A Coffee Shop business plan is an essential document that almost every budding business owner must-have. It will safeguard your livelihood, guide you in important business decisions, and even help you survive the many challenges life deals with. This is not an ordinary type of planning paper, however. The Coffee Shop Business Plan is much more than a checkbook or a promise to pay your suppliers on time; it is a blueprint for success.

For instance, most people who write up a Coffee Shop Business Plan forget to address funding. Not only must you address finances for start-up costs such as furniture and supplies, equipment, tables and counters, heating and air conditioning equipment, etc., you also need to address finances for your advertising expenses and marketing plan. Without a complete financial plan, you may find yourself constantly having to turn away customers because your funds are low. Without proper marketing, you could lose customers to the competition or suffer from low sales that will result in a poor break-even analysis for your business.

On top of addressing finances, a Coffee Shop Business Plan must address issues such as finding a location, designing and decorating the cafe, attracting customers, handling payroll, handling taxes, and collecting accounts receivable. Also, it should provide a complete description of all expenses, including hourly labor rates, equipment costs, supplies, and so on. Some general notes include naming chairs for each of the five departments: service, coffee house, baked goods, dining, and prepress. The Breakfast & Dining Department should have a list of fast-food franchises, sandwich bars, and coffee shops in the immediate area.

Another important element of a cafe business plan is the marketing strategy. No matter how well you prepare a cafe if no one knows you exist! To get started, consider local advertising. You can buy ad space in local newspapers or magazines. There are also inexpensive cable television services that you can subscribe to that will allow you to advertise to customers in your area twenty-four hours a day.

A good first step is to buy a large, full-color advertisement using state-of-the-art technology. You can place it right on your business card or on the website. Another advertising option is to buy ad space in trade magazines and bridal magazines at local trade shows, fairs, and other corporate events. Make sure you include pictures of the products and services you offer. Also, include a slogan or two about the coffee shop business plan, the nature of your product or service, and how you will make your customers “tea” friends.

Today’s most successful cafe owners use their comprehensive coffee shop business plans to lay out their marketing plan. They include daily and monthly goals for advertising revenue, employee payroll, profit margins, and balance sheet performance. They also include the expenses they will incur to achieve their goals and a list of vendors they will purchase equipment from. This detailed analysis is invaluable to prospective cafe owners who want to know what they can afford to do every day to increase sales.

There are two basic options for writing up a coffee shop business plan. You can either write it yourself or get a consultant to create one for you. Many cafe owners overwhelmed by all the details find it easier to enlist a professional’s help. Writing a coffee shop business plan by yourself is time-consuming and often fruitless. Even if you write it yourself and submit it to a few publishers, chances are you will never hear from the publisher.

A coffee business plan reason can be as simple as “I want to own a cafe.” But it can be more complex than that. It can have to do with the real estate market, credit markets, taxes, leasing, the viability of your location, your ability to obtain necessary permits, the popularity of your coffee stand, your competitive advantages, and so many other factors. If you need help putting it together, contact a consulting company or a writer specializing in this sort of business writing. Then sit back and relax while they do the work for you.

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