Cafe startups are often the product of a lifelong dream. For many, owning their own corner of this world sits firmly at the top of the bucket list. Opening your first cafe really is the start of an adventure – are you ready?
Whether your reasons for opening a cafe are to fulfill a life goal or to build a lucrative empire, planning is crucial. Research indicates that the demand for boutique and independent cafes is on the rise, but you’ll need more than that to navigate your way to stability and success in this market.
Below, we take a look at the top three steps to success when opening your first cafe.
Be Creative! What’s Your Idea?
This is a competitive arena, . Are you bringing something different to the table (pun intended)? If you can offer something that’s fundamentally a cafe but unique in its approach and theme, you could be on to a winner. Stick with what you know and embrace your own passions. A cafe with a distinctive identity will likely fair much better against its more standard competition.
Business Plan! Have You Done Your Homework?
Now this is quite possibly the most important factor when opening a cafe. In-depth market research will be the difference between success and failure. Scope out the area, sit outside in your car all afternoon if you have to! Where’s your nearest competition, what are they offering that works (and doesn’t)? Does the area have sufficient footfall, and if not, will you need a future marketing strategy to attract diners in? Establishing all of this before you even consider investing any cash is vital.
Funding! The scary bit.
This is the bit none of us like talking about, but you have to face it eventually. Opening your cafe will cost money, and you need to be prepared for the startup and ongoing cost implications. You know the bank that always likes to say yes? Well, sometimes they say no! If you’ve been given the cold shoulder by your high street bank, there are other options available.
Alternative business lending has grown rapidly over the last decade, with new and exciting products appearing on the market at a faster rate than ever. If you’re taking card payments, you may like to consider a merchant cash advance. A merchant lender will assess your card sales over a set period, and will lend accordingly. This can be a great way to access funds to help you expand and grow.
There are many products available in the alternative lending market that can assist you with ongoing costs. Have a look at what’s available for you here.
Whatever your plans are, good luck, and remember: Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!