A proposal to start a coffee shop business should reflect your solid grounding in general business basics as well as your familiarity with the particulars of operating a coffee shop. Your proposal must demonstrate that your coffee shop business can draw and keep customers by making a great cup of coffee and serving it in an inviting atmosphere. You must also create a document that convinces a potential lender or investor that you can make money by minimizing your costs and maximizing your profits.

Prepare cash flow projections for your coffee shop proposal. Research prices on major equipment such as espresso machines, coffee grinders and beverage coolers. Estimate labor costs for preparing and serving espresso, washing dishes and preparing other food items you intend to serve, such as pastries, soups and salads. Interview local coffee roasters and suppliers about prices and yields, and calculate the amount you will spend on each coffee drink as well as the price you will charge. Investigate rents for retail storefronts in the neighborhood where you intend to open your coffee shop, and tally the cost of the permits you will need from your local health department. Calculate how much coffee you will need to serve each day in order to cover your basic expenses.

Explain in detail why you have chosen the particular brand of coffee that you will serve in your coffee shop. Include information about its selling points from your perspective as the coffee shop owner, such as a convenient delivery schedule, advantageous payment terms and product yield for each pound you buy. Also include information about this brand's potential appeal to customers, such as name recognition, superior flavor, and selling points such as whether it is organic, Fair Trade, shade-grown or locally roasted. Detail your credentials for making and serving a great cup of coffee, such as experience as a barista or working for a coffee roasting company.

Describe the ambiance you will create in your coffee shop, and explain your strategies for enticing customers to feel comfortable and return in the future. Include information about the decor you will choose, the types of chairs and couches you will provide, the music you will play and the lighting you will install. Also describe props and services you will use to create a welcoming space where customers will want to stay, such as games, books, magazines and free Wi-Fi.