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      • New Year, new coffee shop commitments

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        By the time you read this, Christmas will be pretty much done and dusted. The New Year sales, as much a part of the season as wishing for snow and not getting any, are the final big draw onto the high streets until Valentines Day. January and February are quieter times for the high street, with many pockets still feeling the squeeze from Christmas. However, whilst other coffee shops roll over and accept this period of regular downtime, ensure your coffee shop makes the most of it. Welcome in the New Year, then make some coffee shop commitments you’ll stick to.

        New Year resolutions are likely nothing new to yourself or your coffee shop. Maybe you’ve attempted to set yourself some resolutions before. Maybe you’re sick of hearing about New Year resolutions and the pressure they may carry.

        But if you have set resolutions in the past, how many did you actually put into practise?

        The truth is - and let’s be honest, we’re all a little guilty here – most New Year resolutions are ancient history by the time January is out. That’s down to the way we think about them. Once February arrives, it’s not really a new year any longer. We’re cold, desperate for more daylight and wishing away the next couple of months. But for any business with seasonal fluctuations in customer footfall, these quieter weeks are simply gold for planning the year ahead.

        Hence the phrase ‘new coffee shop commitments’.

        If you’re racking your head for ideas, but nothing is springing to mind – have no fear. We’ve compiled a list of possible commitments your coffee shop could make in the new year, to ensure your business has a positively prosperous New Year!

        1. Check your commercial coffee machine leasing arrangements and costs. Are you getting as good a deal as you could? Is your espresso machine lease the most cost-effective for that particular type of machine? Has demand increased? Would your customers be better served by changing your lease for a newer, higher capacity coffee machine?
        2. Speaking of leases, when did you last review your commercial tenancy? It might be that there’s a deal to be struck even within an existing tenancy. Research independent, RICS-certified commercial property surveyors to get independent advice.
        3. Get the calendar out and plan for events. From Christmas to summer solstice, St Valentine’s Day to Black Friday, there’s an excuse to attract more customers all year round. Think outside the box! Perhaps host a book reading event during National Story Telling week? Take a look at our commercial coffee shop calendar for 2020 and be proactive in planning events for the whole of the New Year.
        4. Get engaged on social media. Haven’t got business social media accounts yet? Make 2020 the year you harness social media to promote your coffee shop and increase engagement.
        5. Become greener. Green is becoming increasingly popular, with many customers using it to determine purchasing decisions. Make sure your coffee is Fairtrade. Look into offering compostable or recyclable coffee cups. Offer a variety of vegan friendly foods and drinks and benefit from this growing consumer base. Perhaps think about getting your coffee shop involved in Veganuary?
        6. Introduce customer incentives. Loyalty cards, bring a new friend discounts and the like are all great examples of ways to increase repeat customers. Consider free coffee tastings out on the street to engage potential customers and increase brand awareness?
        7. Invest in your/staff skills. When was your last barista training? Consider another course. You’ll refine your coffee-making skills and have important and customer-attracting news and pics to share across social media. Already an award-winning barista? What about offering coffee-making training to coffee aficionados? A potential for income and great skills and quality awareness. A no brainer.

        If you want to improve your yearly results, it requires planning and a set routine. Exploit the above and make this the year that you commit to change, commit to proper planning and commit to the organisation of events. Smash the status quo.

        Happy New Year!