Opening a Coffee Shop

janie1963

New member
Mar 8, 2004
65
0
try the SBA (small business administration) website. There are sample business plans there to help.

Good luck and a couple of tips from someone who is opening on Monday... no matter how well planned you are everything will cost twice as much and take 4 times as long as you thought. I'm over a year into this and as I said about to open Monday. And when you hire employees, take your time, do a background check and get many references. I hired 4, had to let one go already and am having huge problems with another. I've already had a phone call from a credit co. asking about her employment, which makes me very nervous having someone work for me who is in financial trouble.

Good luck in your endeavor
 

Coffee Guy

New member
Oct 19, 2003
874
0
Seattle,Washington USA
Hello Poetgal:

The beginnings in any first business venture is very trying :cry: but keep the Faith. As janie1963 basically states, no matter how well you plan, everything costs more. The key is to work smart in summing up the information you've aquired through research. Pencil out the numbers, and if they work lay down your plan to open business. I realize this sounds a bit basic, but it's the truth. The easier the better. Don't be in a hurry. Instead use your time and investment dollars wisely. You'll stand a better chance to be successful. When the time is right to do your package, keep it simple and to the point so you can attract investment dollars. After that you are on your way. Just my two cents :)
 

pablos

New member
Oct 1, 2004
9
0
Denver CO
Hiya

The best advice that I could give after ten years of owning and operating coffeeshops in a competitive marketplace is KEEP IT SIMPLE. Keep your focus on quality always, keep your non-coffee product lines small and good. Location wise, neighborhood locations with high foot traffic have always worked best in my experience. Build a rapport with your neighbors and let them know you're here to stay! Good Luck.
 

espressomaniac

New member
Jul 8, 2004
67
0
Tacoma
I beg to differ

janie1963 said:
try the SBA (small business administration) website. There are sample business plans there to help.

Good luck and a couple of tips from someone who is opening on Monday... no matter how well planned you are everything will cost twice as much and take 4 times as long as you thought. I'm over a year into this and as I said about to open Monday. And when you hire employees, take your time, do a background check and get many references. I hired 4, had to let one go already and am having huge problems with another. I've already had a phone call from a credit co. asking about her employment, which makes me very nervous having someone work for me who is in financial trouble.

Good luck in your endeavor

If you are unorganized, are not used to being in the managment field and cannot think for yourself as well as solving problems on your feet, then, yes it will cost more and take more time to do. If you are already there, then no, it will cost "exactly" what you planned upon and possibly a little more for mistakes being made during the way, but not 4 times as much as what you started out with unless your vision came from La La land and you want to bend physics.

It should fall together in a humanly allotted time. a year, come on, give me a space and an idea, it will be on board in 3 months "max" for any average cafe. Yes, keep a little extra time and money on the side to handle the murfy's law element, but if you are with the right bunch of fellows, you don't have to make the same mistakes others have made since the experts have already been there done that.

I'm not trying to be contradictary here, just trying to clear out the pessimism from this thread. A coffee operation is just not that complex compared to most businesses.

Employees, I gotta agree with you on this one to a point, but you need to take more into account then just the raw figures, ie. bad credit means nothing if they have a good work ethic and their references turn out good, the criminal background check of course is mandatory, traffic tickets are nothing, dui or theft are a big red flag. You are dealing with people at the lowest end of the ladder so are preyed upon by unscruplous companies as well as how the system is set up, I won't elaborate further with company names, but I'm just saying, these guys are struggling along and when their jobs don't compensate them for their efforts you'll find credit problems. It doesn't make them bad people, it just means they don't have a ton of liquid capitol or they are smart with it and refuse to pay scam artist companies that take advantage of them. I've dealt with companies that absolutely require their employees to have perfect credit, perfect cars, perfect houses, etc. etc. etc. they were the most boring, most of the time quite quirky and generally creepy people I've dealth with in my life, needless to say the companies they worked for didn't last long at all, if you are getting hounded with collections then that is another story, just keep this in mind, if you are taking care of them, and they are taking care of you, then in the long run it will work out for the best and you will have true loyalty.

Anyway, if you have it together and can take it from one step to the next you will take care of biz and get it done cost and time effectively, if you are trying to reinvent the wheel and have an abrasive personality, there will be problems from day one and it never will really end. I'm not going to give you luck, it's a myth, you will make this happen or fail based upon how involved you get in on it.
 

HAYLEY

New member
Oct 8, 2004
1
0
uk
question to espressomaniac

Hi Espressomaniac- i have just sent you a private message- as i read somewhere on the forum you have a tug boat? is this correct or am i going mad?
new user- hayley in south west
 

janie1963

New member
Mar 8, 2004
65
0
Wow!

Doing your research well does take time...one can never be too prepared and I didn't want to rush into this. Bad credit is one thing, but you still must be very careful-the more they whined about their debt, the more my till was off,(no longer employed by me).

My husband built our place from the ground up, meanwhile working 15 hour days at his "real" job. And we didn't finance one cent of this business, so we had our own business in a year without owing a cent on it.

I'm the least pessimistic person I know, however I am realistic and wish someone would've been kind enough to give me honest advice.
 
One of the tools I built is a profitability calculator for retail by-the-cup coffee businesses. It takes into account the number of cups sold, the cup sizes, the cost of the coffees, price per cup, and a few other variables. It's a lot of multiplication and addition - nothing a 7th grader could not do if s/he put in a little thought.

Anyway, we have half a dozen cases where our sales reps have told a customer that based on their purchases of roasted coffee from us they ought to be making x dollars. The customer says no way are they making that much. With a little observation, each of those cases has identified employees skimming.

One of the tricks to minimize skimming without doing something good employees might find offensive is making sure nothing rounds to even dollar amounts. If a small coffee with tax is a dollar even, that makes it easy for a busy employee to "ring it up later." Those dollars do not always get rung up.

Make sure there is a register ring. And make sure there is change, even a few pennies. For the (many) customers who do not like change, pick a favorite charity and put a collection box near the register.

Good luck with your business.
 

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