Big ideas need to be matched to the big reality

These days many people are tuning in to the idea of establishing their own small business and very often I hear that what’s brewing is the notion of running a coffee shop or small café.

Often this is focused on a theme or concept that reflects an entrepreneurial spirit linked to a long standing personal interest, for example: a World War II theme, a dance theme, a movies theme or a period concept with décor, attire and ornaments reflecting the 20s, 30s, 40s or, more and more these days – the 70, 80s or 90s.

All of these are potentially good ideas and there’s often much to be gained by choosing a way of doing things that honestly reflects your interests or hobbies.

Where then do you start to transform your passion in to a business?

A fully qualified Business Consultant can advise you on the logistical and financial implications to be considered, i.e: what’s commonly referred to as The Business Plan. However, no matter what your stylistic preferences and, for that matter, no matter whether it’s running a coffee shop that you’re considering or some other business enterprise: gaining a thorough understanding of the challenges you’ll face operating your business day in and day out is an absolute must.

There’s no substitute for experience

I’ve been running a coffee shop in Cardiff for six years and before that I was employed in a number of Sales & Account Management roles, as well as self-employment within the Licensing Trade; the success of which depended heavily on customer or client-facing skills, often over the long term. I’m now offering to share my knowledge and experience with you.

Having a sensible budget and a proper business plan is a must and no one should look to short cut or avoid getting those things sorted.

Sometimes, however, private Business Consultants or officially funded Advisors, (the latter now much thinner on the ground than was once the case), have to focus on the planning and the finances and often that involves reams and reams of paperwork for you to read and/or sign. This can be a bit overwhelming and, at the same time, the glorious underbelly of your future “life at work each day” can get overlooked.

I’m proposing an easier starting point: a chance to just talk things over. I’ll share my experience and help you to think in terms of what you’ll have to actually do each day and how that might impact on the way your business needs to be structured.

Are you confident dealing with the demands of self-employment?

Customers come in all shapes and sizes.

In the movie “A Good Year”; playing the part of a beleaguered French restaurant owner, struggling to cope with a busy evening service, Marion Cotillard reluctantly allows Russell Crowe to help out, but cautions him with the words: “Remember, in France, the customer is always wrong”. In the UK we tend to think differently, but there are going to be times when you feel that the customer is wrong, but have to be able to manage situations diplomatically and, principally, with the aim of ensuring customers come back again and again. No amount of planning can overcome the fact that, from time to time – by which I mean at intervals possibly every day – your customers’ demands can be tough to take. Are you confident you can deal with this?

I can talk this over with you. You might also like to know a bit more about:

  • coping with living on next to no money for (usually) quite a long time
  • needing to have the capacity to trust others and delegate responsibilities and, in tandem with that…
  • how you choose the right staff
  • how to prioritise and schedule tasks and…
  • the need for flexibility, especially the relationship between planning ahead, and being able to also think on your feet.

All of these things are vital considerations for any small business, but are especially pertinent to running a coffee shop or similar venture successfully.

Get some good advice from someone who understands what it takes to succeed

You are going to be fire-fighting a lot of the time and you need to begin to train your mind for that. It’s not all doom and gloom though. I succeeded with my coffee shop venture even though I started in the middle of a recession in 2010. You can succeed too!

Come and talk to me, informally, for some honest down to earth advice and, if what I have to say doesn’t scare the living daylights out of you, I can recommend the right Business Consultant to then deal with the more formal business planning.

For a small fee and with no obligation regarding how you then set up your business, we’ll talk through the day to day demands of running a coffee shop or a similar enterprise. I’ll address any niggling concerns you might have and answer any questions

You’ve a much greater chance of success if you fully understand what you are truly taking on.

Give me a call today on 07715 998226 or drop me an email to: