Spending Too Much on Coffee? There’s a Business Lesson Here.

Did you start your day with a stop at your favorite coffee shop?

Let’s stop for a moment and think about the experience— and the reasoning behind it.

It’s about more than coffee

You could have made your coffee at home, saving time and money in the process. So what made you go to down to that coffee shop instead? There are likely several reasons:

  • The coffee is better than what you make at home.
  • You know what you’re getting. It’s the same every time.
  • The staff is friendly. Maybe they even know your name. Or your drink.
  • The overall experience makes you feel happy and satisfied.

Yes, you paid a premium for your morning beverage of choice. And let’s be honest. You’ll probably go back tomorrow and do it again. Because the value you get from going there is worth the time, money, and effort it takes to make it happen.

But what if it wasn’t?

What if your favorite coffee shop decided not to invest in the quality of their product and their employees?

What if every time you went there, you got a different experience, a different employee, and a different tasting drink?

Suddenly, the value you once perceived is gone. Now it’s a crap shoot. Maybe you’ll get a good cup of coffee, maybe you won’t. Instead of investing in a positive way to start your day, you’re merely gambling.

And odds are you’re not going to be willing to take that risk for long.

What your customers want

To keep clients from heading out the door and down the street, your business needs to provide both quality and consistency.

In other words, your team needs to have the tools and training to be able to deliver on the promises your marketing makes.

This requires investing in your processes and your employees.

It’s not rocket science. We’re talking about the basics here:

  • Hire good people.
  • Train them well and often.
  • Compensate them appropriately.
  • Put processes in place that ensure quality and consistency.
  • Build a culture that places high value on customer and employee experiences.
  • Hold everyone accountable to the standards you have set.
  • Let go of people and processes that aren’t serving you or your clients well.

Yes, this list may sound simplistic, but it’s uncanny how many businesses skimp on these things to make an extra buck or two.

The problem is that skimping on quality and consistency will cost you way more in the long run than you will ever save in the short term. 

What does your team need?

Depending on what kind of company you’re running, there could be a variety of things. But here are some key items worth investing in.

  • A meaningful purpose
  • A defined sales process
  • A clear vision of what the customer experience looks like
  • Happy, engaged employees to deliver on that experience
  • Strong leadership that isn’t afraid to make difficult decisions
  • An organizational culture that attracts and retains top tier talent

None of these things will happen overnight. But investing in them can have a huge impact on the long-term success of your business.

If you don’t know how to make these things happen on your own, invest in the necessary professional development, coaching, and training get you there.

It can’t just be talk

If the sign in your window says you offer the best cup of coffee in the world, you’d better not be serving up the instant crystals.

Talking about quality is one thing but producing and maintaining it is another. It takes work. And time. And yes, even money. But if you make quality, consistency, and an amazing customer experience integral parts of your brand, your customers will keep coming back for more. And telling everyone else about it.

Because the only thing better than the best cup of coffee in the world is sharing it with a friend. 


Photo by Somsak Sudthangtum