How to Start an Online Coffee Business

by Jessica Jones; Updated September 26, 2017
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Start an online coffee business to sell ground and whole bean coffee to coffee lovers everywhere. Create a large inventory so customers have a variety of blends to choose from. Create a website full of photos and descriptions of coffee blends so customers know what to expect when their coffee arrives. Feature special holiday or seasonal blends to provide even more choices. Most customers typically purchase coffee for themselves or may purchase coffee to give as gifts.

Items you will need

  • Business license
  • Website
Step 1

Apply for a business license to start an online coffee business by contacting the Small Business Administration office or county clerk's office. Apply for a sales tax number to collect sales tax from the sale of coffee and coffee products by contacting the department of revenue. Apply for an employer identification number (EIN) through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to use on business forms, such as business registration and tax forms. Purchase home business insurance to protect business assets from lawsuits.

Step 2

Create a home office to store coffee beans and coffee accessories, such as coffee grinders, coffee filters and mugs. Use your home office to store files and invoices. Purchase bookkeeping and invoicing software to track customer orders, invoices and business earnings.

Step 3

Create a website for your online coffee business. This website should include pictures, descriptions and prices of each coffee blend. If selling coffee accessories, include photos, descriptions and prices of each item. Include contact information, ordering and payment methods, shipping options and a short biography of your business on the website. Research web-hosting companies to find one that best suits your business needs. Web-hosting companies provide space for websites online.

Step 4

Roast your own coffee or purchase coffee from local or fair trade vendors. Sell a variety of coffee blends to give customers many choices. Sell ground and whole bean coffee. You may also want to sell loose tea or tea bags to increase sales.

Step 5

Market your coffee business online and off to attract a variety of customers. List your website in both print and online business directories. Create fliers, business cards and brochures to hand out to potential customers. Create an online newsletter to encourage customers to provide you with their email addresses. Send ocassional emails to promote sales or to introduce new coffee blends. Use social media, such as Facebook or Twitter, to promote your coffee business online.

Tips

  • Register a domain name that is close to your business name so customers can easily find your business online. A domain name is your website address. Research available domain names using online databases, such as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

Warnings

  • Do not use free web-hosting services to host your website. Many free web-hosting services post advertisements on customer websites to earn a profit. You will not have control over the types of ads that appear on your website.

About the Author

Based in the Washington metro area, Jessica Jones has been a freelance writer since 2006, specializing in business topics. Her fiction has also been featured in publications such as "The Jamaican Observer Sunday Literary Supplement" and at websites including HackWriters. Jones earned a Master of Fine Arts in fiction writing from Lesley University.

Photo Credits

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