Coffee Shop Startups: What You Need To Know To Get Started

For many people, starting their own coffee shop startup is not just a trend but a real dream. Organizing a neat and cozy space that can provide their customers with high-quality coffee and delicious pastries, as well as lift their spirits with feel-good playlists sounds incredibly delightful, right? However, to reach this point, you need to get some hard work done first.

If you want your coffee shop to be successful, you will have to put in a lot of effort much earlier than you will be able to open it and every day after it. It is also worth mentioning that starting your own business will require you to invest a lot of money.

Below, you will find the necessary information you need to consider if you want to open a coffee shop where each customer will be able to have a cup of delicious coffee that hits the spot. Take a look!

Creating a Business Plan

Preparing a proper business plan is the initial step that you need to take while opening a coffee shop. It allows you to determine who your target customers are, what coffee shop equipment you need, and how much money you will have to spend. Considering this, business plans are powerful and necessary tools that can be extremely helpful.

The more detailed your business plan is, the more unforeseen expenses you will avoid having to deal with. However, writing a comprehensive business plan may be challenging and even boring, so it would be better to prepare a one-page long strategy first and then add in the details. A solid business plan should include the following points.

  • what you will serve,
  • your target market,
  • your main competitors,
  • what will distinguish your coffee shop from theirs,
  • what your business goals and milestones are for the nearest month, season, year,
  • what your marketing strategy is (for example, having an active presence on social media or giving out coupons for free beverages)

To get all of these points covered, you will have to do a lot of research and learn as much as possible about the coffee industry and the coffee itself. On top of that, you will have to think about the prices and the quality of nearly everything you will need, ranging from the prices of coffee and coffee beans to coffee sleeves wholesale prices and the costs of buying brand new pieces of equipment.

Besides, do not forget to talk to coffee shop owners in your area if you are not experienced when it comes to running a business. It is an excellent opportunity to get valuable advice and industry insights before starting your own business.

Choosing the Location

The right location is what ensures a steady flow of customers to your coffee shop, so make sure to choose wisely. These are quite a few factors that you should consider.

  • the age of the people who live in the area,
  • the proximity to your potential customers,
  • the local crime rates,
  • the competitors located nearby,
  • the ergonomics of your working space,
  • the availability of gas and water lines,
  • the foot traffic on the street

All of these factors will maximize your coffee shop business potential. Bear in mind that you may either rent a place that needs to be thoroughly renovated or find one that has already been used as a coffee shop in the past. These options will vary in costs, but with the latter, there is a high possibility of getting your hands on some equipment, such as an espresso machine or a coffee roaster. You may want to check jura coffee machine reviews and see why this will make a great coffee maker for your shop.

Dealing With Paperwork

Running a coffee shop, like any other business, requires meeting some legal requirements. It is very likely that you will have to do the following things.

  • registering for state and federal taxes,
  • forming a legal entity,
  • opening a business bank account,
  • getting business insurance,
  • obtaining the necessary licenses and permits

If you feel that dealing with all of this paperwork may be too confusing for you or if you do not feel like doing it, consider getting legal advice or hiring an attorney to help you get through this. First of all, it will allow you to start your business without having to deal with legal issues and fines. Second of all, it will make the entire process less stressful.

Hiring New Employees

The way your employees work directly impacts the financial success of your business. For example, communicative, competent, and friendly baristas can bring your coffee business the estimated revenue in the first month of operating. Additionally, keep in mind that the employee experience affects customer satisfaction. That is why you should focus on hiring experienced workers while putting a team together.

Ideally, you should start the search for a barista no later than two weeks before the grand opening. You will need this time to select candidates, check their skills and experience. Apart from brewing coffee, you should check whether they are familiar with the POS system, latte art, overall neatness, and punctuality. However, do not underestimate the power of a personal interview – it is your chance to understand your future employee’s motivations and unique characteristics, which is vital when working with people directly.

In the coffee shops that mainly rely on people taking their coffee to go, the staff usually consists of no more than two baristas on each shift. The coffee shop owner can help them out and work as the manager, while the support staff, such as an accountant, is outsourced.


Starting a coffee shop business requires money and courage, as well as a thoughtful approach to business planning – there is no place for relying on luck here. To bring a new coffee shop to life, a coffee shop of your dreams, you have to take doing your research and business planning as seriously as possible.

Write down everything you want or may want to focus on in your establishment – it will help you identify the next steps needed to bring your new coffee business long-term success. Dealing with the legal requirements, choosing the right location, and making sure that the staff members are friendly and skilled will ensure a welcoming atmosphere not only behind the counter but in the whole coffee shop!