As a coffee shop owner, you need to appeal to a year-round audience and differentiate yourself from well-established chains. Having even simple marketing and communication plans can help you outline what you need to do so you can devise strategies to do it. Marketing is the process your goods -- in this case, your coffee products -- go through to get from your store into customers’ hands. Communication helps this process through promotional activities. Make sure your objectives for both marketing and communications are specific and measurable over a defined time period.

Marketing Plan

A marketing plan demonstrates the thought you have put into running your coffee shop. You will identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, analyze the market and customer base and include details of your product, price, place and promotion. You also need a thorough understanding of your competition’s strengths and weaknesses, and financial detail that includes your long-term goals for the business.

Marketing Objectives

Your marketing objectives will include financial objectives -- for example, what you expect to achieve in sales and profit. Then, set your marketing mix -- product, price, place and promotion -- objectives: Products includes the brands you will sell, and any product extensions like baked goods, mugs or other items you may add in addition to coffee. Pricing objectives include prices you will charge so you meet your financial objectives and remain competitive. Place is your distribution objectives, such as retail sales; and, promotion, which includes advertising, public relations and sales incentives.

Communication Objectives

Your communication objectives are concrete communication goals. For example, as a new business, your first objective may be simply to create awareness about your business, such as location, what you sell and what sets you apart from your competitors. An example might be, “Create awareness that Unplugged Coffee Shop sells and serves only coffee that is roasted in the store.” Another example is, “Communicate to prospective customers that Unplugged Coffee sells hand-painted mugs with all proceeds going to anti-child-labor organizations.” Communication objectives are typically directed to media and customers, but some may include distributors and other stakeholders.


Once you have set your objectives, you need to develop strategies to achieve them. Marketing strategies might include events such as an open house, promotional discounts, a farmer’s market booth or partnering with other businesses to serve your coffee. Typical communication strategies are advertising and public relations. For example, you might bring a basket of coffee and baked goods to the hosts of a popular radio show and send press releases announcing your grand opening and charity donations.