Coffee has become big business in the UK. There are a lot of consumers that have made coffee shops a part of their daily routine. Consumers have also become more discerning when it comes to what they expect from their coffee.
You need to be sure that you have a good knowledge of the shifting trends in the industry so that you can cater to the discerning coffee drinker and their preferences.
Alongside a growing love of coffee comes increased competition. Big businesses like Pret and Costa can be found on every high street, however, there is certainly still room for independent coffee shops.
If you plan to buy an independent coffee shop, you can offer your customers what these big brands don’t in order to compete. Roast your own beans, be as ethical as possible or personalise your service.
Cater to a different demographic by marketing the things that make you stand out from the chain coffee shops.
Finding the right business
According to James Dickson, founder of Workshop Coffee Co., "Location is very important because you need a certain amount of footfall, you have to have a local market which is going to comprise your regular trade, visibility is very important and situation is very important. Those three elements comprise of what is called location.
"A lot of people just want the site and they jump a little bit too far ahead.
"The local clientele is very important: are they office workers? Are they hospital workers? Is there a University?
"It's very, very import to really focus on location and get that right."
Considering the location is vital. You need to have a clear idea of who you are targeting before you can find the right business to buy. Outline your goals and marketing strategy so that you can know how you are going to narrow down your search.
Finding the right staff
Consider the quality of staff that are working at the establishment that you are thinking of buying. You will need to keep on full-time employees at the business and it can be really difficult to find and train good baristas.
Dickinson is proud of his staff, "The focal point of Workshop is coffee: how we source, how we roast and how we extract coffee. So across those three divisions, the people that work for us have very specific skill sets in those specific areas.
"Our baristas are very well trained. They understand how to extract every shot in 28-30 seconds.
"Dialling in on the grinders every morning, getting the temperature of the products right every morning. They don't just have training from us; they also have a background in working with coffee.
"So, therefore, the advice is: recruit the right people with the most relevant skill set for what you're going to be doing.
"And having people who have been in the industry, people who understand margins. They understand running a business properly, they understand how everything is costed.”
This sector is also full of opportunities when it comes to franchising. This can be a great option for you if you are looking for the support and training of a head office.
Make sure that you pick the brand that is right for you. You will need to be certain that you get on well with the franchisor if you are going to thrive in this industry.
There are large recognisable brands and smaller ones. Your needs will dictate which is right for you.