Do I Need a Plan?

Coffee shop business plan

Yes Virginia, you do need a plan! (if you want to stay open)

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Simple, short and to the point.

People ask me quite often of the importance of a coffee shop business plan when starting a coffee business. My response is always a statistic: Most businesses fail within the first year due to lack of planning. If you don’t have anything to plan your course by, how can you move forward?

Even today as I am a coffee roaster I am always following my business plan.  When I started my online coffee business, I put another type of plan to use specifically geared toward selling gourmet coffee beans online.

And just because you open a coffee shop or coffee business and may be open for a year doesn’t mean you can put the plan away. You should always be tweaking because things change, markets change and trends change so your business has to change as well to adapt. Otherwise, you will be closed before you know it.

In your business plan, you should have the following sections:

1. Executive Summary – This section tells the reader in a nutshell the whom, what, where, when, why and how.

2. General Company Description – Should at minimum give information on financials, objectives, overall mission, what will make you successful, target market, your industry, your company’s concept and ownership.

3. Products and Services –Discuss products and vendors you plan to use, your menu, events you plan to have like open mike, poetry reading as well as services like catering.

4. Marketing Plan – Talk about the market in general for specialty coffee, how you plan to promote and sell yourself to the public.  Be sure to talk about your branding as well.

5. Operations – Include daily operations, equipment you, products, your prospective location, personnel and human resources guidelines.

6. Management and Organization – This will further explain who is in charge of what area, their experience and credentials.

7. Personal Financial Statements – This section will give information on what you plan to spend, put in, borrow, buy and every principal’s net worth.

8. Startup Expenses and Capitalization – This area will discuss how much is being invested by you, any loans, lines of credit, credit cards for the business, etc.  It will also list how you are acquiring equipment, making leasehold improvements, and so on.

9. Financial Plan – This area talks about how your sales assumptions and trends will be determined.  It will also talk about your COGS, payroll, and all other overhead and profit margin.

10. Appendices – Includes details about studies and sources for your plan, as well and any blueprints for floor plans, visuals, marketing materials, support materials, etc.

In my Ebook titled “Tony’s Coffee Shop Business Plan”, I take you step by step from start to finish: concept to open for your coffee shop.  It is on sale for a limited time only and at any time I may take it down.  Do yourself a favor and don’t start a coffee shop without it!


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