Is your independent coffee shop brewing up mediocre sales numbers? It’s time to give it a jolt.
In today’s coffee market landscape, independent java shops are attempting to stand out in the crowd. With Tim Hortons, Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts dominating the coffee business, it can be pretty difficult for any coffee shop to bring in the same amount of customers as the aforementioned do on a daily basis.
Although it may seem like a futile endeavor to compete with the likes of Starbucks, a growing number of consumers, particularly Millennials, want to support local mom and pop shop businesses, including coffee shops. It may take some initial investments to rejuvenate the business, but it is worth it in the long-term.
From Wi-Fi to a loyalty rewards program and an enhanced ambiance, patrons could soon dump their Tim Hortons cups in the trash and begin to visit your establishment to get their java fix for the busy Monday morning.
Here are seven ways to revive your independent coffee shop this year:
1. Wi-Fi & Charging Stations
It seems as if every single coffee shop, retail establishment, restaurant and any other type of business is offering free Wi-Fi nowadays. You shouldn’t be left in the dark. Although there are individuals that hoard tables and buy a cup of coffee and browse the Internet for two hours, it’s still a wise investment to make.
Also, charging stations have become common, too. Of course, since you’re an independent coffee shop, you should only permit customers to charge their smartphones, computers and other electronic devices if they spend $5 or more at any given time.
Not everyone will visit your coffee shop to relish in its ambiance for an hour, but many patrons will. This is why you should invest in an entirely different interior and exterior décor to impress customers. Unsure what to try? Well, anything that is sanitary, welcoming and comfortable. Also, you can welcome nearby artists to showcase their work, provide a television screen with the latest news (or old motion pictures) and soothing music like classical or jazz from the 1920s to the 1960s.
3. Loyalty Rewards
Let’s face it: offering loyalty reward cards is the simplest marketing technique there is. But it stills remains one of the most effective measures to bring in a steady stream of customers. By offering a free drink for every eight purchases or 10 per cent off your order when you buy 12 cups of coffee can give your business a shot in the arm.
4. Social Media
Everyone is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and every other social media outlet. So should your coffee shop. It’s best to utilize social networks to your advantage. For instance, you can offer special promotions – whenever you use the special word of the day when making your order you get a free cookie, for instance – company announcements and the latest news relating to the coffee market.
5. Basic Food Items
The rudimentary problem that so many coffee shops have, big and small, is the fact that they try to offer everything under the sun: soup, sandwiches, doughnuts, fries, chips and so on. You can offer food, too, but it should be simple things that are affordable and easy to make: muffins, doughnuts, cookies, etc.
6. Sell Other Stuff
Take advantage of the space you have by showcasing other items for sale, whether it’s coffee cups, clothing for the bitter winter weather or gift baskets. This can add additional revenues to your books.
7. Clean Bathrooms
Although it does seem like common sense to maintain a clean washroom, everyone knows that this is an area that a lot of places fail at. Instead of cleaning the bathroom once a day, try to clean it every hour, or whenever the foot traffic is slow. Be sure it’s sanitary, comfortable and stocked up. You don’t want to be depicted as a business that has a washroom as bad as Taco Bell.
Owning and operating a coffee shop is the dream of many people. Unfortunately, the market is already so crowded. However, if you’re in a city that doesn’t have much competition and you have the resources and ideas to become a success, then you should move ahead with your dream.
We salute you with a cup of java.
Photo by Katherine Lim via Flickr