Starting a new buissness for the first time

3 Replies

Hello I am new to all of this but would like a lot of help on where to start. I’m looking into starting a coffee shop in downtown Chicago I was wondering if starting under an apartment complex in a commercial area would be better or a shop downtown. Also would it be better to buy and build or buy and renovate and remodel?

HI @Electra Reiff !  This is NOT my area of expertise, so I'll save most of my thoughts for myself, but I would suggest the following:

- Be doubly sure . . . no, triply sure about your numbers BEFORE you sign anything or sink money into the business.  Coffee shops and other similar types of retail are EXTREMELY challenging and EXTREMELY rare to see succeed and when you start with a location in most places that begins with the word "downtown", you're probably looking at high overhead costs.  Know your numbers, then check them again and bootstrap it for as long as you can before going for primo retail space.

- Renovation and remodeling will give you the ability to curate the space that perfectly matches the culture of your shop.  If you would be able to buy a building that has retail on the ground floor and residential above it then you're probably going to be able to add stability to the coffee shop operation through the residential cashflow.  That would be a sweet deal!


Good luck on the journey!  When you open, I'd love to enjoy a brew in your place!

Hello there! Thank u so much for replying, I was wondering what would be a good business to invest in for the first business, I’m extremely new at this and I haven’t bought anything yet because I’m trying to find the best place to open a business. But I have no clue where to start 

Originally posted by @Electra Reiff :

Hello I am new to all of this but would like a lot of help on where to start. I’m looking into starting a coffee shop in downtown Chicago I was wondering if starting under an apartment complex in a commercial area would be better or a shop downtown. Also would it be better to buy and build or buy and renovate and remodel?

 Do you have experience at running a coffee shop or as a barista?  Or running a similar type of business?  Real estate prices in downtown Chicago are astronomical.  Are you looking to purchase real estate or lease?  

IMO, I would not open a coffee shop unless you or one of your partners(if you have any) has significant experience in that field.  

If you have that, I would look for vacant retail spaces in up and coming neighborhoods with great foot traffic(near an L stop would be huge).  I'd also map out all of the starbucks, dunkin donuts, and other local coffee shops and try to find gaps on the map where there isn't another coffee shop within a half a mile or more.