Starting a Coffee Business

If you are considering opening a coffee shop, coffee store, espresso bar, or starting a coffee business (I use all these terms interchangeably), then there are multiple factors to consider, and details to attend to, in order to maximize your chances for success. In this article I’ll be concentrating on how to develop your idea into an operating business. How to position your business for success before you ever open your doors. I will address how to run that business and achieve profitability in an upcoming article.

Most people begin planning their new coffee business based upon their “dream businessmantalk.com ,” what they would ideally like to own. While this is a normal tendency, it may not be the most prudent way to start. Much time and energy can be wasted working on “your plan,” when in reality, you may not be able to afford what you desire.

As a consultant, I’ve seen this happen many times over the past 19 years. Often, new entrepreneurs get swept away by their dream, and end up over-extending themselves financially, only to run out of money before they can open their doors for business. Those who do manage to get open are typically left with little or no operating capital. Because few businesses open on Monday and are profitable on Tuesday, having sufficient operating capital will be necessary to pay your bills, employees, and yourself, until the business can generate some profit.

This depends on which avenue you choose to take, whether you desire a physical store or an online marketing. If you want a brick and mortar office, where people can visit to see and touch your goods, then the cost is on average $25,000 a year. Not too many people have this kind of money just sitting in a bank, waiting for them to use for a dream business, however, there are government programs out there that will assist you in financing your business with the proper paperwork and business plan.

If you decide to choose an online business, be prepared to do your research. Online businesses can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars a month to a lifetime membership of $100K. Enrolling in a company that markets health products is going to be a lot cheaper than enrolling in a company that markets helicopters. Choose a company that you have personal interest in pursuing because they offer a quality product or business, an attractive commission plan and the membership doesn’t put a financial burden on you.

Small Business Myth #2: “You Need A Lot Of Experience To Run A Business.”

You go to school to get a job. You run a business to learn a business. There are many groups in your community that meet to discuss business methods and procedures. If you are interested in starting a business that interconnects with real estate, then join a REIA group. LinkedIn.com is a great website to meet, communicate and brainstorm with great business ideas with proven business professionals. There are many magazines, books and websites at your disposal that will help build your business. However, you don’t want to over-educate yourself to the point where you are spending more time learning and not enough time running your business.

Small Business Myth #3: “It Takes A Lot Of Time To Operate A Business.”

With just four or five hours a day, you can operate an online or physical business. It depends on how much time you’re willing to devote to your business and sticking to a schedule you create. You can not be fickle, fudge facts or bend the rules when it comes to your business schedule. If you say you’re going to devote a certain amount of time to your business, then the moment you step into your business or home office you don’t stop working until your set time is met. This doesn’t mean checking personal emails, reading the paper or any other non-business related activities. That’s how businesses fail. My mentor, Aaron Rashkin, always told me, “If you go to bed feeling your business day was not fulfilled, then you did not have a successful day.” If you have this feeling before bed, then you need to get out of bed and do more. Never put off tomorrow what can be done today.

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