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  • #988067
    Alex B
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    • Total posts: 3
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    Hello everyone,

    A brief bio….My name is Alex, im 36 originally from the UK and now living in the northern suburbs of Wollongong with my wife and 6 month old daughter. I love living down the coast but work at the moment is in the city so im on the train to Sydney most days. Currently working in technical operations for a media company in the city, prior to that I worked in broadcast production and crewing both in various freelance roles.

    I’m looking to start working for myself again and would like to u-turn my career as well! Im thinking of running a coffee van business, it’s appealing as I like meeting people, travelling around and am an early bird and know the value of a good coffee! I’m thinking that lower overheads and work hours flexibility would be a bonus too. However…..I have no experience in this industry and am looking for some advice in the mobile coffee van business.

    I also want to take a small business management course probably at TAFE – again if anyone has any advice on a good small business course they know of i would be very grateful. I am going to be attending the Illawarra ITEC intro to business course in a couple of weeks so hopefully that will be helpful.

    I’m aiming to get going in just under a year so am trying to get this thing started asap!

    Thanks for your time,
    Alex.

    #1165453
    Tony Manto
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    Hi Alex, perhaps I can help with some of the area most courses offer, but other than that, I would recommend you try and get some part time work in a cafe to start with. You may also want to do a coffee making course.

    See if there are any existing coffee van businesses for sale and pretend you are interested in buying it.

    #1165454
    Alex B
    Member
    • Total posts: 3
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    Hi Tony,

    Thanks for your feedback and suggestions – appreciate your input into this.

    Cheers,
    Alex

    #1165455
    The Hobbit
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    • Total posts: 309
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    Tony Manto, post: 191573 wrote:
    I would recommend you try and get some part time work in a cafe to start with. You may also want to do a coffee making course.

    See if there are any existing coffee van businesses for sale and pretend you are interested in buying it.

    I think Tony has hit the nail on the head. Test the waters first, mobile coffee vans are a tough little market segment. Customers often like the novelty of the service at first but fail to become long term customers. Checking out vans for sale will give you insight into the business but don’t believe any figures that are not in the tax returns.

    #1165456
    MissSassy
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    Hi and welcome Alex

    The set up is quite costly for a mobile coffee van and the competition is also quite high. I know from speaking to other people that own them, the best way to make money is to be at events rather than driving around location to location.
    Unless you do look at an existing business that may have agreements in place it will be a challenge to get established.

    Flying Solo is a hub of information and you cannot do enough research prior to getting started in business. You mentioned you had been self employed before, what field was this in and will it help you in your career change.

    There is lots of educational material for small business owners and intenders like yourself – shop around until you find what will suit your needs. With all the travelling to the city for work you may be better to find something you can work on at home, or over the computer.

    #1165457
    Anonymous
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    • Total posts: 11,464
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    Hi Alex,

    Welcome to Flying Solo, and thanks for sharing a little of your story with us.

    Your daily commute sounds horrible – I can see why you’re exploring other options! Fingers crossed the brains trust here can help you find the right way forward :)

    Thanks for joining us,
    Jayne

    #1165458
    Alex B
    Member
    • Total posts: 3
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    Hi guys,

    Thanks for the welcome and information.

    Looking forward to tapping into the wealth of knowledge here,

    Thanks again,

    #1165459
    DanielM
    Member
    • Total posts: 241
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    Welcome :D

    #1165460
    pollypolkadot
    Member
    • Total posts: 55
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    Hi Alex!

    Good to see another person from Wollongong on here =)

    I did the Business Basics workshop at ITEC at the start of the year and found it quite helpful. I am also doing a Micro Business Operations course there at the moment, which was recommended to me over doing the Small Business Management course. I would certainly suggest having a look into that as it would probably be more relevant for you as a sole trader. They offer free advice appointments if you need help figuring out your next steps, which again I found very helpful. They have barista courses there too, rub every second Tuesday.

    Other than that, do you have a coffee machine at home or at your work? Maybe you can start making coffees for people everyday? I would assume that the most important part of having a coffee van would be how well you make coffee, so if you aren’t able to take up a part-time job in a cafe to practice your skills, then maybe investing in a large home machine and inviting friends for coffee dates might be something that you could consider.

    Good luck with everything!
    Polly

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