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6 Steps for Starting a Successful Cafe Business

How do you imagine a perfect time with your friends? The thing that probably crossed your mind is hanging out at some cozy place in the vein of Arnold’s, Peach Pit, or Central Perk. It’s really no wonder that pop culture is dominated by these iconic places. Our society is obsessed with these neat places where we can drink some good beverages, blow off some steam, hang out with dear people, and have fun.

As long as people enjoy these things, starting a café business will always be a good idea.

But, we have to remember that even in the café arena the competition is fierce, and coming on top of this market means leaving no things to chance and standing out as much as possible. Let us take a look at a couple of guidelines to help you along the way.

Research the market and pen down the business plan

All successful projects start with a plan. Your future café is no different. Be sure then to conduct very thorough market research that will give you an idea about local competitors, audience breakdowns, and eventual market gaps. When you are done, be sure to pen down a business plan that will outline components like an executive summary, industry overview, market research, pricing strategy, marketing strategy, long-term and short-term goals, and overall financial strategy. This document will serve both as a guideline to keep you on track and as a reference point, you can use to measure how well you are doing.

Define your target audience and your unique brand

Trying to lure in as many people as possible is great, but you need to have some core audience you can rely on to keep your business sustainable. All the things you have done in the previous step will prove to be of tremendous help. When you get the idea of who your ideal customers actually are start developing a brand that will fit into this audience’s understanding of leisure and good fun. Still, do your best, not to be superficial and go past the simple visual appearance. If you want to make your brand truly alive, your efforts should extend to menu entries, entertainment, staff, and all other things that make one thing special.

Get the necessary inventory

When doing that make sure all the things you are buying are in accordance with the branding goals you set earlier. For instance, if you intend to make the environment cozy and living room-like, skip the traditional bar chairs – you should go with something like stylish bentwood chairs instead. Also, do your best to get the best possible equipment you can, no matter the price. When you launch your business you need to make a very strong impression with the beverages you are going to serve. Saving money on the coffee equipment will make this task way harder even if you employ the best baristas in the world.

Hire the people who share your passion

The success of one company always depended on its staff’s ability to see the corporate goals through. The café businesses are really no different. On the contrary, since the hospitality industry is so inherently personal and experience-based the people you are going to employ are going to have an even greater impact on your operations. Therefore, don’t settle for half-solutions and keep searching for people who share the same passion, vision, and commitment as you, even if that means postponing the launch. Also, make sure the team members are capable of working together. Your interviews should inform some sort of group activities where you will be able to assess the candidates’ personalities and the ability to work in a team.

Choose a killer location

In this regard, visibility, ease of access, and foot traffic should be your top priorities. Still, don’t forget to take into consideration other important factors like the vicinity of traffic lines and public transport, parking space, and local competition. The location should also look appealing, has an attractive façade, and has enough window display space to let the people get the gist of the place from the outside. Supplier proximity is something to take into account as well. Once we move inside, the space should feature plenty of room for all the furniture pieces you need and for people and waiters to freely roam around.

Perform the necessary legal procedures

Now that you have gone through all of the previous steps the building blocks of your future coffee shop should be in place. All that remains now is to perform the necessary procedures for forming your gig into a legal business entity. You’ll likely want a registered agent to handle all the paperwork and legal stuff from the next few part you’ll need to do, you can learn exactly how to do that here. Now the next steps you will need to go through will depend on the country and in some cases even on the state where you are going to start a business. In most cases, though, you will need to:

  • Form an LLC or corporation
  • Register business name
  • Apply for a tax ID number
  • Obtain necessary permits and licenses
  • Protect the business assets with insurance
  • Open a separate business bank account

And that’s pretty much it – once you go through all these steps your café business will finally be ready for launch. From this point on all, you need to do is to set up social media profiles, start creating a buzz, and preferably perform a soft launch where you will invite only a selected people to the party and let them spread out the word before you open the doors to the wider masses. But, all these efforts need to be put on strong foundations. If you followed everything we said you will get exactly that.