Are you passionate about coffee and baking? Do you dream of owning a business? Running a coffee shop and bakery is a great way to combine your passions and start your own business.
However, starting any business can be a challenge. There are many things to consider and plan for, from finding the right location to stocking your shelves with the perfect selection of baked goods and coffee beans.
If you’re thinking about starting a coffee shop and bakery business, here are a few tips to help you get started.
Ten Steps to Launching a New Coffee Shop and Bakery Business
1. Choose Your Type of Coffee Shop and Bakery Business
The first step in launching a coffee shop and bakery is identifying the type of coffee shop and bakery you want to launch. You might choose from the following types among others:
– A retail coffee shop that serves brewed coffee, espresso drinks, and tea, as well as sells whole beans and other coffee-related merchandise.
– A specialty coffee shop that focuses on selling high-quality coffees and espresso drinks made with artisanal methods.
– A café that offers a variety of food options in addition to coffee, such as breakfast pastries, sandwiches, and salads.
– A drive-thru coffee shop that specializes in quick service for customers on the go.
2. Name Your Coffee Shop and Bakery
Give your coffee shop and bakery an identity so people will think of it as a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your coffee shop and bakery from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your own name among other options.
The main goal for naming your coffee shop and bakery is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so that customers will want to visit your store.
3. Determine Your Coffee Shop and Bakery Business Model
There are several possible types of business models for a coffee shop and bakery including:
- A franchised coffee shop and bakery that is part of a larger chain.
- An independent coffee shop and bakery owned and operated by a single entrepreneur.
- A cooperative coffee shop and bakery owned and operated by a group of people.
- A mobile coffee shop and bakery business selling coffee from a van or truck.
No matter which model you choose, ensure that it aligns with your business goals and the products you offer.
Read more about choosing the right business model for your coffee shop and bakery.
4. Choose a Legal Form for Your Business
By incorporating your coffee shop and bakery, you will limit your liability. You can incorporate as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a C Corporation (C-Corp), or an S Corporation (S-Corp). Or you can operate as a sole proprietorship.
The business structure you choose for your coffee shop and bakery will determine the amount of taxes you pay and which state or federal tax forms you need to file.
Read our article comparing the most common coffee shop and bakery business structures.
5. Write a Coffee Shop and Bakery Business Plan
All coffee shop and bakery business owners should develop a business plan.
A business plan is a document that outlines the goals, strategies, and operations of a business. It can be used to secure funding from investors or lenders, as well as to guide the day-to-day operations of the business. The business plan should include information on the company’s products or services, market analysis, financial projections, and management team among other things.
Read our article about how to write a coffee shop and bakery business plan.
6. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses
You may need to obtain licenses and permits before launching your coffee shop and bakery business.
For example, you may need to get a food handler’s license, a food establishment permit, and a retail food license. You will also need to obtain a business license from your local government.
Check with your state and local government offices to determine which licenses and permits you need for your coffee shop and bakery business.
Read our article about obtaining the proper coffee shop and bakery business licenses.
7. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed
In developing your coffee shop and bakery business plan, you will figure out how much funding you need to start and grow your business.
If you have your own funds to invest in your coffee shop and bakery business, you may consider taking advantage of that. In addition to your personal funds, other forms of potential funding for your coffee shop and bakery business include traditional bank loans, SBA loans, credit cards, angel investors and family and friends.
Read our article about the costs associated with starting a coffee shop and bakery to help you determine if funding is needed.
8. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently
When you start your coffee shop and bakery, it’s essential to have the right technology in place to maximize efficiency. You need a computer with Internet access, and accounting software for tracking expenses and revenues.
You may also want to invest in point-of-sale (POS) software, which will help you manage inventory, track sales, and process payments. Other helpful software programs for coffee shop and bakery businesses include email marketing platforms, social media management tools, and online scheduling tools.
9. Market Your Coffee Shop and Bakery to Potential Customers
Before you start selling your products, you have to let the world know you exist. The first step is to create a website so people can learn more about your selection of baked goods.
After you launch your website, start promoting it through social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Also consider networking with other people in the coffee and food service industry through social media and blogs so they can help share your business.
You also need to start gathering the materials needed to execute on your promotions strategy, which is your strategy for attracting new customers. Coffee shop and bakery businesses should consider the following promotional strategies for which you should start getting prepared:
- Develop an advertising campaign (e.g. print, online, radio, TV)
- Participate in trade shows or events related to the coffee shop and bakery industry
- Offer coupons or discounts
- Engage in public relations activities
- Build a strong social media presence
Read our article about how to market your coffee shop and bakery business for more tips.
10. Get New Customers & Grow Your Business
When you promote your products, you’ll start to get interest from potential customers.
Make sure you’re ready to serve these customers. Also, be sure to establish systems to ensure consistency and reduce costs. And be sure to find and train the right people to help you grow your coffee shop and bakery.
Read our article about how to effectively grow your coffee shop and bakery to learn more.
Starting a Coffee Shop and Bakery Business FAQs
Coffee shop and bakery businesses offer a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs. They are businesses that can be started with a relatively small amount of capital and offer a product in high demand. In addition, coffee shop and bakery businesses offer entrepreneurs the opportunity to be their boss and control their destiny.
To start a successful coffee shop and bakery, you need a clear understanding of the coffee shop and bakery industry. You should also have a well-developed business plan that includes your marketing strategy, financial projections, and operational plans. Additionally, it’s important to have the right technology in place to run your business efficiently.
If you’re looking to start a coffee shop and bakery from home, the first step is to develop a business plan. This will help you map out the steps you need to take to get your business up and running. Once you have a plan in place, you can start to look for the right location for your coffee shop and bakery. Additionally, you’ll need to invest in the right technology and equipment to get your business up and running.
If you’re looking to start a coffee shop and bakery online, the first step is to develop a website. This will be your primary platform for promoting your products and attracting new customers. Once you have a website in place, you can start to promote your business through social media channels and online directories.
When starting a coffee shop and bakery, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the coffee shop and bakery industry. You should also have a well-developed business plan that includes your marketing strategy, your financial projections, and your operational plans. Additionally, it’s important to have the right technology in place to run your business efficiently. Finally, be sure to find and train the right people to help you grow your business.
A simple checklist to use when starting a coffee shop and bakery is as follows:
- Choose Your Type of Coffee Shop and Bakery: This should be based on what you are best at and how much experience you have. Remember to keep your interests, skills, and experience in mind at all times.
- Name Your Coffee Shop and Bakery: This should be done with care, as your brand is important for attracting the right customers. A simple, memorable name will go a long way.
- Choose a Legal Form for Your Business: Whether you choose to become a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation or another option will depend on your business. Ensure that you are aware of all the implications of each type.
- Determine Your Coffee Shop and Bakery Business Model: Determine how your business will make money. Will you sell products, services, or a combination of both?
- Write a Coffee Shop and Bakery Business Plan: Your business plan will also help you determine what your start-up costs will be and will provide a roadmap with which you can launch and grow.
- Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses: In most locations you will be required to apply for a business license and/or permits before you can begin operations.
- Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed: You will need to know how much money you have to spend on all of your business-related expenses before opening any doors. If needed, apply for a small business loan or other funding options.
- Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently: You need to have the right tools in place to succeed. Implement software that will help you manage your time, contacts, and business operations in general.
- Market Your Coffee Shop and Bakery to Potential Customers: A solid marketing plan will be crucial to your success. It should focus on attracting the right customers so that you can provide them with the products they truly need.
- Get Customers & Grow Your Business: Once you have a solid marketing plan, it's time to actively pursue and secure those who could benefit the most from your products.
Open a Coffee Shop and Bakery
Opening a coffee shop and bakery can be a rewarding experience, but it’s important to do your homework first. Be sure to develop a well-thought-out business plan and to find the right technology and equipment for your needs. Finally, don’t forget to market your business to potential customers. With the proper preparation, you will be on your way to success.