Starting A Coffee Shop

Written by Sarah Provost
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Starting a coffee shop is the dream of many a coffee maven. With shops springing up on every corner, however, the competition is fierce. Here are some questions to consider.

First of all, do you want to start an independent operation or buy into a franchise? If you want to join a franchise, you need to know what the initial investment will be, and whether the company offers financial assistance. What kind of training and support will be offered? What are your opportunities for development? There are many sites on the Web that offer information and reviews regarding coffee franchises.

Starting a coffee shop from scratch is both more difficult and more rewarding. Those who truly love coffee, I suspect, dream of presiding over a coffee shop that meets their own ideals in terms of decor, quality of product, and especially atmosphere. Do you want a shop where people can linger, or do you want to provide quick in-and-out service? Do you envision your customers drinking their coffee as they read a book on a comfortable sofa or will they be chatting with other guys from the job while perched on stools at a counter? Do you want to offer internet access or thermos jug specials? The location and layout of your shop will vary depending on your purpose.

Resources for Starting a Coffee Shop

Do your homework before you invest your money and your dreams. There are many sites on the Web that offer advice on starting a coffee shop. Some are selling books on the subject, and one titled ESPRESSO! Starting and Running Your Own Specialty Coffee Business, by Joe Monaghan and Julie Huffaker, seems to be the most highly recommended. You should also check the availability of government pamphlets printed for the general small business owner.

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