Do you fancy a career change? Opening a cafe is the choice of many people that are looking into starting a new small business, especially for the daylight, morning healthy lifestyle it provides. Although it might seem easy to manage at first, starting a coffee shop when you have no experience can be an important challenge, as there are many details to consider. So here are some ideas of how to start if you are planning to open a café with no experience.
Evaluate the possibility of buying an already existing business
Instead of starting from scratch, you could think about taking advantage of buying a business that is already running. There are a few advantages to doing this:
- You may initially spend a lot less, especially if the owner is selling because of personal reasons.
- You’ll already have a trained team who work in the cafe.
- You will already have the details of payroll, utilities, and suppliers.
- The business will already be operating, and you won’t need to spend as much time marketing it.
We are living in uncertain times, and buying a pre-existing cafe could be really beneficial to ensure that your business will survive.
Start with what you’ve already got
Use your own skills and experiences to build your successful coffee shop. For example, if you are an avid baker, you could make cakes a big part of your cafe. Or, if you are passionate about local and sustainable food, make sure to incorporate that in your food menu.
When you focus on your talents and passions, you’ll set yourself apart from other businesses. Doing this is a great way to find your unique selling point and get customers in the door!
Use industry’s tried and tested strategies
While it’s important to put your own unique slant on things, there are a range of things that you should bear in mind if you are a coffee shop owner. These are tried and tested industry practices that most coffee shops see success with.
- Make sure that the quality of your coffee comes first. Your beans should be very high quality, you should offer a few different types of milk suitable for all dietary requirements, and your baristas should be exceptionally talented.
- Set your cafe up for takeaway. Customers buying takeaway are very profitable. They purchase coffee and leave straight away, so there’s plenty of room for another customer to come in and buy more products.
- Make sure that your prices are competitive but still give you a good profit.
Study and put effort into learning more specific skills
There are a few essential skills that you should have as a coffee shop owner. Whether you are thinking of buying a coffee shop or if you open a café with no experience, you should take some time to think about how you can develop these skills.
- Financial skills – you should be able to assess your business’s finances, including managing taxes, payroll and supplier payments while ensuring that you are at least breaking even.
- Customer service skills – you need to be able to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and both deliver service with a smile and be on hand if things go wrong.
- Coffee making skills – you will, of course, need to know how to make coffee! You should be an excellent barista and have deep knowledge of coffee. If you don’t already know this, there are courses available.
Find a strong team who can complement your business
Part of running a coffee shop is hiring a solid team. You should find people with relevant experience and skills that complement your own. For example, your time might look like:
- An assistant manager with a few years of experience in a similar role.
- Three supervisors who have worked in coffee shops before.
- A few baristas and waitstaff with experience in hospitality. If your baristas do not have coffee-making experience, you could enrol them on a course with the Australian Barista School.
- Chefs who have a passion for food.
open a café with no experience: Final thoughts
Opening a café is an exciting goal, but the actual day-to-day can be daunting at the best of times. However, with hard work and proper guidance, your dream can become reality. With these simple steps, you should be able to start or revamp a great business and create the lifestyle change you so much desire.