Buying a café can be a great way to break away from the 9-5 routine and become your own boss, but there are some critical factors to consider.
It’s renowned as an important factor in any business, but for cafes it’s even more critical. With a decent café in Wollongong on nearly every block customers aren’t going to drive/walk past too many to get to yours.
When you evaluate the location of the café for sale you need to consider the present and the future. Estimate the number of people who live or work within walking distance of the café, then allow for those who have to walk past another café of similar or better standard than yours. Observe how many people walk past the café for sale now with a coffee in their hand – these are your potential customers if you believe you can improve the offer.
Now consider what would happen if another high quality café was to open two doors down. Alternatively if you know of a new commercial or residential development about to happen work out how this will benefit your café. Be careful to check if the development is likely to contain a competitor café.
2. Fit-out Quality
Get a Wollongong Café Equipment specialist to come and do an equipment audit to let you know the likely replacement dates/prices of key equipment and schedule this into your business plan. Expect to undertake at least a cosmetic overhaul of the premises to create interest around the “under new management” phase. Try to find a café with a functional existing layout – structural changes are expensive, may have planning issues and can result in extended business down time.
3. Quality of Existing Café Employees
Whilst you can expect to change some staff it is often beneficial to keep some familiar faces on the team to keep existing customers happy. Look for bright eyes and straight backs – these are your motivated team members. It may be possible to re-motivate the existing team if you have good leadership skills. If you get the chance to talk to the staff before you buy the café ask them if they have been busy lately. If they respond enthusiastically to this eg- “flat out but that’s the way I like it”, then you’ve probably got a keeper.
4. Menu Gaps
Many cafes get stuck with a menu for various reasons. Often the owners are too busy to spot the new trends. Often a Sydney menu trend is yet to arrive in Wollongong cafes. If you can spot a gap in the menu it may be an easy way for you to add new customers after you buy the café.
5. Existing Promotions
Ask the café owners about their recent/current promotional activity. If they haven’t been doing any, or the quality is low then you have an opportunity to boost the business. Explore the social media profile of the café, especially their Facebook engagement.
Your Wollongong business broker will be able to help you when you evaluate a café for sale, but it’s even better if you can do some research of your own to find the best café available.
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