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Ask any experienced cafe owner, the number one thing keeping them up at night is staff.Now is the right time to think through who you need & what skills they need to bring. The plan should include: Yes, forecasting sales is hard, even hospitality veterans get it wrong, but it’s important that you try.Now if you’ve already signed a lease there’s not a lot to see here.
If you haven’t already committed to a lease, good for you – go and read our article on the 7 things to look for in a cafe location.
It’s got heaps of detail on what you should be looking for.
The design should illustrate your cafe’s vision to your customers.
Some basic menu tips are to keep the menu simple (without too many options), stick to your brand, know what the competition is offering, and get feedback before finalizing.
While you’re at it, I think it’s also wise to at least think about an exit plan.
I know that seems like the opposite of what you should be doing right now, but having a strategy for selling or expanding your business will be a big deal in years to come.A good marketing plan should cover a number of things, I’ll focus on 2: The most effective businesses are designed with specific customers in mind.The more specific you get, the more you can focus the plan on what they want.The example below (from the business plan template) breaks down customers into segments based on who they are (demographics) and what “occasion” (time of day, circumstance) you can fulfil.Now we have an idea of who they are, let’s have a look at what the competition is doing If you already have an exact location lined up, go ahead and take a look at which customer segments your closest competitors are looking after.Location choice is no small decision, so take your time!A smart menu design can capture your restaurant’s unique brand and culture as well as drive revenue. No one likes writing them, very few people even want to read them…but they can be vital for the success of a new business. Because as you write down your plans on a page, the process makes you to think critically about the how viable your concept really is.It makes you answer hard questions like: In my view, a simple, no-nonsense cafe business plan needs the following 5 sections: Start by answering the most important, and often most difficult question: why are you doing this?You should also make it clear what sort of hours & skills both you (and your business partners) are going to contribute. You can start with benchmarks & examples from other cafe businesses (a sample is included in the business plan kit) – but it’s wise to run your numbers by people who have done it before.They can provide a reality check based on your plan and location.