Free Tips on Starting Your Coffee Shop Business Plan Yourself

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Your Passion + Knowledge + Planning = Success!

Business plans can be a royal pain to get started. In fact, because many would-be coffee business owners don’t know where to begin, a business plan often gets left undone. This often leads to them lose or waste money down the road, prevent a great leasing opportunity, or even discourage investors from supporting them.

There are a few quick tips to get on your business plan early – without pulling your hair out:

#1: Your Coffee Shop Business Menu

Start Thinking About Your Menu – Your menu is critical here, so we always recommend thinking about this first. What kinds of items would you like to serve? Would you like to bake your own bread, biscuits, bagels, etc.? Would you be serving breakfast foods? Sandwiches? By nailing this down first, your planning will go so much easier.

#2: Doing Your Coffee Shop Business Research

Start collecting all the information you will need – Whether you have a physical or digital file, having all of your information in one place will help to start your business plan when you are finally ready. This may mean, leasing information on available spaces, contact information on vendors, and state and local licensing requirements.

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#3: Becoming Knowledgeable on Coffee Shop Business Vendors

Start looking at Coffee Vendors In Your Area (or Elsewhere) – Simply collecting a list or business cards of local or national vendors can be helpful for you as you begin to think about your business. Such vendors would include wholesale coffee accounts, paper vendors (cups, lids, sleeves, and napkins), and equipment vendors.

#4: Get a Coffee Shop Business Plan Template

Use a Coffee Business Plan Template – Getting a pre-organized template for will allow you to basically look it over and find out what you need to know to complete your plan. This may be helpful for those who have never worked on a business plan before and would like to save time. Having a coffee business plan template, will not only save you time (and frustration), but it will help you focus your attention elsewhere on the things that really matter- like actually starting your business.

#5: Visit Other Coffee Shop Businesses in your Area

Start Visiting Cafes and Coffee Shops – visit local cafes and coffee business and take notes! I would even suggest taking pictures as well. The notes will help you recall what you observed during your visits. Write down things you liked, what you didn’t like – and how you would like to incorporate some of the positive things in your café (This would include the overall ambiance, design of the coffee bar, seating arrangements, colors, etc.)


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#6: Your Coffee Shop Business Branding

Start Thinking of your Name (and branding direction) – Jot down a few names that are appealing – and begin doing the research to see if the name is available to use in your state or nationally. Be careful not to infringe on any trademarks. Researching your name and developing your branding efforts will be important to do before you start your business plan.

#7: Daily Dedication To Starting Your Coffee Shop Business

Block out 25 minutes a day to work on your business plan. That’s it! Just 25 minutes a day until you get comfortable enough to go longer. Set a timer and go for it. By just “doing it” your coffee business plan will begin to take on a life of its own over time. Certainly, after a full two-weeks, you will not only have something real and concrete to work with, but you will have also trained your mind to start “thinking like a successful coffee business owner.”

Let's Review Our Coffee Shop Business Plan Tips:

1. Start with your menu
2. Start your basic coffee business research
3. Review potential vendors
4. Use a business plan template
5. Start visiting other coffee shop businesses (competitors, substitutes)
6. Start thinking about your branding
7. Set aside time every day to planning your coffee shop


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Starting your coffee shop business requires planning. Photo Credit: Pinterest

Get the Business Plan Help You Need To Get Started Right Away!

Writing your business plan can be intimidating. That's why we've created an easy-to-follow business plan template that you can use to write out your business plan. Our Coffee Shop Business Startup Kit provides you with everything you need to get the most of your business planning. Our MS Word template allows you to simply add in your thoughts, concepts, and ideas to our template and simply print!

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