• Dan Saporita

5 things to consider when opening a cafe...

Updated: Jan 27, 2018

By Daniel Saporita

When opening a cafe the list of things to consider is endless and plenty of research is needed, but I have narrowed down the top 5 most important things that will ultimately shape your business success.

1: Do your due diligence. If you are considering purchasing an already existing cafe you need to find out the real reason that it is for sale. This is a great time to talk to neighbouring businesses and locals. Find out what is happening in the area, speak to council and business networks. Find out the reputation and the perception that people have of the cafe, do people love the business or is it struggling to secure repeat business. By doing your due diligence, you are giving yourself a much better chance of entering into the business with a clear understanding of what needs to be changed, altered or enhanced in order to make it more successful.

2: Have a business plan. Before starting your business you will need to have a strong business plan to support your entry to the market, growth over time and provide you direction when times get busy! Have a clear plan on how you are going to improve, grow, change, upgrade and increase the business. Be innovative - do not copy and paste. “You need the WOW factor” something catchy that is going to reach out and grab everyone and be the talk of the town. Research the permits existing or needed. You also need to know your numbers, costings and figures to potentially put cost saving measures in place and capitalise on opportunities.

3: Consider cash flow. You should consider your cash flow will be tight, potentially even expect to not get paid for at least 1 - 2 years depending on a range of external and internal business factors. You need to reinvest your profits to market, improve and potentially even restructure your business in the first few years. If you think you are going to become an instant millionaire from opening a cafe, think again. You will only succeed by being an owner operator that is innovative, keeping up with or ahead of trends and willing to put the hard yards in to establish your brand and your products.

4: Analyse everything! When you first launch your cafe, be very analytical. Be acutely aware of the numbers, traffic, attractions, reasons people return to your business, likes and dislikes. Get as much feedback as you can, even use your friends and family as customers to vote on the staffing, service, atmosphere, decor. It will all make a huge difference in the long run.

5: Do not rock the boat. It is wise not to do anything too dramatic for at least 6 months if purchasing an existing business. Consider the old saying, if it isn't broken, don't fix it. Remember the locals and regulars are going to be very judgmental and set in their ways and could be deterred if you take away the one thing that kept them coming back time and time again. Know your patrons, understand your market, plan your moves and execute with understanding.

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