How to make a coffee business plan?

Do you have easy contact, a sense of service, and appreciate the fragrant and warm world of coffee? If you also have business acumen and a taste for entrepreneurial adventure, you have the ideal profile to open your café.

But before embarking on such an adventure, for which you have no doubt taken care to carry out a market study, as you know, you must go through the realization of your coffee business plan.

What is the purpose of this document, which is essential for any project launch? What data do you need to collect to ensure you have a reliable coffee business plan? How should you write it to convince your future financial partners and suppliers? All the answers, and many other tips, can be found in this article!

What is a coffee business plan for, and why is it essential to your project?

You probably know it: the n°1 objective of your business plan is to ensure the financial viability of your project. First, you will have to ensure that your coffee will be profitable.

Another major interest of the business plan of your café: its realization will force you to look, in detail, at each aspect of your future business. As it is carried out, you will have the opportunity to assess as precisely as possible the means necessary for the proper functioning of the activity and the need for initial financing.

And then your business plan will also be essential for you to convince the financial partners that you will ask to follow you on the adventure. The bankers, investors, and other public bodies at whose door you will knock will systematically ask to consult this document.

Your café’s business plan will also be a point of reference and will allow you to measure your progress and check whether you are staying on course or whether, on the contrary, you should make some adjustments.

What information to gather to make a coffee business plan

As we mentioned in the preamble to this article, market research is an essential prerequisite for realizing your business plan. Objective: To understand what consumers expect to refine your commercial positioning, set the prices for your consumption, and collect the information necessary to estimate your forecast turnover.

The realization of your coffee business plan implies that you have listed and evaluated the cost of the human needs (employees, service providers) and material (percolator, dishes, furniture, cash register, etc.) necessary for the launch and subsequently for the development of your activity.

In your business plan, you will also evaluate the cost of raw materials, insurance costs, legal assistance, and chartered accountants without forgetting the fixed charges, such as the possible rent. But also electricity, water, telephone, and Internet subscription.

To obtain the best rates and to have an estimate that is as precise as possible, we strongly advise you to request quotes from several companies for all these items of expenditure.

What is the financial forecast for a coffee business plan?

Now let’s talk about the coasted part of your cafe’s business plan. Here you will have to make several tables, and all of them have a specific function that we will detail.

The forecast income statement

The purpose of the projected income statement is to assess the growth of the company’s turnover and its profitability by large masses (gross margin, gross operating surplus, net income).

This essential table makes it possible to ensure that the activity is profitable and to identify potential opportunities for cost reduction. For more information, see our guide to the forecast income statement.

The provisional balance sheet

The provisional balance sheet aims to present an image of the company’s assets at a given time. It will allow you to assess the weight of the WCR and ensure the right balance between equity and debt.

To learn more about this table, read our guide to the forecast balance sheet.

The forecast cash flow statement

The cash flow statement looks at how the business consumes or generates cash. Here will be a detail of all the cash movements that it is possible to anticipate.

Please read our guide to the cash flow forecast to learn more.

The initial financing plan

The initial financing plan is a table that attempts to express the company’s financial resources clearly. It is an essential element of your coffee business plan, which will be looked at in detail by any investor: it makes it possible to expose the financial resources of the company as well as how they will be used at the launch of the project.

Discover our guide to the initial financing plan here.

The written part of the business plan of your café: its objectives and the essential elements

We tend to think that the strictly financial part that we have just discussed takes precedence over the rest. However, the written elements of your business plan are just as essential because it gives the reader the necessary context to interpret the figures and judge their relevance.

In this section, it will indeed be a question of demonstrating to your future partners (we are talking here as much about banks as about suppliers) that you have thought about your project down to the smallest detail. Final objective: to show that you have correctly anticipated the risks inherent in the implementation of your project.

This drafted part of your café’s business plan should allow you to highlight the strengths of your future establishment and contextualize all the figures put forward in the financial tables.

Write a summary of your coffee business plan.

This part of your business plan is also called the executive summary. It makes it possible powerfully and concisely to summarize the advantages of your project to seduce the financial partners you will solicit. Don’t forget to include your financing needs.

Your company description

In this section, you will present your company in its form: legal structure, shareholders and managers, registered office, and location.

The objective of this part is to give the reader a clear vision of the stakeholders: with whom he will do business.

The description of the products and services offered by your café

Here, you will present your commercial offer. You will also explain in this section the strong points of your concept and detail the products and possible services you plan to offer your customers.

The market study of your coffee

This part demonstrates that there is indeed a business opportunity for your coffee project.

You will present the results of your market research and review the competition, as well as the main points of regulation.

The strategy for your coffee project

In this section on your development strategy, you will need to detail how you will have set the prices for your consumption, how you will make yourself known to your customers, and how you will anticipate and manage the risks associated with setting up the project.

Description of operations

Here, you will present the operational organization of your café: opening hours, staff plan, distribution of roles between associates, selected suppliers, etc.

Your cafe’s financial plan

In this part, you will insert the tables mentioned above and present the hypotheses that allowed you to build them.

Our tips for making a realistic coffee business plan

Your business plan will be your pillar throughout your project’s preparation and launch period. An essential document must be perfectly put together, and you must anticipate all the questions that a potential investor could ask you during your interviews. But it must also allow you to study all the aspects and risks of your project.

Here are several key points that we advise you to consider carefully when creating your business plan:

  1. The volatility of commodity prices: the price of beverages and foodstuffs fluctuates. Monitor their price and stay informed of their evolution to anticipate the best price variations, which can considerably impact your sales margin.
  2. Seasonality: wherever you are located, you will be subject to unpredictable hazards and the rhythm of life of the neighborhood and its inhabitants, which is rather easy to anticipate. Depending on your location and your concept, you will naturally be subject to a more or less significant influx in summer or winter, during the week or on weekends, your business plan must take into account the seasonality of your activity.
  3. Constraints related to your establishment’s staff: in the catering industry, even more than in other sectors, you risk facing difficulties in recruiting qualified and fully motivated staff. If not, try to anticipate them. In any case, study the question to show that you are aware of this parameter.
  4. Knowledge of the field: creating a café or any other drinking establishment and food business must be based on an excellent understanding of your area and your target clientele. Thus, do not settle for a quick study of the competition and the area of ​​the establishment. Your business plan is based on a fine and detailed market study.
  5. Check your information! If you are unsure of your entrepreneurial instincts, take the time to inform yourself about trends in your sector regularly. Regularly, the economic press echoes the state of the market, depending on the price of raw materials and the purchasing power of households. This is particularly the case with the Echos Etude site. Also, turn to professional organizations and federations, which will be valuable sources of information. Many resources and contacts are available on the Lhotellerie-restauration.fr website.

Which tool to choose to carry out the business plan of a café?

The realization of your business plan can be done in several ways. To guide you, let’s review their main advantages and disadvantages.

Make your business plan yourself in Excel and Word.

Here is a tempting method because accessible to all and a priori inexpensive. Be careful. This method is extremely tedious.

Carrying out your business plan with these tools requires very good knowledge of accounting so as not to make mistakes, a good command of these office automation tools to obtain a professional rendering and a lot of time.

Have a coffee shop business plan drawn up by a consultant

It’s simpler: you entrust the realization of your business plan to someone who knows what he is doing and will issue you a professional document.

If the consultant knows the sector well, he will be able to take a critical look at your figures and help you in the reflection.

The major drawback of this solution is its cost: both to produce the initial document and update it as the project progresses. Here is an option that is aimed at relatively moneyed project leaders.

Use online business plan software.

This third option is a good compromise between the other two: using online business plan software makes it possible to produce a professional document more quickly than with office tools and subsequently evolve the record as the project comes to fruition. All without breaking the bank.

It is also a complementary approach to the use of a consultant. You can carry out the plan using the software, then possibly have it proofread by a consultant to obtain a critical analysis of your assumptions.

If you are interested in this type of tool, you can try our software for free by registering here.

Our article is coming to an end. However, we hope it has given you a better understanding of the ins and outs of a coffee business plan. If you have any suggestions or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.


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