Your coffee shop business plan is such an important part of your business’s launch that you can save time and headache by thinking about the process of writing the plan as well as the content of the plan. These are the major steps in the writing process.
Begin by looking at the outline of your plan in broad strokes. Refer to articles about business plan outlines or, better yet, to a template specific to the coffee shop business. A template can be a great help to shortcut this planning process. Outlining helps you consider what areas you have thought through already (operations, marketing, financial, etc) as well as which areas you have yet to consider deeply. Through this process you should determine the next steps and the time that will need to go into the preparation, research, and writing you have left to do.
Research is required for virtually every section of your business plan, whether it is immediately apparent or not. The competitor, customer, and industry analyses obviously rely on statistics and details about the current and projected situations your business will find itself in. Both first-hand and secondary research should support what you write in these sections. The marketing and operations plans should be based in knowledge of what the industry standards are for marketing and operations in the coffee shop industry, as well as new ideas that you bring to the table. The financial plan includes a lot of room for assumptions and estimates, but must be based in some real understanding of the costs you will be confronted with and the prices you can realistically expect to charge. Research through studying and talking to vendors and looking at competitors businesses is necessary here.
Research can be extremely time-consuming if you do not know where to look and if you try to develop your own data where data already exists. Speaking to experts in market research can be to your advantage. When it comes to costs, it is often to your advantage to do this legwork yourself, however, as you will be able to start relationships with potential vendors at the same time as you find out costs for your projections. This can save you time later on, since you will need to build those relationships personally at some point in order to launch.
With this planning and research done, the writing itself should be straightforward and present few surprises. The plan should include graphics and charts, cutting down the verbiage you need. A strong financial template in Excel can produce the charts and financial statements you need. Finally, proofread on your own as well as with the help of others who can offer fresh pairs of eyes on both the style and the content of your plan.
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