Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

Opening a cafe that’s popular and makes a profit can be hard. However, if you follow a plan using the right tools and staff, your chances improve. Here are some tips on what you need to know before you open your dream cafe.

The Where

Location, location, location. Look around the area of focus. Are a lot of coffee shops in the area? Will adding another cafe oversaturate the market? Has a coffee shop been in the area and been unable to succeed? The point to picking a good location is to look for something up-and-coming. A growing neighborhood with lots of potential and people who would appreciate a cafe around the corner is ideal.

The How

Among your first moves should be creating a business plan. Figure out every imaginable cost, then account for some unexpected ones.

Owning a cafe or any business is about knowing your numbers. Always be aware of the money flow. Also decide whether, when you have extra funds, you want to upgrade or instead save for a bigger project down the line?

Owning a cafe is a huge undertaking, and at times, you’ll find that you can’t do it alone. Think about having a business partner. When looking for a business partner, look for someone who has the same values and goals as you; this way, you know the business is in the right hands when you are taking a day off.

Having details in place will allow you to snap up a building that you’ve determined to be perfect for your cafe.

The What

Find a theme that means something to you. You can go quirky, literary, artistic or eclectic. Seek out special touches and features that make your cafe memorable to both locals and visiting tourists.

A key action for cafe owners is purchasing good equipment. Good equipment can be anything from utensils and dishes, to tables and chairs, to the machines that will be making the drinks. Research suppliers, such as VEGA Direct Inc., to purchase the latest equipment for the business. Having the best supplies and equipment means fewer repairs and more money to be saved.

Another tip to becoming a successful business owner is to offer something that other cafes don’t have. Offer a pastry or breakfast item that no other cafe does to attract more customers.

The Who

Find the best staff you can. Some business owners start out by hiring relatives or friends, but experts recommend against this because business and pleasure usually don’t mix well. Find a barista or pastry chef with flair to wow the clientele.

Cafe owners also need to consider what will keep their customers coming back, and customer service is key among the reasons.

Be an honest business owner. Customers appreciate values, especially if you can relate to them and share a little of your history with them. Previous experience working at a cafe or for a marketing or public relations company should help you find ways to show them your hard work and drive.

The When

Once you open the cafe, be consistent. You might need to tinker with a feature or two, but stick with your theme. And remember that opening a business is difficult. But if you put in the effort, you’ll please both customers and staff.