Starting any business is not an easy task. Yet the rewards are more than worth it when the venture succeeds. The odds are always better when you take the time to look before you leap. With that in mind, here are some tips to guide you on how to start a coffee roasting business.
How to Start a Coffee Roasting Business: Step-by-step Guide
As a 300 million-dollar global business, coffee roasting can be a profitable pursuit. A market of that size is hard to ignore. Let’s go straight to the steps you should take to enter the business.
1. Learn all you can about coffee beans
If you want to get into the industry, you need to understand what you’re getting into. The coffee bean is a good place to start. There are a ton of varieties of the bean but only two, Canephora and Arabica, are available in large quantities and so are commercially viable. You want to make the big bucks, right? Go for what you can find an abundance of.
The two types of coffee beans I just mentioned have many varieties within their families, each with different flavors. The way it is processed can also affect the flavor. Other factors such as weather and altitude of the coffee farm also play a role. You can visit the farms and ask the owners or farmers all the questions about the product. Curiosity can help you learn so much more. It’s also a good quality to have when it comes to something you want to invest your time and money into.
Think about the interesting facts you have discovered in your lifetime. I mean the ones that you dug up yourself. Your eyes lit up in excitement when you found them. You tell them to your close pals with eagerness. It is extremely difficult to forget them because they have become part of you. Learning about coffee beans should be done in the same way.
Talking about doing, we all know that passion is what keeps us doing anything for a long time. We go against all obstacles and take risks to live our dreams. Small wins along the way and the bright future we see are the fuel that keeps us going. That is the kind of mindset to have whether you’re a beginner or a veteran.
2. Stay away from debt
A lot of people take a loan to kick-start a new business. While this can be a good idea, more often than not, it is a bad one. It is difficult to pay back money and interest owed when you’re still learning the ropes as a beginner. Unpleasant surprises will always come. If you have the pressure of debt hanging over your head, it will be harder to cope.
A better way is to use your savings to fund your new venture. You can also get cash from your friends and family members who believe in you and your idea. It’s better to start small and grow while learning than begin with a bang and go under quickly.
There are expensive rental spaces and there are cheaper ones. The cheaper ones will do just fine. The same thing goes for the roasting equipment. You should start with a less expensive one and learn to use it well.
You can also use affordable but creative packaging for your product. That’s a way to save money and still give your customers maximum satisfaction. All you need to do is find a reason for any packaging you choose and justify it by picking an appropriate brand name and message. This takes us to the next tip.
3. Choose your branding carefully
Branding has to do with the name, logo, idea, packaging, and messaging behind your business. But there is more. It also has to do with the impression your audience has about you and your business. This is why you must select your branding with all the care in the world.
Take Red Bull for instance. What comes to mind when you think about the brand? You remember their bold and daring nature. They sponsor Formula 1 races and expeditions halfway into outer space. Even their messaging says, “Red Bull gives you wings.” This a good example of being very clear about what you represent.
In the same way, you can dig into your personality and find one trait that connects with your coffee roasting business. It could be your ambitious nature or your hatred for rules. You can build on that and create an enterprise that captures those desires.
Of course, you’ll need to find out the kind of people your customers are and make sure that the personality trait you choose is in line with their expectations and desires. Naturally, this brings us to the customer.
4. Research the customer
Learning about the customer is probably the most important step to take. They are the ones that make you have a business in the first place. These same people will keep you afloat and profitable. It’s no surprise that people say the customer is king.
Your clients will include individual consumers, coffee shops, and other retailers. Find out what motivates them. Their fears, likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams also come in handy. If you figure out what they like about the products currently being sold and what they don’t like about them, you can make your product fit their taste.
You can also discover what they wish they could get in their coffee roast. This information could make you a ton of cash if it helps you create a product that makes their wish come true.
There will be so many different things your customers will want. Even though you should try, it will be impossible to give it all to them. Your focus should be your ideal customer. They are the most important part of your customer base and the people most likely to buy your roast and continue to do so. The largest number of sales will come from them.
Having said all that, no matter how good your roast is, some people will have objections to them. Some of them will have to do with you being a newcomer and the lack of satisfied customers singing your praises. To deal with this objection, you should do the next thing on this list.
5. Offer free coffee cupping lessons
Coffee cupping, also called cup tasting, is a well-established technique used to measure the quality of a batch of coffee. It is a way to identify the different flavors in the coffee grounds. You can help potential customers appreciate the variety of flavor notes you have on sale as well as their quality in this way.
Most people think all coffee grounds taste the same until they start tasting and comparing flavors. They learn that there’s a nutty taste in one, a chocolatey one in another, and fruity flavor in yet another. It’s like taking their taste buds on an exciting adventure!
Doing this will not only teach them about your product offerings, but it will also help them bond with you and your business and get them talking to their friends, family, and neighbors about your brand.
When you make people’s lives easier or more enjoyable, you generally get rewarded for it. In this case, your reward will be new clients coming to buy from you.
6. Have a business plan
This is a key part of any new venture. Having a plan prepares you to manage your risk and grow the business. Drawing up a plan forces you to do all the research mentioned earlier. It is what sets you up for success.
To begin, you will need to describe your business and your customers and their income level as well as how you intend to address their needs and wants. It will be helpful to do a SWOT analysis at this point.
What it means is a Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats assessment. It will help you focus on all the things that will make a difference in your new venture. It involves looking at the strengths of your competitors along with your strengths, the weaknesses of the competition together with your weaknesses, the opportunities in the market, and the threats to you and your competitors.
To accomplish this, you will need to do lots of online research, survey taking including directly speaking with your target audience face to face.
Whom will you employ to work with you in the business? What will be their roles and responsibilities? Those are also worth thinking about. It is also important to register your firm with the government. There are a lot of advantages you can get from doing that.
Your business plan should also list your budget, projected expenses, and income for the next one to five years. Investors looking to pump cash into your enterprise usually ask to see this document. This is another reason to take the time to write it.
No business venture is easy but drawing up a good plan and doing all the right things will make it easier and increase your chances of success.