tips on start-up and coffee consulting/business school

Jun 15, 2006
3
0
new jersey
hello! i've been browsing around this forum for awhile now (which i think is fantastic) but haven't introduced myself on here yet....so hello!

i've been thinking on the idea of opening up a coffee shop over the last couple of months...now i'm rather young (only 24) and am not seriously thinking about opening up a business for a couple years but i would like to move in the right direction and educate and prepare myself the best way i can when the time comes. so in saying that, there are a couple of questions i'd like to throw out there...

i'm curious how most people started out? did you just decide to do it after having enough finances and support? did you use coffee consulting services to get off on the right foot?

i know most people who start their own business do not necessarily have their degrees in business, but does anyone have their MBAs or do you think that it would be beneficial to have one? i want to open up a coffeeshop, but i want my business to have a heavy concentration on other community development areas as well, specifically non-profits...what are your opinions in terms of needing a business degree specifically if you're opening up a business which isn't necessarily lodged in one industry?

any tips on where to start?...i know there are some threads discussing this, but i thought i'd ask again anyway.

i really appreciate any insight or advice you may have. thank you so much!
 

ontrees

New member
Jun 9, 2006
17
0
opening a shop

Sounds like you have done quite a bit of thinking about this already.

I opened my coffeeshop at 28 years old but had already owned other businesses before that. Unless you are wealthy, the two biggest obstacles will be getting money together and finding a good location for the type of shop you want.

I was pretty unconventional in gathering money but ended up being extremely lucky with how the shop went.

I've helped open two other shops since then and can't believe how much I have learned in the process. I'm planning on opening another of my own in the next year and feel prepared to try a more difficult concept, locate in a more expensive area, and put a little more money into it.

As far as school, I took a year or so of business classes as an undergrad and gained almost nothing from it. I don't know about an MBA, but my classes were all geared toward production management, only a tiny bit of which was applicable to any business I have had since then.

I think the most important thing is experience - work for other people in multiple shops and really take notes (literally, in a notebook) on what works and what doesn't.

Talk to friendly shop owners in areas where you won't be competition (let them know you are from another area).

Research a lot online, read these forums, read every book you can get your hands on.

Learn how to make drinks and food properly, but don't ever be snobbish to a customer about knowing the proper way to do something.

Learn to love interacting with people and employees all day long.

Be prepared for lots of hard work, excitement, some stress, and a whole lot of fun!

Eric
 
Just jump in. I got my MBA 15 years ago from a top 10 school and it helps with the theory, but when you get started, it will be important to stay close to the ground and get the basics done. Early on, it will be more important to start with a good accountant than an MBA.

An MBA can't tell you want you want to create, but it can make it easier and by my personal bias, especially if you are building something bigger like a chain or franchise organization. I'd recommend that as part of a 10 year plan not as a prerequisite. A career is a long time and the MBA will "stick" better if you have more years work experience.

I'm currently working in a coffee company with $100 million in revenue and the MBA quite frankly is less helpful than 15 years work experience. That said, I probably would not have been hired in some of the positions I've had without an advanced degree. If you are starting your own company, you don't need the credential. Burning desire - or fear of failure - will serve you better in the near term.
 
OP
E
Jun 15, 2006
3
0
new jersey
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
Re: opening a shop

eric- thank you for your wise advice. it's encouraging to know that you started off in the industry young as well...at least one of the two obstacles you speak of, i have going for me on my side which is a great help. what i do lack is experience and you are right...the best way is to jump right in to the businesses/shops that already exist out there and learn from them...thank you!

ontrees said:
Sounds like you have done quite a bit of thinking about this already.

I opened my coffeeshop at 28 years old but had already owned other businesses before that. Unless you are wealthy, the two biggest obstacles will be getting money together and finding a good location for the type of shop you want.

I was pretty unconventional in gathering money but ended up being extremely lucky with how the shop went.

I've helped open two other shops since then and can't believe how much I have learned in the process. I'm planning on opening another of my own in the next year and feel prepared to try a more difficult concept, locate in a more expensive area, and put a little more money into it.

As far as school, I took a year or so of business classes as an undergrad and gained almost nothing from it. I don't know about an MBA, but my classes were all geared toward production management, only a tiny bit of which was applicable to any business I have had since then.

I think the most important thing is experience - work for other people in multiple shops and really take notes (literally, in a notebook) on what works and what doesn't.

Talk to friendly shop owners in areas where you won't be competition (let them know you are from another area).

Research a lot online, read these forums, read every book you can get your hands on.

Learn how to make drinks and food properly, but don't ever be snobbish to a customer about knowing the proper way to do something.

Learn to love interacting with people and employees all day long.

Be prepared for lots of hard work, excitement, some stress, and a whole lot of fun!

Eric
 
OP
E
Jun 15, 2006
3
0
new jersey
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #6
i have been struggling with the idea of business school because i know i am not ready to invest in a business just yet and business school helps to set a structure for my life over the next couple of years while hopefully gaining some valuable knowledge. i thank you for your advice because it made me realize that if i really want structure and stability (which i don't necessarily, it's just so much easier to fall back on those things) then starting a business isn't for me. i have to jump in and take risks and learn from the industry and learn from mistakes that are made....

javahill said:
Just jump in. I got my MBA 15 years ago from a top 10 school and it helps with the theory, but when you get started, it will be important to stay close to the ground and get the basics done. Early on, it will be more important to start with a good accountant than an MBA.

An MBA can't tell you want you want to create, but it can make it easier and by my personal bias, especially if you are building something bigger like a chain or franchise organization. I'd recommend that as part of a 10 year plan not as a prerequisite. A career is a long time and the MBA will "stick" better if you have more years work experience.

I'm currently working in a coffee company with $100 million in revenue and the MBA quite frankly is less helpful than 15 years work experience. That said, I probably would not have been hired in some of the positions I've had without an advanced degree. If you are starting your own company, you don't need the credential. Burning desire - or fear of failure - will serve you better in the near term.
 

brewbabe

New member
Jun 26, 2006
1
0
Hi!I'm also new in this forum. I am also thinking of opening up a coffee shop. I have no background nor any experience in managing a business. But I like coffee a lot and I'm thinking that if I will venture into a business it would be something with coffee.Do you think I will have any success in this business? What should I do to gain more confidence in starting my coffee shop business?
 

BobbyE

New member
Apr 2, 2006
5
0
Go to a good library in your area and read everything about writing business plans, starting businesses and accounting.

Get a wall calender to plan out the next 3 months. On each day, write down how many pages of each book you must get done. School yourself.

Be generous with your equity, don't try to be an owner. Work to learn, and earn $ nextime.
 

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