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Coffee School for Entrepreneurs

Updated on April 18, 2011

You may be asking yourself, what and why would anyone want to go to school to learn to make coffee? The process of making coffee isn’t complicated for most people. The majority of people really don’t think much about making coffee. Yet if you want to become specialized at this activity, then coffee school is a must.

Just like a bartender is a professional who mixes drinks, a barista is a professional who makes coffee. In Italy, the career of a barista is greatly treasured. Yet in North America, the profession remains to a large extent unknown, outside of the specialty coffee shops. In these locations, skilled baristas are hard at work in creating a wide variety of coffee-based beverages. No, this ain’t your dad’s coffee shop!

But coffee schools aren’t only for training wannabe baristas. It can be an important piece of the puzzle in beginning to create a coffee business. The majority of business owners understand that start a business entails a great deal of risk. Unfortunately statistics indicate that about 80 percent of all American business fail. Even worse is that restaurants have around a 95% rate of failure There aren’t any specific statistics for the failure rate of coffee businesses, but it’s safe to say that it’s somewhere between 80 and 95 percent.

Numerous bankruptcies are caused by insufficient planning, lack of the requisite business competencies or inadequate decision making. Definitely some kind of coffee shop business plan is required. Someone who has previously owned a business or as experience in foodservice management will have greater chance at success. Nevertheless, the coffee business industry has seen a tremendous increase in competition. Some mistakes that could be survived just five years ago can bankrupt a business today.

Today’s business environment requires accurate information delivered in a timely manner. Going to a coffee school is a good first step for anyone wishing to start a coffee business. The decision to pursue the opening of a specialty coffee business is a serious one. Owning a coffee shop can be a rewarding experience, but at times it can be very stressful. You’ll need more than wonderful products, great customer service and a clean store to succeed in the coffee business these days. Other important components to this business include financial management, capital creation, cost control, marketing, employee training and product sourcing.

By now, you’ve probably begun to appreciate that coffee school is about a lot more than just learning to make coffee. A good coffee school can give any entrepreneur greater understanding about the factors critical to business success. Just watch out for advice by business consultants who sell equipment. Often, their figures are too low since they only include the price to purchase the equipment. Yet the cost to purchase the equipment is only a minor part of the overall costs involved.

You need to be wary when choosing a coffee school. Many are able to show you the coffee making basics; how to pull a shot of espresso, steam velvety milk and pour a heart on a latte. If you’re out just to learn how to do this at home, or want to refine your barista skills for where you’re working now, that’s great. Just remember, a few pretty drinks just doesn’t cut it anymore in today’s business.

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