Many people dream of owning a café and obviously many do. In fact there are some thirty thousand in Australia alone.
According to research conducted by the Café Owner’s and Barista Association Australia (COBAA) thousands of these will be out of business in the next three years.
It’s not all doom and gloom, however this is telling me that thousands of people are making mistakes that costing them a lot of time and money.
The first mistake is not being clear about why you are doing it and that rings true in life as a whole.
There are four main reasons why you might decide to open or buy a café:
It’s a lifestyle choice.
The thought bubble: I will swan around amongst my adoring staff and customers
Yes it can be a great lifestyle when you reach that space of being able to work your own hours. From great heights can you easily fall if you don’t watch where you step. Your staff may resent it when you swan around the space not being aware of the work they are physically putting in. Make sure you give credit where credit is due and know that there always toilets to be cleaned before you smell of roses.
You want to be your own boss.
Thought bubble: I will be the all and mighty omnipotent of the coffee world
Being your own boss, master of your own destiny is a wonderful thing. However you are also the captain of the ship, the deckhand, the stores master and the first mate you often disciplines the crew. Set sail with the freedom to go where you will but remember yours and every other soul on board are your responsibility. And the Captain always goes down with the ship (well except with the Captain of the Costa Concordia)
To make money
Though bubble: I love coffee and food how hard can it be.
Whatever you your reason for making money, whether it is a retirement plan or you have just taken a redundancy from work, you aim to own that Ferrari or even to be altruistic and give it all away for the betterment of society. Whatever the reason, it is very rare that you start or buy a café and make a killing from the start. It will take time regardless which way you go to realise your investment and start making money.
I have seen many people who are great in hospitality go out of business despite being great at their craft. These have been chefs, baristas or excellent hospitality staff. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes and is required to create and operate a viable café.
It’s a hobby and I am doing it for fun
Thought bubble: This is going be so much fun, giggle giggle.
Great, if you are secure on the money scene and want to play shop that is excellent. Go for it! There is a lot of investment required and ongoing work such as day to day accounting, tax reporting, staff hiring & training, health and safety requirements and general maintenance but if you find that fun, enjoy. There is a bit more to it but if you aren’t worried about the bills to begin with then that is one great stress you won’t have.
There are multiple reasons why you might start and generally they fall under these categories. Of course there are other reasons you may have to add cafe to equation such as value adding to an existing business. Coffee seems to go with hammers, car washes and all sorts of things these days.
Regardless at the end of the day it’s important to tie into your why so you can make decisions that align that are congruent with you ultimate goals.
If you have any other reasons that you’d like to open a café please feel free to drop me a line at www.thecafeguy.com.au or facebook/thecafeguy.