Company culture and the success of your new business.
There is so much to think about when starting your coffee shop business, or any business for that matter, that it's easy to overlook vital areas in the planning and pre-launch stages. A crucial element that is often overlooked is that of culture.
Your business is a representation of you. It is vital that you understand what culture you want to instil in your business, to be able to hire the best staff that suit your environment and that attracts the customers you want. To create a business that you are proud of and represents you and your brand.
So, you've already designed your space. You've researched the neighbourhood. You've selected your coffee partner. You know what equipment you want to buy. You know what you like and what is important to you. You know why you have started this journey to open your first coffee shop. What have I missed?
Culture is your ethos, your environment, your staff, your style, your coffee programme, your training programme, your staff's development and training plans, your management style, your service style, your staff's uniform or style guide, your rewards and benefits, your payment structure. You must know what you are offering before you start looking and hiring staff. You must be clear from the outset otherwise you lose the opportunity to build strong, happy and lasting staff relationships.
The best place to start is the look and feel of your coffee shop. Are you going for comfortable and relaxed? Industrial and striped back? Community focused or student/work focused?
Who is your ideal customer and what do they look like? Are they young and trendy or more corporate? Do you want to have a space for families? Is it inner city or a residential neighbourhood?
Start answering these questions and you will begin to understand what culture and style you need to foster in your organisation to be successful in your chosen location. You will then be able to find the right people to fit your business. From there you can start really building your brand and shouting about it.
Some examples to consider could be:
Are you opening in a neighbourhood? If so, your cafe will need to benefit the local community. Your culture will need to focus on friendly, chatty staff who enjoy getting to know regulars. Your space will need to accommodate families and be welcoming to mums and babies. Encourage local residents to use the space to host events and if you have creative members of staff, make sure they are encouraged to take on the planning and hosting of events.
If you are opening in a downtown city centre location, then you should consider prioritising fast and efficient service above all. Hire people that also prioritise this more formal style of service, over the more relaxed. The space and furniture will need to reflect this faster pace, so ensure you maximise seating, have great Wi-Fi and lots of charging points.
Wherever you decide to open your shop, you must always ensure you understand the impression you want to make to prospective customers and staff. The best way to do this is to write your Company Handbook. This will help you really focus on your style and allow you to confidently communicate this to your prospective staff. It will also let you build a suitable team with the right skills and attributes to thrive in your business.
There is so much to organise when opening a new coffee shop. If you are looking for additional support, we specialise in project managing new cafe launches. We help with equipment selection and installation, menu development and coffee programme creations - freeing up your time to focus on your company's culture and nailing hiring the right staff. Should you need help in these areas as well, don't worry, we cover those too.
Get in touch to see how we can help.