Successful Coffee Shop Business Plan

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A lot goes into a great cup of coffee, and the same is true for an amazing coffee shop. To succeed, you need to outshine the competition.

This requires doing your homework and distilling everything you learn into a knock-their-socks off business plan.

After working with hundreds of business owners to launch independent coffee shops, we know that an awesome business plan sets the stage for success.

We can guide you through the critical factors that make up a successful coffee shop business plan.

In fact, Roast magazine editors cited our education and training programs as a factor in choosing Crimson Cup as their 2016 Macro Roaster of the Year.

Recently, we opened the Crimson Cup Innovation Lab – the largest SCA-Certified Premier Training Campus in the Midwest. We train hundreds of baristas, coffee shop managers and other coffee professionals each year.

Put our experience to work for you!

7 Steps to Success in the Specialty Coffee Business

Founder and President Greg Ubert wrote the book on successful coffee house operations. He’s helped hundreds of entrepreneurs on their way to becoming coffee shop owners.

“For many entrepreneurs, writing their first business plan can seem overwhelming,” Greg said. “We’re happy to share our experience and walk you through the ins and outs.”

You’ll find a business plan template in Greg’s book, Seven Steps to Success in the Specialty Coffee Industry.

Greg also has written about coffee business plans for Smart Business Columbus and CoffeeTalk magazine.

An Alternative to Expensive Coffee Shop Franchises

Greg’s book became the foundation for our 7 Steps to Success program. We provide all the support you need to open a coffee shop – without expensive franchise fees or royalties. You don’t even need to sign a long-term contract to buy our coffee!

Our 7 Steps consultants have helped shape business plans for hundreds of coffee shops in 38 states, Guam and Bangladesh.

Business Plan with CompassThe Road Less Traveled: A Dynamic Business Plan

Researching and writing a strong coffee shop business plan will create a road map for transforming your idea into a flourishing business.

And, if you’re seeking outside financing for your coffee house, a compelling business plan is an absolute necessity.

A dynamic business plan forces you to answer all the questions needed to set your coffee business up to thrive. Done right, your plan becomes a reference manual

As Greg outlines in his book, your coffee shop business plan should include six sections, plus a cover page.

Most sections should take up a page or two. Financial data takes a few pages.

Executive Summary

The first section should be the last page you write. This one-page summary highlights and condenses key points from each section of your business plan into a few sentences.

This is your chance to tell the story of your business. Next to the financial data, it is the most important part. It is the first page bankers and potential investors will review.

After you write the executive summary, share it with bankers or business consultants. And then revise your business story based on their suggestions.

Business Description

Keep it brief. Supply the business name, location (physical or online), list of products or services, target market, the law firm that reviews contracts and pictures of the business, floor plan, leasing arrangements, etc.

Management Profile

The management profile lists your management team and their qualifications.

If you are the primary manager, summarize your resume. Highlight any restaurant or coffee experience you have. If you lack direct experience, emphasize transferrable skills and accomplishments.

If you have managers or partners, include their education, employment record, skills and accomplishments.

Also highlight business consultants. Investors gain confidence from advisers with a proven track record.

Background Information about the Coffee Industry

Discuss major competitors, industry trends, customer demographics, sales sensitivity to economic cycles, what sets you apart and key financial measures in the industry (profit margin).

A Marketing Plan

Outline the type and location of your business, products or services, describe targeted customers, and explain why customers will buy from you and strategies you will use to attract them.

Balance Sheet Financial StatementFinancial Data

This section requires three documents: a cash flow statement, an income or statement, and a balance sheet.

Cash Flow Statement

The cash flow statement helps determine your company’s short-term viability and ability to pay bills. It outlines the initial investment (beginning cash), level of sales needed to break even, expected expenses and how much money (if any) from outside sources.

The cash flow statement also reflects investments. Ending cash is the money in the bank at the end of the month

Income Statement or P&L

In simplest terms, the income statement or P&L shows total sales and expenses for the year. Most information needed to fill out this statement comes from the cash flow statement (sales, cost of goods sold, expenses). You may tax figures from an accountant.

Balance Sheet

The balance sheet is a summary of assets, liabilities and net worth at a particular point of time, using this formula: total assets – liabilities = net worth.

Once you’ve completed the cash flow and income statements, the balance sheet mainly requires filling in the blanks.

Total assets include assets (cash and inventory) plus fixed assets (equipment minus depreciation).

Liabilities include accounts payable and long-term debt.

A business with high liquidity, low debts, and sufficient working capital has a higher probability of success.


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  • Learn More

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