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comment by cgod
cgod  ·  1456 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: (Case study) Free and a King's Ransom

The local processor that I'm considering has stupid low rates for debit cards with a reasonable fee structure for everything else. The kicker is that less than half of my transactions are credit and some days it's less than a third which takes the sting off credit card costs. It also means that I have to raise sales a lot more to make switching attractive. Even small fees make a large impact on the cost benefit. The neighborhood loves small businesses and consciously carries cash to do business with them.

Sales are increasing slowly but surely every week. I paid off all my costs, retired a additional thousand in debt my first month with money left over (I took nothing but tip money for myself). I have about 2k in start up costs that II need to retire (new startup costs have reared their head, pushing my debt up). I'll do better this month, better sales, less waste. I think it will be another month and a half before I bring on an employee part time. Coffee margins are great but it's a low sales high margin endeavor. Money is good when you work your own shop but labor costs are a killer.

The business has very few moving parts. Aside from rent and utilities I have 3 vendors. It's easily manageable, which is nice.

There is an assisted living complex for schizophrenic's in spitting distance from the shop, bunch of odd balls but they are mostly in control. They get 5 dollars a day to spend, and when they choose to glean their five dollars of joy with coffee I make their money go as far as I can.

There is a big tire shop down the street, which is sending some random out of neighborhood business my way. A large empty building that sits kitty corner to my shop is being redeveloped into five store fronts which should be good for business. One of the slots is leased to an AT&T store which should drive foot traffic. The neighborhood, like the the town, is getting rapidly more expensive to rent and buy in. A shitty run down apartment complex two blocks away just evicted all their tenants and will likely either be torn down or remodeled. Rapid gentrification should be good for me and mine but is going to hurt a lot of people. The town is growing out of reach of young creative types and will pay the price down the road if it doesn't get it's shit together as far as affordable housing goes.

There is almost no rhyme or reason to when I'm busy and when I'm dead. My best hour of the day can be my worst the next week. Pastries are the worst, loose money on them part of the week sell out during the next. Margins on baked goods are tighter than coffee. Baked good also make up a smaller portion of my inventory and are a necessary evil. Hopefully more business will bring greater predictability.

Getting almost no business from the college that's about six blocks from the shop. Giving away free drip coffee for here today to anyone with a college I. D. So far I've gotten fifteen likes on my give away post but no feet.

I should have posted this on #coffeewithCgod guess I'll link to this. Didn't know I'd be so chatty.




ecib  ·  1406 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Great to hear everything is on track (just found this). How low is the processing and per-swipe fee for your processor?