Creating the physical space can be incredibly exciting since it’s the first visible, physical step of the dream becoming reality. However, construction really should be the execution of what has already been pre-planned and approved to be the most efficient. This means having done the homework on codes in an area, paperwork that must have already been filed, and assessing what may need to be fixed up well before ever locking in a location. Otherwise, the mistakes can be costly against what could already be a tight budget.
Exhibit A of the required homework is how the product will be made in a potential location. Does it have the proper pipe locations and space required for industrial coffee brewing? Are the floors or walls concrete? Where are the drains? Does anything need to be refurbished? Knowing what the local area functionally requires to operate as well as what you personally want for your brews can be the difference in $20,000 in construction versus $200,000. The last thing an entrepreneur wants is to blow their whole budget before the shop’s event opens.
And things do add up, particularly when taking into account the expensive equipment required for a cafe. Jashinski has paid a whopping $15,000 for water filtration systems, and that was with a discount. For that amount, “you could buy a fucking car,” he said. But that cost is essential for quality control: its dual-filter system incorporating paper and metal filters ensures absolutely pure water and that there will be no surprises with any given batch of coffee.
Along with the product production, it’s crucial to think about the layout for the customer’s experience. Jashinski says it’s the first thing he notices anytime he enters a shop: How is this space optimized for the customer? It can be easy to rush into the placement of things, but the layout is super important. How is the business going to flow? And is the interior design both appealing and efficient? A business owner could design stuff because it looks pretty, but the way it unfolds is awful. There could be not enough room behind the bar. If the flow of the customers into the waiting area doesn’t work, then people are gonna get clogged up waiting for drinks. Ideally, it’s already been fleshed out in the concept and then blueprints, but this is the time to fix any errors.
Lastly, Jashinski warns about becoming too focused on the “perfect location” that inevitably doesn’t pan out. "Fall in love with your idea, not the bricks,” he said since any given location can fall through, which can be heartbreaking to the budding entrepreneur.