Billions of people across the globe choose to have a cup of coffee each morning to start the day or as a morning work break but coffee has become more than just a drink. Coffee has become an ingrained part of various cultures and coffee shops can be found in most every city around the world. It is little wonder that coffee ranks among the world’s largest commodity markets second only to oil (“Dangerous Grounds: About the Show”, 2013).
Given diversity and competition in the market, the small startup company of Custom Coffee & Chocolate will require a clear mission statement, detailed business analysis, and tactical plans that will help it to increase market share within the Seattle community. A mission statement describes a company’s fundamental purpose and how that company is unique within its product and services offerings. In writing of the company’s mission, each word must be carefully selected for consistency and there must be a commitment from the stakeholders to focus resources in the accomplishment of this mission (Ireland & Hitt, 1992).
Bonnie Brewer and Stacy Kim have passed a milestone having developed regular customers within the five months of opening the first coffee house. As a statement for moving forward, “Custom Coffee & Chocolate’s mission into the community is to provide the highest quality, socially ethical coffee and chocolates while serving to keep the Seattle community connected and invigorated. ” The next step towards developing a tactical business plan is to identify internal strengths and weaknesses as well as external opportunities and threats. A common challenge among small startup companies is finance.
Within the first six months, Brewer and Kim have exhausted both their savings and initial small-business loan placing the company in a precarious position. For further development of the business, these proprietors will need to seek further investment capital through another partner, reduction in salary, or incur more debt with another small-business loan. Being located near a university is a strength that entails a surrounding population that is educated and can appreciate socially and environmentally sustainable coffee and chocolate.
Coffeehouses for this type of customers are not only a place to purchase caffeine but also a social gathering place for study and recreation. Many coffeehouses are able to differentiate themselves from larger chains such as Starbucks by creating a more inviting environment that encourages guests to stay longer and experience the ambiance (Grant, 2005). Custom Coffee provides currently provides quality product but needs to improve the service it provides to the area. Companies such as Starbucks, Tully’s, and Seattle’s Best have made their starts in the Seattle community and in some cases grown to be national and multi-national organizations.
In some cases such as Tully’s coffee, the competition was too much and have gone into bankruptcy (“McDreamy’ saves Seattle coffee chain,” 2013). The tactical plan for Custom Coffee & Chocolates will comprise of two milestone events. Within the first year, the company will take out another small-business loan to improve its utilization of technology. The store will install high-speed wireless for its guests as well as invest in improving its website and web search analytics. Brewer and Kim will implement an in-dorm delivery service while also standardizing hiring and training practices for the new, part-time staff that will be required.
The hours of operation will be lengthened to better serve students’ late night study habits as well as an increase in marketing to the university clubs and organizations. This will lead into an event schedule that may include coffee and chocolate tastings as well as an open mike night. The goal of these changes will result in the company being financially stable within the first year and better positioned for expanding into a few other locations within the second or third year. In conclusion, a company must identify its reason for existence, analyze the market, and then make a plan based on both that mission and market analysis.
The Custom Coffee & Chocolate store has many challenges that lay ahead but with clear vision and planning, it is positioned to become an ingrained part of Seattle’s university communities having successfully passed the first six months of operation. A key to this success will be for the company to focus into a niche where many of the nationally franchised coffee shops lack (Grant, 2005). Custom Coffee will exceed with socially and environmentally responsible products as well as providing a friendly, social gathering point for the local community.
Courtney from Study Moose
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