Coffee Shop Business Plan Template
In the opening to your Executive Summary you should give the basics. Explain how the idea was conceived, the location at which the coffee shop will be located, and introduce the owner(s). A business plan is about building a narrative so think of this as the beginning of your coffee shop’s story.
While location is important for any storefront, a coffee shop is particularly dependent on a quality location. Many of your customers are going to be looking for a convenient place to pop in for their morning coffee on the way to work. Others may want to walk down and set up shop with a cup or two for a few hours while they take care of some work. Understanding the pros and cons of your location is vital to setting up your coffee shop for success.
Explain the atmosphere you will be looking to provide to those that are coming into your coffee shop. Coffee shops are popular locations not only to grab a change of scenery to get some work done, but are often the sites of informal meetings. Really paint the picture of the atmosphere you are going to create.
Aside from those three points, succinctly explain to your reader whatever other details of you deem necessary for them to come away with a basic understanding of your vision.
Additionally, if you are looking for funding, you may want to place something similar to the following at the bottom:
In order to fulfill our vision for [COFFEE SHOP] we will require [DOLLAR AMOUNT] in capital, which will be allocated roughly according to the following table:
Use of Capital
If we are fully capitalized, we hope to be profitable by [TIME].
Be sure to explain why you feel that you will be a profitable business by the time you claim in the above statement, and any other claims you may make. People making investment decisions need to see a logical progression to profitability before they invest. You can’t just give declarations and expect people to throw money at your idea.
Describe to your reader to whom you will cater your coffee shop. Remember, you are not just in the business of providing coffee. You are in the business of providing atmosphere and the atmosphere you strive to achieve should reflect the clientele you are looking to attract. Here, you should also discuss how you will attract your target clientele, generally speaking.
Since the business of running a coffee shop is a very local business, it will be very easy to determine your competition. Start general, then drill down to specific competitors. Remember, though, your specific competitors are not entirely made up of coffee shops. You will also face competition from any location selling coffee – from convenience stores to fast food restaurants.
Our Specific Marketing Plan
Here is where you really drill down on the strategies you will take. As coffee shops are a very local business, you will certainly rely on the word-of-mouth of local residents. However, there are other ways you can actively market your business in order to achieve market penetration. Think back to when you outlined your target clientele. How would you reach them? If they are college students, maybe an ad in the college newspaper? A strategic partnership with an on-campus organization? Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
An essential part of the character of any coffee shop is its coffee. This, of course, seems incredibly obvious but depending on what kind of coffee shop you are running, the quality and type of beans you use may be of supreme importance. Coffee has an insular culture and anyone opening a coffee shop should understand at least the basics of that culture, keeping what they learn in mind when they choose the product they sell. It might be good to put in the profile of a managing barista if your coffee shop is going to be marketed to higher-end connoisseurs as well.
Either way, don’t be afraid to put together a very comprehensive profile on the beans you will use for your coffee, your suppliers, your processes. These can all be valuable selling points.
In addition, although it is less important, you should feature a bit on the other products you will sell. Pastries, fruits, sandwiches, etc. are all common products at coffee shops.
Here the picture you are trying to paint is what your fully functioning coffee shop will look like. Take all the stuff you came up with before – your clientele, your ambience, your product – and put it together to illustrate your vision. Details matter.
While you may have touched upon the story of your suppliers in your coffee description if appropriate, here is where you would get into the more typical non-coffee-culture-based description of your product suppliers. Get into the nitty gritty of any arrangements you currently have with suppliers and the type of arrangements you will seek out with potential suppliers.
You will need people to manage the day-to-day and give coffee to your clientele. Obviously there will be a difference in the number of personnel you use based on the different times of day so go into detail there – how many people you will have on shift during peak hours versus down hours, etc. Also, if you – as the owner – will be on the floor managing things, highlight this. Investors like when someone with ‘skin in the game’ is involved in the day-to-day.
Describe any business licenses you will have to acquire to run your coffee shop in the location you have chosen. These are important for any food-service business.
You should make an effort to lay out your projected expenses with something like:
We expect our monthly outlay of expenses to approximate to the following:
Type of Expense
Put together a comprehensive profile of anyone overseeing the business side of the coffee shop. People invest their money in people and ideas. Putting a face and a personality to the investment always helps. Highlight qualifications, experience, and the like of your executives and board of directors.