Why On Earth Would You Open A Cafe?

It’s incredibly hard work and statistically, few last long term

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Simple things can net massive results! Take this question for example, why are you opening a cafe?  What’s your main reason? If you haven’t really thought about it, you need to. You may be surprised by your answers.

Maybe you’re super excited or possibly you’re thinking that opening a cafe will be easy (it’s not by the way, so go find a better reason!). Either way, knowing why you want to open a cafe is critical to your long term success. There will be a day, no matter how much you love what you do, maybe years from now when you wake up and ask yourself, what the hell am I doing this for?

Maybe you’re sick of working for others and feel you have the knowledge to open your own business, or perhaps you love great food & coffee, or it could be that opening a cafe is your life’s dream.

Whatever your reason(s), knowing why you want to open and run a cafe helps to shape the entire business, from the products you serve, to the culture and brand created. Additionally, knowing your why, gives you a specific voice to communicate with everyone who encounters you business from the very beginning. Which is incredibly powerful!

When that day in the future comes, when you wake up and ask that question “why oh why am I doing this?”, you will have the answers to help push through the natural barriers, as the business matures and grows.

Here is a strong process to help nail why you want to open a cafe.

  • Start asking yourself why you feel you want to open a cafe
  • Write everything you think of onto a white board or piece of paper
  • What would its primary aim be or what is its purpose?
  • What is your drive and motivation? (Will your reason be sustainable long term? If not keep digging)
  • Why will staff and customers be attracted to you? What makes you different or better?
  • Keep digging and uncovering the layers to find your core reasons
  • Once you have a list cut it down to 3 -5 key reasons

The next step is to Create your Why document

  • Start with… I am opening a cafe because… your reasons and motivations.
  • Next write about what the business primary purpose is
  • Finally, explain How you will achieve it… state how you intend on making your cafe become a reality

The final piece is to reconnect to your why each day. If you find you’re off track or feel out of kilter you may have revisit this process so you can re calibrate your major reason why you are running cafe.

A lot of owners fall into a trap of doing the work and just grind day after day. They often feel they have fallen out of love with the business because they lost the reason for opening. This is one of the major reasons why so many cafes don’t last long term, the owners are burnt out and lose the passion for why they opened in the first place.

Let’s recap the key takeaways

Knowing your Why is a great reminder for the reason you started (or are starting) a cafe in the first place. It’s particularly helpful if you find you’re off track at some point in the future and to help you get back. The additional benefit is that you will be able to quickly realign with your Why and make any changes to the business if it is off track. Note: the business is usually off track if you are, so its important to start by taking time to get away and realigning with your Why again.

For more information check out theses two resources.

Here is a powerful TED-X talk, Simon Sinek – Start With Why

Highly recommended reading The E-Myth by Michael E Gerber.

So…Why are you starting a cafe? Do let me know in the comments section below, or you can join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.