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8 Essential Tips for Owning a Regional Café Business

With a growing number of small business owners choosing to open up shop away from the city, the benefits of owning a café business within regional areas have become more and more prominent. With this in mind the expert team at Jamaica Blue™ have come up with some crucial tips for owning a café business in a regional area, allowing you to embrace these benefits and optimise your café’s success!

1. Community matters. At the heart of a regional café business is its community. It is important to be involved in your local community, as maintaining and growing your regular customer base is essential for business growth. A genuine and friendly manner can get you a long way in a regional town, bringing with it various benefits including the trust you build up within your community, free marketing via word of mouth, inclusion in local events such as fairs or fundraisers and most significantly, a strong and loyal customer base.

2. Location, location, location. How crowded is your local café market? How many direct competitors will you have? It’s important to stake out a great location that’s central within your area, but also consider the competition. If there are already a few cafés in your local centre, is there another part of the centre that could suit a café or new development being built? Consider the site you want and ask yourself, was there already a café in the site previously? Why did it close? How can you differentiate with your café and give the community something better and more suited to the area? If you don’t assess your market and your community thoroughly enough, you will find yourself competing aggressively with competitors that could have been avoided with the proper site selection.

3. Business life span. Research suggests that the lifespan of a small business in a regional area is, on average, 30% longer than those operating in metropolitan areas. Regional businesses tend to operate on average for 10 years, while city counterparts only make it to 7 years, which is a huge advantage for regional areas. With closeknit communities and the opportunity for an engaged, loyal customer base, a café business has the opportunity to flourish in a regional area.

4. Consider your commute. On average Australians spend approximately one hour every day on their commute to work; which is likely to double for those working in the city. That works out as at least 10 days every year just driving to and from work. By owning a café business close to your home, you can save yourself heaps of time from your daily commute, and, not to mention, money spent on petrol and trains, allowing you to focus on what is important; your family and your business.

5. Network. Before opening your café business interview other local business owners to understand what it’s like operating a business in the area. Make sure you’re going into this with your eyes open and speaking with other business owners will help you to understand what’s involved in running a café business of your own. Also, undertaking this kind of research gives you insight into your market, allowing you to target your promotions and adjust your menu accordingly to the tastes and needs of your area.

6. Determine your business goals. As with any new business, it is important that you are clear on what you want to achieve from it. What are your main reasons for investing in a Jamaica Blue café business? Will you work in the café day to day? What are your financial goals? Ensure you know the answers before proceeding so the result is in line with your goals.

7. Talk to your family. Opening a new business will not only have an effect on you, but also your family. Ensure they are on board with the decision and believe it’s in your best interest, both financially and from a lifestyle point of view. Initially, it will cost you time and money and having your family’s support is crucial when first starting out. Also, consider how your business demands may affect work/life balance and make sure you plan together to ensure all parties are happy.

8. Ask for help. In addition to the support needed from family and friends, an essential component to running a successful business is support on a professional level. Choosing a franchiser like Jamacia Blue provides you with incredible support, both initially and ongoing such as:

  • site selection
  • store design and construction
  • comprehensive training
  • marketing and IT systems

With all operational and business training provided, you will be competent to run all aspects of your café from making award-winning espresso, to serving fresh, classic dishes with a twist, to hiring and training staff, running your books and marketing your café in the area. With an established business model, Jamaica Blue has over 80 franchised locations serving loyal customers throughout Australia.