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Cost-effective tips that can help you open your own Café

19th March 2018 Print

Do you have a dream of being able to open your own café but don’t feel you’ve got the finances to make that dream a reality? Research shows that a typical start-up spends about £22,756 in its first year, and that number can increase depending on the business. There’s no question about it, opening your own business takes a fair amount of capital, never mind the research, planning, and hard work that also goes hand-in-hand with a new venture. This is a big part of why so many businesses aren't able to make it past that first year and survive.

But, just because there are hurdles and challenges to opening your own café, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Sometimes, it just takes a more creative approach to be successful. With that in mind, here are some cost-effective tips that may turn your dream of opening your own café into a reality.

Take a Non-Traditional Approach to the Building/Structure

Typically, when you think of a café, you think of a traditional structure that either already exists or that you build. The problem is that these buildings can be extremely expensive to rent, never mind all the other costs associated with either owning or renting your own business space. This is why people are now looking at temporary buildings in a new light, and recognizing their incredible potential as commercial spaces. 

Take, for example, the temporary structures available through Smart Space in the UK. The company offers three main types of buildings, which are temporary buildings, semi-permanent interim buildings, and permanent steel buildings. 

These buildings may not appear like a business from the outside upon first glance, but when you take a look at how they are now being used, it doesn't take much imagination to see that it could work for a cafe. These buildings are being used for storage space, educational space, as sports facilities, showrooms, workshops, and various other commercial uses.

You've got the ability to pick which building works for your needs, the size you need, what type of insulation you need, what kind of roofing, etc. They can also be built in a month or less, so you know you won't have to wait long to get your business up and running.

Take a Look at the Competition in Your Area

Cafes and coffee shops aren't anything new, and pretty much every small, medium, and large city and town have a number to choose from. This is where studying your competition is important. What are the coffee shops in your area doing right? Where are they failing? Identify an area that you can fit into and become a niche offering. Making your cafe as unique as possible can help to set it apart from the competition and help you to be more successful.

All you need is a suitable location and you are good to go.

Spend Time Thinking About the Menu

Cafes are funny in that their menus can be very basic or get pretty in-depth and almost take on a gourmet approach. This is where you need to spend some time thinking and planning. What is your vision? What kind of café do you want to operate? What will you be serving? Will it be meals or just snacks that go along with a hot or cold beverage? Do you want to create specialty drinks and blends? 

From a cost-savings standpoint, it’s usually better to start with a very small and refined menu. Focus on offering top-quality options, rather than a huge variety. Your ingredients costs will be less, and you can start to create a name for yourself as being an expert in those particular offerings.

Make Use of Online Marketing Techniques

Marketing and advertising are especially important for new start-ups, but unfortunately, not all start-ups have the budget to pay for these activities. Rather than dump a fortune into traditional forms of marketing, familiarize yourself with the various social networks and how you can start to market your business through those platforms. 

Using fun, informative, and intriguing posts can create buzz around your café, which will generate interest. The key to online marketing, particularly when it comes to the social networks, is that you’ve got to remain consistent in your efforts. Those initial posts may create buzz at first, but unless you keep up with the posts you’ll find that interest drops off completely.

It’s also a good idea to talk with friends and family members and ask them to help spread the word, even if that means they re-tweet and share your social network posts and links.

Thinking Outside the Box Can Result in Cost-Savings

When it comes to cost-savings to opening your own café often it’s those creative ideas that end up being the most useful. Just because everyone else takes a specific route when opening a business doesn’t mean you can’t change things up.