coffee shop business ideas

5 Low-Cost Coffee Shop Business Ideas

Starting a coffee shop can be expensive. It can be open with a minimum amount of ten thousand dollars or may go to $250,000. These hefty estimates can stop most new coffee business owner’s right in their tracks. 

However, there are still some smart ways to start a coffee shop with low investment. Continue reading below!

What are the basics of coffee shop business ideas?

To start a coffee business with a low amount, the person needs to bring something unique. The secret lies among these 4 things. 

  • Be creative
  • Be Bold
  • Understand the market
  • Have good networking skills

The rule is to brew, serve, and get paid for it! For this, a person must  

  • Start an online coffee business
  • Establish a coffee cart
  • Open a mobile coffee shop
  • Coffee shop drive-thru
  • Piggyback your coffee shop

Online Coffee Shop business 

Social media has encouraged many people to start a home-based business online. This is probably the easiest and cheapest way to make revenue. It does cost some money, like running Facebook and Instagram ads, but not much. However, all of the same planning requires in starting an online coffee business.

  • Make a smart business plan. 
  • Get ideas for marketing products/services.
  • Be prompt when replying to customers.
  • Competitive pricing.

Starting an online coffee business is the best way to gain customer confidence in the brand, and indeed it’s cheap too. The secret is to get people excited about your drinks so that when you’re ready to open a shop, you already have a good customer base. 

This isn’t going to be a place where a business owner will be selling freshly made coffee; obviously, he needs to take care of its packaging that must keep the drink fresh for long. 

Moreover, a coffee owner must keep his online business too, though. It’s a cost-effective approach that one can continue to earn revenue from. Plus, it will make a coffee business to reach more people in the market.

Open a Coffee Cart

In this option a person will have to pay more than starting an online coffee business but is still affordable. On average, it’ll cost somewhere around $20,000 or maybe less to get it running.

To start, he needs to have the cart or kiosk, consumable supplies, and any state/local permits. 

Remember, coffee shop business ideas will bring business if a person has the right location. For this, make sure there are busy roads and plenty of traffic. Places that are considered right to set up shop are:

  • Shopping centers
  • Theaters
  • Colleges and universities
  • Large stadiums
  • Hospitals
  • Event centers
  • Business and technical centers
  • Train stations
  • Airports
  • Family entertainment attractions such as parks, museums etc. 

Just conduct good research searching for the perfect location. 

Transportable/Mobile Coffee Shop Business

Here comes the next low-cost coffee shop business idea. Get an electric/manual portable espresso machine, utensils, and storage bins full of ingredients needed to make tasty drinks. Put the items into the vehicle and get a clean counter space at the venue a person has an agreement with.

Another way to start a transportable coffee shop business is by using a food truck. Well, the option is a bit hefty rather than just walking around with equipment in a car but still the option is quite inexpensive as compared to opening a café.

It might cost around $30,000-$60,000 to set up a food truck coffee shop. The cost includes; cost for the truck, equipment, the licenses require starting a business. Moreover, the business owner will need to decide if he will have to hire anyone to run this operation. It just depends on the startup cost and how many hours the business plan to be open.

Coffee Shop Drive-Thru Stand

A drive-thru coffee shop is another low-cost business option. In this case, there’s no seating area for the public. A person can arrange stands like picnic tables but it really up to the owner whether he wants to provide those or not.

The key point is that a coffee shop drive-thru business requires no big space to operate from. Just get the room for equipment and a little preparation space to make menu items. 

The most essential key to set up a successful drive-thru coffee shop is having the right location. Look for a busy route where the students are going to and from universities and schools. Likewise, busy business districts and places like large shopping areas are good. 

Overall, the cost to open a drive-thru stand could be anywhere around $35,000 to $80,000. 

Piggyback the Coffee Shop

Piggybacking (take advantage of another business) the coffee shop of another business means the person will set up his shop within the walls of someone else business. This set up is very beneficial to both businesses if done right. 

The coffee shop owner will get the benefit of an established business customer base too. This happens when people who are already coming to the other party will sometimes decide to buy beverages from the coffee shop and vice-versa. 

In this option, the possibilities are endless for both parties because they are helping each other. Who doesn’t want to have a win-win situation? Of course, it will save money and is beneficial for both parties. 

How to Raise Funds for Coffee Shop?

There are a couple of things a coffee shop owner can do to raise the money for his business. The options are as follows:

  • Utilize your savings
  • Loan from bank
  • Raise funds thru crowdfunding 
  • Get help from angel investors.

Last words

It’s true that opening a coffee shop business can indeed be an expensive endeavor. But, the ideas listed in this article will help many coffee owners plus other kinds of businesses out to start a business with less investment

Thank you for reading!

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