How this cafe owner boosted turnover by 300%
When there’s a coffee shop on every corner, how do you make yours stand out? Here’s how one café owner achieved huge success in a crowded market.
The customer is always right – at least, that’s the philosophy that has helped Bradley Day leapfrog over his competition.
As the owner of Happy Days Coffee Pot and 2 Days Cafe in Northam, a small town northeast of Perth, Western Australia, Brad is vigilant about keeping his customers at the centre of everything he does.
“What makes our business unique is how focused we are on our customers – we run the business on what customers want,” he says.
This means everything from feedback cards to casual check-ins with regulars about what’s working and also importantly what’s not working. Creating the perfectly cosy cafe that meets high customer expectations meant Brad has focused on making sure he has “dotted the Is and crossed the Ts” when it comes to interior design.
“If you don’t invest in the business, customers can tell,” Brad says.
“When you’re running a food business, looks are important. You want the place to be inviting. One thing that sets us apart is we aren’t afraid to spend money to keep the place looking and feeling nice for customers.”
When the opportunity arose to expand his customer base by purchasing a second café in a well-trafficked part of town, Brad wanted to maintain this customer-centric approach and apply lessons learned from running the first café.
A small business loan from Prospa helped Brad seal the deal on the second café location.
Seeking expert advice
Brad previously worked with a broker to purchase the Happy Days Coffee Pot in late 2015. When it came time to purchase the second cafe location, now 2 Days Cafe, Brad turned again to their expertise.
This time around, though, Brad had a very small window to purchase the second café. This meant a quick turnaround time and fast decision-making when it came to finding and securing finance.
“We had a short amount of time to make a decision on buying the second location. We agreed to the price with the owner, so we had to get funds fairly quickly,” Brad says.
The long turnaround times with traditional banks would have thrown a spanner in Brad’s plans for expansion. He knew from previous experience seeking a loan to purchase his first cafe that the process with a traditional bank could take up to 12 weeks, which was time he didn’t have.
“I phoned my broker and said we don’t want to deal with a traditional bank, they just drag things on and on,” he says.
With this directive, his broker suggested that (if approved) Prospa could provide a small business loan within the timeline Brad needed.
“They said Prospa might be able to help us out, and within two days we had the funds in our account,” he says.
“Prospa’s application process was so quick and the staff were amazing to deal with.”
Thanks to Prospa, Brad was able to purchase the second cafe. However, he quickly realised the new location would need a facelift. Brad spoke with Mitch at Prospa, who helped him with the application to top-up his existing small business loan. This helped to cover the renovation costs and bring the space more in line with his vision for the business.
Since revamping the new cafe and opening the doors in December 2019, Brad says they have had a 300% increase in turnover compared to the previous owner – and this is still climbing each week. Anecdotes from old and new customers shows the investment in the new cafe was well worth it.
“When people found out we had purchased the second location, they were rapt,” he says.
“The cafe is also attracting new customers and just going from strength to strength.”
For now, Brad is focusing on building up the new business and making his mark on the local cafe culture. Maintaining the reputation for excellence he has built is what motivates him to keep improving his businesses and responding to what customers are looking for when they visit his cafes for a cup of coffee or a treat.
“We want to look after our customers and keep them coming back,” he says.
“We know we have good coffee, good food and good service … That’s my favourite part about being a small business owner: pleasing customers and doing a job well.”
A Prospa Small Business Loan has helped Brad to:
- Grow his business from one location to two.
- Renovate 2 Days Café to make it an inviting space.
- Increase turnover by 300% from the previous owner.
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