How to Start a Coffee Shop Business

Hi everyone, welcome back to another episode of What’s Your GamePlan. Today, I’m going to give you a quick guide on how to start a coffee shop business. If you didn't know, Coffee can be VERY profitable! And when you can find a good location and serve high quality drinks, you can consistently rake in the cash. So, if you want to help people boost their energy levels each morning and make money doing it, here’s how you can get started.

Before You Start - Find and Secure a Location

So before you begin, it's helpful to find the right location for your new shop. A good place to start is to google "commercial properties for lease near me " or "retail space for lease near zip code". This will bring up tons of website's who have a database of places you can use for your new coffee business. Don't forget to compare the quality and prices on everything. Also, be prepared to have the money ready for the location's rent, your staff and everything else you'll need to buy.

Step 1 - Get a Business Plan

If you have no idea how a coffee shop business operates or you are a first time online business owner, I recommend downloading a business plan from Their plans outline exactly how the business is supposed to work and what you should expect.

Step 2 - Find a Supplier

When you start a business like this, you're going to need coffee supplies to do your job. If you plan on growing your business, find a supplier who you can buy in bulk from. You'll get all of your supplies for much less. Which means more profits for you.

Just google the words "wholesale coffee shop supplies". As you can see the listings will update and from here you can find a company to buy in bulk from. You can also buy them on Amazon Business or just choose a vendor who supplies quality and a low price. You'll need to make a list of equipment you'll need to buy, which should include coffee grinders, milk, tea and water, ovens and toasters, should you sell food.... and of course, THE COFFEE!

Step 3 - Register Your Business

Now, it's time to officially register your business. You won't be able to accept payment for coffee or products until you complete this step. You'll need to register & apply for a federal EIN Number, and form an LLC or Corporation. I recommend using MyCorporation, as they do have a variety of packages to choose from, but their most basic package will get you started right away.

Step 4 - Open a Business Bank Account

After you’ve chosen a name and registered your business, you can officially open a business bank account. It's pretty easy to open, but they won't get you set up without having the legal incorporation paperwork and the EIN number that I just spoke about. You can work with a local bank that you are already using or you can just choose a new one.


Step 5 - Buy Branding

This is one of the most important parts of creating a coffee shop business, because it's your brand’s identity that will leave a big impression on your target clients. I recommend using 99designs because the process is quick and painless and you actually get what you want. For marketing materials, I like envato, because they literally have tons of graphics for each and every single kind of business, on demand. Coffee shop businesses usually need to start with a logo, business cards, a pdf brochure, and some social media graphics. 99designs actually has what they call the ‘brand identity’ pack that will get you started right away.

Step 6 - Setup a Website

So the next step is buy web hosting. I always recommend choosing Bluehost because they are the most reliable for businesses who need to set up their first ever website. You also get a free domain, a free ssl and access to 24/7 tech support. So, you really can't beat it. Once you pay for a plan with Bluehost, you'll get your login credentials. You'll want to save that information and deliver it to the web designer in the next step.

Step 7 - Choose a Web Designer

If you don't know about Fiverr, it's a company that sells affordable web development and marketing services that get done really quick. You just type in what you want in the search bar, and it will reveal tons of people who are willing to help you get a website up in less than 3 days. Once you choose the person you want to work with, give them the bluehost details and communicate your vision and plans for the website.

Step 8 - Setup a merchant account

While they are working on your new website, you'll need to activate a merchant account for your customers to pay you through. Many businesses use paypal, square or stripe. I personally like Square, they make it super easy for me to accept payments online via my website, a payment link or even over the phone. An account with Square is free, but since you are planning to open a coffee shop, I would highly recommend you purchase a few of their POS registers.

Step 9 - Start Selling - Monetization

Ok, so now that you’re all set up, How will you actually make money? Here’s what you’ll need to know in order to take a check to the bank. Since you are a coffee shop business, you can choose from a variety of things to sell. The most popular items are: Coffees, speciality teas,

cakes, cookies, muffins, wraps, oatmeal, croissants, salads, donuts, cups and mugs.

Now, I know you're probably wondering...what's the price tag on this baby? Startup costs for this kind of business usually starts at $8000-$10,000 on average but could go as high as $50,000. So, be prepared to drop the big bucks.

If you enjoyed this article, please share it and find me on social media @adellapasos

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About Adella Pasos

This Entrepreneur and Marketing Expert has shared her passion for growing brands from the ground up. She’s worked with Startups, Small Businesses, Fortune 500 Corporations and Entertainment Talent to help them recognize the value of marketing, and give her clients the ability to access their niche market via online, social media, mobile, merchandising, and events.

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