Before you start looking into hiring workers and employees there are a number of things you should do:

1. Research: Where exactly do you want to open your Cafe? Once you have determined this, you should scope out the competition in the area. If you are in a large city, like NYC, search a 3 t o 5 block radius from the area you want to be located. If you are in a smaller town, search the entire town. See what is lacking from the restaurants that are already there. I’m sure there are a lot of cafe’s in the area, what stands out as missing from them?

2. Start-up Costs: Once you have determined where you want your Cafe and your unique selling point, you need to determine how much money it is going to cost you to open this cafe/restaurant you envision. How much is rent? How much will the furniture cost? How much will it cost to get the place to look the way you want it? How many waiters and cooks and workers do you need? You should always expect that things will cost more then anticipated.

3. Business Plan to Raise Money and To Put Your Vision on Paper: Once you know exactly how much money you need for your business you are now in a situation where you can either go to the bank and take out a loan for the money you need  or you can raise money through angel investors and venture capitalists since the banks aren’t so quick to give loans during this current recession. This is the time that you write your business plan. Even if you have all of the start-up capital you need, it is recommended to write a business plan for yourself. To get your vision on paper and know what you need to do step by step and set goals for yourself. For some people this can be a long and tedious process and you may decide to hire someone else to write your plan for you. Either way this will help you raise the funds you need to start up and help you get all of your thoughts and visions for your cafe/restaurant on paper.

Once you have your business plan, you will be ready to go and raise money. Hopefully you will have some of your own money to put into this and therefore can begin the basic process – like renting a space.

There is a current trend in the VC industry right now that investors are putting their money in companies that have already started. While you are a start-up, it would be a good idea to begin the process, put in some of your own money and show investors that you are not only serious, you are willing to do whatever it takes to get your cafe/restaurant off the ground.

Written by Shosh Pincus

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