Why new ways will bring you to 'new heights' within your coffee shop business
I was actually planning on writing about something totally different this week.
Somehow I felt, though, that my own experiences with my business, could be of great value for your coffee shop businesses as well.
During the past couple weeks many interesting things happened within my business.
After I got back from my coffee shop trip to the US, full of ideas and inspirations, I settled not only back into my apartment, but also into my life as a solopreneur with Simel.Coffee.
I know you can relate, starting an own small business is tough. Many of your friends and family are supporting you, but there are also people out there that are skeptical and full of worries about your plans.
Now a couple months within my business these people still are out there, but I learned to not let them distract me from my goals and especially not from my dreams.
You might have noticed as coffee professionals, being owners or managers of coffee shops, that having or managing an own small business is not just about pursuing your dreams and living your passion.
A lot of other stuff comes along with having that business, stuff that has to be done, no matter if you want to do it or not. In my case it included all that paperwork around being self employed in Germany, writing a business plan, taking care of insurances and such.
Several times, I felt overwhelmed during the past weeks; I just didn’t know how to handle that all alone... Stuff that I never had to take care of before in my life.
These issues challenged me a lot, not just with building my business, but a lot personally as well.
And, I noticed a lot of that stuff going on inside my head have been the worries - about being self employed, about earning money when having an own business, about finding customers, etc. – that I grew up with, in my family and with what I’ve been told in school, university and through mass media.
It took me a while, to notice also, that it’s not just me creating that business, but it’s also me putting myself in these situations and worries. It’s my mindset that let me suffer actually.
I was not only afraid of failing and how to earn money, but also about not being ready, yet, not having the experiences and knowledge to having that business and to actually serving my clients, yet.
There’s been piling up a lot during the past couple weeks, not only these worries and concerns, but also the next steps that have to be taken within my business. And, some days this was just too much for me. I felt alone, I felt not being good enough...
As you might have noticed, I’m being really honest with you today and that’s not easy for me, showing my own flaws and weaknesses; especially when being a small business owner this is tough, because all those nay-sayers out there jump right in here again...
‚I told you...’
But, I don’t want to hear that anymore.
I found my own strategy on dealing with these moments in life that I want to share with you today, because I know, you felt (or feel) exactly the same at some point during creating your own small business, which is your coffee shop.
When things are piling up
So, how to deal with the amount of work that needs to be done, that has to be taken care of?
What works for me is a ‚To do list’: I’m using an online tool which is called ‚Todoist’ (there are more tools like that, e.g. Trello) which gives me the possibility to write all the stuff down, that has to be done during the next 7 days.
Yes, that sounds simple and you might say, wow, wait, that doesn’t work for me... I found out, though, when working on only what is planned for that very day, I’m more focused and I’m getting more stuff done. I really try not to mix up tasks that are the 'to do' of another day, but only work on what’s on the menu today. Try it!
One more thing, if there’s still too much on your list, try finding out, what really has to be done right now and what rather is a ‚nice to have’. This might include some design work on your website or your social media channel, which is a nice ‚add on’ at some point, but doesn’t let you focus on the important stuff as of right now (your new menu, hiring new staff, etc.). Try to prioritize.
Celebrate small successes
I am talking to many people about my business, friends, family, my ‚business network’. And, all oft hem are reflecting to me, that I’m doing so much stuff, working on so many things – they see my Social Media posts, meet me at certain industry events. I’m right there and visible for everyone.
But, still, I’m too hard on myself most of the times. I don't appreciate all of the work I'm actually doing.
All the little things I’m working on ‚in the back’ as well as the stuff I’m going out to you, my clients, with, the services and products I’m launching. All that are successes, big and small.
And someone told me just recently, to celebrate these successes, no matter how big or small they are.
What that means for you? Be proud of everything you achieve within your coffee shop business, be it a new customer, a seasonal coffee drink creation that turns out to be a ‚hot seller’, 1000 followers on your Instagram account... No matter what, celebrate these successes!
I’m sure you can think about something how to celebrate. But, make sure to involve your staff and maybe your customers as well! This creates a strong relationship among everyone.
Don’t be afraid of trying new things
‚No, I cannot do that...’ I’ve never done that before...’, ‚I just don’t have the knowledge/the experience, yet...’ Add your own excuses to that list!
I’ve been a lot like that. I just didn’t do things, that I thought, I couldn’t handle or deal with, because I was too young, too old, not smart enough or whatever.
But, with an own small business, you are literally forced to learn new things and to try something, that you’ve never done before. No one is going to do that for you.
I had to get out of my comfort zone a lot during the past weeks and months. I’m not that much of an outgoing person and whenever I had to speak publicly in the past, I was super nervous, blushing and all.
With my business moving forward now, I’m working on many different strategies and ways of creating content for you. All of these strategies include a lot of trying something new and learning constantly for me.
One of them is the podcast – ‚adding some flavor’, I’ll be launching on October 25th which is next Tuesday already. So excited!!! I will be still writing blog articles every other week, though.
It is a Coffee Marketing podcast for busy coffee professionals like you providing you with great Marketing hacks for your coffee shop businesses.
The podcast will be airing every second week and will start with a mini series of 6 episodes. Within the series I’m talking to Gwilym Davies, co-owner of Prufrock and World Coffee Events head judge about success. What it takes to be successful with your coffee shop business and working on your own successful coffee shop.
The first episode will be airing on October, 25th 2016 and will be uploaded not only to my website but to iTunes as well.
For me having troubles speaking in front of so many people, doing a podcast was something I had to deal with first. Hearing my own voice, taken into account that English is not my native language as well...
But, once the first episode was recorded I felt way more confident and motivated than ever before. Oh, and a podcast is actually a good way of practicing speaking in front of people! No one sees me blushing...
So, take that leap and try something new!
That new brewing device everybody is telling you about for weeks already, but you just didn’t get your hands on, yet. That tool or service that could help you managing your supplies...
I know, that a lot of you are very busy and dealing with new stuff adds even more to your calendar.
But, having an own coffee shop business and moving forward with that business, also means – at some point – to get support from outside the business! Be it tools, products or services that can help you grow.
Which brings us back to the title of this article: ‚new ways' - 'new heights’. What I mean with that, growing personally, trying new things, learning constantly and seeking support leads your business to a new level, lets you grow to ‚new heights’ eventually.
Let me know how you overcome obstacles within your business in the comments below! What are your biggest challenges?