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Investing In A Coffee Shop?

May 30, 2008
When it comes to getting into the coffeehouse business, you need to decide whether to:

* Buy an existing coffeehouse; or

* Start a brand new coffee shop from scratch.

It is absolutely critical that you discuss each option with your accountant, and as you can expect there are advantages and disadvantages with each.

* Existing coffee shop: The obvious advantage of buying an existing coffee shop is that it should be an established, successful business. Also, you won't need to spend as much money fitting the store out, as you would in a start-up business and it is as close to a turnkey business as you can get. On the other hand, if you buy an existing business, you may be buying the problems of the outgoing business owner, for instance increased rent and overheads, a disappointing bottom line, etc. Of course though, you can minimize the risk by carefully considering the business and its full financials with your lawyer and accountant's expert advice and direction.

* Start-up business: If you start your business from scratch, you can fit your space out as you like from day one. You are completely designing your store from scratch. On the other hand, start-up businesses are riskier because you don't have a proven track record in the business as you have created it at that location, and it costs a lot more to start a brand new business as opposed to buying an existing one.

Be sure to thoroughly do your homework and research whenever you are considering an existing or start-up business - and remember to enlist a great accountant and lawyer to help you make the right decision.

Chances are you will probably require funding from an outside source to get your coffeehouse business off the ground. There aren't too many people around who can fund a business on their own!

Be sure as well to shop around. Don't just talk to one financing source. Talk to several of them, get as much information as you can from them and compare on your own and also, with your accountant and solicitor helping you.

Refer to the Yellow Pages, search the internet and of course, attend catering trade shows. All of the major financial institutions that help businesses will be there, ready to answer your questions and provide information.

To secure the finance you need to turn your coffee shop dream into a reality, you'll need a business plan.

After all, the financial institution you hope will loan you money needs to know that you have a great business concept that is viable.

You've probably heard of the term, "Fail to plan, plan to fail".
Basically it means that failure is highly likely if you do not plan your business.

You need to know exactly where you want to take your business, and you need to come up with strategies to help you achieve those goals.

Your business plan will take into consideration absolutely everything: your mission statement, your market position, your finances, your sales projections, your marketing and advertising and your future plans - absolutely everything!

So before you spend a penny on your coffeehouse, do invest your time in preparing a business plan. It may save you money and stress in the long term!
About the Author
Don Clarke has many years experience of running coffee shop. His 136 guide can be ordered online, and you can read a review of it by Cafe Culture magazine at www.howtosetupacoffeeshop.co.uk/review.htm A full business plan template and accounting spreadsheets come with "How to Set Up a Coffee Shop" You can also download a free copy of his Top 10 Tips and newsletter from the website.
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