If you want to combine your love for your furry friends and provide an exciting cafe experience, this is the business for you. Although opening a cafe is not cheap, you will likely need some additional sources of finance to set up. So it would help if you had a great business plan.

In any business plan, there are some everyday things to follow, but there are some additional points for this business:

  • Define your business
  • SWOT analysis
  • Animal welfare
  • Hygiene assurance
  • Financial projection

Define your business

You need to pitch your idea to potential investors and lenders, meaning you need to sell it. If you have done some market research before you start, you will have a good idea of who you are targeting.

In your plan, you have to explain why the experience will be enjoyable. You may end up showing the proposal to someone who has no interest in cats. In this case, your enthusiasm could still prove to them that there are people who would buy into it. If you love the idea, it’s more likely that others will too.

Defining that experience, use mood boards (pictures of cat cafes, colours and furniture). Having a visual to look at could help convince people of the idea. If you have a name and logo, share your branding in the plan. Having thought about your brand shows that you have thought about marketing.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis is a method used in business to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Including these points within your plan assures that you have thought about every aspect of the venture.

Strengths

If you can identify the business’ strengths, you can point them out clearly in your plan. Investors and lenders need reassurance that the venture will succeed. So use what you know are the best selling points to your business. For example, describe why customers would choose to come to your cat cafe over a regular one. 

Weaknesses

In the same way that you identify your strengths, having the ability to outline your weaknesses assures the reader that you are realistic. If you know the flaws ahead of time, you start to work on those points as you plan and start up. It shows that you will be mindful of these things and determined to work on any areas that need improvement.

Opportunities

Describing the potential opportunities for your business shows that you are willing to take your business beyond the initial opening. Having ideas about what you can take advantage of to bring in more customers is an essential part of proving yourself as capable. The opportunities should involve thinking about your target audience at the forefront.

Threats

In a business plan, the willingness to talk about your potential threats is critical. It shows that you will have a plan in place if possible scenarios occur because you have thought about them. There may be some specific threats to this nature of business, including animal welfare issues and poor hygiene.

Animal welfare

To avoid legal action from animal welfare groups, it will be essential that your business complies with Animal Welfare Act 2006. Potential investors or lenders will want you to guarantee this. Aside from the legal costs of breaching the law, damage to reputation by mistreating your animals could be just as damaging.

As the business will attract people who have a fondness for cats, ensuring their welfare should always be a priority. To comply with the animal welfare act, you must:

  • provide a suitable environment
  • provide a suitable diet
  • allow them to exhibit standard behaviour patterns
  • don’t expose them to animals that could harm them
  • protect them from pain, suffering, injury and disease

With these points in mind, you need to make sure that your plan mentions each of these points precisely and explains how you will guarantee them. 

Hygiene assurance

Another concern members of the public may have is hygiene if animals are roaming a business that sells food and drink. These concerns are also going to be brought up by potential investors or lenders, so by making sure you follow the law, you can address them.

The Food Standards Act 1999 is a law you should mention in your business plan. It is going to be worth reading the law, but there are some primary responsibilities you have as a business:

  • You cannot add anything into food, remove anything from food or prepare food in a way that makes it damaging to the health of the person eating it — you have to make sure no cat hairs or bodily fluids are getting into the food or drinks.
  • You have to serve or sell food of the nature, substance or quality that consumers expect.
  • You have to label, advertise and present food in a way that is not false or misleading — make sure the menu is up to date and still following the standard of non-cat cafes.

Financial projection

The last section of your business plan is your financial projection. You will be able to show that you can run a business properly. You have the crucial role of explaining where you will use the investment or loan. You will need to budget for everything, price up your menu and provide your projected sales and costs. 

Make sure that your projections are realistic and based on what you know about the market. Also, take care of adequately checking your calculations. If something is wrong, it could reflect poorly on you. 

Confidently manage your finances from the start

When you’re starting your own business, it’s important to keep your personal and business finances separate from day one – to save yourself from time-consuming bookkeeping admin further down the line. 

When you sign up for a Countingup business current account, you’ll receive free accounting software with a range of time-saving tools. 

Simply log into the app to create and send invoices, get financial insights, and confidently manage your new business finances. 

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