Cafe Entrepreneurship

How to know if your cafe business is successful

Store Artwork

Let’s get real. 

You’re in the business for profit. 

The goal is to increase money. 

With that in mind, it’s important for every entrepreneur to measure their business’ performance–whether it’s still reasonable to sustain the business, or if it’s more logical to find another venture. (Hopefully, not the latter, though!)

For a newbie cafe business owner like you, having the best ingredients, packaging, and various selections is not the sole criteria to measure success. Read on to know how you can gauge the success of your cafe business:

  1. Your cafe enjoys increase in sales

In accounting, financial statements are written reports and summaries of a business’ financial condition. These written reports are the income statement (profits and losses in a certain time period, hence measuring profitability), balance sheet (assets and liabilities) and cash flow statement (production and consumption of cash). 

To know if your business is performing well based on paperwork, meaning:

  •  Profits more and not losing too much within a certain time period
  •  Number of liabilities (what you owe) is not higher than your assets (what you own)
  •  Money is moving in and out of your business in a reasonable fashion

If you checked all three boxes, then maybe your business is doing well in terms of cash movement and profits. That’s great!

  1. You have new and regular paying customers

If you have regular customers, that’s surely a good sign! It means you’re providing adequate service for them to return and pay on their next visit. But as cafe entrepreneurs, that isn’t the only thing we want.

Are you selling what’s needed in the coffee business market? You might be investing in something that might be gone in a matter of time. 

For a good measurement tool to know if your cafe business is thriving, you might need to create a program where you can track if you’re getting new customers (think loyalty programs, we wrote an article about that so read it too!).

As for social media marketing, though good, it cannot be heavily relied on. The reactions and comments you receive on these platforms can’t be accurate indicators of conversions (in other words, sales). But to weigh if your business is thriving, it’s surely the movement of capital and profits you should be looking at. 

  1. Word of mouth 

Not only are referrals free marketing, but it’s also a good indication that you’re doing the right things. Customers won’t refer you to their friends and family if you fail to provide good coffee products and/or customer service. Word-of-mouth should be cherished!

We do not want people communicating that your cafe isn’t providing enough to be worthy of referrals. So make sure to provide quality coffee products and quality cafe service to ensure that word-of-mouth is about their great experience! 

  1. Another business emerged, and it’s similar to yours.

Person A is starting a business. They see that your cafe business isn’t doing very well and is on the verge of closing down. They wouldn’t want to open their own business with the same game plan, theme and design as yours. 

However, if they see that your business is doing well and might even expand in time, then they might just open their business similar to yours and compete with you eventually. After all, it’s what sells.

But remember to focus! 

Concentrate on what you’re doing right, and not on what they’re doing to compete with you. You’re in a good streak, that’s why they’re here! Don’t let the pressure crumble your performance so far. If done and continued well, you’re surely going to reap what you’ve been sowing. 

  1. Your cafe is adaptable to short- and long-term developments.

Even if you’re in the business now, it’s still important to study your market. 

And not just the market! 

New technologies help further strengthen business, therefore you need to study reliable and applicable ones for your cafe business. Remember to keep your standards high in trusting sources! It’s your capital at stake here.

In terms of short-term developments, your cafe business should learn to practice flexibility and adaptability for your cafe business. For example (Disclaimer: The pandemic is not a development, but is an obstacle nobody foresaw):

During the start of the pandemic, cafe businesses adapted to new ways of offering and delivering products. 

Contrary to what we’re accustomed to– that coffee shops are a good ‘tambayan’– cafes had to either close their physical shops or limit the customers to Take-Outs.

Many cafes opened their business to online orders and used in-house or third-party delivery services to bring their products to their customers. Other food and beverage businesses offered frozen pastries and/or ready-brewed drinks to adapt to the challenging situation.

If you want to create something new and may not be sure how effective it’s going to be, it may be helpful to consult business experts. They know the market trends based on their expertise and knowledge, and so you can plan ahead and enhance your business design (or at least know what the next step should be). 

  1. Your cafe is adaptable and able to rise up again.

Once you’ve established a business, it’s never gonna be an easy road all the time. That’s for sure. But as is with any other situation, what matters is how you bounce back from those obstacles as a business.

First and foremost, you should be able to have a clear business goal and business plan. This is to avoid inconvenience and inefficiencies.

But when you’re already in the midst of a challenging situation, remember to focus on building solutions based on an educated decision. 

Additionally, be honest with yourself. If you find that one of the steps you’ve taken failed to deliver its projected result as you have been expecting, don’t be disheartened then immediately close the business down. Despite its banality, it’s still vital to be receptive to learning from your mistakes. It’s for your business’ own good.


These are just the simplest ways to measure if your cafe is doing well. It’s a supplemental tool to help you weigh and decide for your cafe’s journey. For more intricate and complex measurements, you may need to consult a business expert.

Don’t forget to keep your everyday operations smooth as well, as this contributes largely to your cafe’s success. For machines and supplies that deliver quality coffee products and enables ease of operations, contact us today.

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