Are you interested in opening a coffee shop in the UK? If you are actively thinking and considering this idea, I am glad you stumbled upon this guide because it will offer you in-depth information about starting a coffee shop and everything that follows.
This ultimate guide will be constantly updated with new information- the aim is to create one piece that will help you with all the important decisions related to this topic.
Most of the information published here will be important for an entrepreneur before he/she starts a coffee business. I believe in carefully planning things out and having an overview of what needs to be done before opening a coffee shop.
The quality and amount of information provided in this guide and on this website will supersede the quality of information consultants offer you for a lot of money.
While you may get the idea that opening a coffee business is easy, I will break that perception right away. It requires a lot of preparation, insight, and experience for you to successfully open a coffee shop, so I feel confident that you will be able to get a lot closer after finishing this guide.
- Figure Out if Opening a Coffee Shop is Right For You
The general idea of opening a coffee shop or a restaurant is sort of romantic and often times it seems more fun than it actually is.
I met a lot of people who would consult me and every time, they begin by telling me thoughts and ideas they have. Unfortunately, most of these entrepreneurs end up nowhere because they haven’t figured the most important thing: “Is opening the coffee shop right for them?”
In the long-run, having a coffee shop in UK requires a lot of dedication, sacrifice and it is more stressful than you may believe. Before you move onto making any plans, figure out do you have enough time to dedicate to this business and whether running a coffee shop can fit into your life plans.
- Make Sure You Aren’t Going to End up Broke
The World is full of failed entrepreneurs who get way over their heads by rushing into a business before they have personal finances in order.
If you decide to start a coffee shop, make sure you have enough cash to keep the food on the table and roof over your head. If you have a family, consult with them and how will the decision of opening a coffee shop going to affect their lives.
The best way to go about this is to have a business plan specially made for you. This will help you determine how much money you will need and how your coffee should progress over time.
- Be Passionate About Coffee
Coffee is the essence of every coffee shop and it is one of the main factors that are going to determine your success in this business.
Being passionate about coffee and knowing a lot about it is a huge advantage. If you do not know a lot about this product, you must start learning immediately and prepare yourself properly.
The information offered on the Internet can and will be useful, but attending coffee events and seminars will provide you a lot more insight into what makes coffee great.
Attending coffee events can be a useful networking tool- while learning about coffee, you can meet people who might be in the same waters as you are, and you can gather up a lot more information that will help you start your business.
Set up enough time to learn as much as you can about coffee- more you know it, better servings you have.
- Coffee Roasting
There are two ways to go about roasting coffee beans- do it yourself or find a local coffee roaster who will deliver roasted coffee beans directly to you.
While it may sound like a good idea to roast coffee beans yourself to save couple of bucks, you should be aware that this is the skill that requires a lot of practice to perfect it. Also, it takes a lot of time to roast them on your own, and you will need to invest money into the coffee roaster, installing the equipment and maybe even hire new staff which will do this job for you.
Café Hormozi offers the option of ordering coffee beans online and having it delivered to your doorsteps. You can even get a free sample before you decide to purchase large amounts.
- Have a Business Plan Created
I talked about the creation of a business plan when I talked about finances. However, business plans are not just made for that. Having a business plan should give you a general idea and a direction for your business.
You can write your business plan yourself-or hire a consultant who will help you project budgeting and give you unique ideas on setting up your coffee shop in the UK.
- Determine Your Coffee Shop Concept
This is the fun part! This is the part where you put all of your thoughts, ideas, and dreams on paper. This is where you give your coffee shop the unique look.
Make your creative side work for you. However, make sure that your creative side is synchronized with your budget capabilities. Your coffee shop concept should go alongside your business plan, and if you are looking for investors, they should be very well aware of this part.
- Figure Out Your Menu
The central piece of your coffee shop puzzle. This is the part you need if you want to determine your expenses, your equipment needs, your estimated budget, space requirements, and location.
Spend a decent amount of time figuring out your menu. Consult with some industry experts and ask for feedback directly from potential customers. Hear what they would love to see in your menu and create it by having that feedback in your mind.
If you do not know where to start, analyze what competitors are offering. Spend your time visiting other coffee shops and take notes of what you see.
- Explore Potential Locations
Equally important as your menu is the potential location of your coffee shop. It can make or break your business; so as you would imagine, picking out a quality location is hard and can be stressful.
Work on creating a list of possible locations along with subsequent leases. Explore these locations by trying to fit them into your budget and your concept. Keep narrowing down your list until you find the right location.
- Analyze Your Competitors
Before you enter any market, you first need to analyze your competition. Who are your existing competitors? How are they going to affect your success?
You should approach and examine analytically, but do not be afraid to lean on your gut feeling when doing this work. Just because the competition is close to your location, that does not mean you can’t be better than them. While approaching anything from the data-driven place can provide you with information and numbers, sometimes best decisions are made using the gut feeling.
- Look at the Local Laws and Regulations
Taxes and employment costs in the UK can be extremely high, therefore, you need to approach this specific area carefully.
The best way to go about this is to look at all the possible tax issues before choosing a location. Some specific areas tax businesses for street parking. This may affect your business and should be included in your financial plan.
- Determine Costs of Coffee Equipment
Your coffee equipment is the heart of your coffee shop. Having a quality equipment to work with is what makes you perform better and achieve greater results.
Never buy used equipment when opening a coffee shop. Incorporate your coffee equipment costs into your budget and make a choice based on your menu and planned volume of sales.
- Examine Your Startup Costs
Starting a coffee shop can be quite pricey; and if you are serious about opening a coffee shop, you need to quickly examine your startup costs.
The way to determine your startup costs is to start with your menu, location and your concept, and move on from there. This will be the foundation of your coffee business and it will also be crucial in determining your startup costs.
Sometimes, entrepreneurs can get intimidated or scared of how expensive this opening can be. It’s not a bad thing to search for investors or even cut some costs down.
Some coffee shops can be started with less than 10,000 pounds and still reach success. Money is an important factor but not nearly as your unique ideas, hard work and passion can be.
- Have Enough Money Until You Reach Profitability
Do not be a case of an entrepreneur who has his project funded 90% but still miss the 10% that in the end, decide the direction of his business.
Make sure you have enough funds to last until you reach profit. It can be stressful knowing that at certain point you might need to close your coffee shop because it can’t sustain itself.
- Explore Vendors
Always search for your vendors locally. This should be the part of the process that you enjoy. Local businesses are often delighted when they are approached, as that will help them raise profits and build their brands.
Again, this is not only about coffee, rather about other products on your menu such as bagels and pastries.
- Determine Your Branding
The way to succeed in today’s overcrowded market is to stand out. If you want your coffee shop to make a lot of sales, you need to build a recognizable brand.
Again, this is supposed to be the fun process of opening a coffee shop. You are at the point where you are determining colors, concepts, logos, and slogans.
Choose carefully; logo and branding must instill trust in customers.
Spend enough time determining the best ideas and hire help if needed. 99designs.com has a business model that can be of use to you- you post a job explaining what you would love to get, and you have the most proficient graphic designers deliver you their concepts based on your ideas. You only pay for the one you like the most.
- Create a Website For Your Business
This can still be considered part of your branding approach. Having a professionally designed website raises your levels of professionalism and it certainly helps customers find you with ease.
You can also interact online with your customers, get feedback and market yourself to a wider audience.
Your website should strengthen your brand and give another dimension to your business.
It is of the utmost importance to have an online presence in today’s world, therefore, hire a professional web designer. This should also be calculated in your business plan expenses.
- Train Your Employees
Having trained employees and baristas or getting them trained is quite important. You can hire a coffee consultant who will teach your employees, explain how certain processes should go and explain that delivering a good cup of coffee every time is highly used.
Investing in your staff is always a smart investment. It can improve a morale and it will certainly help your coffee shop’s reputation.
- Determine Your Prices
Your pricing will play a key role when turning in profit. In some markets, customers are often sensitive to higher prices, so be careful when determining this factor.
You can analyze your competitors to get the idea of how to price your products, but in the end, your pricing must be synchronized with your business plan, your finances, and your end goal. Having lower revenue may mean fewer people working, no vacations or not as high-quality equipment.
- Set up an Accounting System
There is plenty of software that enables you to pay taxes and all your expenses on time. Hiring a bookkeeper can and will be useful, but software like QuickBooks can get most of the work done for you.
Having an accounting system will not only be useful for paying taxes but will also help you make better decisions about spending money and allocating resources.
- Put It All Together
Every little factor that we put in this guide is important. Putting it all together is necessary. Passion and hard work are what is going to make the difference and carefully planning and having enough knowledge will most certainly help you achieve your goals.