If you are at the stage where you are serious about planning out your coffee shop, you will want to sit down and write a business plan for your coffee shop business. (There are many available generic templates out online that may be helpful. However, we also provide a coffee-oriented business plan that is specific for your average coffee shop).
If you’re still on the fence about starting a business plan for your coffee shop, let’s take a moment to address the importance of the plan and how it impacts your coffee business from day one.
Why Do You Need a Coffee Shop Business Plan?
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
― Benjamin Franklin
1. A Coffee Business Plan Helps With Funding Your Dream
In many cases, you will need extra capital to start your coffee shop. And, without a doubt, most pragmatic lenders will want to see a thorough business plan written before they think you are serious about your business. Writing your business plan will help you understand where your money is coming from and where it is going.
It is a powerful tool to fund the dream of owning your own business. Even family or close friends who would be willing to loan you money, want to be able to see a thorough business plan lending their hard-earned savings over to you – no matter how much they love you.
2. Is a Natural Improvement Exercise
However…A business plan is more than just an exercise, it’s a way to improve your overall business concept. Writing out your ideas and putting them down on paper allows you to see where the holes are – and how to “plug” those holes meaningfully.
Writing a business plan will help you to improve on any flaws in your business concept. That’s because the natural “step by step” flow of working through everything will help you think and consider many options that you haven’t thought out before.
3. Increases Your Odds of Success
When you take the time to really flesh out your business planning, discuss each item by item before you launch your business, you’ll be better prepared. Your business plan minimizes any potentially disastrous (or expensive) surprises.
4. Keeps You on the Right Track
When you have a road map, it’s easier to stay on the intended path to your destination. Simply “feeling your way” through your business planning is not acceptable – unless you have boat loads of money and tons of time on your hands and don’t really get headaches when things become stressful in your life. Having a business plan helps you stay laser focused on what needs to get done – and when.
Moving Forward: Your Coffee Shop Business Planning
Okay, so assuming you’re on board with the necessity to plan. That doesn’t take away from the actual grunt work, right? (Though our template, which comes with our Coffee Shop Startup Kit) does a pretty good job of walking you through what you need to do!)
Here are three more things often missing from a coffee shop business plan:
A. What is Your Competitive Advantage?
You are in the coffee business to deliver the best coffee and products to your customers. But what separates you from your competitors? Is it your pricing? Is it your type of beans? Is it your other product offerings, like cakes, waffles, or crepes? Knowing your competitive advantage (or what will it be) will help you to define your business to others – it will also allow you to know where to apply more investment in the future, and how to market to your community more effectively.
B. Your Anticipated Sales Projections:
Many people really leave this sections blank or avoid it entirely when starting a business plan. The reason, is that because it’s actually pretty challenging. After all, if you never ran a business before, if you have never written a business plan before, and if you have no clue what your sales are going to be – then how can you write up an anticipated sales projection?
Your sales projection are built on a few important variables – the ebb and flow of your customer numbers, your products, and your pricing. Getting these figures and compounding them, that is, adding them up per week, per month, and per year will help you determine your projections.
If you have a coffee shop you will need to determine two things: Who your competitors are and who are your substitutes. Competitors maybe the giant green coffee shop chain down the street, the bakery next door, and the independent coffee shop across the freeway. You are all competing for coffee dollars in your town. Get to know them and their product offerings. What are they doing different. What are their competitive advantages?
C. Including a Time Line in Your Coffee Business Planning
Timely benchmarks are important. It gives you a goal and a categorical work-flow that you need to measure your progress. Many coffee shop would-be owners also forget to leave this out. “It’s all in my mind,” is the most common reason why owners don’t include it.
The problem is that when things start moving quickly, the chances of forgetting something or being unable to delegate a particular task can lead you to forget and can hold up other essential benchmarks down the road.
Starting a Coffee Shop Has Many Parts
There is no doubt that starting your coffee shop can deliver profits and a lifestyle you may want for you and your family. But planning is essential for you, your lenders, and your property owners – where you are leasing from.
We here at Coffee Shop Startups can help you provide a way to increase your success at opening up a coffee shop or coffee business in your community. We provide you with the most relevant information for entrepreneurs who are want to start a coffee shop business on their own – without hiring expensive consultants.
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