Want to Start a Coffee Shop, But Have No Money?
If you want to start a coffee shop, but don’t think you have enough startup money. That’s okay, your dream doesn’t have to be over!
You can be sure you have other several others feasible options to start your coffee business.
Over the years, we’ve seen many low cost ways of starting a coffee shop that leads to larger, successful, and more grandeur coffee businesses.
With a deliberate effort, you can take smaller but profitable steps to establishing your coffee shop and make a profit at the same time. It may take a little creativity and more learning on your part, but we are confident that you can create the coffee shop business you want.
For example, with as little as several hundred dollars you can start developing your coffeehouse brand, start your social media following, and grow your expertise in a manner that will serve you well until you have the money to start your coffee shop you have always envisioned.
Settling on the right budget to start your coffee shop business can be tricky. A coffee stand can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 and a full café can cost up to $250,000 dollars.
The money is not insignificant. Plus if you factor that you will be running at a deficit until you reach your break-even point, you will need to make sure you have some cash reserves on hand.
That is why at CoffeeShopStartups.com, have spent much of our time trying to help eliminating unnecessary costs, finding ways for you to save money, help refine your budget, all while learning from veteran coffee shop owners.
While there is no surefire way to start your coffee shop with no money, there are ways that you can reduce your costs and there are certainly way to break into the coffee business.
The three secrets to starting a coffee shop, especially if you are limited on funds is to:
• Learn from other coffee business experts (Saves you time, money, and costly mistakes)
• Develop Momentum (Start writing your business plan)
• Develop Traction (Get some movement under your feet to start your business)
Each those points are important for any business, but especially important if you want to start a coffee shop or set up a drive thru coffee stand business with little money.
The following scenarios or tactics can develop each of the points above. More importantly, they can help you move up the “learning curve” while you make money and develop a sound foundation for your future, much bigger coffee business.
So let’s get started. While there may be many others possibilities, here are our few low cost suggestions to get your coffee business off the ground!
Start an Online Coffee Business
Starting an online coffee business can be a smart, effective, and very low cost way to start your coffee shop. With an online coffee business, you can develop your branding efforts, experiment with your logo, test your possible competitive advantages, grow your social media follows, and experiment with your vendors. What’s great is that for about a few hundred dollars you can actually be up and running and making money.
Start a Small Coffee Roasting Business
Starting a small roasting business can be a low cost way to enter the retail coffee industry. Many independent coffee shops use local roasters to supply them with fresh coffee beans, but a growing number of coffee shops are starting to recognize the benefits of roasting their own beans.
Why not learn how to roast your own coffee profiles and save your future coffee shop money with roasting your own beans?
By starting your own small roasting business and selling them online you can also develop your branding and your coffee roasting expertise. You can use the opportunity to experiment with coffee roasting profiles that you want to offer your customers.
You will need a small batch commercial roaster which may be run several thousand dollars. But the long term investment may be worth it. You can sell your small batch roast to local cafés, convenient stores, and online.
Crowdfund your Coffee Business
Using a resource like Kickstarter to start your coffee business is in an upward swing among many entrepreneurs, including coffee business owners.
But don’t think this is easy money!
You will also need to do a lot pre-work first. Our recommendation is that you first develop your branding, get your online coffee business going, and develop your social media following before you actually begin to take steps to launch a crowdfunding effort. Your followers are going to be a key element to raise funds – either by contributing or spreading the word about your crowdfunding effort.
Certainly, many new (and older) coffee shops have used crowdfunding to supplement their money. We know a well-established coffee shop who wanted to crowdfund their coffee roaster. And they did so successfully. But it took work on their part, by reaching out and getting their existing customers involved.
Though it is challenging, getting money from the crowd can be done and can make all the difference when it comes to starting your coffee shop success.
Setup Your Coffee Stand at Farmers Markets
Sometimes just serving coffee is the best way to start your coffee business. Why not start by serving basic “pour over” coffee at your local farmer’s market? If serving coffee is your ultimate intention, then what do you really need to start your coffee business? You need a brewing device perhaps a Chemex or an Hario “pour over” device, clean water, coffee and cups. Perhaps a stand. That’s it.
Sure, there are a few more details that you need take care of. But for all the hoopla over starting a “grand” coffee business, it’s really just all about serving coffee, right? In other words, serving people coffee doesn’t have to be an expensive venture.
By getting your coffee in front of people at your local farmer’s markets, you can develop your branding, develop your customer service, and work and retool your competitive advantages, all while making money.
This effort might cost you a few hundred dollars to get started. Which is, we believe, certainly a low financial barrier for those of you who want to get into to retail coffee.
Set Up a Coffee Drive Thru Stand
Setting up a coffee drive-thru stand can be a “lower cost” way to launch your coffee business when compared to a full-fledged café. However, a coffee stand isn’t necessarily cheap, but it can be cheaper. Like we mentioned early, a coffee stand can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $250,000.
Nevertheless, launching your own coffee stand can be a significant step to opening your coffee shop business for all of the reasons we’ve already covered above. We recommend taking a look at our Coffee Shop Startup Kit to help familiarize yourself with the things you need to be successful at setting up your coffee stand. It makes sense to spend a few dollars on learning from other experts, when you are about lay down tens of thousands of dollars.
Set Up a Coffee Truck
You’ve heard of food trucks. Why not set up a coffee truck? Setting up a mobile coffee truck can provide you an excellent opportunity to develop your coffee business.
By setting up a food truck, you will be well on your way to developing your retail coffee expertise, developing your brand, increasing your social media follows, and making money.
A coffee truck run to $20,000 or more to set up. But it can be profitable. Plus, in many municipalities getting health department approval with a business “on wheels” can be easier.
How Will You Set Up Your Coffee Shop Business?
So, now it’s your turn. In this article, we’ve briefly provided you with several options to start your coffee business on a budget. Now the question is: which direction do you want to go in?
There are no “right answers” here. There is only what you feel comfortable with and what you envision your coffee business to be.
Additionally, look at the business your community needs right now. What would be most beneficial to your community today? Perhaps, offering great coffee at your local farmer’s market would be good? Or perhaps, your community needs a coffee drive-thru stand?
While you want to hold on to your vision, you also have to pay close attention to what your target market wants.
One recommendation that we you will want to increase your knowledge-base. Our Coffee Shop Business Startup Kit can provide you with a good understanding of what it is like to run a coffee business.
With its hours and hours of interviews with experts and veteran coffee shop owners, guides, and templates, you will be taking a powerful first step in your effort to start a coffee shop or drive thru stand.