How should my coffee shop’s business plan be written?

The business plan is generally broken down into two parts, one part (editorial part), which demonstrates the economic feasibility of your project, and the other (financial forecast), which assesses your financial viability.

The presentation of the problem (the problem)

This part is about explaining the reasons why you want to open your coffee shop. This part of your business plan should answer the question: what need does your project meet? In other words, what problem does your project solve? 

The presentation of the project (the solution)

Present in this part the characteristics of your project; it must correspond to the solution of the problem mentioned above and must provide answers to the following questions:

  • What is the concept of your project? Classic coffee lounge, musical coffeeshop, cat bar, a coffee shop with a coworking space, bookstore cafés, non-alcoholic coffee shop, etc., and how does it meet the needs of your target? (Tip: Move around to take inspiration from existing coffeeshops)
  • What decorations and themes would you like to give to your coffee shop? (British, New York, traditional, Asian, vintage, cozy, etc.)
  • Who are your clients? (Morning customers, business customers or workers between noon and 2 am, after-work customers, the nomadic customer? etc.)
  • Where would you like to settle? (Downtown, near a busy street, in a mall, etc.)? Give more details about the location of your coffee shop, and it is very important;
  • What services will you offer (Wifi, a variety of drinks (a very good coffee), pastries, a comfortable place, background music, happy hour, events, etc.)
  • Does your activity require specific skills or diplomas (internship, compulsory training)?

The presentation of the team

Introduce your team members, with each the corresponding responsibilities and tasks, skills, and common values. The quality of the service you will offer to your future customers will depend mainly on the quality of this team. The following questions will help you introduce your team members well:

  • Who are the key team members?
  • What training have they taken?
  • What experiences have they acquired? Are these consistent with your project?
  • What tasks and responsibilities will be exercised by each member?

Market research

This step will allow you to validate the existence of a business opportunity in your market and, therefore, better position yourself. You can delegate market research tasks to professionals (specialized firms, independent consultants, etc.) if you prefer to carry it out yourself and favor reliable sources of information. The fundamental questions and elements to know:  Analysis of the environment:

  • The state of your sector (Current and future trends)
  • Competitive intensity
  • What are the main trends in coffee shop activity?
  • Who are the potential actors around the location (schools, businesses, public services, etc.)?

Competition analysis

  • Who are your competitors?
  • How many are they?
  • Where are they located?
  • What do they offer?
  • At what price?
  • What turnover do they make?

Customer analysis

  • On what occasions do they go to coffee shops? How often?
  • What prices are they willing to pay for your service?
  • What are their expectations?

Your market research findings should prove that your product or service has a market. These conclusions will allow you to build your commercial strategy and business hypotheses.

The value proposition

In this part, you must highlight all your competitive advantages and the elements that differentiate you from your direct and indirect competitors. You need to answer the central question: what makes your coffee shop different from others? You can highlight the following:

  • The location of your coffee shop;
  • An attractive menu and the quality of your products;
  • Very good knowledge of coffee;
  • Diversity, speed, and quality of your services;
  • The originality of your concept (relaxing environment; etc.);
  • Competent staff (warm welcome, genuine customer attention, etc.)Visit for more info.

The commercial strategy

The commercial strategy of your project contributes to specifying the ambitions and the commercial objectives (in particular in terms of turnover and growth) as well as the means to be implemented to achieve them. This should answer the following questions:

  • Which customer segments are you going to target as a priority?
  • What standards will you use to reach them?
  • What will your pricing policy be?


The forecast part is mainly composed of 4 financial tables, each with an objective. You will find in particular;

  • The forecast income statement
  • The provisional balance sheet
  • The cash flow plan
  • The financing plan

The forecast income statement

The income statement is the financial table that will answer the question: is your project profitable?) this table lists the products you will generate and the expenses you will incur as part of your activity. It makes it possible to calculate the outcome at the end of the year (the difference between the total sum of products and the total sum of expenses).

Forecast products

Estimated income is mainly made up of turnover and the various operating subsidies you can obtain as part of your activity.

The charges to be expected

Estimated expenses are the expenses that your activity will incur. We mainly distinguish (non-exhaustive list):  Creation costs

  • Costs of drafting legal statutes,
  • Company registration,
  • Publication of a legal notice.

Operating expenses

  • The supply of raw materials;
  • Purchase of supplies (cups, cleaning products, tableware, payment terminal, office supplies, etc.);
  • In case of rental, The rent of the commercial premises of the coffeeshop;
  • Energy charges (electricity, gas, water),
  • Costs of a chartered accountant;
  • Insurance ;
  • Marketing costs: advertising costs, opening campaigns, announcements, website, flyer, etc.);
  • Telephone,
  • Tax and duties
  • Staff salaries (waiters, manager, etc.) and social and employer charges,
  • Your compensation and social security contributions (health insurance, retirement, unemployment, etc.).
  • Financial accounts in the event of purchase of the premises by the loan;

Once the list of expenses is well defined, you must separate it into two types of costs, fixed fees, which do not vary with the evolution of the turnover. Those which go with the development of the turnover businesses are called viable loads. This distinction will determine the break-even point (what to sell and how much to be profitable) and the break-even point  (when to be beneficial).

The provisional balance sheet

The provisional balance sheet is a photograph of the assets you will own in the future—divided into two parts, the assets balance sheet lists all of your investments and receivables. On the other side, the liabilities of the balance sheet list all of your debts by the degree of payment (owners and creditors). In general, a coffee shop requires the following investments (non-exhaustive list):

Investments to plan

  • Purchase of the premises (if not rented);
  • Furniture: tables, chairs, counters, possibly furniture for the terrace;
  • Equipment: coffee machine (espresso, for example), percolators;
  • Dishwasher, cash register, etc. ;
  • Marketing investments: sign, website, etc. ;
  • Stock: coffee, tea, paper napkins, paper cups, food items, etc.
  • Furnishings and decoration;

The financing plan

The financing plan makes it possible to transcribe the financing needs of the project and the corresponding financing (with banks & investors). It makes it possible to answer the question: are the resources sufficient to finance the financing need of your project.

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