Maven Business Plans

How to Start A Coffee Shop With No Money

The Million Dollar Question: How to Start A Coffee Shop With No Money

We know that all businesses need at least an initial capital to startup. But what if an entrepreneur doesn’t have a startup capital and still planning to open a coffee shop? Many aspiring entrepreneurs are curious to learn about the topic to start a coffee shop with little or no money. The question is bit surprising…

In US, people drink coffee every day. According to survey, approx 500 billion cups of coffee are sold annually, worldwide. No doubt, opening a retail coffee shop is a profitable business idea. However, launching it without money is going to take a great deal of hard work.

Below we have summed up all the useful information a person might need to start coffee shop with no money. 

Let’s dive straight in.


As said, “Failure to plan means planning to fail.” First and the foremost, a business owner must have a solid business plan. Create a plan that accounts for the financing options, accounting estimates (year-wise), and how much revenue will be generate over the first year, etc. Furthermore, a person needs to determine average monthly sales and break-even point. Remember, there is no substitute for a detailed business plan.

Co-op (cooperative)

This is known as one of the oldest ways to open any business with no money. 

Again, a successful co-op requires a business plan that highlights; a sharing of responsibilities, investment and profit contribution, and a willingness to move ahead in making coffee shop successful.

Money, expertise, and accurate planning are the key ingredients of a successful business. When brought together, it does wonders. An entrepreneur may have valuable expertise/skills that are worth more than money. While he or she is looking for money to start a shop, someone with the money might be searching for the experienced person to partner with. In the past, we have come across thousands of scenarios like this that a person with money has:

  • No experience
  • No relevant skills
  • Not enough courage
  • Not enough time to plan 
  • Not enough motivation

In this method, a person works with resourceful individuals who collaborate to help make a dream come true. These co-ops have initial capital to invest in the business and in return, they earn a certain percentage (fixed) of the profit.

How to find potential business partners? 

  1. Your own network
  2. Friends and family
  3. Your network’s network
  4. Online (Cofounderslab or other platforms like LinkedIn, Reddit, etc.)
  5. Co-workers
  6. Events (networking events, conferences, fairs, meetups)

There’s danger in having 4 to 5 or more decision makers as it will become difficult to bring all of them together. In short, a person will need to determine who would be good silent partners. 

Join Up with another Running Business

Food businesses are everywhere. What an entrepreneur can do is to search for a small space, in that business area, that could accommodate coffee maker and other equipment––to initiate. 

A customer who walks in to get burger might also purchase coffee from you. This is called piggybacking. It means on the success of another business, a new coffee shop owner can reach a huge clientele easily. Likewise, there are many small coffee shop owners who set up an espresso bar on their premises. 

Go Online

These days the most affordable business is one that exists on the Internet. What a coffee shop owner needs to do is to set up a website, facebook page and ads, and start selling coffee online. 

How to start online coffee shop?

  • Choose online niche
  • Choose website domain and hosting
  • Research venders (one who provide quality products)
  • Checkout coffee shop websites and social media pages that are already established and have gained huge fan following.
  • Determine short and long-term goals.

Moreover, a person can take advantage of sites such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter to spread the word about the brand. It’s quite cheap. However, the competition is high. Once online café starts earning revenue, a person must open a retail coffee shop too. 


Crowdfunding offers considerable advantages over other funding methods or traditional business loan. It doesn’t ask for a good credit to receive money, plus, a person will build up a potential clientele from those who invest together in coffee shop business. However, raising money through this method can be difficult. Keep this in mind.

A business owner can also search online crowdfunding platforms including but not limited to Kickstarter, Fundable, and others.

10 Pro Tips to must follow

  • Look for the opportunities
  • Think out of the box
  • Learn from other coffee shop owners
  • Avoid their mistakes
  • Get the advice from experts
  • Research hard about the industry
  • Learn to develop a business plan
  • Save time and money
  • Don’t rush
  • Get yourself the confidence and start small 

Wait and Save

Basically, the less capital an entrepreneur have initially, the more there will be a need to plan and prepare to startup a coffee shop. 

If none of the above options fits right for you – start saving money and open a shop with your own capital!

  1. Leverage all income sources – salary, freelance, cashbacks, passive income (if any), and everything else;
  2. While you wait to accumulate initial capital, it is advisable to work on coffee shop’s website. A site must be professional so it would be great if a person takes an expert help.

Last words

Finding the money can be a challenging task. In the beginning, you might want to give up but there is no success without hardship. However, even with the best website and business plan, it probably will not be easy that your coffee shop will get success. There’s no guarantee.

So, next time if you think “how to start a coffee shop with no money” give it the try, work hard, plan thoroughly, and prepare for both success and failure. 

Thank you for reading! 

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