Boardgame cafes are gaining in popularity, especially in younger generations. Since they cater to all ages, you can optimize the experience to suit everyone’s needs. Additionally, once you’ve established a loyal customer base, you’ll be able to host tournaments and special events.
It all sounds nice, but opening a board game cafe in Connecticut takes hard work and dedication. First, you’ll need to conduct research to plan your cafe and provide a unique experience to stand out against the competition. Afterward, you can move on to the following steps to get your business up and running.
Write a Business Plan
A business plan is not just for getting investors. By utilizing all of your research to write one, you can prepare yourself for every expense and obstacle that comes with opening a board game cafe. Plus, it gives all stakeholders an explicit agreement of responsibilities and profit allocation to avoid confusion down the line.
Make it Official
Many business owners find it feels real when they form their business idea into a legal entity. This part is pretty straightforward. First, choose the proper business structure for your cafe and file with the state. After that, you need an Employer Identification Number from the IRS to open a bank account and file taxes on behalf of your company. Then, you can get the ball rolling on registering for taxes, licenses, and permits necessary for your business in Connecticut.
Taxes, Permits, and Licenses
Congratulations on becoming an official, registered business! There is still much to tackle before you can dig into the fun stuff, though. First, you’ll need to check with your local jurisdiction to ensure you apply for all the necessary permits and licenses you need specifically for your line of work. Additionally, don’t forget to obtain a sellers’ permit, which is required to charge customers sales tax.
Finding the perfect location is more critical than you may realize. So you’ll want to ensure that you’re not opening yours too close to another board game cafe and that your location won’t be overlooked, hidden, or quickly forgotten.
If you want your cafe to survive through adversity, you need to protect its finances and assets. Unfortunately, a lot of new business owners make the mistake of underinsuring themselves to save money with it won’t happen to me mentality. Accidents within the workplace are more common than you think, and they can absolutely happen in your shop. Workers’ compensation in Connecticut is affordable, and you need it to work without worrying that your cafe could be compromised at any point.
You can’t run your business without reliable employees, especially if you’re going to serve food and run tournaments. So you’ll need to hire the appropriate number of staff before opening your doors to the public. Otherwise, the opening day could be a disaster.
Part of being an employer is sorting through the candidates to pick the right people for your shop. You can’t hire everyone you interview, and you can’t always keep everyone you hire. You may also find that someone isn’t cut out for the job, so you need to fire them. However, it’s essential to give your employees a chance to learn and grow. You shouldn’t fire someone every time they make an honest mistake, or you’ll waste money on onboarding costs and lose valuable workers.
Your board game cafe should have two different menus: one for food and one for games. You’ll also need to decide whether games are included when a customer purchases a meal or if you’ll charge separately. Additionally, will you charge a flat fee for a specified time or per visit?
Most board game cafes have over 1,000 games to choose from, but you don’t need that many to start. First, ensure you have enough variety to satisfy customers of all ages and interests. Then, expand your inventory as your business grows.
Opening day is the most nerve-wracking and exciting time for a new business owner. You may be worried that nobody will show or that those who do show don’t like what you have to offer. So you need to make opening day a special event to get more foot traffic. For example, you may provide food and games at discounted prices for the first day. Or you could offer special prizes, raffles, and coupons for future visits.
A board game cafe is highly profitable if you market it correctly and provide a unique experience that brings customers back in the door. However, it’s a lot of hard work, and there are tedious administrative tasks to manage. So you’ll need to ensure that you have the proper staff to help you manage the workload. If you try to tackle too much on your own, you may forget about important deadlines. But don’t forget to enjoy your new business. You deserve it!