Start A Coffee Shop Business – Building A Road Map Using The Plan-Do-Check-Act Process

If you have long dreamed of running a successful coffee business, your inspiration could have come from one of any number of places. Was it a favorite scene from an old movie whose setting was a quaint coffee shop? Maybe you have great memories of studying for finals at a favorite coffee bar. Your inspiration could be that you simply love the smell and taste of coffee – one of the most popular beverages in the world. Or, maybe you just have a nose for business and know a good thing when you see it.

No matter what your inspiration for starting a coffee business, in order to be successful you will need to fortify that passion for having your own coffee business with a solid, cool-headed approach. You need a road map to get you on the path to success. Otherwise, your dreams could end up becoming a very expensive investment that never gives you the return on investment that you expect.

Of course, your future coffee business success lies not only in the planning, but in the doing. And, any experienced business manager will tell you that success is never a destination, but rather a process.

Taking a cue from a well-recognized business management process called PDCA (also called the Deming circle, the Stewhart cycle, or plan-do-study-act), let’s review some key points required to build and execute on a road map to coffee business success. We’ll frame our thinking in terms of Plan-Do-Check-Act.

1. Plan

The planning phase of your new business is one of the most important, since it sets the tone for all of the future steps you will take. (Of course, as the PDCA process indicates, you will be revising your plan over time. But, the first steps you take are key).

The elements that you need to take into consideration for your plan include creating a sound business plan, creating a list of potential locations, designing your coffee bar layout, building a list of potential lenders, creating forecasting plans, and developing your menu.

Remember that all of the items included in the Plan phase should involve your setting targets – or measures – of success. In other words: how will you know if you are successful once you have taken taking each individual action? Be sure to set up concrete metrics that you can later use to evaluate the degree of your success. Remember, metrics can be both quantitative (numbers-based) and qualitative (value or quality-based).

2. Do

Next, it is time to start taking concrete actions. This is the Do phase of the cycle.

For your coffee business, this includes choosing a final location, purchasing your coffee bar equipment, designing your logo and branding materials, hiring contractors, ordering plenty of coffee and other products, and beginning your promotional efforts (both online and via more traditional marketing channels).

3. Check

After you have taken these concrete steps during the Do phase, it is time to check your results against the targets (or metrics) you set up during the Plan phase. This is, appropriately, called the Check phase.

How are you doing? What is working? What is not working? If it helps you to visualize your results, try recording your metrics and your actual results in a spreadsheet or on paper.

4. Act

During the Act phase of the 4-part PDCA process, it is time to evaluate the areas of your coffee business where you have fallen short of your target metrics. In particular, you will want to focus on analyzing the root causes of those shortcomings in your business so that you can continue the cycle back at the Plan phase. Next time around, you will have an improved plan for even better business results.

Each phase of the PDCA process is important, and the cycle itself is ongoing. You will need to get the details right. Be sure to get yourself and your staff trained at one of the top coffee schools in the country. This way, you can learn from experts who have helped hundreds of others like yourself to be successful in this competitive and exciting industry.

How to Set Up a Product in Your Online Shopping Cart

If you plan to sell your products or services online you will need an online shopping cart. By using a shopping cart, your website will be able to sell for you 24/7, even while you sleep! It will process transactions and store all the customer information for your records and future use. Using an online shopping cart also gives you the advantage of automating your business by allowing you to send autoresponders to your customers to thank them and provide more purchase details.

You have many different choices for which shopping cart to use. One of the most popular is 1ShoppingCart, which is what I will be referring to here. Once you have your shopping cart account, you need to create your products and link your website to your shopping cart. Read on for the steps to adding your first product in your shopping cart.

Step 1: Choose the option to create a new product.

Once you log in to your shopping cart account, you will be looking at your dashboard. From the choices along the top, click the down arrow on the one labeled “Products” and then choose “Add a Product.”

Step 2: Enter the details of your product.

  • The first tab is where you fill out all of the information on your product.
  • Enter the name and price of your product and be sure to check the box for “Active.” Those are the required items for your product. The other items in this section are all optional.
  • Add an image of your product.
  • Write a short and/or long description of your product to display on the cart page.
  • Choose an autoresponder to be sent automatically to your customers when they purchase your product.
  • Enter a SKU if your product has one or put the product into a category within your shopping cart for organizational purposes. For example, you may create a category called “E-books” or “Coaching Programs.”
  • Save your product and move on to the next tab.

Step 3: Choose your products settings.

  • If your product is on sale, specify the sale price and make that price active.
  • If you will be charging a different amount of sales tax or shipping for this product, you will enter it here. When you are setting up your cart you will choose your default tax and shipping charges, which will appear automatically for your products when you check the appropriate boxes. Don’t enter these amounts again here if they are the same as your default. The only time you will enter an amount in this area is if you are charging a different sales tax or shipping charge then your default, such as if you have one item that is heavier than your other products.
  • Check the box to calculate affiliate commissions if you have an affiliate program for this product.

Step 4: Get your product link.

  • Skip to the fourth tab labeled “Links.”
  • If you choose to specify certain URLs for your customers to be directed to during the buying process, you can do so here. If you leave these blank, the default pages will be used. The Destination URL is where you want to send your customers when they hit the “Continue Shopping” button in the shopping cart. The Thank You URL is the page you want your customers to see when they make a purchase. The Clear Cart URL is the page you want your customers to go to when they hit the “Clear Cart” button in the shopping cart.
  • Copy the checkout link and paste it in your website. You have two options for your buying process and whichever one you want to use will determine which link you choose. If you want customers to go straight from your website to the order form where they fill out their personal and payment information, you will use the “1 Step Checkout Link.” If you want customers to go to a cart page from your website, you will use the “2 Step Checkout Link.” This will send your customers to a page where they can review what is in their cart and choose to either continue shopping, checkout or clear the cart.

*Note: You will notice that there are other tabs I didn’t mention here. The above steps are required to set up a product. The other steps are more advanced and more detailed than I can cover in this article. I only covered the basic steps you need to know to get your products set up.

You have just created your first product in your shopping cart! It may seem confusing at first, but once you find your way around it isn’t bad. Now you can start making money around the clock!

Ecommerce Shopping Solutions – 7 Keys to a Successful Online Shopping Cart

An online shopping cart store is never born with a guarantee to sell from day one. Although, it is easier to set up an online store powered by an e commerce shopping cart than a physical store, it is not that easy to let people know about it.

To make your potential customers buy from your online shopping cart store, you need to have a definite plan in place and follow certain strategies:

  • Plan your product, plan for your customers
  • You should have a clear idea about the products, your potential customers and the present competition in the market. Before you start the store, you should evaluate all these and try figuring out your chances.

  • Make it easy to move around
  • Your online store should be easily navigable. From the home to the ‘thank you’ page (the page that a shopper will get once he completes a purchase) everything should be optimized properly and have uniform display. All offers, discounts, terms etc. should be clearly mentioned in your store. Anyone visiting your store should be able to locate a product easily. You may display banners, put information, give an aesthetic look – but what matters is the navigational flexibility of your store.

  • Be trustworthy
  • Your store should offer a secured interface to do any transaction. While shopping in your ecommerce shopping cart, your customers should feel that they are buying from a trust able source that would honor his/her privacy.

  • Offer multiple payment methods
  • You should offer various payment gateways in your ecommerce shopping solution store so that your customers can readily pay for the product. Try avoiding those payment gateways with limited credit or debit card processing facilities as enable for easy shopping cart.

  • Use the latest technology
  • Your ecommerce shopping solution software should use widely accepted technology platform such ASP.NET. As online shopping cart developed using ASP.NET technology will give a robust interface to run a scalable online retail store.

  • Give business-specific options
  • Avoid using off-the-shelf ecommerce shopping carts, which lack domain-specific functionality. Your shopping should have the necessary options to show all the features of your products. Your customers should get all information about your products very conveniently in your ecommerce shopping cart.

  • Be generous in giving discounts
  • Online stores are popular because shoppers get hefty discounts there. Set different discount parameters all across your online shopping cart; give freebies for a purchase over a certain amount; give quantity discount and so on. Above all, boldly display your discount offers on your home page!

Besides all these simple approaches – maintain a healthy customer relationship. Remember the key to successful management of an ecommerce shopping solution is in retaining your customers through excellent customer support!

5 Reasons To Choose Online Shopping

Ever since the creation of internet, the things we thought impossible were made possible because of it. One of them is internet shopping. In the past, there is only one option of shopping, which is, you have to go down to the physical stores to choose your stuffs and buy them there. But with the introduction of internet shopping, shopping at the physical stores is no longer the only way. Now you can also shop online to buy the products you want and have them deliver to your house. This can be done through the comfort of your own home. All you need is an internet line, a computer and an internet browser.

There are many reasons why you should choose shopping online. Below are the top 5 reasons that you should look at.

The first 2 reasons are you can save time and money. Shopping in a physical store means that you have to travel down to the place to buy. But with online shopping, you can save the time traveling. The only time spend is to switch on your computer and hook on to your internet line, which probably takes about 5 minutes. Also, if you want to compare prices with different stores, shopping online is the fastest way. All you need to do is enter the next website url to look at their selling price. If you shop at the stores, it will take you time to travel from one place to another. Since you will not be traveling when you shop online, it means that you will save money spend on travel expenses.

The third reason is shopping online gives up your limitation. You do not need to plan your day around the time that it takes to drive to a store. And this means any store. You could be shopping at an online store located on a separate continent and it will still take you less time to be perusing their merchandise than it would take you to drive to the corner store. Wherever the deals are, you can go there via the internet and take advantage of them.

The fourth merit of shopping online is there are almost unlimited inventories. In a physical store, there is only what is out on display, what they have in the back, and on rare occasions whatever items might be stored in a nearby warehouse. With shopping online, there is a good chance that you will find whatever you need. You hardly have to worry that they will run out of the item.

The last reason is the chances of getting cheaper price items that you want are higher. This is because the stores compete. They want your business. This is the same for physical establishments as is for online business. But for online stores, the competition is fiercer. If you are out shopping at the physical store, it will take time for you to travel to another store to check their prices, thus you may probably buy the product then and there. But with online shopping, you just have to press a few clicks on your mouse and you can easily go over to a competitor’s website. While this may be a challenge for these online businesses, it can spell big savings for you!

I hope that this has given you a greater insight on online shopping. You have a great time shopping!

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How to Go for Best Online Shopping Cart Software

There is absolutely no doubt on the fact that shopping cart is a genie that can do wonders to your online business. But, you need to take control of this genie so that you get the best shopping cart software which is user -friendly and also offers clients the ease of selecting and buying the products online. Besides being easy to use and loaded with user-friendly features, the online shopping cart software should also be having innate capabilities to manage any potential breakdowns or data loss. Again, you also need to know whether the online shopping software has all the features to offer your customers superb shopping experience. Practical utility online shopping cart software is the one which will offer your online customers with the best deals. The whole idea behind incorporating the software that works with Microsoft into your online ecommerce website is to make sure that your online business works in a profitable way.

Since there are several Microsoft online shopping software available on Internet, it is very necessary to find the right one for your online ecommerce business.

Shop and compare the features which are integrated in the shopping cart software. Some of the popular amongst these features include; sell or cross-selling functions, autoresponders, affiliate modules, quantity discounts or coupons and many more Let’s talk about each of these features to know more about them in detail.

Suggest Sell or Cross Selling feature in the online eCommerce shopping cart software will allow the customers to select the product which is entirely based on the customer’s shopping history. This product will be complementing the product which he/she may not otherwise find out there in the online product inventory listed on the ecommerce website. Moreover, in case the product is being offered at discounted rate, online customers will be attracted to buy them.

Quantity discounts and coupons are also offered in the online ecommerce store. With smart and effective ecommerce online shopping software, you will easily able to calculate the discount rates that are to be offered to the customers who plan to purchase the units. The discounts and coupons are offered based on the number of units which the online customer will buy from your ecommerce website. The affiliate modules in online shopping cart software provides you with the option to facilitate streamline communications, statistics, mange the sign up processes and significantly monitor the payments which you will make to the affiliates.

The online shopping cart software which comes with powerful integrated auto responder capabilities adds further convenience to your online business as you can easily streamline the operations and also maintain the contact list. What’s more, you will be following up the clients visiting your website and also the emails that you receive on daily basis.

Besides these basic features included in your online shopping cart system, it will be an advantage if your online shopping car software has other features like inventory tracking, stationery creation and management and also help you in sales tax calculation.

4 Reasons For Starting An Online Shop

The way of today’s economy is one of fragile uncertainty that makes putting your faith in the people who created the mess a little iffy. While it used to be one’s dream to find a job with adequate security to produce a long and profitable career, finding job security is starting to become more akin to discovering the Holy Grail. That’s why more people are taking to the web to carve their own path, or to at least hedge against the possibility of losing their jobs. Whether you want to create an online shop as a means to extra income, or you simply want to set out to make a name for your business, what follows are four reasons why you should quit putting it off and start doing it.

First, there is no end in sight to the unemployment situation. Who knows if companies will ever start using the large piles of money they’re nesting on to add jobs and create a more stable environment? Starting an online shop gives you the opportunity not to be a slave to someone else’s agenda. Finding the right products and services to sell is easier than you might think. The only reason more people don’t do it? They’re afraid to take a chance.

Secondly, you should open up your own online business because it places you in the position of making as much or as little as you need to to make ends meet. What you can’t do is give in to the get rich quick mentality. Like the old saying goes, most overnight successes are years in the making. To accomplish your goals, it will take hard work and effort. It will also take a complete understanding of your economic needs.

Thirdly, you should start an online shop because a reliable web host makes it easy and affordable to do so, limiting risk to as much or as little as you want. With a good plan, you can forget about safety worries, store maintenance, and even payment technology. There are plans to automate every aspect, so that the role you take can be more laid back than the one you have at your current job, where the boss is always around the corner.

Last but not least, creating an online shop gives you the opportunity to pursue passions that you’ve had your whole life. What is it that you always wanted to do? Train sky divers, sell used comic books, start your own writing business? Your online shop gives you a hub from which you can make your dreams and your passions into reality.

Create an online shop and break away from the rat race that has been getting you nowhere. You just might find the life you always dreamed of.

Save Money – 5 Reasons Why You Should Choose Online Shopping

Ever since the creation of internet, the things we thought impossible were made possible because of it. One of them is internet shopping. In the past, there is only one option of shopping, which is, you have to go down to the physical stores to choose your stuffs and buy them there. But with the introduction of internet shopping, shopping at the physical stores is no longer the only way. Now you can also shop online to buy the products you want and have them deliver to your house. This can be done through the comfort of your own home. All you need is an internet line, a computer and an internet browser.

There are many reasons why you should choose shopping online. Below are the top 5 reasons that you should look at.

The first 2 reasons are you can save time and money. Shopping in a physical store means that you have to travel down to the place to buy. But with online shopping, you can save the time traveling. The only time spend is to switch on your computer and hook on to your internet line, which probably takes about 5 minutes. Also, if you want to compare prices with different stores, shopping online is the fastest way. All you need to do is enter the next website url to look at their selling price. If you shop at the stores, it will take you time to travel from one place to another. Since you will not be traveling when you shop online, it means that you will save money spend on travel expenses.

The third reason is shopping online gives up your limitation. You do not need to plan your day around the time that it takes to drive to a store. And this means any store. You could be shopping at an online store located on a separate continent and it will still take you less time to be perusing their merchandise than it would take you to drive to the corner store. Wherever the deals are, you can go there via the internet and take advantage of them.

The fourth merit of shopping online is there are almost unlimited inventories. In a physical store, there is only what is out on display, what they have in the back, and on rare occasions whatever items might be stored in a nearby warehouse. With shopping online, there is a good chance that you will find whatever you need. You hardly have to worry that they will run out of the item.

The last reason is the chances of getting cheaper price items that you want are higher. This is because the stores compete. They want your business. This is the same for physical establishments as is for online business. But for online stores, the competition is fiercer. If you are out shopping at the physical store, it will take time for you to travel to another store to check their prices, thus you may probably buy the product then and there. But with online shopping, you just have to press a few clicks on your mouse and you can easily go over to a competitor’s website. While this may be a challenge for these online businesses, it can spell big savings for you!

I hope that this has given you a greater insight on online shopping. You have a great time shopping!

The Expectations of Online Shopping

Online shopping is going to blast. Nowadays retailers are adding in-store pickup, offer free shipping and experiment with social media. It is getting difficult to say who is pure internet retailer and who are bricks and mortar shops with online portals. All of them are reformulating how we will shop online in the future: via a mobile device, tablet computer, in store kiosk, etc.

New legislation might be required in order to protect the customers but this will also affect negatively online shopping. Internet retailers would have to collect sales tax. We will talk about legislation latter on in this article.

However, more and more traditional retailers are going for online selling. L.L Bean launched free shipping on all items, Macy’s offers free shipping on purchases of $99 or more, Walmart bought social media platform Kosmix in order to build their online business and Toys R Us purchased a new distribution center to support internet sales.

More and more retailers will implement in-store pick up. Walmart started already by offering in-store pick up for orders placed online. Sears and Kmart are testing home delivery. Farm Stores in Florida offer their shoppers to order groceries online and pick up at a drive through. Some smaller stores might even open designated pick up locations for goods ordered online (example Chronodrive).

Nowadays people who own a smart phone can use applications that allow them to do price comparisons or use coupons to purchase online. But we are just getting started with this type of technology.

New applications allow customers to upload video clips modeling new cloths or using a new purchase. This is a new feature but will definitely pick up quickly.

What about the power of social network like Facebook and Twitter? As a consumer you are able to “like” or follow a favorite retailer and get discount on deals. For example 12 million consumers “like” Victoria’s Secret on Facebook as of March 2011.

Jim Okamura (managing partner at Okamura Consulting) says that social shopping is just getting started. He mentions that Facebook offers good return on investment. However there are still lots of retailers that have not taken this advantage yet.

Online shopping is also going to help a lot of small niche online retailers. Via international or cross border e-commerce, they are now doing 10-20% of their sales outside their own country (example SousVideSupreme, Zara, Top Shop and StyleTrek).

There are nowadays more and more sites that cut through the din of so many sites and bring consumers only the information they are interested in: Dealnews, ConsumerSearch, Brad’s Deals and My Shopping Genie. There are sites you can use to find coupon codes, and possibly to make money while shopping online. There are also a variety of websites you may utilize to earn “points” or “bucks”. You can accrue these points and bucks and “cash them in” for goodies such as gift cards, real cash, accessories, electronics, so on and so forth (Swag Bucks).

A great advantage for consumers of online shopping is that as it becomes easier to compare prices (via My Shopping Genie for example) stores will be forced to create better experiences with better sales staff and items hard to find anywhere else.

In an article from April 2011 it was revealed that China shut down 410 websites involved in copyright violations and counterfeiting in the first 3 months of 2010. This is a sign that governments are now trying to interfere in legitimating online sales and making it safe for online shoppers. China’s online shopping has been booming (iResearch analysis). China has more than 450 million internet users, being the world’s largest. China’s online shopping transaction volume jumped 89.4 % year on year. About 148 million customers purchased goods or services online in 2010. China’s online economy grew rapidly in the first quarter of 2011, mainly driven by the development of e-commerce and mobile internet. Due to this increase in online shopping, local Chinese authorities are placing more emphasis on monitoring online shops.

Another example is Malaysia. Malaysians spent $739millions shopping online last year according to a survey released by PayPal. The PayPal’s growth in Malaysia last year was the strongest in the region Asia and India at 70%. The biggest percentage of online retail purchases are made on local websites. However the USA is the most popular country Malaysians bought from.

As we mentioned above, governments are now trying to make the online shopping safer for the customers.

In an article from ABC News from April this year, it is stated that the White House has developed a plan named the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) in order to fight online identity theft. The idea of this plan is to consolidate internet logins, kind of “Connect” for online shopping with the government’s mark of approval. Furthermore better security will encourage consumers and financial services companies to embrace payments through smartphones. The supporters of this system pointed out that the program would be voluntary. However there are pros and cons regarding this topic. The customers may benefit from these type of legislations but there are also disadvantages to it.