3 answers

What degree would educate one enough to open their own coffee shop up?

Asked Mason, Ohio

I'm aiming to get my associates degree and creating a plan to revise over the course of school so that once I complete my two years, I can follow my plan and open my coffee shop. Is an Associates degree enough to open my business or should I get a higher degree?
#business #college #coffeeshop #businessowner #associates #businesswoman

3 answers

Sophia’s Answer


If you were to go to school any business degree is going to help you. Typically a business degree curriculum is going to cover: Accounting (very important to manage your expenses and taxes), Finance (how are you going to pay for this business), Management (not just about people but culture), Marketing (how is anyone going to know about the business and when they do, how will you connect with them), Supply Chain Management (how will your source your coffee, equipment, and everything else you need and deliver it to the customer), and Information Technology (what point of sales programs will you utilize, and how will technology help you run a more efficient and successful business?). I found that having a bit of education in each area, prepped me for my career in sales. When you learn about all these areas of business, you are much better prepared to face the challenges (and rewards) that will come with having your own business.

Finally, I highly recommend taking entrepreneurship courses. These courses usually address the questions that most business start ups fail to face. What sort of problem or pain am I solving with this business? What is different about my business that will attract buyers? There are many more questions. A good book to read is All In Startup by Diana Kander. Also, Eric Ries - The Lean Start Up.

Sophia recommends the following next steps:

  • Research business programs at schools that offer entrepreneurship or small business courses. Even some community colleges offer them now.
  • Go work in a coffee shop. See what the shop does right and wrong. Learn from others' mistakes. It could save you thousands in the future. Talk to as many coffee shop owners as you can. Have a list of questions ready to ask them.
  • If you read the book above, then be willing or open to a pivot.

Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

The best thing to do is to talk to people who have a coffee shop to see what they might have for advice. You really do not have to have a college degree to open and run a coffee shop. Many people have been able to attain ownership of a coffee shop by working in one that is successful and becoming the best possible employee. This put them in position to have the shop turned over to them when the owner left the business or made them a partner or part owner.

Here are interesting sites relating to your question: Should You Go To College

https://medium.com/the-mission/high-school-is-over-should-you-go-to-college-b5b6db6f6712Value of College

https://medium.com/the-mission/the-value-of-the-college-degree-is-crashing-heres-how-to-fix-it-cd7a1e116396My Biggest Regret: Going to College


Ken recommends the following next steps:

  • The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
  • Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
  • • It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##
  • Your decision is based upon getting to know how your personality relates to people who are successful coffee owners. Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .
  • Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##

Anne’s Answer


I am not a business owner but two of my siblings had their own companies and I have watched them and learned from them. My sister did not finish college but her husband had a Masters in Business. But my sister was very business-minded and knew how to deal with people. My brother-in-law was very good with numbers and business savvy since he grew up in a business oriented family and was trained even before he got his degrees. My brother has a PhD in Psychology while his wife has a degree in finance. Again, both have the "head" in running a business and know how to deal with clients and their employees. I also have seen people start a business and be successful at it without having degrees in business.

You need to have interest, passion and some street smarts in setting a business. Also ready to work long hours, learn to manage your employees, and get capital to start your business. Having a degree is helpful but I also suggest, getting a mentor, work part-time at a coffee shop and learn the business, and/or network with people who have successfully set up their businesses as well.

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