One of the big projects I worked on a while ago, was coordinating the setup of a coffee shop in Cape Town. This project has taught me a lot about myself. It taught me that to be courageous means believing in the vision of your plan.

Where did it all start, one of the founders approach me and wanted me to help him in the vision he had. This was different from what I’m used to, it had me thinking for a while. How do you create a business from scratch? I thought I’d share my experience with you and how your approach can be when starting your own business from start to opening the doors. Albert Einstein once said, “the only source of knowledge is experience.” You might have read all the books and manuals on how to set up a business. I, however, will mainly express some principles you can execute practically based on the experience I had during the month of setting up thee coffee shop.

My trial run in experiences started when I was still in high school when my parents allowed me to help them in their business back then. This was my first-hand experience in profit gaining. It did not just stop there as I went on exploring ideas around photography and events management. One thing I wish I had back then is a great team. If you have a great team on your side who is willing to make your vision a reality you can’t go wrong. Who says a team has to be hired, staff? Let me walk you through how we opened doors in due time and successfully attracted people that believed in the project.

The project 

It all started with consecutive meetings. It is crucial to plan and to meet regularly, with your team or your advisers. I needed to get a clear vision of the plan from the founders’ perspective. Luckily, we had already bought the most important which was the coffee machine and we had found the perfect building to rent. What I jot down on my diary back then was that we have the building, it’s empty we need to turn it into the coffeeshop. This means coming up with ideas brainstorming and executing ideas. At first, we needed to have an overall theme of the look and how we would design the interior this is where some of my friends who are working in these professions has become my best help, without their help this project would not have been possible. Make sure you share your business idea with your friends and get their take on advice. Trust me your friends might not always have the time to physically help but one thing they would do is give their insight.

The vision

After studying the ideas and having to research the coffee industry, what grinder to use I needed to revisit the vision and practically write down what we still need (paint, lights, furniture, wall art, etc). This helped a lot to have a clear practical vision and I could visualize how we would finish the project. When you start your business make sure to write down practical things that will help you to ultimately achieve your vision. After having a clear goal, you then need to share the goal with your team. So that they can see the same vision as you. I had a great privilege to have my friends who are designers on board who became my advisers but also managed to design the logo and was the backbone in the ultimate look of the coffee shop.


While my friends were doing what they were good at I gathered some more friends who were willing to help me and we cleared out the building and started plotting down the vision into reality. I delegated to them what they could start doing such as painting and sanding, with many hands we were able to make progress. When you start your business try by all means to do most of the labor by yourself in this way you can cut low on your start-up costs. Because I have done painting, electricity, and some drilling before this was effortless fun. By doing itself you also appreciate the effort that went into your business in the end as the proverbial goes the sweat and devotion pay off in the end. I remember one night I worked late painting the floor, what made me happy was hearing how everyone like it the following day. You must be willing to go the extra mile to reach your goal.


After some days we managed to do most of the installations and painting. This progress has made everyone excited as they could see the reality of their inputs. There were still some last technical issues we needed to sort out before we could open doors. This is where you need to get your community on board to help by any means. Approach them about what you’re creating and what you achieved so far, small companies would be more than welcome to donate. During our last days when our budget was at its end so many companies were happy to donate things. If you seek community help there would be many people that wouldn’t mind helping.

Sell your idea 

In this project, I learned that the team you have at your side will allow you to achieve your goal because everyone starts liking the vision in the end. After the official opening, so many people said that they loved how the shop looked. They key in a successful business is selling the idea to others so that they may fall in love with the idea.

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