How to scale your café business

As we welcome the new year, more and more companies are pivoting to adapt to the new normal and thinking of ways to reach new heights. 

According to McKinsey, “2021 is likely to be the year when the world transitions to the next normal.” Scaling up your business during this time can be difficult, but it will help you attract a wider audience and markets, leading to more sales and profits. 

If you plan to scale up your business this year, you should first decide what scaling means for you. Is it opening up a new location, expanding your current one or including catering and deliveries? 

If you’re looking into business expansion, here are five steps you should follow to scale your café business the smart way. 

 

 

How to scale your café business

 

Step 1: Ask yourself, “Am I ready to scale up my business?”

Before scaling up your coffee shop, take a look at your business and do your research. It’s also important to ask yourself these questions:

  • Is demand high enough? 
  • What do I want to do uniquely in the new location? 
  • Will opening up a new branch help me achieve my business goals? 
  • Does my business have enough people and the necessary systems to handle the expansion?

Some business owners focus more on expanding and often forget to ensure their existing products and services are substantial. If you have a lot of things to improve or optimise within your current business, then chances are it’s not the right time to scale yet. 

Don’t attempt to scale unless you’re currently nailing the first version of your business. This is where planning and business mapping takes place. Your business map will show where you are in terms of customers, competitors and market. It encourages you to define your business purpose and anticipate what will happen in the future.

Take a look at the bigger picture and know what’s your end goal. Then, figure out what strategy will help you get there.


Step 2: Make sure you have the budget

Money is a crucial part of a business, and scaling is accompanied by increased costs and financial challenges. If you’re planning to open a new location, for instance, you have to rent a new space, invest in equipment and hire new employees. None of this comes cheap.

You might be fortunate enough to be in a position where your existing location has been doing well, allowing you to fund your own coffee shop’s expansion. However, if that’s not the case, you need to raise the money and find more options. 

Since you’re already in the business, you have an advantage when it comes to opening up your new location. It means you can attract investors and pitch with actual figures rather than projections. 

Alternatively, you can also attract investment via crowdfunding. You can do this by posting your business idea in your chosen crowdfunding website. Through this, people can support your campaign by donating cash in exchange for rewards or shares to help you achieve your goal.



Step 3: Find the right location

The third step is specifically for those café owners who define scaling as opening a shop in a new location. If you’re convinced that you need a second location for your business, you need to do market research to help you find the perfect spot.

Location is critical when it comes to business expansion. It’s the one element that’s hard to change once you’ve decided to scale. You can change your menu and hire a new set of staff, but it’s not always cost-effective to change your location.

When choosing a location, you need to have a deep understanding of your target market. This includes demographics, income level, their needs, wants and pain points. It’s essential to identify these things to assess how your second café’s location will work for you.

Besides the place, you also need to discover what you can do differently in your new shop. For instance, if you’ve done your market research and identified that there are a lot of vegans in your new location, maybe you can offer more vegan options. 

Always remember that it’s necessary to work out what your new location offers you. If it allows you to do something unique, take it and think outside the box. 



Step 4: Hire new people and train them

You and your existing employees can’t be in two places at once. As a business owner, you might feel that you need to be hands-on and do everything. But let’s be real, you need to find more people to help you run the show. This will allow you to focus more on growing your business. 

Many people are looking for job opportunities during the pandemic. You can take advantage of this opportunity and hire them. Look for people you can trust and make sure they are well educated on your café’s concept and how to prepare your products. 

You can also help your employees offer a fulfilling experience for customers by providing staff training. Help them develop their skills and become more confident in doing their jobs. A well-trained staff is vital to your business success. It’s also one of the most efficient ways to boost customer satisfaction.



Step 5: Find the right supplier

The last step you need to consider when scaling up your café business is to look for a supplier who will cater to your needs. This is very important, especially when you’re opening a new store in a different location.

Explore and partner with a supplier who can help you provide high-quality products to your consumers and has shipping options available in your new location. Keep in mind that aside from finding the right place and hiring excellent staff, the quality of your coffee beans, milk, condiments, and even cutlery is one of your top priorities. 

Suppliers like The Café Supplier can also help you when it comes to business improvement and growth opportunities. We will guide you on what areas of your café business need to be optimised or further developed so you can scale sustainably. 


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Are you looking for a supplier to help you in your business expansion? Contact us here.


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