Write a Coffee Shop Business Plan

Would you get in your car and begin driving to a business meeting without first knowing:

  1. who you are meeting
  2. where to find the office
  3. how to get there, and
  4. why you are going to this meeting in the first place?

Of course not, so the same should be true in starting your new business. The best way to succeed is by developing a solid coffee shop business plan.

Without defined plans and goals, it’s unlikely that you will recognize important milestones as you reach them. Even if profit is not your motivation, be aware that there is a reason you are starting a retail coffee shop instead of some other business.

Define what you hope to achieve and how you intend to achieve it.  Even though you may encounter unexpected roadblocks, always know your destination and you will find another way to get there.

Some view coffee shop business plans as paperwork necessary to get a loan, secure investors or lease commercial property.   Those people are only half right.  The truth is that your business plan is more than an application, it’s an exercise to help organize ideas.  You can then communicate your plan to others, but the most important reader is you.

You may buy a business plan template from a variety of sources: websites, local libraries and even office supply warehouses. We recommend that you use these one-size-fits-all forms only as an guideline. A copied term paper may be a shortcut to get the grade that you want -but remember- this is your business and you will need to run it.  Wouldn’t you rather have the experience and detailed knowledge of how your concept works?

Use resources available from the Small Business Administration and  Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE). When you need guidance specific to the retail coffee industry, call your coffee roaster or your new friends met at SCA events.

It doesn’t need to be complicated. Check out this free video from SCORE: Creating a One Page Business Plan

After completing your business plan, you may find this next piece of information most upsetting: you’re not done. In fact, you will never finish the coffee business plan.  The best coffee business plans in existence are still being rewritten each day and will adapt.  Your goals and your business will change over time: your business plan should too.

Don’t lock the original document away in a time capsule for future generations to discover, keep it up-to-date  and refer to it each quarter. Remember that the ultimate audience for your coffee business plan is you.