So, you’re a coffee lover and an entrepreneur who is thinking of opening their own independent coffee shop. You like the idea of having your own cafe where you can create fun coffee drinks and connect with your community. It’s the kind of business plan that dreams are made of, but you’re not sure if it’s a wise investment or not.

Choosing to open a business always comes with risks. Deciding whether or not it’s worth those risks depends on a number of things. There is a lot to consider before opening your own coffee shop, and below we will look at some of the questions you should ask yourself.

How’s the Competition?

One thing to consider is where you live and the competition you will be facing. More urban areas tend to have a lot of cafes and coffee joints, while rural areas might be wishing for a good one to go to. That’s not to say that you will fail in an urban area, but you will definitely have more pressure to be unique and stand out among the crowd. You will need to give people a reason to come to you rather than the other coffee shop down the street.

What’s Your Start-Up Budget?

Business start-ups can be costly. You have to buy or lease a building, get supplies and coffee accessories, turn on utilities, fund promotions, and more. You could be spending anywhere from $25,000 to $375,000 depending on the kind of shop you plan to open. Small kiosks will cost considerably less than large sit-down cafes. You should consider how much you have saved and what you will be able to get through a loan.

Can You Afford Supplies?

This sort of falls into your start-up budget, but let’s take a closer look at it. You will need a lot of coffee accessories to get your business going. Items like cups, stir sticks, lids, mugs, filters, coffee machines, flavoring syrups, and more will be on your list. There are ways to save on items like this by purchasing in bulk and using paper to-go cups. You can also draw customers in with eco friendly choices such as wooden stir sticks. Look for avenues that offer quality items for affordable prices.

What Makes You Stand Out?

What do you have the other places don’t? What will make your coffee shop and coffee accessories stand out above the rest? It could be as simple as living in a town that doesn’t have a good coffee shop, so you will be the main attraction. Or it could be that you offer more than just coffee and cafe foods, such as art galleries or local music. In order to succeed in the world of business you have to have some kind of edge.

Taking time to consider these questions will not only tell you if starting an independent coffee shop is right for you, but it help you form a business plan. It will dissect your business and force you to look at the ins and outs of the start-up process. If you feel like you have what it takes after going over these concepts, then you are probably good to get moving on your new business.