Over the years, I have noticed that the majority of small business startups fail within the first 24 months. In a crowded world of entrepreneurial activities, the kiss of death is imitation. The coffee industry is no different as there are thousands of coffee shops spread across the US doing the same thing. If you don't have a unique brand identity, the chances are that you will just become another store serving another hot cup of coffee, with no real level of differentiation. If you don't do you, then you are doing someone else...and that doesn't last for long.
To beat the odds of shutting the doors within the first year, you need the right questions to map out a plan:
1. What differentiates your business from the competition?
2. How does what you do make a difference in your industry?
These fundamental questions, along with several others, are at the heart of your value proposition for your business. Your unique value proposition or selling proposition is what makes you stand out from everyone else in your industry. Your value proposition isn't meant to appeal to or please everyone.
A business plan doesn't have to be hard. I didn’t graduate with a business degree. What I've learned over the last decade is from the school of hard knocks. I'll confess: when I first started, I tried to be all things to all people, because that seemed to be the logical thing to do. It wasn't until I decided to do "me" that my business grew, our brand blossomed, and my passion made its way into the end product: fantastic coffee. Javapreneurship is a lifestyle, an attitude, and the ability to do what you love and do it every day.
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