Coffee Shop Café SWOT Analysis

The following is a sample S.W.O.T. (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats) Analysis for opening a startup coffee shop of café.   Please keep in mind that this is part of an overall business plan for coffee shop/café startup.


  • America runs on coffee.  The demand for coffee is robust and growing.
  • The aggressive and focused marketing campaign that the coffee shop will run has goals and strategies to create immediate impact towards the market and its participants.
  • Recent cost cutting, restructuring and new developing technologies in the café industry greatly decreases overhead cost.
  • The coffee shop will offer a variety of products in addition to the hot cup of coffee which will lead more customers in the door.
  • The team attracted to build and manage the company has the experience and resume to build a sustainable and profitable coffee shop and café brand.
  • The coffee shop café will offer state of the art amenities including flat screen TVs and free Wi-Fi for our customer’s leisure.
  • The area and location the Company founders have scouted has heavy drive by traffic and will lead to more sales when proper signage is placed on the real estate.
  • The neighborhood is a close nit community and grabbing our first core group of customers will lead to word of mouth marketing and more customers.


  • Poor consumer confidence, uncertainty and pessimism in new startups, new cafes and new coffee shops are not only valid but also fueled by the media and competitor marketing.
  • Established coffee shops can take away or limit our potential customer given their goodwill and customer rapport.
  • As a newer café and/or coffee shop, potential consumers and customers have not heard of our delicious exotic coffee flavors, coffee beans, expressos and lattes; so proper marketing will need to be established to assure our target demographic knows and understands our products.
  • Owners and decision makers at large companies, like restaurant chain suppliers, grocery chains and corporations, may be hard to get in touch with, which will make it harder to course quality products at an affordable price.
  • Our financial resources, such as funding, sources of income and investment opportunities limit our reach and impact in the market.
  • The Economic hardships in America today may lead to potential limits on growth capital as sought and decrease the amount of money consumers have to spend daily of coffee.
  • The first few initial shipments of supplies (coffee, cups, napkins, ingredients, etc) can be hectic and will lead to unexpected use of resources, as the procedures of buying wholesale are unfamiliar.


  • Local competition is not open late and opening for later hours can lead to increased market share for the café.
  • No better time to start a business with low interest rates for business loans and  affordable prices in commercial real estate leases.
  • The proper use of the internet will allow us to market our coffee shop to a greater number of potential customers with less marketing dollars.
  • Big companies, government agencies and other commercial businesses that require coffee & bakery goods can lead to an additional stream of income via delivery services or catering services.
  • The online market & ecommerce can potentially increase our market share exponentially by selling our ingredients, branded items, beverages and foods over the internet.
  • Ability to innovate that doesn’t seem necessary in a busy, thriving market – allows us to modify policy, behavior, and structure, and to redeploy resources to deliver new kinds of value not thought of by our potential customer base.
  • With a product such as coffee, we can potentially expand our brand and products by selling raw coffee beans, branded coffee makers, and other coffee related products for higher profit margins than coffee.
  • Potential rapport with our customers can lead to increase in market shares due to customer loyalty and word of mouth marketing.
  • New flavors and the opening of new markets and industries within coffee can increase our market share and demand for coffee in general.


  • New marketing strategies and tactics by established coffee shops & investors can limit our sales and potential market share.
  • Troubled economy, deficits, long-term bail-out consequences, failing companies may lead to difficult financing situations or a stop on investment capital.
  • Emergence of new coffee shops who are already in business with our potential clients deliver a compelling value proposition for customers not to switch to our brand.
  • Tightening of the credit market can lead to fewer purchases by our potential customers.
  • A bad harvest or poor harvest from our supplier can directly affect our goodwill and product and slow down our supply chain.
  • The rising fuel price can lead to lower profit margin or increase in logistics costs, which in turn can lead to higher coffee prices and less sales.
  • Potential unforeseen issues can greatly deplete our cash account and profits.
  • High cost for maintenance of FDA regulations can lead to unpredicted expenses or liability to our Company.
  • Economy of surrounding areas can directly impact the possible customer and revenue stream of our coffee shop café.

SWOT Summary

The startup coffee shop is well suited to tackle the threats and manage the weaknesses of the business.  It will exploit the opportunities presented and rely on the Company and founders strengths to propel the business into sustainable profitability.


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