A Coffee Shop Business Plan – Brewed to Perfection

Coffee Shop Business Plan

A coffee shop business plan is one of the first steps in starting a coffee shop business. Using existing models and templates can be a real time saver. Every business plan has key elements. These are the most common to elements:

  • An Executive Summary
  • An Objectives List
  • A Mission Statement
  • Established Keys to Success
  • Risks

The executive summary will define the type of coffee shop, the target market and in general terms, how this particular coffee shop plans to meet he needs of that market. It will also include financial projections as well as plans for obtaining financing and whether or not it will be incorporated. It may also include specifics regarding square footage, background of the founders, and a detailed conceptual description. It is what the name implies: a summary.

Objectives are the same as goals. This list tells the prospective coffee shop owner in specific terms, what he or she is aiming for:

  • Product focus
  • Atmosphere/Ambiance
  • Service to the consumer
  • Image in the community
  • Annual sales
  • Profit margin

Any business instructor will insist that specific goals be written down. This is a proven step to success and one that should never be omitted. They don’t have to be written in stone. A certain amount of flexibility can be advantageous as conditions and markets change, but no destination is reached without knowing what it is or how to get there.

A mission statement is a more generalized goal set, usually including intangible things the business hopes to accomplish. Examples might be contributions to the local economy or to impact the lives of customers in a positive way spiritually or emotionally. There is a lot of leeway in establishing a mission and nothing set in stone. The mission statement comes from the heart of the business owner.

The “keys to success” section is a list of active steps the business owner believes will make his or her business thrive, and plans to execute. They might include things like:

  • Superior tasting product
  • Relaxing upscale interior design
  • Prime site location (with definition of what a prime site would be)
  • Ongoing aggressive marketing
  • Highly trained and friendly staff
  • Multiple revenue streams (list what they would be, ie. gift items, pastries, chocolates, teas, etc.
  • Dynamic website with online sales capacity

The character of the coffee shop as well as market research determines the list of keys to success. The goals have been established. Now this is the plan for reaching them.

Risk assessment may or may not be included in a coffee shop business plan, but it is a wise exercise in the least. If the focus of the coffee shop is closely linked to another service, such as Internet, the savvy entrepreneur will want to evaluate the longevity of that service. Will home Internet service become so inexpensive that an Internet based cafĂ© won’t make sense anymore?