seems like a big chunk of money. If, on the other hand, the consultant is actually going to also come in and implement your plans but finding a contractor, superoving build-out, getting everything stocked, propsective employees screened, dealing with vendors, following through to be there for permits, inspections, approval visits etc..... $4,000 to $8,000 could be a bargain.

For me it really boils down to whether I'm paying someone for their expertise or just for their time and a reasonable level of mature judgement to act as my proxy because I'm already too busy running the first location to tackle the whole project on my time. I'd pay far more per hour for truly verifiable expert advice if I was inexperienced but personally.... I'd be hesitant to turn over a lot of the other details to a third party.
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Years ago my friend sold me the location I run know. I mainly read books to help me run my business and with her advise. So my location at that time was easy.

I'm looking to expand to a 2nd location and don't know where to start at getting that oportunity. Everyone I've asked about expanding told me the best way to go is thru a consultant because they have locations for sale, and turn-keys for sale. So I just assumed that's the way to go. Most of this I can do on my own and a couple consultants I've spoke with want to do everything for you, and that's how theyget paid. I just need a location. I've looked online through my local paper and some are very overpriced. I will keep looking.