How to start a coffee shop: TOP-5 Challenges and Solutions

While you think how to start a coffee shop, remember about the most part of entrepreneurs don’t take into account the experience of their predecessors. This entails the risk of mistakes – new and typical ones. Read more about TOP-5 of “the beginner’s incidents” and get the proven solutions which might help you to find your way on the restaurant market in the digital age.

Start points to drive your business right now

There are not and cannot be spotless establishments. Every business model requires ongoing growth and development. Create a basic working model which you will be able to improve every day.


Have you established a goal to open a coffee shop or a restaurant? It’s great! Ask yourself three questions daily:

  1. What did I do yesterday to achieve this goal?
  2. What will I do tomorrow to achieve it?
  3. What stops me from achieving my goal?

When you are asking yourself that third question, draw your attention to the things which stop you from moving ahead. These are the barriers that threaten to derail your great plan “How to start a coffee shop”. They reveal problems which you should solve within a reasonable time frame.

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What stops you from opening a coffee shop today?


1.Problems with business concept


Having a good idea for business isn’t enough to make it success. You need to plan and create a business concept. It will clarify your idea in words to give a comprehensive understanding of it. A well-written concept allows potential customers, partners and investors to have a clear visualization of your business idea. A concept statement should be written before the business plan, based on the market researches and financial estimate.

Marketing research should be fundamental for your concept. Because you have to understand who you are opening the coffee shop for – target audience, visitors – and whether the market needs your idea.

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The greatest mistake of the beginners is to invent an issue first and after that to discover who needs it. The most productive way to form a concept is to find solutions to the existing problems of the market. Mind the difference: it is not about creating new problems with a new idea but it is about providing solutions to the existing problems. That case, you will be able to benefit from the successful positioning of your establishment on the market.

Positioning is the concept’s «engine». You are creating an image of your establishment in your target audience’s eyes. You are speaking to the potential customers about who you are and why you have appeared on the market.


Read more: Correct positioning of a café or coffee shop: tips and tricks


2.You don’t have all required permits  


Once you’ve got a detailed business plan, you need to contact your local authority to know the legal requirements in order to successfully open your own coffee shop business. Without proper authorizations, you won’t be allowed to launch your small business. Just ensure that you have all required permits and approvals. Experienced restaurateurs recommend thinking about it in advance in order not to waste time waiting.

As soon as you receive your documents for business, pay close attention and ensure that the premises documents are executed correctly.


3.Absence of suitable premises


You have looked through lots of offers but you cannot find the right one. Either these premises are expensive or too small, or in bad condition. Make sure that your requirements correspond to the market needs.

You might not need immediately to rent large premises. Since your business starts growing, you can always expand the surface. Are you sure that you could really make a good profit from running a café in the center of the city?  It might well turn out that your establishment is more required in other districts. Check out your concept one more time and rethink your plans.

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You have finally found the premises but there is something bothering you.

Perform an expert examination in order to verify that the premises comply with all operation regulations. Draw particular attention to the power lines. They can be tricky in regard to the assigned power output. This value is hard to enhance during work. It must initially comply with regulatory requirements.


4.Equipment — shortage or lack


If your budget is limited and you cannot afford purchasing all required equipment and supplies at once, try to purchase and pay gradually whilst you are solving other issues related to the business opening. Don’t buy because it’s trendy or top. Define what you need at this stage.

Take advantage of getting advice from the experienced and successful restaurants and cafés equipment suppliers. They don’t just sell you the whole stuff at once but they are interested in turning you into a regular customer. Hence, they will be eager to recommend you the basic set which you will be able to complement over time or exchange into a more powerful one.

Once you have bought your equipment and supplies, you need a topnotch installation and maintenance. Pick wisely your suppliers providing after-sale service.


Softwares — which one should you choose?


We doubt that today’s entrepreneur would dare to keep accounting in the copy-books and to calculate the profit on the calculator. There are lots of various softwares which are much more convenient to use for this purpose. These kinds of applications keep records, do calculations and form reports. All you have to do is to input initial data (products in the stock, the cash drawer balance) and you can start working.

Choose the softwares which can work with data on all café’s work points – cash drawer, storehouse, kitchen, book-keeping, HR department, marketing department and etc. Draw your attention to the convenience of using the chosen software package:


  • Interface — the software is easy to be interacted with, it is intuitive to use and doesn’t present major difficulties in learning.
  • Quality of data processing — all values of the primary accounting (cash drawer, storehouse) are consolidated in informative reports on basis of which you can always make a decision quickly. During your free trial, take note of the operating speed, freezes and other issues that are not related to equipment. Pay your attention to how long it takes to the technical support to answer your questions. If the software works seamlessly, if it is easy-to-use and the technical support is attentive and responsible – subscribe for the chargeable version without hesitations.


Success — from small into a big one


If you have just started running your small business, avoid being overambitious in attempting to cover all the things at once.  Use the stickers system for the self-monitoring – a common white board on which you will mark the things done, in the process and intended to be done:

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You can also benefit from planning applications – like Trello, Evernote – instead of stickers or in addition to them. They will help you to act more quickly and keep your eyes on the ball.

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