So you think you can make the perfect brew. You can imagine yourself standing behind a steaming coffee machine with a stream of happy Londoners waiting. And so you’re embarking on become a new business owner in the capital.
Before you take on this venture, you really need to be realistic. Starting any business is hard work and full of uncertainties. Plus, within London, you may have more customers but you’ll also have a lot of competition so you need to be on your toes.
Here are just a few tips to start you off on the right track:
Choose your place
And choose wisely. Location can make or break a business, and for a coffee shop this is even more important. Two thirds of coffee drinkers will be grabbing a takeaway cup on the way to work. Therefore a great location would be right in the middle of a busy commuting area or near a business district. This also places you in the perfect location to cater for busy working lunches and breaks.
Know your audience
With a location chosen you’ll have a greater idea of who your audience is. To be successful at attracting the right people, you’ll need to really delve into who they are. Find out what they like, not just coffee and food either. Know what music they listen to, what films they watch and what clothes they wear. From this you can understand exactly what they would want from a coffee shop, what their pain points are and how you can solve these.
Keep it simple
A coffee shop will generally serve food – a little bite to go with you cuppa. When you’re starting out though, there’s enough things for you to worry about rather than a 100 piece menu. So reduce your menu to just a few key drinks and dishes that you can make well. This will not only help you stay organised, it will also help your customers decide exactly what they want to eat. There’s nothing worse than having to spend half an hour scouring a menu when your stomach is rumbling and you’re craving caffeine.
As a new business, there’s no point being the same as the three other coffee shops down the road. This gives people no reason to change their routine and start buying from you instead. You need a unique selling point, something that makes you stand out from the crowd and something that, from your research, you know your audience will want to engage with.
The final, and most important piece of advice we can give you is to be in the know with hygiene regulations and how you can comply with these with the minimum amount of hassle. It’s easy for things to get on top of you within any new business, but when cleanliness suffers this could be the end of your coffee shop venture. To avoid this, start how you mean to go on with hygienic clad walls. Cladding such as Beplas’ Elite Sterling PVC sheets are designed specifically for food and drink preparation areas and actively kill harmful microbes and bacteria. Plus, they’re so easy to clean and maintain that they’ll take the stress out of the end of the day hustle so you can focus more time on your real love, the coffee.