A cup of coffee in one hand and newspaper on the other, I was reading an article on how caffeine is harmful to our body, everything including how it can cause long term effects were mentioned but still I couldn’t resist the temptation so even while reading that article I drank my coffee. Then I decided that I have to replace my coffee with something better because it’s impossible for me to quit it, almost 50% of the Americans morning starts with a coffee and instead of trying to completely remove it I came up with an idea to replace it.
Now I started looking into the market statistics, if we only talk about the US average consumption is 3.1 cups of coffee per day. It is like almost more than 50% of the Americans consume more than the required amount of coffee, now I started looking for the part of the day in which most of the people like consuming coffee.
During breakfasts means during morning most of the people like consuming coffee, here I started thinking about a business plan, I knew a lot of brands have a well-established base of consumers in the market like Starbucks but I wanted to give a chance to my idea because I was sort of confident that it will work.
of the Americans consume more than the required amount of coffee.
The basic idea was to sell herbal coffee, now I knew the time people prefer coffee in the morning time and sometimes you just don’t want to go to a coffee shop in the morning, so they don’t have to come to the shop and the coffee will be delivered to them. I wanted to invest money in this business, basically bootstrapping, it means building a company with your personal finances. I wanted to look for investors when I would want to expand my business but before that, I wanted to establish it in my area.
Becoming an Entrepreneur
I wanted to look for a particular age group that should be targeted, so I researched which age group consumes a lot of coffee. The Age Group 50-64 consumes the largest amount of coffee in a day, so my main target audience initially were age group above 35 years old and to convince them to buy my coffee I started by making small brochures on the effects of caffeine on our body and how herbal coffee can be helpful for our skin and health,
I had enough money to invest on my ingredients because till that time I did not buy or rent a place than first few weeks I gave away free coffee to people and took their feedbacks.
Believe me, it was the hardest time of my life I started thinking that maybe my job was better than doing this because it was really hard to convince people to even look at your brochure but once they do it was easy to explain them. I had to do a lot of tests before making a proper herbal coffee which did not exactly tasted like green vegetables or a leaf.
The idea of targeting the age groups was not that great, it was not working that well because 50-60 age group people were not even interested in changing their coffee or even looking at my brochures so I decided to change the target no my target was the people who actually care about their health and look for healthy drinks and for them what is better than a herbal coffee,
Targeting the Gyms and Yoga Centres
Instead of selling my product on roads I decided to sell it near places which have yoga centers or meditation centers or gyms and my idea actually worked first I gave them free samples earlier for few weeks I had to visit different places and give people brochures but now I only have to visit these centers and provide them my number and free herbal coffee.
Yes, there was an investment, if you are starting a business you have to have some money that you have to let go without hesitation and it might not come back (that’s how you start a business).
The home delivery idea actually worked out first I started getting calls from a few people and all the places were near my house, then the number of calls increased and on average I sold 20 to 25 cups of coffee every day, now since the calls were increasing I had to look for investment so I started looking for investors.
Where Can You Look for Investors?
Want to start a small business or expand an existing business and you want investors then you can.
- Look for small business groups (which could be close to home).
- If you are from the U.S you must be aware of SBA ( small business administration) which helps small businesses find investors.
- You can look for investors worldwide with the help of online platforms.
- If you have friends or family who can help you out then definitely go for it.
It’s you who has to decide what type of investor you want whether it should be an angel investor or you are looking for private equity firms. It is really very tough to find an investor when you just have an idea and no experience plus no money then usually the investor uses your idea and takes up 100% authority on your business plan.
Though that is what I did not want so I looked for investors when I had customers and my business started showing progression and the main idea was rent a place to open a shop and to have at least few workers (around 4 to 5) for delivery that was available 24/7.
I usually got a rejection from investors or got rejected because they always asked for 60% ownership and I did not agree so almost for 2 or 3 months I looked for an investor (i was working on my business too).
When You Start Looking For an Investor Always Keep in Mind
- You have to tell your investor a story, it means try to connect them with your dream, I started by offering them my coffee explaining to them how and why I came up with this idea and how I targeted my potential customers.
- be realistic and tell them the facts and figures and about the profit, they will get
- always mention the numbers, numbers are really important,
- why and how this partnership is going to benefit them
- why should they invest
- research and tell how you are going to tackle the competitors (like Starbucks)
If you want to become an entrepreneur thing that you have to deal and cope up with in my experience are.
- first don’t over complicate your ideas, believe me, if you have an idea one thing you have to do is research about it and then you can accordingly think about it
- listening to people around you can cause mental stress, always rely on facts and figures
- if you want to take opinion from someone contact people who already have their own business, or have established one or search online about people
- don’t lose patience even if you lose money, I worked day and night for a year whether it was delivering the coffee to customers when I was the only worker or distributing brochures and I still do every day even if I have workers today.
- It’s really never a rest day for people who are entrepreneurs, do you think Mark Zuckerberg is not working hard now? Even if you establish something the things keep changing and evolving and we as entrepreneurs have to keep a track of it.
Starting your own small business and becoming an entrepreneur has never been an easy job note down these tips work hard and get your business out there, it’s you hard and smart work that pays off in the end.