You have an entrepreneurial soul, a good idea for a business and a commercial coffee maker. What more do you need?
A Coffee Bar is a Business
Every business has laws, statutes, ordinances, codes, zoning and other paper-based prerequisites. Before you can start a business like a coffee bar, you have to know all of the rules that apply to your area and your type of business and be prepared to adhere to every one of them. Don’t be discouraged. It would be a shame to let that commercial coffee maker go to waste.
You have plenty of help. The Small Business Association has federal, state and local people to help get you started. They can help you understand the regulations that apply to you, they have publications with startup information and they all have the experience of running a small business successfully. Look for adult classes at your local high school and college. You can find help in understanding how to set up your financial records, how to apply for a loan and how to locate reliable wholesalers. Get ready to unpack that commercial coffee maker.
A Coffee Bar is People
Whether you’re planning to dispense coffee and doughnuts to go near a bus station or establish a cozy, friendly little specialty coffee restaurant, you need to deal with people: people who make the coffee, people who serve the coffee and people who buy the coffee. Be ready to pay your employees, juggle wait staff schedules and satisfy your customers.
You have to find dependable people to represent you to your customers. You have to train them and you have to retain them after your competition finds out how good they are. Respect them. You’re placing the well-being of your commercial coffee maker in their hands. You can’t satisfy customers with a dissatisfied staff.
A Coffee Bar is Coffee
Whatever your vision, don’t scrimp where it counts. Buy the best coffee within the price range of your business. Obviously, if you’re building a business based on exotic, specialty coffee drinks, don’t be cheap. But if you’re planning to provide a quick, inexpensive cup of coffee to commuters, don’t buy coffee grounds too expensive to appeal to them. Your commercial coffee maker doesn’t get a vote in the matter.
Decide who your customer will be and what they will want. Look at businesses similar to the one you are planning and find out why they are successful or why they aren’t. Plan carefully and make good on your plans and before you know it, you’ll be needing a second commercial coffee maker.