Tips for Starting a Successful Coffee Cart Business

Coffee has been more of a necessity these days. With busy work schedules and pending deadlines to beat, it’s not uncommon for most of us to crave a good cup of cappuccino regardless of the time in the day. You’d consider yourself lucky if you have a mobile coffee cart situated nearby your office for your convenience – but even if you don’t, the drive is strong enough to make you take a 5-minute stroll outside to buy iced mocha at the nearest coffee shop.

Conveniently served coffee (commonly in a coffee push cart or mobile coffee) is now extremely popular in Singapore. With the increasing number of the workforce, the demand for coffee also takes on a surge at the same time. Because of more consumers and avid coffee drinkers on the daily, it’s not a surprise to see more businesspeople venture into the field and open a stall or two in strategic locations.

Other than mobile carts, coffee catering also proves to be a convenient coffee source. Whether it’s for a team meeting or a symposium, it leads your coffee cart business endeavor up and running. There are still several locations scattered throughout SG which lacks a convenient coffee source. If you’re seeking for a timely and appropriate business investment, then starting a coffee cart might be a good idea.

The success of your mobile coffee cart doesn’t just happen within the blink of an eye. There are also other factors you need into account for your business to be a success – such as right prices, strategic location, varied products offered, and excellent customer service. You also need to have a capital to start your business with.

If you only serve one coffee item on the daily, your customers might get bored at some point. They might soon resort to finding another place which gives them more varied coffee options. Remember that not everyone likes to drink latte every day, or a blended iced coffee for that matter. Make your Singapore mobile coffee cart menu option a little more varied – with at least 3 to 4 coffee items to choose from.

There is no need to get overwhelmed at the prospect of opening a coffee cart. Since it is smaller and less complicated than running a coffee shop, you have increased chances of leading the business endeavor into success. The most important thing is that you know what you’re doing every step of the way. With that, here is a quick checklist for starting your own coffee cart business:

1. Choose a strategic location
Often overlooked, choosing a strategic mobile coffee cart location is considerably the most important aspect to the success of your business. First, the chosen location must be convenient and popular. If there are a lot of people who pass by the area, you’ll have lots of potential customers who will gladly pay you for a nice cup of coffee.
There’s adequate customer traffic at public spaces like the office, malls, dry cleaners, service stations, hospital lobbies, and supermarkets. You can also opt to have your cart inside hospitals and government buildings – since these two are prime and stable locations for people who need coffee.

2. Secure the necessary permits, such as tax and food handlers
You wouldn’t want to get into trouble with the law once your coffee cart business begins to boom. In starting any business, there are various permits you must first secure and register. Ensure that you’ll meet the standards for any health-related permits considering this might affect the reputation and sales of your coffee cart business. The same thing applies for coffee catering, since you’re serving tens and dozens of people all at the same time.

3. Locate your supplier
No coffee cart runs on zero supplies. Before you decide on a drink to offer your customers, it would be better to first try various coffee and espresso mixes and have your trusted friends and family offer you their honest take on the drink. Taste tests matter since it’s important to figure out the right drink which will easily get your customers hooked.

Consider the right coffee bean as the foundation of your business. You have to locate a nearby coffee supplier to regularly update the items in your inventory. Also, be consistent in the preparation of your drinks. Customers need to know they can count on your coffee cart to give them that very same delicious drink every time they need it.

4. Come up with a business plan
The success of your coffee cart endeavor relies on a strong, solid foundation in the form of a concrete business plan. It is important to determine your set goals, financial forecasts, expected obstacles, and business funding so you’ll know the direction in which you intend your business to take. Document your initial start-up costs (supplies cost and machine fee) along with constant costs (disposable supplies and monthly rent) so you can determine if you’re making profit in the long run.

Also, as much as it’s encouraged to set goals for your coffee cart business endeavor, make sure that they’re concrete and attainable. No good will ever come of setting ambitious goals that’d be too unlikely. Start small and go steady.

5. Purchase supplies
After determining what type of coffee drink you intend to serve and which space is more conducive for sales, it’s time to purchase your first supplies. Have a storage ready to protect these supplies from damage and spoiling. There are a variety of coffee cart stands and kiosks available in the market, choose one that will bring more advantage to you and your potential sales. Some of the necessary supplies you might need are the following: a grinder, espresso machine, utensils, coffee cups, and napkins.