In determining the first steps for starting a coffee house business it's important to do some research and ask yourself some questions. Some questions to ask yourself are: Where should I open a coffee house? Is there anything similar in the area that would be a significant source of competition to my coffee house? How will I fund this venture? Do I need to take out a small business loan or do I have the money to put down on my own? How much equipment will I need to buy? How many employees will I have? Once you have given these questions some thought and have what you consider to be honest and workable answers, you can begin the step-by-step process of opening your coffee house.
Find a suitable location for your coffee house. As they say, "Location is everything. Location, location, location!" In order to have enough foot and road traffic to make your coffee house full and lively with customers, yours needs to be in a relatively busy area, where people can easily find it and stop in on their way to or from somewhere else.
Write a thorough and comprehensive business plan. This is probably the step that will determine whether or not you can raise the capital necessary to continue with your venture. Since most people need to borrow money in the form of a business loan in order to start a business, a very detailed and thoroughly organized business plan will give you a good foundation in applying to a lender for the capital you need to get started. Researching and including every single projected cost and item will not only allow you to appear well-organized and confident, it will also clarify to you the details of what you really will need and what you will need to spend.
Purchase equipment and furniture. Once you have found your perfect location and obtained your loan, you can begin purchasing the equipment you will need as outlined in your business plan. Some places sell restaurant equipment wholesale. Another good option is to look around on eBay to see if you can find what you are looking for on auction or for a reduced price. Look for furniture that will be appealing, comfortable and inviting for your clientele.
Hire your employees. No one can run a business alone, no matter how talented, dedicated or energized he is. Even if it is a family member helping you out, you need to ensure that your help is on the payroll and that your organization is set up to legally pay out salaries. Remember that your coffee house is your vision come to life; hire people based on their ability to contribute to the type of atmosphere you envision. Is it a family-friendly environment? More of an artistic atmosphere? Think of some key phrases or concepts to describe your ideas about how you want your coffee house to feel and then interview potential employees based on their understanding of these concepts.
Have a grand opening. When all the lights are working properly, the machines are humming and the employees are wearing the smiles they know will brighten someone's day, put out festive signs, decorations and spread the word that your place is opening. In other words, don't be shy about promoting yourself, particularly in the beginning when it is crucial that your customers begin to become enamored with you above your competition.
Aimee Boyle is a regular weekly contributor on issues pertaining to women's health for "EmpowHer." She has written about special needs children in articles entitled "How Children Learn," and "Extended Time" for"Helium," another online magazine, as well as "HubPages," and "ArticleTree." Her articles for "eHow" through Demand Studios include "Step-Fathers' Rights," "What is a Petition," and many others.