If you are coffee lover who wishes to have your very own coffee shop, you aren’t the first person to combine a love of coffee with a business idea; indeed, the market is huge, as long as you choose a busy location from which to sell your products.

We asked a veteran coffee shop owner about potential pitfalls to avoid when building a coffee shop business.

  • Too many items on the menu – It is perfectly natural to want as many different brands of coffee as you can put on the menu, but too much choice is confusing; half a dozen varieties of wholesale coffee beans is really enough, while offering both hot and cold beverages Start with a basic list and you can add items as time passes by asking customers what they would like to see on your menu. Of course, tea, cakes, pastries and even ice cream should be available; you can source the best quality coffee beans online and they have a wide range of top coffees from all over the world.
  • Wrong location – It might be that you know someone who has a great place you could lease, or there is an empty shop near your home; these are not reasons enough to open a coffee shop, rather you need to do some serious research, zoning off regions on the map and finding every single coffee shop, which you should pin on the map. You ideally want to be on a busy through road, with housing and commercial areas nearby; this is the most critical of all your business decisions. Click here for reasons why seafood is healthy and should be part of your diet.
  • Zero marketing plan – If you open your shop and wait to be noticed, this could take a long time; we recommend that you invest in some social media marketing to reach the local community. You should arrange a grand opening and offer discounts and run regular promotions. Don’t expect overnight success; it will take a few months for local people to realise you are there; enlist the help of a local digital marketing agency to create an aggressive online marketing plan.
  • Hiring the wrong staff – It is easy to accept young people who seem to be fine at first; some people simply aren’t cut out for the service industry and your waiting staff are the frontline of the business and must be customer focused. Employee motivation makes all the difference and the staff are part of the customer’s experience when spending time in your establishment.
  • Poor management – A successful coffee shop would be a well-managed one; there are many aspects of running a coffee shop and should there be any minor issues, you can nip it in the bud, so to speak. If you are managing the outlet yourself, make sure you are there most of the time and when you are out, nominate a staff member to hold the fort.

Once you have registered the business, you can start looking at potential venues and we hope that your new business enjoys steady growth and becomes an important part of the community.


Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.

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