A business without a plan.
The other day I got a message from a lady on Instagram. She said she saw me on TikTok and would like help with her business in Bali. I asked for some details and off she went.
She wants to open a bakery/coffee shop in Bali, particularly in the Jimbaran area. I know the area very well, and I do hang around the local coffee shops quite often. She told me her plan and I began to ask questions. To which she had very few answers. She wants to open a coffee shop and a landscaping business as well. The two are unrelated but in many ways, they do relate.
So far she has not done much if any market research. I can help with this because a few key places are missing in the area. One, there is no coffee shop with a view. Mostly because places with a view are expensive. However, there are many empty places in the area so negotiations could take place.
I mentioned to her the top things I look for as a foreigner. I need lots of individual tables. Usually, there are no more than two people seated in a coffee shop and many are alone, much like myself. Tables can always be pushed together for larger parties and at the same time, a few larger tables can be installed.
- Tables and plugs are important for the many digital nomads and small business meetings that happen in Bali.
- A clean minimalist simple modern coffee shop is the rage here. People will travel for a cool place to chill and spend a few hours there working.
- A good WIFI connection is a must and of course, it needs to be free. By good, I mean decent and stable. Most places do accommodate this need.
- Cleanliness of the place and the washrooms… Oh boy, I cannot stress this enough. In Indonesia, the washrooms are usually neglected. This always makes me wonder if the kitchen is as well.
- Indoor and outdoor space. People that have been in Bali for a while get used to being outside and as long as there is a breeze we can manage. However, a nice air-conditioned indoor space with an outdoor space is a must.
Those points are crucial and of course, a good cup of coffee, pastries, and sandwiches will always bring people back. Not to mention polite well-trained staff.
One place I go to always offers free water. Yes here, unlike in Canada where water is free, here they charge. A small glass of water with the menu is welcomed, especially after a hot scooter ride.
When I mentioned all these little things, the lady I spoke to was a little taken aback. She had no plan, no look and feel for the place, and zero ideas about what she wanted.
On top of this, there had been no thought given to marketing, branding, or long-term strategy. I may have scared her a little. However, it is better than her pouring a pile of money into something that she will regret. Even if she never gets back to me, I know I have given her something to think about. Whether a coffee shop or a landscaping business it makes no difference. One needs to have a plan.
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