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It can be difficult to know exactly how to open a coffee shop. In the U.S. alone, there are 100 million coffee drinkers. Beyond that, roughly 68% of all people who drink coffee do so within the first hour after they wake up. So, needless to say, the coffee industry is doing pretty well. However, even with coffee offering a lucrative opportunity, there’s a bit of a process to getting started.

Since you’re here, it’s safe to assume you’re an avid lover of coffee yourself. And if you want to turn that love into a profit, opening a coffee shop is the way to do it. However, there are a few steps to starting your own coffee shop.

How To Open A Coffee Shop

  • Make Your Business Plan
  • Find The Right Location
  • Decide On The Aesthetic And Layout
  • Get A Lawyer And An Accountant
  • Get Financing
  • Be Frugal And Compare Prices
  • Networking And Marketing
  • Hire Only For What You Need
  • Have High Expectations

How To Open A Coffee Shop: Make Your Business Plan

While a full-on business plan would be recommended at some point in the process, it’s okay to start with a condensed version. Unless you’re going to a bank, you won’t need a fully fleshed out plan during initial talks. It’s a good idea to create a one-page pitch that covers all of the relevant information in a condensed manner. Talk about what makes your coffee shop unique, the demographic you want to target, the menu, pricing, and aesthetics of the shop.

How To Open A Coffee Shop: Find The Right Location

First and foremost, you’ll want to choose an area that gets a lot of people traffic. Beyond that, you’ll want to put it in an area that draws the demographic that fits your vision of what the coffee shop will be. If you want people hanging out with friends, being near a university might be a good idea. However, if you’re imaging a stop and go type place, putting it near businesses or areas that are frequented by commuters might not be a bad idea.

How To Open A Coffee Shop: Decide On The Aesthetic And The Layout

Let’s be honest, the aesthetic and layout can be a big contributing factor for people when they choose a coffee shop. They’ll want to like the environment they’re in, so designing a space that’s easy to navigate and looks as appealing as possible will never be a bad idea. And even though a pretty interior is a must, it’s also important to make sure the exterior looks great, too!

How To Open A Coffee Shop: Get A Lawyer And An Accountant

If you’re opening a coffee shop, you’ll need to sign a lease. Having a lawyer to help you sift through the information and get you the best possible leasing options can be incredibly helpful. Beyond that, they can also help you decide what type of business your coffee shop will be and the level of legal liability you’ll have.

As for an accountant, it’s easier to just hire someone else to do your own bookkeeping. It’ll save you a lot of time that you’d lose out on otherwise. Outside of that, an accountant would give an objective outlook on your current profits and help you decide where you need to improve.

How To Open A Coffee Shop: Get Financing

Financing will depend on the size of your coffee shop, location, interior aesthetic, and any renovations that may need to be done. Beyond that, you’ll need to have all of equipment and appliances to brew your coffee.

Alternative lenders can provide you with Startup Funding, Business Lines Of Credit, Equipment Financing, and more. You don’t have to go through the rough process of talking with banks, and the benefit of alternative lenders is that they’re willing to take more risks.

How To Open A Coffee Shop: Be Frugal And Compare Prices

If you’re looking to start your own coffee shop, it’s never a bad idea to save up some personal money for when you start. Ultimately, you’ll need financial assistance to get going, but you’ll also need to be able to take care of yourself for at least a couple of months.

Outside of that, compare prices on everything. Don’t just settle for “good enough.” It’ll take a lot more time to shop around and compare prices, but if you can pay a few hundred bucks less here or there, that’ll help you out a lot.

How To Open A Coffee Shop: Networking And Marketing

Even if you choose a crowded location, you still need to get people talking about your coffee shop. The crowded area will only help you so much, so do whatever you need to do to network yourself with the community.

As for marketing, use things like social media, websites, blogs, whatever you can think of to get your coffee shop’s name out in the world and on the web.

How To Open A Coffee Shop: Hire Only For What You Need

Obviously, you’ll need some help. You might need baristas, someone managing the register, someone cleaning tables, and so on. However, don’t over hire. People may do really well in the interview process, but may not be the best match for your vision. So, keep it small at first, and slowly build out from there.

How To Open A Coffee Shop: Have High Expectations

Don’t micromanage your employees, but at the same time, have high expectations for the quality of work and efficiency.

Finance Factory Can Help You Finance Your Coffee Shop

Interested in finding funding for your coffee shop? Finance Factory would love to help! If you’re looking to fund your business within the next 30 to 90 days for $25,000 to $500,00 and have a credit score of 660 or better, let’s chat! Get pre-qualified right now with our quick-step pre-qualification form! And don’t worry, this will not result in a hard credit inquiry of sensitive information. We just want to learn more about you and your business. Click below to get started!