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How to Market Your Coffee Shop Before and After Your Opening Day

Jun 17, 2008
So, you have done all the hard work preparing to open your coffeehouse. You chosen your suppliers, fitted out your shop and hired your staff. So that's everything taken care of, and now you can begin to relax.

Well, almost! There's the small matter of advertising to take into account.

For your coffeehouse opening to be a success, make no mistake about it: you will need to advertise.

One of the best, most effective ways to advertise your business is to seek some free publicity.

Really make an event of your launch and invite a local celebrity to come along. Create a news story, then issue a press release and send it to your local media.

Local media love local stories, so be creative! Come up with something that the journalists at your local media outlets will love.

It's also a good idea to try advertising on your local radio stations. As a general rule, set aside 1% of your budget for advertising if you can. Radio advertising can be quite economical. Just call your local station for an advertising fee schedule and see what they can do for you.

Local advertising companies with experience in restaurant and hospitality launches can also be great resources for you. Just make sure you convey your budget to them, so they can determine if they can work with you. Also be sure to get them to itemize everything they can do for you - and at what cost. You need to know what you will be getting.

Launches are exciting, so make sure you get really creative and have lots of fun when planning yours!

The launch is what you make it.

And then, perhaps you can begin to relax and drink the coffee?

Think again!

Marketing your business isn't just something you do at launch time. It's something you need to do continuously.

You need to be in the minds of your customers and prospective customers, so they get their coffee, tea and cake from you - not your competitors.

So - you need an ongoing approach to your marketing and advertising.

When it comes to marketing your business, you really can be as creative as you like! Here are just a few ideas to get those creative juices running:

* Create a website so people can find you online

* Provide printed brochures so your customers can take away and pass onto friends

* Provide children's lunch boxes complete with food and treats to keep mums returning

* Now and then, offer special promotions. Perhaps two coffees for the price of 1 at times of the day when you are normally not so busy.

* Perhaps consider offering a wi-fi service to attract business people or college students to your coffeehouse.

What you can do is really only limited to your imagination, so start brainstorming today!

It's amazing how one simple - yet creative idea - can get people into your coffeehouse and returning.

Most importantly, always keep up your marketing efforts! Marketing is an ongoing thing and the more marketing methods you use, the better.
About the Author
Tracey Beaney has collaborated to write a guide to setting up a coffee shop with Don Clarke, former coffee shop owner. It has been reviewed favourably by the trade magazine, Cafe Culture, Click here to read the review. A new version, edited for the US market, will be a available soon, and it is currently being translated by a Turkish publishing company for sale as a digital download in Turkey.
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