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6 Characteristics of a Successful Coffee Shop Owner

6 Characteristics of a Successful Coffee Shop Owner

6 Characteristics of a Successful Coffee Shop Owner
Executing your dream of opening a coffee shop requires a balance of mental stamina, entrepreneurial spirit and the right resources and characteristics to be transformed from just a vision into a successful, profit-driven business.

What does it take to be a successful coffee shop owner?

Beyond the tangible things such as funding, equipment and location, there are several distinct characteristics that are evident in all successful business owners. Here is a list of just a few of those qualities with a deeper dive into why they are vital for the growth and success of your coffee shop.


Coffee Shop Owners – 6 Characteristics for Success

Goal Oriented

An important characteristic many successful entrepreneurs have is the ability to adopt a goal-oriented mindset. This is also true for coffee shop owners.

Individuals driven by achieving certain results have a clear vision on what they are trying to accomplish, and develop a roadmap made up of short-term goals to achieve it. Long-term success is carefully taken into consideration every step of the way.

Successful entrepreneurs work through a set plan and strategy. They not only know what their next step is, but also measure and gage their success based on what goals have been achieved or not. This helps determine where there needs to be improvement to reach those end-goals.

Adopting this goal-oriented mindset can be a lot of work but is detrimental to the success of your coffee shop.

Start by asking yourself some of these questions to help in your plans and strategy of your shop:

        “What would I like to see my coffee shop grow and progress into in the next one, five, ten years?”

        “Do I hope to expand to more locations? Increase my customer base? Add new items to the menu?”

        “What steps do I need to take to accomplish this and in what amount of time?”

Once a goal is made and intentions are set, owners laser-focus on the task at hand in order to succeed and continuously grow their coffee shop.



Cash flow is the key to keeping a business afloat. Simply put, money matters. Just getting a coffee shop up and running takes a great deal of money but the need continues long after the grand opening. Successful coffee shop owners will consistently watch their numbers.

Developing a solid business budget can mean sink-or-swim for your coffee shop. You should keep close track of key information such as patterns of revenue, fixed costs and budget-pushing extras like equipment, decorations and marketing.

Forbes dives deeper into this topic in their article 10 Budgeting Tips For Your Business by explaining a budget doesn’t have to be seen as a negative, but rather “simple a guide to assist you in making better spending decisions, and it can be an eye-opening tool to identify areas for improvement.”

Once a budget is established, this information can help develop future goals, gauge the financial success of your business and pave the way for future goals that will grow your café.


Educate in the Craft

In a survey conducted by Hand Ground and Barista Magazine, it was concluded amongst coffee shop patrons, above all else, “quality coffee” was the most important factor in the success of a coffee shop.

So… how do you ensure you’re serving quality coffee?

Owners educated in coffee likely have knowledge in where to get quality beans, the technique that goes into pulling the perfect shot of espresso and what the newest trends in the world of coffee are right now. They know what consumers want and how the industry works.

Continue your coffee education at Coffee Fest ! Not only will you find educational workshops from industry leaders, you’ll be able to build your network with suppliers and other coffee shop owners.


Remaining Humble

Success is exciting! Taking credit for all your hard work is a must but maintaining humility is very important to the health of a business.

It’s true, there are plenty of extremely successful people who appear to be lacking a single humble bone in their body, to which the company culture and happiness of employees are greatly affected by that. Success is seldom achieved by one person, it’s generally a team effort.

Truly successful people are aware of their strengths but also in tune with their weaknesses. Through this ability, they continuously improve and grow themselves and their business.

Humble leaders tend to be more attentive to the people around them. By acknowledging an employee’s feelings about the company, or suggestions on where improvements can be made, ultimately makes for a happier work environment.

A study conducted by the Social Market Foundation found that happy employees are 20% more productive, and productive employees tend to equal a more profitable and successful business.

Remember, you can’t do it all on your own, you need those happy, hard-working employees to help run and maintain a successful shop.



An unquestionable truth in business, whether it be a small-town coffee shop or a business empire, nothing ever goes exactly as planned. The ability to be flexible and pivot at any given moment can play a huge role in success as a coffee shop owner.

The world we live in has ever-changing trends and uncertain circumstances. Staying on brand is important but a business with the flexibility to adapt to new trends and encourage innovation often takes the company to new heights.

The world of coffee is ever changing, new equipment and methods are developed and shared frequently and an owner willing to mold and shape their business with the trends in the industry has a better chance at success.

Flexibility is also beneficial when interacting with employees. Acknowledging each employee as an individual and recognizing and accommodating their different work styles, helps increase productivity which in the end benefits the business as well.



Social skills and communication benefit a business in more ways than one. The ability to engage with customers can lead to lasting relationships.

Coffee brings people together and providing quality drinks is very important but making a true connection with customers keeps them coming back.

A successful coffee shop owner is always marketing themselves. Interacting with new people and building relationships is a proven marketing strategy for the entire business as well as the owner. Advertising is great but one-on-one human connection has a lasting impact.

You never know what doors will be opened by striking up a conversation with the right person. Greeting and engaging with customers and employees makes for a warm, welcoming coffee shop and can make a huge impact on how a shop is perceived.


Successful Coffee Shop Owners

These are just a few characteristics of successful coffee shop owners. Not all of these may come naturally to you but working to develop these skills can contribute to the growth and success of your business.


This blog post was created by Prima Coffee! You can check our Prima Coffee’s Learning Center for more coffee education.

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