It Costs How Much to Open a Coffee House?

Have you ever indulged that little fantasy of opening a coffee house someplace? Maybe in a small college town or a trendy part of your city. A cool place to sit and relax in an atmosphere with a little edge and a musical score right out of your private collection?

Sound sexy?

You’re not alone, I thought about it too. However, the idea was short-lived once I understood the start- up and operating costs were way higher than anticipated, not to mention the ferocious competition.

According to experts at CrimsonCup, opening a small free standing, open air coffee cart or parking lot kiosk, will cost anywhere from $25,000 to $75,000! No music, no atmosphere. Just hand someone a cup of coffee out the window.

If you want something more robust, it might run closer to $250,000 for a stand- alone with a drive thru.

To set your sights on a name coffee franchise, you will need as much as $500,000 in start- up capital, with at least the same in cash on hand in reserve. That’s a million dollars!

With most franchise scenarios, corporate also takes monthly royalty fees on top of everything else.

Wow! Awfully steep for a mom just looking to break out of the 9-5.

Looking at it from the simplicity of risk and reward if you still have your heart set on coffee, unless you are prepared to dive in with the big guys, you are much better off adding coffee to an existing business such as a bakery or just about anything else.

It is much less risky.

There are good reasons the big chains are large and in charge. Financial resources and staying power.

If you are contemplating career or life changes and thinking about exploring franchise businesses, I’ve done a little checking.

There are businesses with entrance fees ranging from $10,000 to well over $2 million.

Truthfully there isn’t much below the $50,000 franchise fee threshold that sounds interesting or would allow the kind of flexibility you should expect from owning your own business.

They aren’t one of a kind, so they are competitive and you really have to work them hard in order to make much of a living.

At the other end of the spectrum, owning a fast food franchise can be very lucrative, however the initial investment and net worth requirement to own a McDonalds, KFC, Burger King, or, Taco Bell if you prefer, is staggering: It takes well above a million dollars plus at least that much in cash in the bank to meet minimum requirements.

I don’t think they ask for your personal net worth out of idle curiosity. You have to be prepared to risk it or draw upon it as a price of admission.

This article in Business Insider has more details here.

I’m not sure how appealing a big fast food restaurant or other national franchise business would be for women even though they are very lucrative.

Not that you couldn’t handle it if it were an option, it just seems that it would come at the expense of watching your kids grow up, and, perhaps doing something professionally that you were truly passionate about.

At closer glance, some ideas are better left to fantasy.

I went into a party business for under $20,000, less than half of what you would pay for a lower cost franchise.

There is no corporate office to answer to, no franchise fees, reserve requirement, or monthly royalty checks to anyone!

A weekend business afforded a full-time income working part-time, a flexible schedule to take care of the kids during the week, be involved in their activities, and avoid costly unwanted childcare expenses.

When you consider those savings plus the professional satisfaction and lucrative income enjoyed as a business owner, it has worked out well.

There is no doubt that if you look far and wide, you may find a jewel out there that isn’t completely obvious.

The Princess Tea Party business is fun, flexible, and lucrative. Now, with nearly 20 years of experience, I am helping other women achieve the same joy and satisfaction I have experienced by offering my “Business in a Box.” It is the exact road map I followed to start and operate a successful business made easy for those interested in the business for themselves. No prior business experience is necessary, and no franchise fees. Learn More Here

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