There are so many coffee shops all over the world, and when your audience has such a vast number of businesses to choose from, you end up going against a lot of competition. Try to not let that idea scare you. Instead, use it as fuel to inspire you to be the owner of the best coffee shop in town!
In order to attract attention and become a crowd favorite, you’ll have to devise a strong marketing plan that will keep you on the road to success. This is where marketing comes into the picture. Marketing is an absolutely essential element in running a business, especially when your business is a coffee shop. The most important step is to create a plan, and then to follow through on all your business-related promises.
More coffee shop marketing plan templates than you could ever imagine exist on the internet. A majority of these coffee shop business plans are free, too, which can be very helpful if you’re looking to save where you can; however, be wary and try not to blindly follow just any coffee shop marketing and business plan that you find online. Take your time to carefully select a business plan that fits your needs.
Something to keep in mind is that your coffee shop marketing and business plans will be specific to your shop. You have to take your goals into consideration and then devise a marketing plan that suits the direction of your business. When taking on the task of creating a marketing and business plan for your coffee shop, it might sound like a lot to take on initially.
However, it does not have to be a tedious and difficult endeavor. When you focus on your dreams, you’ll (hopefully) feel inspired and excited about creating your coffee shop marketing and business plans! To help you start building a marketing plan for your coffee shop, we thought we would show you nine different components of successful business plans.
- Research the industry.
- Identify your target market.
- Look into your competition.
- Analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of your business.
- Figure out what you want your coffee shop to be known for.
- Create a mission statement for your coffee shop.
- Define the strategies that you will implement in your business.
- Create a sales goal after defining your coffee shop's marketing strategies.
- Keep an eye on your business metrics.
These are just building blocks of a small business, so feel free to tweak these elements so that they are customized for your coffee shop and your aspirations for the business. Without further ado, here are nine pieces of advice for creating coffee shop marketing plans!
Research the Industry
First and foremost, it is imperative that you understand the industry. If you are opening a coffee shop, there is an underlying assumption that you already know a thing or two about the coffee industry. This is excellent, but we encourage you to dig even deeper and really learn as much as you can about the world of coffee.
From popular coffee chains like Starbucks and Dutch Bros, to smaller ones like your favorite local cafes, the industry is comprised of huge variety of coffee companies. Which category do you want your coffee shop to fall into? Even though you are just starting out, try to focus on the bigger picture. It will allow you to plan your next steps on the path to your ultimate goal. Everything relies on a solid understanding of your niche. Whether you are opening your first or looking to revamp your existing marketing and plan, check out other coffee shops and how they are designed to get some inspiration.
Identify Your Target Market
Market research is known as the foundation and the backbone of all coffee shop business plans. Not only should you investigate the buying habits of coffee consumers, you should also look into the current favorites of wholesale and bulk coffee buyers.
There are many different avenues that you can go down when looking into the current coffee favorites. Follow the trends that you see in magazines and other media sources. Take notes about data points that you uncover and keep them in a place where you can reflect on them later.
The six categories that are important to do research in include...
- Your sales to date
- Dynamics in your market
- Most impressive milestones within the coffee industry
- What you sell and how it compares to other coffee shops
- Demographics and target market points of your coffee shop
- Vendors you use as well as ones you can start to order through
Look into Your Competition
Coffee shops are brick-and-mortar businesses, so location plays a big role in your coffee shop business and marketing plans. When looking at your competitors, focus most on the coffee shops in your cafe's surrounding area. These are your most prominent competitors.
You want to create a coffee shop that people choose over all the others, and analyzing how the other coffee shops are run will give you insight into what works. Also, assessing the less successful aspects will give you a leg up because you’ll be able to bypass these components from the very beginning. For example, if you tried BOGO sale in the winter for frozen beverages before and they were a huge flop, maybe advertise them differently or do away with them all together.
This aspect of your marketing and business plan is less about trying to outdo your competitors, but rather, it is about learning from businesses that are doing well. Don't let the term “competition” dupe you into feeling like you must compete with other coffee shops, especially when you are just starting out.
The ultimate goal is to manifest the unique vision you have in your head. Focus on creating a coffee shop plan that is yours, rather than trying to recreate someone else's coffee shop plans and call them your own. Originality is key, but competitors can be sources of inspiration.
Analyze the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of Your Business
Known as the SWOT data points, your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats are an important group of factors to pay attention to. Knowing where you are flourishing will build up your business-owning confidence and your weaknesses will help to inform your decisions about where you need to direct your focus.
Opportunities are everywhere, but you can easily miss them if you are not looking for them. Your threats can jeopardize opportunities that you have, so being aware of them will help you set your business up for long-term success.
Figure out What You Want Your Coffee Shop to be Known For
Why did you open a coffee shop? (or why are you thinking about opening a cafe?)
Do you sell locally-made, organic snacks?
What kind of non-dairy milks will you offer to appeal to your consumer?
Are your beans sourced from small growers?
Do you have an organization that you donate a percentage of your profits to?
Ask yourself questions like these to uncover the precise reason why your coffee shop exists. It is important to have a reason behind your coffee shop, and that reason should be outside of yourself.
For example, opening a coffee shop is the starting point of creating an incredible income stream for yourself. But beyond your finances and your personal life, what is your coffee shop known for? Once you define your shop’s purpose, you can go on to create a mission statement for your coffee shop.
Create a Mission Statement for Your Coffee Shop
Have you ever written affirmations for yourself? If so, then you know just how powerful that one statement can be, especially when you are feeling low or defeated. Just like people, businesses can “feel” unsuccessful, too. But as the owner of your coffee shop, it is up to you to keep going and believing in your business, even when the going gets tough.
When you have an empowering statement to fall back on at any time, you will always remember your direction. Write a mission statement that embodies what you believe in and why your coffee shop exists in the first place. Make sure you and your employees live out your coffee shop’s mission statement everyday, too.
Define the Strategies that You Will Implement in Your Business
There are so many different questions you can ask yourself. Figure out which strategies you want to implement into your marketing plan.
How will you network with suppliers, growers, vendors, and farmers?
Where will you advertise?
How will you advertise your coffee shop?
Will you design a website, or hire a web designer?
Who will run your coffee shop's social media account?
How will you spread awareness of your coffee shop?
Will you put your coffee beans for sale online, or are they only for purchase in person?
The answers to these questions can provide you with direction and purpose moving forward.
Create a Sales Goal after Defining Your Coffee Shop's Marketing Strategies
Sales goals help you stay motivated and remind you that increasing your sales should be something you are working towards everyday. Being clear and precise about a reasonable budget will help you stay true to your financial goals, too. Do not spend more than you can repay, and focus on ways to increase your earnings. Sales determine whether or not you can continue to offer your perfectly crafted cup of coffee, so take your marketing strategies seriously.
Brewing it Over
Having all these things in mind can truly impact the direction of your coffee shop. It is important to create a plan before jumping into anything; so whether you are just starting out or are looking to recreate your brand, we wish you the best!
Feel free to drop into our Facebook group and tell us about your successes!