Many people dream of owning their own business. Coffee drinking is popular, and many consider opening their own coffee shop or coffee brand company. Here are six things you should know to caffeinate your coffee business ideas toward success…
How To Start A Coffee Business Without Over-Caffeinating Your Budget Or Under-Roasting Your Marketing Plan
Welcome to the beautiful world of coffee! The industry has ample space, and there is room for you.
You might be considering coffee business opportunities – full time, or as a side venture. People worldwide consume 500 billion cups of coffee every year, so there is, no doubt, an opportunity for new ventures. But before we go further, let’s be clear about what you should and shouldn’t do as a startup looking at:
- Packaging (like easy peel packaging)
- Online sales
Avoid froth and frustration (see what we did there?). 😉 Know this before you start your own coffee business…
Business Ownership 101: What You Should Do
Be confident that you can sell the product or service. If you need additional training to provide or produce it, get that training before you open your doors.
Know the standards in your industry. If you are opening a coffee shop, it’s not enough to make coffee anymore. Starbucks has set the standard in the industry when it comes to quality of offering. You need to know what they offer and decide how you can compete … and even win.
Know your starting costs and plan to get through the initial expenses until you are making money. Don’t start any business if you don’t believe you can make enough money to at least break even through initial phases.
Business Ownership 102: What You Should Avoid (And Solutions)
“Other people are doing it, so it must be easy, right?” Not necessarily! Most businesses don’t last more than a year. Get your advice from expert business consultants.
Do not try to do everything yourself. You should be ready to hire help as you grow into your business. Be prepared to spend money on quality people with skills that you lack or cannot afford to develop yourself.
Compete on service and quality instead of price. Yes, some customers will be price-driven. However, loyal customers will usually keep coming back for an awesome service or product and be willing to pay for it. Deliver with excellent customer service, and you’ll win customers away from your competition.
Six Basic Steps For Starting A Coffee Business That Perks-Up Customers
1. What Kind Of Coffee?
Your choice will be driven by your location and how much you want to grow. A good starting point would be roasting medium-roasted beans and selling a variety of them.
Consider working with a coffee shop business consultant to help you choose best beans and guidance on barista management.
2. Check Standards
The standards in coffee are set by the International Coffee Organization (ICO). It’s up to you to know what these standards mean for your business and how you can meet or exceed them.
Most roasters will claim to meet the criteria, but beyond that, there is no way for you to know if they are truthful. In a world of quick-to-market and common shortcuts, be the brand that’s true and dependable.
3. Packaging And Branding Your Products
People buy coffee from a brand that they trust. A bag that looks good and feels right. You can’t just sell what you have in any paper bag. Coffee is an experience. So you need to build that experience for customers, starting with your branded packaging.
A study done by an advertising firm in North America, discovered that while most people drink coffee every day, those coffee drinkers are not satisfied with the current product they are using. They also found that most people had expressed an interest in having coffee more conveniently available to them when at work or at home. The authors of the study decided there was a market for single-serve coffee packets, generating what they call an “unmet need.”
The marketing of coffee packets has been very successful in North America, and there is no reason to believe that this method of coffee packaging can’t be used elsewhere. Not only is this an efficient way to deliver coffee, but it also allows for more branding and advertising space than what would normally be allowed in a regular can or bag of coffee.
4. Selling Online
Selling coffee online is a great way to promote your brand and create another revenue stream with the right marketing strategy. Consider selling through Amazon, the world’s biggest supplier of goods and services.
Coffee for sale on Amazon takes many forms:
- Whole bean coffee
- Pre-ground coffee
- Single packaged k-cups for one-time use
- Capsules for your coffee machine
Many of these products come with free shipping.
What if you want to sell the coffee yourself rather than buying it wholesale?
You have three options:
- Use Amazon Fulfillment, where they store your inventory and ship it for you.
- Have your own merchant account with Amazon, and take advantage of the shipping discounts to lower the price of each product.
- Use a service like Fulfillrite.
One note about this third option:
Fulfillrite doesn’t store your inventory; they simply ship it for you when an order comes in. This means you’ll need your own business storage facility, possibly freeing up some cash for your inventory.
Coffee drinking has an element of tradition to it. The smell of fresh coffee being brewed in the morning has become a part of everyday life for a majority of people.
Don’t be afraid to show that you are part of a larger community to connect and win customers. This makes it easier to communicate with potential customers through this delicious tradition. #CaffeinateYourCommunity
6. Deliver What You Promise
This is essential. In any business, coffee or otherwise. If you don’t deliver on promises made, customers won’t trust your brand.
Instill a transparent delivery system. Convey that you are good honor your word.
Your Coffee Business: Share A Cup
Always remember that you are in business to help people, not just take money from them. If you do this right, then the money should follow naturally.
To start a coffee business as an entrepreneur, know what you are doing and why.
- Know your industry standards
- Plan for expenses
- Create a branding strategy
- Engage the community
- Keep your promises
In short, follow a smart coffee business plan.