Personal Story – My Dad’s Alzheimer’s

I’m still figuring this blog out. I’ve been able to have a pretty good business without one. And while I swore I wouldn’t mix personal and business here I wanted to make a small note about something that has been important to me in my life.

My father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s right around the same time I broke out to start being a consultant. You can imagine the journey it has been. As the Alzheimer’s creeps deeper my dad has the obvious ups and downs. And through all of this I’m incredibly thankful for the freedom my job and clients give me to be with my dad during this stage of his life.

I have to give a special shout out here to Pete McIndoe at Home Helpers In-Home Care. We looked at several home health companies to work with my father and his Alzheimer’s but he and his staff were clearly the best choice.

I really credit Pete and his team for how well my father is doing and the peace they have helped bring to our lives. If you are reading this and are in Central Arkansas (Go Hogs!) I recommend you look him up and call him if you ever find that you or someone you love needs help. If you are outside of Central Arkansas (Woo Pig!!) you should still call him because he has a great referral network.

Thanks for reading this.  Back to work now.

The Secret to Running a Successful Coffee Store

Many people who are interested in running a coffee store are busy searching for the magic potion. The truth of the matter is, there is no single secret, but a dozen of them that will lead to a successful business. The secret is actually a combination of various aspects like experience, location, customer service, the type of coffee and so on. For purposes of this article, we will look at success from the point of getting a good return on investment and being financially stable.

Here are some of the tips that you can borrow to start you off in your coffee store:

Serving Quality Coffee

Some will argue that this does not make economic sense and that is why they compromise on the quality. Customers are picky and they will know when they have been duped. You should endeavor to offer the finest quality of coffee. This will be the sole reason why you will have customers walking past several coffee shops to come to yours. Get the best coffee seeds, high quality coffee machine and you should be good to go.

Invest in Ergonomics

In the design of your coffee store, ergonomics is essential. You should consider the overall layout and ensure that all your staff and customers have enough space. The barista should be able to move around easily to pick the ingredients that they need to make the coffee. The staff members who are serving will also need to feel that they are not competing for space. Give your customers enough room to walk around to get to their table. Do everything that you can, to make the coffee store accommodating.

Loyalty Programs

This sounds like an old trick, but trust me, it works. You may start with a simple loyalty card. Ensure that is a high quality and attractive card that your customers will want to carry in their wallets. This will encourage customers to frequent your coffee store, since they are assured of amazing deals. You need to have a way of finding out what your customers love so that you can give them deals that they will love and be happy to be part of the loyal customers.

Limit Your Product Range

There is a general temptation, for most startup coffee stores, to offer a wide range of products. This is not a good strategy and you should limit it to just a few that sell easily. In most cases, when customers walk into the coffee store, they want fast service, since they may be hungry. If you have so many items to choose from, this may create some anguish, which is not worthwhile.

You can actually run a coffee shop and succeed at it. All you need to do is become strategic and find out which combination works best for you. You need to have your ears on the ground and your eyes on your competitors. Look out for gaps in the industry and offer them as solution, which is a guaranteed way to succeed in the coffee business.

 

Designing Your Coffee Store

Are you contemplating starting a coffee store? Well, with the competition around every corner, you will need to come up with an effective strategy to brand your coffee store. One of the things that you need to pay keen attention to is the design of the coffee house, which will be an integral part to the success of the business. There are many attributes that will go into the design of a coffee shop and we will look at some of them in an effort to help you get it right.

Theme

The theme that you intend to portray is quite important. This is where you will need to think about logos and colors that you wish to use. Different colors will carry different moods and as such, if you are not sure, it would be advisable to consult an expert. Generally, the use of bright colors will bring in some positive energy into the coffee shop. They will make it feel cool and not so warm.

The darker colors, on the other hand, will have the opposite effect and as such, you need to find a theme that will appease your customers. You need to make a choice of colors, depending on the message you want to send out and the ambience that you intend to create.

Layout and Arrangement

You do not want to have people coming into a confused coffee store. As such, you need to create some practical barriers that will show customers where to queue and how they get to sit down with the coffee. If there are those who are considering takeaways, they should be able to leave the store conveniently, without pushing their way through crowds. The overall layout should have paths that are marked in a natural manner to make it easier for people to move around.

If you intend to have waiters who will take up the orders, they need to have enough space to walk, while carrying the coffee. The tables and seats should be arranged in such a manner that they give other customers access to vacant places and an easy time when they wish to leave. You can paint out the paths on the floor and have clear markings, and this will give your coffee store a good reputation.

Staff and Entertainment

People love seeing what is being offered to them. As such, you can design your coffee house in such a manner that the baristas are out in the open. This is one way of earning trust from the customers, since they can watch as their coffee is being prepared.

Have your staff work with speed and not subject customers to long waits. In addition, you should incorporate some entertainment that goes with the mood of the coffee store. Taking customers’ feedback is imperative as this will help you improve your coffee shop.

With these simple tips, you can easily design a coffee store that will become a huge success and attract many customers.