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8 Tips Café Owners Recommend to Beginners

The benefit of hindsight is a great thing.
Taking advice from another's voice of experience is also not a bad idea - most times.
So, if you're a beginner thinking of starting up a café, here's some tips from those in the know about what to plan for.

  1. The Experience:
    Sign up for some experience if you haven't already.
    Get a feel of what an owner's life would be like by tapping into the "need to knows" behind the scenes.
    Customers never see them but an owner needs exposure to them. It's an important part of the process.
    It's not always a cool job to have, so having a sound business plan to stick to is also a must.
  2. The Location:
    Get it right before you jump in.
    Do your homework well in advance about foot traffic past your door.
    Explore a stand alone location as opposed to a shopping centre. They each have their benefits.
    Don't necessarily think "build and they will come" always works because it doesn't.
    Go nowhere without doing plenty of market research.
  3. The Rent Costs:
    How much is rent going to be per year and what are the extras?
    Air, Water, Power could be just a few extras you'll need to budget for.
    Sometimes the landlord might want you to contribute towards other outgoings like rates or body corps but that's not a common occurrence.
    So, make sure you're aware of rent + any other outgoing costs.
  4. The Lease:
    Study very closely the terms and conditions of your lease apart from the start date and cost.
    Look into what sort of penalties are in place for an early termination if necessary.
    Pay a solicitor to review and possibly amend any conditions which you think might not be reasonable.
  5. The Fitout:
    Budget for a well designed fitout which attracts and captures attention to draw in your customers.
    Call in the professionals who have the expertise in commercial building and renovation to get the job done well.
    Considerations like traffic flow, counter design to maximize speed of serving, placement and installation of good equipment, the level of finish of various surfaces all need to be made.
    Café competition is so strong these days that a fitout must be done well and have an edge.
  6. The Everyday Running Costs:
    Don't gloss over the repair, maintenance and cleaning costs you'll be up for.
    They are real and ongoing and can't be missed because the premises should be kept in top condition all the time.
    If the cafe is to be located in a shopping centre, be sure to check the maintenance costs there.
  7. The Initial Stock Purchases:
    You'll need the initial stock set up which can amount to quite a lot straight up.
    When you open, first impressions are going to count so you'll need to have the best coffee on offer and quality food on the menu.
    Wrap into this, a point of sale system which can help you to control stock ordering.
  8. The Marketing:
    Starting up with a whimper or a bang - there's a difference.
    The costs of marketing your new café can often be overlooked.
    Promotion most often needs to be done online as well as offline.
    Signs, flyers, loyalty cards, free samples, posters, vouchers are just a few ideas to budget for.

Still up for the challenge and passionate enough about the café business?
Then jump in!

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