When you walk along a busy street in any city and pass by a busy specialty coffee shop and it will likely be full of customers enjoying coffee, espresso, lattes, teas and a variety of pastries and other goodies. Serving quality coffees and snacks in a trendy, relaxing atmosphere is a hugely successful business model by Starbucks, which has grown to over 25,000 coffeehouse locations around the world. If you love coffee and are looking for a business opportunity, here’s how to start a coffee shop and make it a success.

There are three basic options for starting a coffee shop:

Purchasing a franchise in which case most of the major business decisions will be made for you.

You can also purchase an existing busiens. However, finding a profitable business for sale is not an easy task.

Starting from scratch. This option requires the most effort but has the most flexibility and the best potential to maximize profits.

Whichever option you choose, the same fundamentals for success apply. Your business plan should incorporate the following key factors.

Finding a Good Location With Reasonable Rent

Here are some of the reasons why are coffee shops so popular:

  • Coffee shops are a great place to socialize — statistics show that coffee shops are the most popular place to meet friends. They are also a preferred spot for individuals looking to pass the time reading a book or magazine or surfing the web while consuming a beverage and/or snack.
  • Coffee shops are a popular place for informal business meetings or for students to catch up on schoolwork.

Given the above having a great location is obviously very important for attracting. If you are franchising or buying an existing business the location is pre-selected but you should still do your research and decide whether the existing or selected location is a good one.

Note that the most central locations are not necessarily the best for your bottom line. Malls and other high traffic locations typically have the highest rents and often the most competition. Storefronts are excellent locations for coffee shops — they have the highest visibility, the rents are usually lower than in malls, and you can set your own business hours.

Excellent customer service is the hallmark of any successful business, and most especially in the food services industry. Combine a great location, top quality products, and great customer service and chances are you will have a very successful coffee shop.

Surveys show that four out of five customers rank customer service as very important — one of the main reasons for Starbucks’ success is their professional and efficient service.

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