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Your Guide to Opening a Coffee Shop the Right Way

    Unfortunately, 20% of businesses fail within their first year. To avoid becoming part of the statistic you’ll need to prepare and ensure that you’ve done everything by the book.

    If you’re thinking of opening up a coffee shop, there’s so much to think about before doing it. It can feel overwhelming, but we’re here to help you navigate the waters.

    Let’s look at what you need to do, prepare and consider before diving into the world of coffee shops.

    Why a Coffee Shop Can Be Your Dream Business

    If you’re a coffee-lover, then there’s no doubt that you’ve dreamt of opening a coffee shop of your own. But why is that such a big dream for you?

    Well, since you have a passion for coffee, there’s no doubt that you’d enjoy every day that you spend working on your business. Passion can fuel you to achieve great things and do what you love every day.

    So, if you have a passion for all things coffee and love a little socializing, a coffee shop may be the perfect business for you to start.

    Are Coffee Shops Profitable?

    Coffee shops are absolutely profitable. You need to keep in mind that your prices must cover your supplies, time, and then some to be profitable.

    Understand your customers and strive for the highest in quality and service. Know when your big days or times of year are and utilize this to your advantage.

    Keep an eye on your finances and ensure that you’re charging enough and bringing in enough customers.

    With your eye on all of these aspects, you should be running a profitable coffee shop.

    Steps For Opening a Coffee Shop

    There’s plenty to think about before you even take the first steps to opening your coffee shop. Here’s a quick list of things to consider that we’ll elaborate on more later:

    • Branding
    • Advertising
    • Finances
    • Coffee
    • Supplies
    • Employees
    • Legal Aspects
    • Location

    With these steps covered, you’ll be on your way to starting the coffee shop of your dreams.

    Branding & Advertising

    One of the most fun parts of opening a coffee shop is that you get the chance to build it from the ground up. That means that you get to choose everything and create it exactly how you want it to be.

    You may consider hiring some help in this department if you’re not strong in graphic design or writing. This can really help to boost your business and push it further.

    Thinking of a Name

    A name is one of the most important steps in creating your coffee shop business. You can name your business almost anything that you can come up with. You can take inspiration from your area, people in your life, or even the coffee itself.

    There’s not much limiting you in name choice aside from copyright by using the names or similar names of other businesses, and of course, keeping the name clean.

    Color Scheme

    Every small business needs to think of its color scheme. Color evokes emotion and can have positive or negative impacts on people.

    You’ll want to choose a few colors that will be used throughout your branding, advertising, and coffee shop itself.

    Many coffee shops like to stick with natural colors, but that doesn’t mean that you have to. Being unique is great if you do it correctly.

    This can make your coffee shop memorable to your customers or even help you stand out from other shops in your area. Being instantly recognizable to your audience is crucial, so don’t skip this step!

    Logo For Your Coffee Shop

    Your logo is another part of your identity that you can’t forget. In the past, logos were often busy and three-dimensional.

    Today, logos are often very simplistic and unique.

    For a coffee shop, there are many things that you can take inspiration from for your logo. Think of ways that you can add value to your name through your logo.

    Coffee Shop Website & Social Media

    Every business needs a website and social media accounts. There’s simply no way around it in a digital world.

    Having a website allows folks who are looking for your services to find you easily. By searching Google, they’ll find you in a similar fashion to how you found this article, only they’ll be using keywords such as “coffee shop near me” to do it.

    Social media accounts take this a step further by opening your business up to friends and family of those who are already your customers. It also allows current customers to keep in touch with you.

    By following, they can see any and all updates that you post for them. They may also share photos with their followers and tag your location or business account to show others where they were.

    This is a great way to get promoted for free through user-generated content.

    Coffee Shop Location

    When opening a coffee shop or any local business, location is everything. You want to ensure that you’re accessible and easily found wherever you are, or you’ll risk losing customers.

    A few things to think about when it comes to choosing a location for your coffee shop include:

    • Where will many people be walking by? Will they see your shop and have the chance to walk in?
    • Are there any other coffee shops nearby? How close are they?
    • Will people be able to miss your location or is it in a location where it can’t be missed?

    These are just a few questions to ask yourself before purchasing a coffee shop location. This can help you find the perfect spot where you’re sure to be noticed and easily found.

    Hiring Coffee Shop Employees

    In a coffee shop, you’ll need to have employees that you can count on to help you run the shop day-to-day. You’ll need them for things like making drinks, serving customers and general clean up of the shop.

    Employees are very valuable to have and keep, so investing in them is key. They’ll need to learn your processes and steps for making each of the items on your menu as well as for taking and fulfilling orders.

    The more you can teach them and help them do great, the easier running your shop will be.


    Opening a coffee shop can be profitable, but there are many upfront costs to consider. It’s not as simple as opening up shop tomorrow and figuring it out. Here are some upfront costs to think about:

    • Buying a location for the shop
    • Stocking up with supplies
    • Buying the machinery (coffee makers, cash registers, etc.)
    • Buying tables, chairs, drinkware, etc.

    Don’t forget, with employees you’ll also have to provide wages and account for this. Before starting, it’s a good idea to sit down with your accountant and work out your costs. This can give you a good picture of your current financial situation and what you’ll need to do to run the shop as profitably as possible.

    Legal Aspects

    Starting any business requires following all laws and regulations, so having a good lawyer on your side is important. It can be as simple as having them ensure that you’re not infringing on legal rights with your branding to guiding you on the best practices when it comes to customer and employee safety in your restaurant.

    A good lawyer is a must so that you can do everything correctly from the start. This will save you from costly repercussions later down the line.

    Coffee & Supplies

    Back to the fun stuff! With most of the stressful aspects of opening a coffee shop out of the way, you can enjoy the process of making your coffee as unique as you want.

    To stand out, there are a few things to think about.

    Coffee Shop Menu

    Your menu is going to be one of the most important things to your customers. They’ll need to have this in front of them at every step of the way to ensure that they can order exactly what they want, when they want it.

    It’s good practice to have both drinks and food items on your menu of all kinds so that you can satisfy everyone. For example, have a selection of cold drinks such as water or iced cappuccinos as well as some hot menu items like hot chocolate and coffee, of course.

    Since it’s a coffee shop, this will be your main item. You’ll want to have your own signature blend hat your customers will want to come to you specifically to get. Make it unique, but make it irresistible!

    Offering food is a great option for folks who are hungry as well as thirsty. Pastries are a great choice for coffee shops, but it’s totally up to you on what you see fit for your specific coffee shop.


    You’ll have to stock up on all kinds of supplies regularly to keep up with your coffee shop. As customers come in and out, you’ll find yourself using up lots of different supplies.

    Here are some supplies to keep in mind:

    • Groceries for food and drink items
    • Cups
    • Lids
    • Napkins
    • Stir sticks
    • Plates
    • Forks
    • Knives
    • Spoons
    • Filters

    Aside from supplies that you’ll need to order regular, don’t forget about furnishing your coffee shop and making it look great. This is very important as well and can make it stand out and enhance the atmosphere.

    Have Fun Opening a Coffee Shop

    Opening any type of business can be stressful, but by having everything in order before you begin, you can take off a lot of that initial stress. You’ll remember just why you started when you get to work on the fun parts of your business.

    Opening a coffee shop requires passion and love for coffee. If you have these traits, then you’re sure to be successful and profitable.

    Has this article helped you decide if opening a coffee shop is right for you? Please tell us in the poll down below, and read more on our blog!

    Will you give what you learned in this article a try?

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