How to Start Your Coffee Shop From Scratch: The Beginning

How to Start Your Coffee Shop Business From Scratch: The Beginning

how to open a coffee shop


How to Start Your Coffee Shop From Scratch: The Beginning

Congratulations! At some recent point, you decided that you are going to start a coffee business. Now, how to proceed forward with your coffee business is the next critical step and question. Should you purchase an existing coffee shop or start your coffee business from scratch?

Learning how to start your coffee shop business before you spend any real money is important for you. Even if you have plenty of money to blow away, you still probably don't like the idea of throwing it away, especially if you can save, right? When you start off, you might consider the easiest way to get into a coffee business. Should you start your coffee shop from scratch? Should you simply buy an existing business from someone?

Today, we’ll be focusing on the benefits of starting your business from scratch – from the ground up. We've written a lot about how to start a coffee shop before, so we've compiled a list of articles that you might find relevant for you throughout the page. 


Starting Your Coffee Business With Your Business Planning

Square ReviewBuilding something wonderful out of nothing is not an easy task. It takes planning, vision, and more planning. Developing a methodical way of building your coffee business, consider starting a business plan.

In fact, we always recommend that any aspiring business owner first start and write a coffee shop business plan – the time worth planning and writing out your plan will not only save you a considerable amount of time down the road.

Additionally, there is no telling how much writing a coffee shop business plan will save you in costs. We all know the more we plan, as with anything life, we will save money.

Writing a business plan stump even the most seasoned business owner, so we recommend getting some help.




We offer the following coffee shop business resources:


Start Your Coffee Shop Business – On Branding

A benefit of staring your coffee business from scratch is a clean slate when it comes to branding. Your customers don’t know anything about you, your customer service, and quality of product. Your branding is essential to help you generate the brand that will build long-term value.

When you buy an existing business you may inherit (at a cost) the existing business's goodwill. However, you are also likely to inherit any bad publicity. This is especially true when it comes to online reviews.

Negative online reviews can continue to negatively impact your “new” business for many years, driving down customers, impacting local support, customer loyalty.  

We have written about this in the past, from a variety of different angles. We believe that they are worth a read.

For more information and resource please read:

Your Coffee Business Startup

Developing Your Unique Culture

Developing a unique and vibrant culture at your coffee shop or café will require work and planning on your part. The culture that you probably want, doesn’t simply “appear” out of nowhere but is rather cultivated.

In an coffee shop that will have a variety of people working for it at various times of the day and week (most likely on a part-time level), you will need to institute rules, best practices, and traits that will separate you from other businesses.

As you start a coffee shop or coffee stand, you will want to think early on about the culture you wish to create. The culture of your coffee business can be impacted by a variety of things including your ambiance, your menu, your service, your location, your competition, etc. But mostly, your coffee culture is determined by your hires. 

Okay, so now that we’ve given you some resources a good background for starting a coffee shop or coffee stand, let’s continue with our initial focus: How to Start Your Coffee Shop Business From Scratch


How To Start a Coffee Business With No Money



#1: Start with Your Menu: What Will You Serve at Your Coffee Business?

Your menu is so essential to your business – that it determines which direction your overall business will be heading towards. Are you know sure what you want to serve in your coffee shop? Then take the time to explore local vendors in your area.

Be open to try new things. And listen to your future customer: Visit other coffee shops, cafes, restaurants. What are your future customers ordering? Your menu choices will impact your entire business, including the costs of your coffee shop, your coffee shop equipment, your space requirements, and who your customer is.

#2: Next is Decide on a Location for Your Coffee Business

Your coffee business location is essential to your success. Being able to find the right location is both a science and an art. It’s a science because you have only a finite customer base.

Determining if that customer base will sustain your business is important. It’s also art because you will need to visualize the impact of your coffee business on the local community.

For more information, please read:


Square POS

#3 Determining Your Costs and Break-Even Point

Now that you know what you want to serve, where you want to be, and your vision for your coffee shop, you will now need to determine your costs and ultimately your break-even point.

When it comes to opening your coffee shop, your costs, break-even point, will impact your decisions before moving forward. For more information on determining the cost, we've written up an article here.


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Starting a coffee business means juggling a lot of chainsaws. And I think we all know what happens when we drop a chainsaw. If we drop the ball on say, our lease or coffee equipment, we could be in for a big and unwelcome surprise!

So, let’s move on to the other important elements to planning and launching your coffee business. Now, at this time, we think that deeply exploring your coffee equipment, leasing options for your coffee shop, your specific health department requirements (and workflow), your state’s ADA requirements for the design of your café, as well as your Point of Sale system.

While you still might be in the “planning phase” – you should explore each of these thoroughly before launching a coffee business.

#4: Your Coffee Business Equipment

Your coffee equipment is an essential to your coffee business. And coffee shop equipment doesn't come cheap. You want to balance quality with the right type of equipment that works for you. That is why you should figure out what menu you are planning to go with.

Unfortunately, too many new coffee business owners get the wrong equipment, worn and used equipment, and have to pay twice as much in the end.

Our coffee shop business starter package offers a great audio interview to help new business owners prepare for purchasing coffee equipment.

Coffee Business Article: What coffee equipment do you need to start a coffee shop?


#5: Your Coffee Business Leasing Options

The leasing option is one of the scariest things for a new coffee business owners to sign. It can be incredibly difficult to get a lease that is completely in your favor without negotiation and well-thought out planning. Here again, we offer an incredible must-hear interview that is essential to grow and expand your knowledge base in this important subject.

Coffee Business Article: Things to Consider in Your Coffee Business Lease


#6: Your Coffee Business and the Health Department

The health department in your community will be important to for you to navigate through if you want to open on time. Many new business owners have to spend double the money to fix things, such as the design of a café, the materials used, and equipment chosen and that should have been done right the first time.

We offer the following coffee shop business resources:

Coffee Business Article: Things to Consider with The Health Department


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#7: Your Coffee Business and Your ADA Requirements

The ADA requirements are federal regulations put in place to protect the civil liberties of millions of Americans. The ADA requirements for your business will be essential to consider as you plan out the design of your café as well as your hiring practices.


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#8: Your Cafe's POS System

Your coffee business will rest on sales. How will you take your customer’s money? Exploring your POS options is critical long before you open your doors and start pouring coffee.

We offer the following coffee shop business resources:

Square POS for Your Coffee Shop

ShopKeep POS for Your Coffee Shop


If you are interested in starting a coffee shop, you will need to do your planning. We provide our business starter package that is guaranteed to save you hundreds of dollars, and dozens of hours of time.  For more information, contact us – or continue browsing our resource articles.



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