How To Open a Coffee Shop With No Experience

With the demand for coffee on the rise, many people are willing to start a coffee shop although they are reluctant because they have no experience. If you are in that category, you are not alone. Actually, you are in the majority and the fact that you don’t have experience should not make you feel inferior or left out. There are many successful coffee shop owners and at some point, they were just like you without experience. There is no one in this world born with experience of starting a café and you must start and learn from somewhere. Given that the perfection will not find you at home or in other professions, here is how you can open a coffee shop with no experience.

Appreciate the experience you have

If you’re in dire need of opening a café, don’t let fear kill your dreams. Appreciating the little knowledge and experience you have is the foundation you need to become a successful coffee shop owner in the future. The skills you have gained through education or from your previous work could be transferable and you can use it and become a successful coffee shop owner. For instance, having inventory or accounting, branding, marketing, communication and pricing experience is something you’ll need and use on a daily basis and when you apply it accordingly, your coffee shop will succeed and grow.

Increase your knowledge base

When planning to open a coffee shop without experience, you must be willing to learn and increase the base of your knowledge. Even though you might be knowledgeable in other areas such as marketing, there are other areas in the business which you should understand. For instance, being an excellent coffee brewer is not the only way to run a successful café; you must understand accounting, HR, and customer service. Therefore, you must be willing to learn and with time, all the important skills will be on your fingertips. Besides, you can teach yourself the basics by watching videos and doing practice at home and if your family or friends genuinely like your coffee, your customers will like it too.

Be cheerful and friendly

When you open a coffee shop, you will become the boss in that enterprise. Hire qualified employees with different expertise and delegate work accordingly. Don’t let them know that you don’t have the experience in running a coffee shop as they can take advantage of you. Always ensure that you direct them to perform their duties excellently and as a rule of thumb, be cheerful and friendly, not only to your customers but also to the staff. That way, the staff will be motivated to work hard and you’ll get an opportunity to learn how they execute their responsibilities and also, it will increase the chance of your customers coming back to your coffee shop.

Become a team player

Being a boss doesn’t mean you stay away from responsibilities; it means being a team player. It entails working and communicating with both customers and staff and be there when needed. In fact, working with your staff is the easiest way to gain experience in your coffee shop. For instance, be there when they are brewing coffee, see what they do and taste it before it’s served to the customers. Also, be part of the marketing as well as accounting staff and see what they do so you can be able to do it next time if that particular staff is unavailable.

Remain passionate about starting the business you’ve always wanted

When you have no experience in running a coffee shop, it’s likely to feel that you cannot meet the needs of your customers. However, don’t let the passion you have depart from you. Serving coffee helps you to share the passion you have with others. Therefore, ensure that you have a detailed business plan and the cause of action as it will help you stay focused on what should be done and it will help you not to lose the passion you have in starting your own coffee shop business.

Final thought

Starting a coffee shop is not as hard as it seems but many people with that passion are afraid to start due to lack of experience. However, that should not keep you away from achieving your dreams because the experience is not the only thing you need. Everybody starts from somewhere and even the most prominent coffee shop owners had no experience when they started running their shops. The little you have is what you need in taking your café in the next level. All you need is to appreciate what you have, get the basic knowledge and have the heart to learn what other coffee shop owners have done in the past and you’ll surely succeed.

The Pros and Cons of Starting a Café Business

After years of research, planning and investment, you’ve finally decided to start a café and serve great coffee and fresh food in a relaxing atmosphere. Well, starting a coffee shop is an exciting and profitable venture for anyone with a passion for coffee. However, just like any other business, many people are not sure on whether they should go ahead and open up a coffee shop due to money concerns, self-doubt, fear of failure, and are not sure of the market and where to start from. Having certain doubts is understandable given that you are likely to spend time, money and effort in starting and running it. If you’re planning to start a café business in the future, here are pros and cons you should know before investing your hard-earned money in it.

Pros of starting a café business

  1. Profits

The objective of any business is to make profits and starting a café business is a sure way of generating revenue. The demand for coffee is on the rise and this means that as long as you serve high-quality coffee and wholesome, fresh snacks, more people will be coming to buy from you and the more the sales, the more profit you make. A café business is a value machine and the profit it generates can change your lifestyle forever.

  1. Helps you to create your own schedule

When you start your own café business, you become your own boss; you hire employees and delegate work accordingly. You get busy but you’re flexible enough to determine which hours you’ll be working and which ones to spend with your family, kids or in other businesses. Also, starting your own coffee shop gives you priceless freedom which in turn offers richer and empowering lifestyle.

  1. To be part of a community

It goes without saying that coffee is a social drink as it brings people together. Therefore, setting up a coffeehouse is a great resource in your community as it becomes a peaceful and cool place where people come together for a drink and briefings. When people socialize as they share a cup of coffee, they feel connected not only to each other but also to you, your staff and your business.

  1. A sense of satisfaction

It’s a great thing to get profit but fulfilling a personal vision you’ve always wanted to reach is priceless. Success is not measured on how much you earn but the satisfaction you get in doing what you do. When you start a café business, you get an opportunity to work from your heart and not for money and you get a million and one reasons to be happy. When you reach your goals and dreams of creating something special for people to enjoy, you get a sense of satisfaction.

Cons

  1. Its time consuming

Launching a coffee business is not always a walk in the park as it takes more time than you first imagined. Starting a café business requires a concrete planning and writing a business plan which takes time and efforts. It is therefore important to ask yourself whether you have the effort and time to start a café business.

  1. Too much to do

When planning to start a café business, you must understand that you’ll be the boss and everything will start and end with you. You make all the decisions, delegate responsibilities, and enjoy all the profits and losses on your own. Sadly, many people are not willing to take the responsibilities that come with running a business because they feel it’s too much for them to handle. Therefore, when planning to start a café business, consider your personality and weigh whether you can manage employees and deal with customers cordially.

  1. It’s an expensive undertaking

Starting up a café business is not as easy as it seems. The start-up cost is high; and produce, equipment and licensing are all very expensive. That means that you’ll either be forced to use all your life savings or borrow in order to open your dream coffee shop.

Final thought

With the consumption of coffee on the rise, investing in a café business is a great idea. It will help you fulfill your vision, help you share your passion with others, bring your community together and most importantly, you’ll make good money. However, running it will not be smooth especially due to the stiff competition but with determination, you can overcome all these challenges and enjoy the benefits that come with café business. If you’re planning to start one in the future, the above pros and cons will help you in making informed decisions on whether to go ahead with your plan or not. As a rule of thumb, there are so many pros associated with starting a café business and the risk is worth taking.

7 Reasons Why Coffee Shops Fail

Coffee is among the most popular beverage in the world. It has high antioxidant levels and beneficial nutrients and healthy to consume. That being the case, starting a coffee shop could be a great opportunity to impact your community, build a profitable enterprise and most importantly, change your life completely. It goes without saying that many people are going for high-quality espresso drinks and a well-run coffee shop can give you good returns all year round. However, every year, dozens of coffee shops are opened and around the same number close down. But have you ever asked yourself why they fail yet the demand for coffee is on the rise? Well, if you’re planning to start a coffee business soon, here are seven reasons why most of them fail and learning from others can save you money and help you avoid mistakes for a successful business.

  1. Failure to do a thorough research

Starting any business needs basic research and coffee shops are no exception. However, some coffee shop owners fail to do research on how to position their shops for success. If you know how to brew coffee and love drinking it doesn’t mean you can successfully run a coffee shop; you must be willing to learn how to operate a coffee shop, how to handle the challenges, and how to make it successful. The research can be time-consuming but it’s worth the outcomes you get in the long run. Your research should entail;

  • Looking at the cost around your business
  • Reading books and other related materials dealing with retail coffee business
  • To do a research on the cost elements you require
  • Learn more about coffee such as origin and roasting profiles
  • Read resources on how to open a business entity

Sadly, many people overlook this important element of research and assume that the business will automatically succeed, but end up being disappointed and close it thereafter.

  1. Lack of willingness and attitude to learn and grow

Many new coffee shop owners have a misconception that starting a coffee business is easy. However, to start and develop a coffee shop requires real time and investment and you should be willing to learn as it’s the only way to succeed as a coffee shop owner. Customers have different needs and if you fail to learn what they want, your business cannot grow. Also, failing to learn about marketing and promotion endangers the prospect of your coffee shop.

  1. Spending too much on the wrong equipment

When planning to start a café, one thing that crosses your mind is the new and shiny coffee equipment to buy. Well, it’s not a bad idea to buy something impressive and expensive for your business but you shouldn’t overspend on equipment you don’t need. Before spending too much on equipment, determine your menu, the space it will occupy, and your budget. Sadly, many new coffee shop owners buy expensive equipment blindly leaving them on debts and no money to run the business.

  1. Inconsistent standards

Consistency is the key to attracting customers in your café and retaining them. With consistency, your customers become regular. However, most coffee shop owners are inconsistent; they open and close their business on irregular times and the quality of the coffee they sell is inconsistent too. If you want your coffee shop to succeed, be consistent and remember that your customers will allow you to make three mistakes before they say goodbye to your shop. Therefore, your drinks should be 100% perfect failure to which your customers will leave you and look for somewhere they can get consistent coffee that meets their needs.

  1. Poor services

Your customers are the most important people in your business and therefore, they expect great services from you in order to come back next time. Outstanding services are as a result of recruiting the best team, training them well, and rewarding them for their good work. Instead of looking for skills during recruitment, look for attitude and as a rule of thumb, pay your staff competitively and you won’t lose them easily. When you recruit staff from time to time, you spend a lot of time in retraining them and your customers will not like it when they find new staffs every time they come to your shop. This is because, customers tend to build a concrete friendship with the staffs and when they don’t find them in your shop, they feel heartbroken and never return.

  1. Poor relationships with suppliers

When running a coffee shop, it’s important to understand that you are dependent on your suppliers for what you sell. Therefore, you must build a cordial relationship with your suppliers as it’s the path towards a successful business. When the relationship between the two of you breaks for instance when you fail to pay them on time, or when you talk to them rudely, they will stop delivering what you need and you’ll have nothing to sell.

  1. Poor management

For a coffee business to succeed, it requires good management skills right from the start. Poor management affects your business negatively and you need good management skills to execute the following areas;

  • Managing employees
  • Inventory management
  • Management of vendor relations
  • Management of payroll and everything related to HR
  • Managing budget
  • Training

Managing your business successfully is no walk in the park as it can be tedious and time-consuming. Many new coffee shop owners don’t want to use their time in managing their business and end up disappointed when their close down.

Final thoughts

It goes without saying that coffee is among the most consumed beverage in the world. Coffee drinkers are looking for a coffee shop out there they can call home. Due to the above-mentioned reasons, most coffee businesses fail and the owners end up closing down with huge debts to pay. However, if planning to start a coffee shop in the future, don’t feel discouraged; you can learn these reasons and avoid them when you start yours and be ready for great returns.

 

How to Clean Your Coffee Equipment

Are you a coffee lover? Well, that means that you probably use your coffee making equipment a lot. The more you use it, the higher the chances of it becoming dirty are. A recent study showed that most people don’t clean their coffee makers as often as they should. Did you know that your coffee maker is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and mold? Therefore, dirty coffee making equipment can expose you to a lot of health dangers. To help you out, below are tips on how to clean the different types of coffee making equipment.

What Are The Requirements?

To clean your coffee equipment, there are some things that you should have. Most people usually rinse their equipment a bit and put them back on the shelf. But, this isn’t sufficient. You will need the following to clean your coffee equipment;

  • Baking Soda – It is the best alternative because it can be rinsed with ease, unlike soap.
  • Dish washing detergent to clean the glass.
  • Vinegar – It does a marvelous job in getting rid of mineral deposits that accumulate at the bottom of the carafe.
  • A scrubbing brush and washing cloth.
  • Any cleaning agent of your choice.

Now that you have all the requirements, you can now thoroughly clean your coffee equipment.

  1. Drip Coffee Maker

Let’s start with the Drip Coffee Maker. If you own one of these great machines, then you need to clean it on a weekly basis. In most cases, if you take a close look at your drip coffee maker, you will notice mineral deposits at the bottom. The problem with mineral buildup is that it can significantly affect the taste of your brewed coffee.

To remove mineral deposits and dirt, you should clean the carafe once or twice a week. Make sure you do this when the lid is removed. Also, clean the filter basket by soaking it in a mixture of warm water and baking soda. With the aid of a washing cloth, wipe any residue and then rinse it with clean water. Once you are through, you can then wipe the coffee maker on the outside. Don’t forget to wipe the shower head.

  1. The French Press

The French Press is among one of the most popular coffee makers out there. However, most of its users dread cleaning it because it appears to be a bit tedious. It takes a lot of time and effort to clean it, but once you get used to this, it becomes easier.

To clean this coffee equipment thoroughly, you should first dismantle it into smaller parts. Then soak them in baking soda or soapy water. Allow them to settle for more than fifteen minutes. You can then use the cleaning rug to clean one part at a time. After that, you should rinse the equipment in running water. Failure to do so can lead to the brewing of coffee with a soapy taste. Before reassembling the parts, allow them to dry off first.

  1. Espresso Machine

For those who are serious about coffee, an espresso machine is the answer. However, other than its exceptional ability to prepare you a tasty cup of coffee, it also requires thorough cleaning. Unlike the above two equipment, an espresso machine requires a special cleaner. You can clean it every three to four times a month.

For you to clean it thoroughly, you will need to run the cleaner as if you are making coffee. That is, you will first have to remove the handle from the espresso machine. Run some warm water to remove any espresso cake that might be inside. You can then pour the cleaner into the filter basket and then begin brewing. Do this at least five to ten times. Once you are done, you can remove the handle and start rinsing with water. With the handle still off, try to do as if you are brewing some coffee so that the inside is thoroughly rinsed.

Once you are satisfied that the inside is as clean as it should be, you can take your brush and begin scrubbing the area around the groove. Rinse it one last time and allow it to dry before you can make yourself some great coffee.

  1. The Chemex

The Chemex is a bit easier to clean than the others because you can just put it in your dishwasher. But you must first remove the wood and leather corset because it’s not water friendly. You will also need to bend the rack posts so that it fits into the washer without causing any damages. You can also use a brush to clean the inside glass to remove stubborn remnants.

A cleaner coffee equipment guarantees tastier coffee. Cleaning your equipment on the outside is only good for your eyes but not for your health and taste buds. The above are tips on how to clean the different coffee making equipment. Don’t forget to do it at least once every week. Also be gentle while cleaning the equipment to avoid any damages.

6 Ways to Attract Customers to Your Coffee Shop

You are probably not the only person with a coffee shop on the street. This is because coffee is the most loved beverage in the world and every business person wants to take advantage of it. So a lot of people will ask this question: how can I attract more customers to may coffee shop? The secret is just being different from your competitors and give your customers what they cannot find elsewhere. So here are some of the things to implement if you want to attract customers to your coffee shop.

1. Start a loyalty card scheme

This is a trick used by many businesses but rarely will you find a coffee shop indulging in this scheme. But you can design simple matt-finish business cards with boxes to stamp. The best part is that they are quite cheap. Since you will be giving away your coffee at a reduced price, you will reduce your profit margin. But the extra customers can make all the difference you need. So it is advisable to invest in a custom-made ink stamp or unique hole-punch that will side step cheaters and at the same time give more people the chance to enjoy your coffee.

2. Make use of social media

Social media is by far the most powerful marketing tool all businesses are making use of. It is cheap and quite easy to use. But the trick here is to get active and engaging.

A successful social media strategy normally has a professional input behind it. But if you don’t have the finances to pay someone to make your social media handles active, you can take a personal interest and do a lot on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This is the best way to build your brand awareness and drive people to your coffee shop.

3. Refresh the look

A cup of coffee has the power to refresh and reenergize a dull customer. But before the customer even orders for a cup, he/she should be excited to be at your shop. The best way to ensure that happens is to refresh the look of your shop.

Most people think that the vintage and industrial look is what makes a coffee shop sell coffee. But that is a misconception. In fact, a good research on the new trends will give you the breakthrough you have been looking for. So other than just changing the décor of your shop, consider refreshing your coffee mugs and changing your entire coffee display.

4. Build a community

As you try to appeal to new customers, it is also important that you consider your different audience segments. If your shop needs that business traffic, offer a business special or brag about the free Wi-Fi on offer.

If your coffee shop is frequented by students, you can offer them a discount at off-peak hours. All this will help you build a community and create a relationship with your customers. This is how you will make loyal customers.

5. Get more electrical outlets

If your Coffee shop is surrounded by students or if you have free Wi-Fi, it only makes sense if you install electrical outlets for your customers. In fact, laptops are like an extension of the body of a student or a freelancer. Customers don’t want to take coffee in a coffee shop that has no power outlets because they don’t want to worry about the devices going off. You can attract customers buy installing sockets.

Most business owners think that adding such things will make customers to stay longer and take up valuable space that could be occupied by new customers. Well they are wrong. Active and busy cafes normally attract potential customers. This shows that you have a great customer base which means there is something right about your shop.

6. Plan seasonal events

If you are looking for the best way to encourage the fall spirit then you should consider hosting a seasonal event at your shop. For instance, you can organize a craft event or coloring contest for the children in the neighborhood. Make sure you display their art on your wall and it is through such events that you will have the entire family come to your shop. You can also take part in neighborhood or city’s various events. Get a booth and sell your coffee at the event.

7 Things You Should Know Before Opening a Cafe

Did you know that it’s projected that by the end of the year, over a million new restaurant locations will be opened around the US? Well, it is estimated that these restaurants will be able to employ close to 15 million people who accounts for 10% of the US labor force.

As you can see, opening a restaurant will surely work for you especially if you overcome one of the biggest fears that plague every entrepreneur – failure. Let’s face it. All successful entrepreneurs from around the world have had to overcome the fear of failure. As a result, they have been able to achieve their goals and even watched their investments grow and expand.

Before starting a cafe, here are 7 things you need to keep in mind.

1. Success will not occur overnight

Whether your new cafe is located near a high traffic area or your coffee is the tastiest in the whole city, success will not occur overnight. Before attaining, success, there is a lot that needs to be done. For starters, you have to identify the customers you want to attract.

Another important point to consider is management. If you lack the experience of running a restaurant, be warned. The end results will not be great. This is the same if you decide to hire inexperienced waiters and baristas.

To ensure success, you have to find the right location, hire experienced staff, market your restaurant and provide the best service to your customers.

2. Offer extra value to all your customers

Ever heard of this saying “the customer is always right.” Well, it’s true. If you treat your customer badly, they will end up leaving a bad review on your social media pages or other online platforms. If customers visiting the area read these bad reviews, they will opt to visit another cafe.

Since you don’t want this, you need to go the extra mile when providing services to your customers. Here is what you need to do. Find a unique concept that meets the needs of your customers. For instance, if the location you are planning to start your restaurant is frequented by college students, opening a high end cafe will not work well but an affordable one would.

When it comes to food and beverages, try to diversity your offerings. Instead of concentrating on what other restaurant are offering, why not specialize in new products that cannot be found in your area.

Lots of research is needed here.

3. Familiarize yourself with the suppliers

Now that you are starting your own restaurant, do you know where you can source your ingredients – pastries or the best coffee? Walking into a store and purchasing stuff for your cafe will not work. You need to find a dedicated supplier for what you are looking for. For instance when it comes to coffee, find a supplier who specializes in the best.

By doing so, it helps to ensure that your cafe will always be stocked. In case something runs out, your supplier is only a phone call away. Just make the call and they should deliver the supplies to your restaurant. If you don’t have a dedicated supplier, be prepared to face the wrath of your customers.

4. Hire people you can trust

To ensure your cafe idea becomes successful, you need to hire people you trust from the word go. For instance, when it comes to locating the right premises for your restaurant, you need to hire an attorney with real estate experience. He or she is well versed with lease agreements and should be able to advice you.

You also need a highly experienced accountant. Since you will be running the business, you need to have someone you can trust when it comes to finances and taxes.

5. Pricing is not rocket science

It is quite tempting to price your food and beverages highly when you start your restaurant because you want to profit and expand. Well, it does not work that way. The best way to go about pricing your food and drinks is to calculate the quantity you need to sell in order to break even.

If you are delivering food and beverages to customers, the delivery fee should be included and must be able to cater for fuel and wages paid to the delivery guy. You don’t want to offer free deliver and end up paying the delivery guy from your pocket.

Refrain from pricing your food and beverages too high. People have yet to taste your food and other offerings so, they are not familiar with your brand. Don’t price your food and beverages too low either. This will surely lead to the death of your restaurant.

6. Plan your menu to cater for all

Planning your menu is an important item to factor in your plan before opening your business. Your menu should largely be influenced by the theme of your cafe.

You can also study trends and add new menu items. Apart from that, you should have a menu that caters for different ages – adults and kids plus a menu that also caters for different people – vegan and vegetarians.

7. Business permits and licensing

You cannot open and run any business without a license. Whether it’s a food truck or a high end restaurant, you need a business permit or license to operate. To have these documents, reach out to your local government office. Apart from that, you should consider other requirements – state and federal. This will ensure that your new business is in compliance with the law. You don’t want to be shut down just when your restaurant is gaining popularity.